by James Gourlay
(From records held by Gertrude Varlow, copied 23 April 1978. This account is signed "James
Gourlay, 13 November 1947, but there is no other information about its source.}
THE FAMILY OF HOPKIRK OF DALKEITH
It is probable that the family name of Hopkirk belongs to that class usually referred to as
place names, and is derived from the village and parish of Hopekirk in Roxburghshire. This
village lies about seven miles from Hawick.
From there the family gradually no doubt spread, first towards Edinburgh where there
appears about 1680 Adam Hopkirk, a brewer and some twenty years later William, a
merchant. (Buried Reg. Grayfriars Yard, S.R.S.). Subsequently the name appears in various
parts of the world, in South Africa, in Jamaica, and elsewhere and in several instances, in the
The earliest record of the family in Glasgow history occurs in the minutes of the
Incorporation of Tailors and is as follows:
"First of May, 1694: Francis Hopkirk son lawful to umquihile William Hopkirk in Coweland in the parochine of
Prenteis Cranstone is bookit prenteis with Thomas Pollok, Hopkirk "taylor who has payed to
the Collector P5 Scottis and 20 merkis Scottis as ane prenteis before time."
Cowsland or Cousland village lies about 3 1/2 miles from Dalkeith.
The payment of 20 merkis was in respect of Pollock's employing two apprentices
simultaneously, the apprentice Charles Hamilton who preceded Hopkirk did not complete his
apprenticeship till December 1695. Why this fatherless lad of 17 years of age should have
come to Glasgow is unknown. There were at that time only about 12,000 inhabitants in the
city, just about half the number in Stirling today, and with no apparent prospect of any
marked increase, for the trade of the City was principally with the small bonnet lairds who's
lands surrounded it. Certainly no family connections seem to have existed, and Polok was
Glasgow born and bred.
In due course the lengthy apprenticeship was completed.
"Att Glasgow the 18th day of Aprile 1704 years.
The Deacon and most part of the masters convened, Francis Hobkirk having served Thomas
Pollok freeman of the tread for the space of seiven years as prentice and having given ane
esay of being found qualified he is admitted freeman with the incorporation of tailyors and
the said Thomas Pollok becomes cautioner.
Thomas Orr clk"
The "Esay" referred to was the garment which each claimant for his freedom had to submit to
prove his competence.
What was, however, of greater moment to him was that he was now married to Marie,
daughter of John Paterson, Wright, and by her right was admitted a Burgess and Guild
Brother on the same day as he had been made a Freeman of his incorporation. This
connection by marriage could hardly fail to be of assistance to Hopkirk, for Paterson was a
man of considerable standing in the community. In 1686 he was Deacon of the Incorporation
of Wrights and again in 1697 and in the two succeeding years, and a Bailie of the City in
1688 but he only served nine months of this term being deposed at the Revolution.
Nevertheless Hopkirk must himself have been of some consequence for in those days only
men of substance could aspire to a union with the daughter of a Bailie
From the very beginning of his career he threw himself wholeheartedly into public work, and
continued to give notable service to the City up to the end of his comparatively short life.
When giving evidence before the Master Court of his Incorporation on 29th May 1716, he
gave his age as "39 years or thereby" so that he was born in 1677. In 1705 he was elected
Collector of the Incorporation and became a member of the Master Court four years later,
becoming Deacon in 1713 at the early age of 36 years.
The members of the Tailors' Incorporation were much more than merely clothiers. They dealt
in cloth and all soft goods, and in fact were really warehousemen.
But in addition to the work which he did for his incorporation, he was a worthy servant of the
In October 1714 he was elected Water Bailie, the following year Treasurer of the City and
the next year Bailie of Gorbals. The position of City Treasurer was then rather a peculiar one.
He was elected for one year only but seems to have been expected to make advances
personally in payment of public accounts, recovering the sums advanced at some later period.
