HOPKINS, John (c.1663-1732), of Broad Street, London; Wimbledon, Surr; and Redden Court, Hornchurch, Essex
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Family and Education
b. c.1663. unm.
‘Vulture’ Hopkins was a London merchant and stockjobber notorious for his rapacity. Defeated at St. Ives in 1708, when his candidature had been backed by the Earl of Suffolk, he was returned there on the Hobart interest in 1710, through the recommendation of the Earl of Stamford. Classed as a Whig in the ‘Hanover list’, he voted on 25 May 1711 against the amendment to the South Sea bill, and on 7 Dec. for the ‘No Peace without Spain’ motion. Hopkins made little impact on the records of the 1710 Parliament. He subscribed the £3,000 required for a directorship in the South Sea Company, but like other Whigs did not seek to take advantage of this qualification. Having voted on 18 June 1713 against the French commerce bill as a Whig, he survived the efforts of the young Sir John Hobart, 5th Bt.†, to have him dropped at St. Ives for opposing the ministry, and was listed on 18 Mar. 1714 as voting against the expulsion of Richard Steele. He was marked as a Whig in the Worsley list and again in two lists of the Members re-elected in 1715.1
Hopkins died on 25 Apr. 1732, aged 69, and was buried at Wimbledon. By his will the bulk of his fortune, estimated at some £300,000, and including property in Kent, London, Middlesex, Northamptonshire, Surrey, Wiltshire and other counties, was to pass to the male issue (according to priority of birth) of the daughters of his first cousin John Hopkins of Bretons, Essex. There were also various charitable requests, two of which were to ‘poor Dissenting ministers’ and ‘the poor widows of Dissenting ministers’. His ultimate heir, after a Chancery suit over the will, was one of the grandchildren of John Hopkins of Bretons, Benjamin Bond Hopkins†.2