HOPTON OF CHELTENHAM, GLOUCESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND TO WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND

The HOPTON family came to New Zealand under the Colonial Emigration Scheme of the New Zealand Company. Free passage and land was offered to all manner of trades including cabinet maker, which was Robert’s trade. It is not known why the HOPTON’s left Cheltenham for New Zealand but possibly a depression in the trade was affecting their work prospects. Robert’s father Shadrach HOPTON, committed suicide in 1843 and it was discovered that he was very depressed about his cabinet making company.

On the 8th January 1841, the HOPTON family, comprising Robert (aged 31), Charlotte (aged 29) and their five children Mary Emma (9), Eliza Lavinia (7), Sarah Augusta (5), Robert William (2) and baby Susan Mary Jane left Gravesend, near London, for Port Nicholson (Wellington).

They came on the LORD WILLIAM BENTINCK which arrived at Port Nicholson on the 24th May 1841. There were 39 married couples, 24 single men, 15 single women, 51 children under 14 and 52 under 7 on board. Five births and nine deaths had occurred during the voyage.

The HOPTON family stayed in Wellington, and Jury Lists show Robert living at Ghuznee St, Willis St, Te Aro and later in Molesworth Street. Around 1853 the family moved to the Hutt Valley.

The HOPTONs had a sad beginning to their life in New Zealand — shortly after arrival, their son Robert died, and then in 1843 the baby Susan died, both of decline.

The eldest daughter Mary Emma HOPTON married Mr Francis EYARE, a stonemason, at the home of Mr John CLEMENT, Thorndon in 1854. However, this was to be short lived as she died in her residence on The Terrace, Wellington 3 months later. This was possibly a result of a problem during childbirth as a son, Joseph William Hopton EYARE has been born on the 24 May 1854 - Mary Emma died on the 30 May at her residence at Wellington Terrace. No burial can be found in the Bolton Street cemetery records.

Francis EYARE is probably the Francis EYARE who took his discharged from the 65th Regiment at Wanganui on 31 January 1851. He had enlisted at Macclesfield, Cheshire on the 25 December 1845. Francis appears in the Wellington Jury lists for 1853 and 1854 but then with his baby son Joseph disappears from New Zealand.

In June 1854, Robert HOPTON was killed by a fracture to the skull, at his residence at the River Hutt.

Charlotte HOPTON remarried shortly after. She married a widower, William THOMAS, on the 8th April 1855 at the residence of Mr James TAVNER, Lower Hutt. They lived in Taita, where William was a carpenter. Charlotte had a stepson, Michael THOMAS, who called one of his sons Robert Hopton THOMAS. Both Michael and Robert are buried in the Greytown Cemetery. Charlotte died on the 5th November 1875 at Taita. Charlotte’s brother Stephen FAGAN, and their mother, also came to New Zealand.

Robert and Charlotte’s second daughter, Eliza Lavinia married Almon BOULCOTT, son of John Ellerker BOULCOTT, a director of the New Zealand Company. Almon and his brother Joseph arrived in Wellington in 1841 and took up farming on land owned by their father in the Hutt. The area is still known as Boulcott, and was the site of the "Battle of Boulcott’s Farm" in 1846.

The third daughter, Sarah Augusta HOPTON, later became Mrs John CLEMENT.

Very early in our research on the Hopton family we came across Early Wellington, a book by Louis Ward which was published in 1928. In this book was the Register of Deaths from 1840 to 1847. For 1841 was Robert Hopton, son, 4 years, decline and in 1843 Robt. Hopton, daughter, 2 years, decline. Neither of the deaths were registered and a burial record was unable to be found at the Bolton Street Cemetery, but neither of these were surprising giving the time period. So this was accepted.

Fast forward to July 2013 — twenty five years later. An email from a distant Hopton cousin had found something on Papers Past — had I seen it. The Evening Post, Volume XII, Issue 93, 16 October 1875, Page 3 had "If this should meet the eye of ROBERT HOPTON, will he communicate with his mother Charlotte THOMAS, who is now lying dangerously ill. Hokitika papers please copy."

WHAT !!! With electoral rolls and other entries in Papers Past we followed a Robert Hopton sometimes Robert William Hopton who appeared to be a miner on the West Coast, which would tie in with the Hokitika papers please copy.

He then made his way to Australia and appears in various on line records there as a miner. Then in the Queensland Death Indexes, this entry - Name: Robert William Hopton Death Date: 15 May 1921 Death Place: Rockhampton, Queensland Father's Name: Robert William Hopton Mother's Name: Charlotte Durham Registration Year: 1921 Registration Place: Rockhampton, Queensland.

I sent for his certificate and it appears to be for a second Robert William HOPTON born in Wellington, New Zealand about 1843 though his birth was not recorded.

However we found that he was born on 15 September 1842 and baptised 7 November 1847 by a Primitive Methodist minister in Wellington. His parents’ residence at that date was in Wellington. (Alexander Turnbull Library: Ms Papers 1185/180/1 (MSY 515); Ms Copy Micro 14/9; Sydney Street Primitive Methodist Church, Wellington, register of baptisms, 1847-95; entry no. 5).

For more on the Hopton family see - HOPTON FAMILY HISTORY. Thanks to Patrick Hopton for this.



LORD WILLIAM BENTINCK — GRAVESEND — WELLINGTON
08 JANUARY 1841 — 24 MAY 1841.

Passenger list from Early Wellington by Louis E Ward with additions from Gentleman Charlie and the Settlers by R G Ward. Please note, as in all passenger lists there are variations from list to list.

