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.
|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|
|GLENCOE (GENGOE)||George 19|
|PARNACOTT||Joseph Jnr 18|
|ROUSELL (RUSSELL)||Edward 25|
|ROUSELL (RUSSELL)||John 26|
|SWAN (FRANCIS)||James 18|
|SWAN (FRANCIS)||Stephen 21|
|VANS (VAN)||James 25|
|VOSA (VOCE)||Samuel 28|
|NEUBURN||George Fox Bruce|
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
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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