Against the date 15 September 1719 the Town Council Records yield - "Ordains Francis
Hopkirk, late treasurer, to have allowance in his own hand of the sum of thirty pounds
sterling payed by him to John Aird, provost, as his extraordinary charge and expenssis at
Stirling for the space often weeks the tyme of the late rebellion being there as representing
the toun and provost at the time when he went to Stirling with the touns voluntiers".
This account must have been four years old for it referred to Mar's rising in 1715. In addition
he adjusted and settled a number of claims being amounts granted as compensation to those
whose gardens and properties had been destroyed by the defensive trench surrounding the
city in 1715. (Extracts from Glasgow Burgh Record, 1691-1717)
It is generally stated that John Aird was in command of the Glasgow detachment that went to
Stirling in 1715 but that is hardly correct. The military commander was Colonel John
Blackader, with Aird as a coadjutor and liaison officer with the town council (History of the
Rebellion - Rae - 2nd edit. 313)
Of the family of Francis Hopkirk only three are known definitely, namely Thomas who
succeeded him, Francis who was buried 13 June 1720 and Mary buried 12 July 1721, both in
the High Kirk yard, Glasgow, but there may have been others who have not been traced,
though if so they did not survive childhood.
Francis Hopkirk's name last appears in the Town Council Records in 1719. He was buried in
the High Kirk yard on 6 December 1722 aged 46 years (R.H.= Register House-Edinburgh) his
gravestone being one of four all belonging to the family and situated about 30 yards South of
the South entrance to the Crypt of the Cathedral, the inscription being:
and their children.
Senr and Junr
and their children."
The later names are those of his wife's father and brother and his son and his wife. The life of
Francis Hopkirk was not a long one, he was only 46 or thereby when he died yet in that time
he had accomplished more than most men.
The name of John Hopkirk occurs occasionally but all that is known regarding such an
individual is vague and given below.
John Haphkirk is booked prentice with Francis for seven years as prentice and two years
thereafter for meat and fee the date of the indenture betwixt them dated fifteenth day of May
This occurs in the minutes of the Incorporation of Tailors, but there is no other reference
therein, and apparently the apprenticeship was never completed nor did he ever become a
His parentage is not stated, he could hardly be a brother of Francis Hopkirk, but may have
been a nephew. In a paper contributed to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland by J. C.
Rodger there are two illustrations said to have been executed as pen and ink sketches by John
Hopkirk in 1752. One is of a sculptured coat of arms of Bishop Cameron from the Tower of
Glasgow Cathedral, the other the gateway of the Bishop's Castle. These are labelled 3 and 5
respectively and suggest that they formed part of a series intended to be issued in connection
with a proposed volume of which however nothing is known and which probably failed to
reach publication. It is possible that these two references may refer to the same individual
and that forsaking trade he in later years took to art and literature, but this is merely surmise
(Proc. Soc. of Antiq. Scot. II,317).
Thomas Hopkirk 1, was in temperament and in character entirely different from his father
Francis. While the father devoted his life largely to public service, the son confined his
energies to the pursuit of business. To some extent this may have been due to the early death
of his father, but perhaps also to the fact that the new era of commerce in Glasgow was just
From a consideration of all available information it would appear that Thomas Hopkirk I
was born about 1712. In November 1728 he matriculated at Glasgow University and on 7
December 1734 he was entered a Merchant Burgess and Guild Brother as eldest son of his
father. In 1755 he was chosen a Town Councillor of the Merchant Rank, but rather than
accept office he paid the fine of P20 payable to the Merchant's House. Later this had a
peculiar reaction for he was elected Dean of Guild in October 1778, but again refused office.
