Letter from James Hopkirk to his son Daniel, a seaman with the Hudson Bay Company. Probably a Sunderland Hopkirk.

This James HOPKIRK is probably the son of Daniel Johnson HOPKIRK and his wife Ann, born 9 Oct 1796,.

The following notations were on the outside of the envelope:

Daniel Hopkirk, Seaman, London to the Care of S Smith a Squr Near the hudson Bay house Na unnoing [number unknown], By Lime St Square

From: HOPKIRK, JAMES, Liverpool

Letter, Cover, Seal (red wafer)Postmarks: "LIVERPOOL FE 18 1844 4"; "J 19 FE 19 1844";

"2"HBC marks: a number of "not known" notations; "Barque Vancouver Columbia"; "Returned to England p HBCo Bque Vancouver from Columbia Autumn 1843" Liverpool Fabrary 14 [1844]

Based on the above notations on the envelop, the letter was probably mailed in mid 1843, and returned, undelivered, to Liverpool in February 1844.  Maybe I'm reading more into this than there is, but his writing has a slightly Scottish sound to it. We must excuse his spelling, for I believe a large percentage of the population probably couldn't read or write at all.


My Dear Soun  

TheMayIf you Should Be So Louckey to get this Few Lines From Your Father it Will Be More then I Expet But I Pray God You May as I Dow Not Now how to or Whean tou Find you and May God Bless you if you are a Live But o My Dear Boy if you Now'd the trubel and the anxtey We Dow have on your ackount I thinck you Would Com home[.] Dow Com home as Sowen as you Can and Sea your Power Mother Be For it is tow Late o Com if you have Not a Peney or the Seckend Shirt to your Back and it Will Repay ous For all our trubels[.] I Shall Not Right Mouch But Pray to God Night and Day For your once More hapy Return to your home and May the Lord Draw your Mind to Dow So is the Pray of your Loven Father

James Hopkirk

I ham Bording With Mrs F Kline if you Should get this Leter Right to hur

Additional information supplied by the Hudson Bay Company:


Appointments & Service

Year: Position: Ship: District: HBCA Reference:

1841, 30 Aug.-1842, 31 Oct. Seaman Vancouver London-Columbia C.3/14 fo. 113

1842-1843 Seaman Vancouver Columbia B.223/g/7-8; B.239/g/22-23; B.223/d/152

1843, 1 Nov.-1844, 12 June Seaman Vancouver Columbia-London C.3/15 fo. 4

Based on the above, Daniel HOPKIRK was a seaman for the Hudson Bay Compnay from 30 Aug 1841 until 12 June 1844, when he returned to London.

Our thanks goes to Judith Hudson BEATTIE for supplying the above information from the Hudson Bay Company archives.

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This page last updated on May 17, 2003