Joseph HOPKINS (1805–1868)
His wife Mrs Catherine HOPKINS, née Harris (1798–1875)
St Michael section: Row 32, Grave L47

Joseph Hopkins


In Affectionate Remembrance
Joseph Hopkins,
who departed this life
November 18, 1868
Aged 63 Years



[There appears to be another
inscription further down, and this
must be to Joseph's wife
Catherine Hopkins
who died in Burton-on-Trent in 1875
and whose body was brought
to Oxford for burial]





J. H.





Joseph Hopkins was born in Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire on 23 October 1805 and baptised there on 2 June 1826. He was the son of John Hopkins and Sarah Ward and had ten siblings: William (1791), Betty (1793), John (1796), Samuel (1798), Ann (1800), Thomas (1807), Sarah (1810, died 1816), Samuel (1798), a second John (1800), and Mary (1802).

Catherine Harris was born in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire in 1798 and baptised at Shepshed on 9 April. She was the daughter of William Harris and his wife Sarah.

On 17 August 1840 at St John's Church in Coventry, Joseph Hopkins (34) married Catherine Harris (42). At the time of the 1841 census the following spring, Joseph Hopkins was described as a hawker, and was staying at an inn in Chipping Norton with Catherine.

Joseph and Catherine Hopkins had no children of their own, but adopted two of Joseph's nieces, namely:

  • Emma Hopkins (born at Harborne near Birmingham in c.1831)
  • Mary Maria Hopkins (born in Birmingham in 1841/2, reg. first quarter of 1842).

By the time of the 1851 census the couple had moved to Oxford with their two adopted daughters, and Joseph Hopkins (45) was a china & glass merchant at 51 Cornmarket Street (which stood on the site of the present Lush Cosmetics shop). He lived over the shop with his wife Catherine (recorded as 48, but actually 53), his unmarried brother Thomas (43), who worked as his assistant, and his two nieces: Emma Hopkins (19) was working as his general servant, and Mary Hopkins (7) was still at school.

At the time of the 1861 census Joseph was living over the shop with his wife Catherine and his brother Thomas, who was still working for him, and his niece Mary Hopkins (18), who was now also working in the shop. They also had a servant.

His two nieces were married from 51 Cornmarket in the mid-1860s. Both were described in the register as being Joseph Hopkins's daughters:

  • On 26 December 1865 at St Michael's Church, Emma Hopkins (35) married James Moon (49), a traveller, the son of the plumber & glazier James Moon senior. Both were living at 51 Cornmarket Street at the time of their wedding;
  • On 12 August 1866 at St Michael's Church, Mary Maria Hopkins (22) married Richard Roberts (32) of Cowley, the son of the baker John Roberts.

Joseph Hopkins was a witness to both marriages but could not sign his name, but both his adopted daughters could.

Joseph Hopkins died in 1868:

† Joseph Hopkins died at 51 Cornmarket Street at the age of 63 on 18 November 1868 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 22 November (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael's Church).

His death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal read: “Nov. 18, at No. 51 Corn Market-street, Oxford, aged 63, Mr. Joseph Hopkins, china merchant, much respected by all who knew him.”

Catherine would have had to give up the business and her home soon after her husband's death, as the four shops at 47–51 Cornmarket were demolished and rebuilt in 1871. When she died in 1875, she was living in Burton-on-Trent, probably with her married niece Emma:

† Mrs Catherine Hopkins, née Harris died at Burton-on-Trent at the age of 77 on 7 February 1875 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 11 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael's Church).

Her death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal read: “Feb. 7, at Burton-on-Trent, aged 77, Catherine, widow of Mr. Joseph Hopkins, late of Corn Market-street, much respected by all who knew her.” Her body was returned to Oxford for burial with her husband.

The nieces of Joseph and Catherine Hopkins
  • Emma Hopkins, Mrs Moon (born c.1831) and her husband James had no children. She was living at 75 High Street, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire in 1871 with James, who was a hardware dealer, an assistant, and a 13-year-old general servant. They were at the same address in 1881: James now described himself as a china & glass dealer, and her husband's niece Ada Moon (14) was living with them, plus a servant. By 1891 Emma was a widow of 58, working as a nurse & domestic servant to the Bakewell family, grocers of Belper, Derbyshire. By 1901 she was a cook to the Wragg family of Swadlincote, Derbyshire. In 1911 when she was 79 she was boarding with a Miss Goodman at Church Gresley, Derbyshire. She is probably the Emma Moon who died at the age of 96 in the Burton-on-Trent district near the beginning of 1928.
  • Mary Maria Hopkins, Mrs Roberts (born 1841/2) was living in Cranham Street in 1871 with her husband Richard, who was a glass & china dealer, and their son Ernest (6), plus a 14-year-old errand boy. In 1881 Mary (36) was living at Beechfield Road, Aston, Birmingham with Richard (46), who now described himself as a glass agent, and their son Ernest (16), who was a postage clerk. The family is hard to find after this date.



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