This election was not worthy of the Merchant's Guild and Town Council. Hopkirk was quite
unaware that he had been elected for he had never been consulted in the matter. He was fined
but refused to pay the sum on which the two bodies had counted to assist their depleted
funds. John Hill, the Collector of the Merchant's House and the Provost and Magistrates
thereupon raised a joint action in the Court of Session to compel payment but their claim was
rejected. They appealed but again lost on the ground that by their own rules anyone who had
declined office as a Councillor and paid the fine was thereby for ever rendered incapable of
again being elected to the Council and as the Dean of Guild was ipso facto a councillor they
had themselves acted in breach of their own rules, the fine was therefore not payable.
About 1748 he married Elizabeth Smellie, a daughter of James Smellie of Easterhill, a small
property on the Clyde to the East of the City and adjoining Dalbeth which this family also
owned. The family of Smellie occupied an important position in the commercial life of the
city their firm being McCall, Smellie & Co. and while not among the largest tobacco
importers were of respectable size, and suffered serious loss when the crash came in 1775.
About 1754 Hopkirk had acquired the estate of Dalbeth from his wife's family. By his
marriage Hopkirk entered that exclusive circle that by their energy did so much to build up
the Trade of the City.
In 1750 the Glasgow Arms Bank was established and Thomas Hopkirk was one of he original
26 partners. He does not appear as a tobacco importer in any list but seems rather to have
avoided so risky an enterprise and confined himself to a purely merchant business. Hence it
is that he does not seem to have suffered the crippling losses which the American War
brought to so many. He was a large buyer of property for from his will it is learned that he
owned a large tenement on the East side of the High Street five doors above the Cross. This
was known as "Hopkirk's Land" so was probably built either by him or possibly his father. In
1777 he acquired the beautiful mansion in the Trongate the property of Sir William Miller, a
grandson of Provost John Murdoch who had built it in 1750. This was the family residence in
winter while they resided at Dalbeth in summer. This property stood on the South East corner
of the junction of Dunlop Street and Trongate. There is an excellent view of the house in
Fairbairn's Relics of Old Glasgow.
In 1790 it was sold to Colin McFarlane, a vintner who converted it into the Buck's Head Inn;
it was demolished in 1863 (a rather dilapidated deer sculpture on the sky line now
commemorated the site).
Thomas Hopkirk I died at Dalbeth on 31 August 1781, his wife surviving till 4 February
1796. Their grave stone adjoins that of his father and is probably that inscribed
The date is probably that of purchase.
By his will signed on 6 May 1781 only some four months before his death and registered on
28 January 1782 he bequeathed P4,000 to his second son Thomas II, to Barbara his eldest
daughter P2000 and a further P100 bequeathed to her by a deceased James Smellie,
Merchant in Glasgow, "my father-in-law", her grandfather. To Elizabeth his second daughter
and to Mary his youngest daughter he left P2000 each, but P1000 additional to each if James
his eldest son died before marriage, the share of the deceased son being divided amongst the
survivors. He burdened his eldest son James and subjects disposed to him with an annual
payment of P200 to Elizabeth Smellie his wife should she survive him but to this his other
children were each to contribute P20 annually. His wife was to have the life rent use of "the
dwelling house.....lying above the Cross of Glasgow...with horses, chaise, cows, wines,
spirits, tea, sugar and P300 for mournings". Finally he bequeathed P10 to the Merchants
House though their accounts give the sum as P15, and P10 each to the Town's Hospital, and
the Marine Society of Glasgow. His trustees were James his son to whom both Dalbeth and
the Trongate property must have been already disposed, Alexander Spiers of Elderslie, John
Bowman late Provost, Joseph Scott jr. and William French, merchants.
There is no doubt that Thomas I was successful in business and largely escaped the
catastrophe of 1775 which ruined to many.
In addition to his heritable property there were valuable seams of coal on Dalbeth and he
must have benefited by the working of these.