MARRIED COUPLES:
ANDERSON John 30, Mary 28
BOULD Robert 32, Ann 27, George, Mary, Thomas
BROWN Daniel 29, Amelia 27, 3 girls, 1 boy
BUTLER Thomas 30, Elizabeth 27, 2 children
CAINES William 27, Mary 26, Robert, Hubert, Alfred
CHRISTIE William 37, wife 27, 2 children
CLIFTON Richard 39, Margaret 32, Richard, Louisa, Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Rayner
CLOUT John 27, Mary 29, 3 girls, 1 boy
CORNFORD Joseph 42, Mary 36, William
CRAIGHEAD William 29, Susan Miller 28
CROSBIE Thomas 29, Isabella, William, Janet
DEW William 34, Anne 38, William, John, Thomas, Martha, Harriet, Charlotte, George
DIAMOND (DIMOND) John 39, Judith 37, Sydney, Mary, 3 boys
FARMER Alex (Jnr) & Elizabeth, 1 child
FARMER Alexander 53, Euphemia 45, 2 children
FARMER James & Isabella, John, Robert
FARROW Samuel 27, Harriet 28, George
FISHER James 39, Harriet 38, Cornelius, Amos, Lois, Miriam, Infant girl
FORRESTER William 27, Elizabeth 24, 2 girls
FRANCIS John 35, Frances 36, Thomas, John, William, Elizabeth
FRANKLYN Edmund 28, Eliza 24, Sarah
GREENACRE William 39, Sarah 28
HOPTON Robert 32, Charlotte 29, Eliza, Mary, Sarah, Robert & Susan
HOWELL John 37, Ann 29, Isaac, Betsy, Ellen, Georgina
MAXTED George 34, Elizabeth 30, George, Stephen, Eliza plus 2 more
MEMBURY William 35, Eliza 35, George, Emma, Elizabeth, Susan, Mary, Sarah, Ann
NELSON William Lunn 35, wife 34, 5 children
PARNACOTT Joseph 39, wife 40, 3 children
PHILLIPS John 36, Catherine 38, Frances, Emma, Jacob
PIPER Thomas 27, Mary Anne 24, 1 boy
RUTTER Samuel 37, Jane 27, Charles, Joseph
SOUTER Charles 44, Elizabeth 33, 3 boys
SPEEDY David 36, Helen 35, 6 children( John, David, William, Mary, Margaret?)
SPEEDY William 29, Anne 28, Susan, 1 yr old boy (2 children)
SPICER Jane & Richard (children)
STARK (STARKES) John 27, Lucy 24, John, 1 girl, 1 boy
TANDY William 36, Mary 29, Charlotte, Charles
TEAMS (TEANS) James 27, Lettitia 28
THOMAS John 24, wife 27, 2 children
WALL Anthony 34, Sarah 30, Sarah, Anthony, John, George, James
WHITE Charles 28, Harriett 26, Jane, 2 boys, 1 girl
WHITE Joseph 31, Mary 32, 3 children
WHITEHOUSE John 39, Charlotte 34, Thomas, Joseph, William, John
WILKIE James 23, wife 23, 2 children
WRIGHT David 28, Harriett 27, 2 boys, 1 girl
SINGLE MEN:
BEZEEK George 35
BROWN Charles 23
CORNFORD Thomas 15
CUMMING David 24
DIAMOND (DIMOND) David
FARMER George 15
FISHER Daniel
FISHER Stephen
GLENCOE (GENGOE) George 19
HUBBARD William 36
McHARDIE Alexander 33
MEMBURY William 16
NEIGHBOURS -21
NELSON Benjamin 14
PARNACOTT Joseph Jnr 18
PEARCE Richard E
PHILLIPS Henry 14
PHILLIPS William 24
POTTER John 25
ROUSELL (RUSSELL) Edward 25
ROUSELL (RUSSELL) John 26
SMITH William 22
SOUTER John 16
STENT Charles 20
SWAN (FRANCIS) James 18
SWAN (FRANCIS) Stephen 21
TELFORD William 24
VANS (VAN) James 25
VOSA (VOCE) Samuel 28
WILMSHURST John 17
SINGLE WOMEN:
CLIFORD Sarah Ann
CORNFORD Caroline 19
DEW Ann
DIAMOND (DIMOND) Ann
DIAMOND (DIMOND) Harriette
FARMER Elizabeth 18
FRANCIS Mary 15
MALCOLM Isabella 21
MALCOLM Jane 19
MEMBURY Mary 14
PARNACOTT Emma 15
SOUTER Ann 17
SOUTER Betsy 21
SPEEDY Elizabeth 14
SWAN Frances 18
SWAN Sarah Ann
WILMSHURST Harriett 17
SALOON:
NEUBURN George Fox Bruce
AITKEN Marjorie
AITKEN Mrs
AITKEN female
TOWNSEND Chauncey
TYRELL William
REES Dr
REES Mrs

DEATHS:
MEMFORD George, 18 months, convulsions 17th January
FRANCIS T J, 6 months, 31st January
BOULD George, 7 months, 3rd February
CROSBY Izobella, 28yrs, 8th February
FISHER Miriam, 2yrs, 16th February
CLIFTON Rayner, 18 months, 18th February
FRANKLIN Sarah, 3 years, 25th February
CROSBY Janet (Infant of Izobella) 6 months, 4th March
WHITE Jane, 6 months, 17th May
SUMMARY:
39 married couples
24 single men
15 single women
51 children under 14
52 children under 7
Five births/Nine deaths




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