Of his three daughters Mary died prior to 1812, Barbara and Elizabeth both survived their
brother Thomas II who died in 1810. Elizabeth has been identified as "Miss Deborah Prim"
of "Northern Sketches", and if the writer of these rather scurrilous descriptions is to be
trusted she was tall, angular, proud and unattractive. Latterly she resided alone at 47
WestNile Street and probably died there about 1831. The date of the death of Barbara is
Thomas Hopkirk II was born in 1759. He does not appear ever to have married. It is rather
difficult to account for some of the known facts of his career. He was primarily a merchant in
partnership with his father, his older brother James and others, yet nothing is heard of him till
he had attained 25 years of age and three years after his father's death, and then her received
the Freedom of a rather remote East Coast Burgh. It is natural to wonder what he had been
doing meanwhile, but though purely surmise and unsupported by documentary evidence, the
suggestion is hazarded that he might have been abroad. The Tobacco period was ended and
Glasgow merchants were anxiously seeking newmarkets. May it not have been that on behalf
of his father's firm he had been endeavouring to develop trade possibly with the Baltic and
the Low Countries. Such a connection had always existed but it was largely through Leith
and the Fife and East Coast ports that the goods were shipped. It is only after his father's
death that his name began to appear by which time it might naturally be expected that his
services might be required at home.
On 13 August 1784 he was admitted a Freeman of the Burgh of Queensferry, on 1 February
1785 he became a Burgess and Guild Brother of Glasgow, on 28 November 1786 he was
made a Freeman of the Burgh of Banff and on 16 December 1788 he entered the Merchants
House as a Foreign Trader, but why Queensbury and Banff conferred these honours is far
from clear for neither had any apparent connection with Glasgow.
When in fear of invasion a voluntary force was raised he took an active interest in the
movement and was commissioned on 22 April 1795 a Second Lieutenant in Captain William
Bogle's company of the Royal Glasgow Volunteers commanded by Colonel James Corbett
and raised in 1794. On 30 March 1797 he was promoted First Lieutenant. He seems to have
been an efficient and popular officer as, though pressed to accept further promotion, he
declined, preferring to continue to serve in the Company to which he had always been
attached. In appreciation, those serving under him took the unusual course of expressing their
regard for him and their pleasure at his decision to continue as their officer by presenting him
with a testimonial of a eulogistic nature.
In 1798 he was elected a member of the Town Council for one year and two years later he
became a Director of the Merchant's House. In 1803 he formed one of a group which
included Kirkman Finlay who feued from the Town Council the area, then a market garden,
forming the North side of St. Vincent's Place from Anchor Lane to Buchanan Street.
Thomas Hopkirk 11 died at Dalbeth on 16 July 1810 of apoplexy, his age being 51 years, and
was buried in the High Kirk Yard four days later, under the stone marked "T. Hopkirk"
His residence was at Greenhead, then a pleasant area overlooking the Glasgow Green but
now covered by industrial buildings.
His will, confirmed 11 January 1812, names his executors as his brother James, and his
sisters Barbara and Elizabeth as next of kin. His inventory comprises:
Books &c. in his dwelling house at Greenhead valued at 141 5 11
Debts due to deceased by Greenock Rope Works 1,321 13 4
Credit with Hopkirk, Cunningham and Co. 798 19 -
Credit with Wm. Forrest & Co. 101 5 10
Owed by Wm. Bogle deceased 80
Share in Glasgow Theatre (unsaleable)
Total 2,443 4 1
The total given in the Testament is P2,453 4s. 1d., a difference of P10 which may be either
an arithmetical error or possibly a value placed on the Theatre share.
Thomas Hopkirk II would appear to have been one whose tastes leaned more to the social
than the commercial side of life. His business was, it is to be feared, not very lucrative,
perhaps he did not give a great deal of attention to it and from a remark in a contemporary
diary he seems to have held a fairly high opinion of his talents, higher perhaps than was
entirely warranted by his attainments.
James Hopkirk I, the elder son of Thomas Hopkirk I and brother of Thomas Hopkirk II,
was a most worthy citizen and did much in his lifetime to improve the city and benefit its
inhabitants. Born in 1750, in 1762 he matriculated at Glasgow University but did not
graduate, comparatively few students did those days. In 1774 he was entered a Burgess as
eldest son of his father and in 1783 was appointed treasurer of the City.
On 29 March 1784 he married Christian Glassford, daughter of John Glassford of Dougalston
by his second wife, Ann Nisbet, second daughter of Sir John Nisbet of Dean, Bart. Of this
marriage there were born three sons and two daughters, of whom later.
In 1791 James Hopkirk I offered to buy from the Town Council a part of the Rope Work
Green lying between the present Howard Street and the Clyde, probably to provide for an
extension of the Jamaica Street Bottle works of which he was a partner with John Gedded
and Gilbert Hamilton. As he had inherited Dalbeth he must have enjoyed a considerable
revenue from the coal which was being worked on it.
In addition he was a partner at various times of the merchant firms of James Hopkirk & Co.,
Findlay, Hopkirk & Co., the latter as late as 1793 being owners of a store at Leonardtown,
Maryland. Though no doubt he with others imported tobacco it can only have been to a
limited extent as the great Tobacco Era had largely ended in 1775. He was essentially a
merchant, an importer and exporter of general merchandise.
About 1783 his mother's family of Smellie had become financially embarrassed by reason of
the revolt of the American colonies, so to assist them he bought Easterhill but sold it the
following year to his partner Robert Findlay. Dalbeth was really an agglomeration of a
number of small areas originally church lands, and had an area of about 120 acres. He added
to and practically rebuilt the mansion house. (There are good illustrations both of Dalbeth
and Easterhill in " The Old Country Houses of the Old Glasgow Gentry", 2nd edition.)
In 1797 he with others convened a meeting of citizens to approach the Town Council
regarding an improved water supply for the city, a movement which a number of years later
bore fruit in the formation of the Glasgow Water Company with pumping stations on the
river. Though not associated with this latter scheme, his earlier effort was, if not the first, at
least the first serious attempt to provide an adequate supply of water for the city and there is
no doubt it was originated by James Hopkirk. This scheme was abandoned as the support it
received was disappointing and a Parliamentary Bill would have been required to bring it
into operation, the cost of which and the necessary plant would have been greater than the
originators could undertake, even with the support of Provost James McDowall, John
Stirling, Henry Glassford, John Alston, John Tennant and others of standing in the city;
possibly their support was more moral than financial.
In 1802 the Heritors of the Barony Parish raised an action to have it declared that the Barony
Glebe was not and never had been within the Regality of Glasgow. In this James Hopkirk
took a very active part. The action dragged on for almost ten years but finally the Heritors
were successful in their claim. It was very largely due to his efforts that the old Barony
Church was built, though it is surprising that one with his refined taste should have selected
such a design, generally regarded as the most hideous Church in the city. For over 40 years
he represented the congregation in the General Assembly, and in 1824 he received from the
Heritors a handsome gift of silverplate in acknowledgement of his valued services in this
respect and also in connection with the dispute with the Town Council. To the fund raised to
purchase this gift the Town Council contributed P5, a compliment seldom paid by an
unsuccessful litigant to their principal opponent.
One of the most curious business connections was with Murdoch, Warroch & Co, the
brewers in Anderston village, and of which his son James II was for some time also a
partner. This firm was in constant conflict with the Town Council regarding the tax of 2d.
per pint payable on all ale brewed. They raised all sorts of objections to resist payment, yet
James Hopkirk and several other brewers in 1794 and for a number of years afterwards had a
Tack of this same impost at an annual rental of from P2,400 to P2,600 per annum and
Hopkirk was actually appointed an overseer with others in 1799 to see that it was duly paid,
but by this time they had composed their differences with the Town Council. It would appear
that by this arrangement so long as the Council got its rent, the brewers who had the Tack
could impose the tax or not impose it as suited them. The larger firms who were parties to
the scheme more or less let themselves out, while insisting that the small firms met the tax,
certainly an ingenious device if this interpretation of the arrangement is correct.
James Hopkirk I was a Deputy Lieutenant of the LowerWard of Lanarkshire and an original
member of the Tontine Club of 1781, his nominee being his neighbour Mathew Bogle, a son
of John Bogle of Bogleshole. His brother Thomas II was also a member but nominated
himself, possibly an indication of the difference in character of the two brothers.
It is said that in his earlier days James Hopkirk always walked out to Dalbeth from the City
in all weathers, and he is described as tall, thin and active. It is to be feared that his later
years were not free from sorrow. Writing in 1821 to the town Council he stated that he had
been long and seriously ill, he was then over 70 years of age and many of his grandchildren,
the family of his son John Glassford Hopkirk in Edinburgh, had died in infancy, his portrait
painted when he was about 77 years of age certainly suggests a wearied old man.(A picture of this portrait is located here)
He died at Dalbeth on 21 August 1835 aged 85 years. His will recorded 8 September 1835
disposes in favour of his wife Mrs. Christian Hopkirk, his sons Thomas, John Glassford and
James, also Daniel McKenzie merchant in Glasgow all as Trustees, Dalbeth "which formerly
belonged to Archibald Smellie" together with some small outlying areas, also the New
Brewery Park of about 4 acres in Anderston, including therein the Brewery buildings recently
acquired by the firm of John Cowan & Co., but of all heritable and moveable property he
reserved his life rent. The will is signed at Dalbeth on 31 July 1829. He executed a separate
deed of instructions which no doubt contained fuller details, but this was not registered.
In addition to his sons above mentioned correctly with their seniority and incorrectly in the
Glasgow Burgess Roll, he had three daughters. Barbara, his eldest daughter married Laurence
Hill, Ll/D., Collector of the Merchant's House as his first wife, and had issue ten daughters
and three sons. She died in 1833 and was buried in Glasgow Necropolis on 9 May of that
year aged 40 years and 11 months. It is not surprising that she died of debility.
On the death of James Hopkirk I his widow and two surviving daughters, Anne and Isabella,
both unmarried, retired to Edinburgh. They were both in poor health and died very shortly
afterwards, Isabella the youngest daughter on 19 March 1836 and Anne on 9 December 1838;
both are buried in the grave of their brother John Glassford in the yard of the Kirk of the
Greyfriars but their names are not inscribed on the gravestone.
Mrs Christian Hopkirk died on 27 January 1839, aged 82 years. It is rather remarkable that
notwithstanding diligent search, her place of burial and that of her husband has not been
Thomas Hopkirk III eldest son of James Hopkirk I was born in 1785. Though 1789 is
sometimes given as his date of birth it is certainly wrong. In 1799 he matriculated at Glasgow
University but did not graduate. He was never actively engaged in any mercantile business
and except for a short period as manager of Stirling's Library, a few years from 1828 to 1834
as a Councillor of the Burgh of Anderston and the light duties of a Justice of the Peace he
took no part in public life. He was of a type almost unique in his day, a natural scientist in a
commercial community and devoted his life to the study of Botany.
For many years the Vice President of the Natural History Society of Glasgow and largely its
founder, he in 1819 was asked to accept a testimonial in the form of a silver plate in
recognition of his services but requested that the gift be postponed until the funds of the
Society were in a more prosperous state. On his retirement in 1830, however, he accepted a
gift costing P100. He catalogued the plants of the Clyde area comprising well over 1000
names and at Dalbeth had formed a collection of native and exotic specimens nearly 2000 in
number. No distance was too great for him to travel if he learned of a plant found where it
was not known before so that he might verify the report.
About 1818 he turned his attention to lithograph and established the only press in Glasgow
for the process at that time. His own name does not appear in connection with this work, the
printer being John Watson of 169 George Street. Associated with him was William Heath the
engraver then in Glasgow to paint several panoramas and between them they produced the
well known series of cartoons known as "The Glasgow Looking Glass" later changed to "The
Northern Looking Glass" published in June 1825. Heath is believed to have supplied the
drawings and Hopkirk the letterpress. These were at first lithographed but later were etched
on copper and a few copies were coloured. The business was however transferred a year later
to Richard Griffin and Company.
Hopkirk's great interest in Botany moved him to propose the formation of an adequate
Botanic Garden to take the place of the old Physic Garden at the College, by this time quite
useless for teaching purposes. Almost entirely by his efforts 8 acres of ground were acquired
at Sandiford lying between what is now Dumbarton Road and Sauchiehall Street and
bounded on the East by Claremont Street. There a range of hothouses were erected with a
lecture room, and to ensure that the garden was properly equipped he transferred his whole
collection of plants from Dalbeth as a gift to the new institution. Work was begun in May
1817 and the garden was opened in the following year.
In 1812 he had been elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society and in 1835 Glasgow University
conferred on him the degree of LLD. He was also a member of the Massachusetts
Horticultural Society and other learned bodies. The chair of Botany was shortly to be vacated
in 1827 by the removal of Dr Hooker, later Sir William Hooker, to London, and Hopkirk was
pressed to allow his name to be proposed as a candidate but he declined.
Lady Liston who had when in Scotland been a frequent visitor to Dalbeth and herself an
enthusiastic botanist carried on an extensive correspondence with him and when her husband
Sir Robert Liston was appointed Ambassador to Turkey, she sent to Dalbeth many specimens
of plants which she had collected in Asia Minor.
It has been asserted that it was he who first suggested the use of the Fir Park as a Cemetery,
but this is not so. He was, with several others, asked to adjudicate on the various plans
submitted by sundry architects for the arrangement of the cemetery.
He was not much in Glasgow after 1830. The amenity of Dalbeth must by this time have
been greatly reduced by the encroachment of the city, and his garden there was now gone.
In 1831 we find him living in Helensburgh, later he removed to Rothesay. For a time he was
engaged in the Geological Survey of Ireland and finally settled in Belfast where he died on
23 August 1841 at the comparatively early age of 56 years, he is buried in Clifton Street
cemetery there. His descendants still reside there, and occupy important positions in the
commercial life of Ireland.
He married Agnes Parlane and by her had two sons and six daughters but of these, except
Barbara who died in 1876 aged 52years, Anne who died in 1920 aged 90 years and Francis
James who died in 1910 aged 77 years, all died in infancy or early youth. Agnes Parlane died
on 1 December 1836. Strang writing in 1856 on Glasgow and its Clubs in a footnote makes
the statement, "Mr. Hopkirk was the representative of an old and most respectable family,
with rather a shattered fortune", and he continues to extol his many excellent qualities and
In this he appears to be confusing uncle and nephew for while it might be possible to apply
the description to Thomas II it hardly seems to suit Thomas III the botanist. He was
unlikely to patronise the What You Please Club, to which Strang refers, the favourite haunt
of actors, soldiers and the like, his portrait certainly does not suggest that the jovial and
rather boisterous company which gathered there would be congenial to him.
Dalbeth from about 1830 to 1851 or thereby was let to various tenants, but in the latter year
was acquired by the Community of the Good Shepherd who have held it ever since, the land
was converted into a cemetery for members of the Church of Rome.
John Glassford Hopkirk born in 1789 was the second son of James Hopkirk I. He was one of
the Duxes of the Grammar School in Glasgow in 1799 and 1800 and matriculated at Glasgow
University in 1801, graduating LLB in 1825. Apprenticed to Sir James Gibson-Craig, he
qualified as a Writer to the Signet on 15 November 1811 and was for many years the Law
Agent for Glasgow University in Edinburgh. On 12 September 1815 he married Jessie,
second daughter of John Hamilton of Polmont Bank, Stirlingshire and by her had a family of
three sons and three daughters, of whom only his eldest daughter Isabella Jessie survived
beyond early life.
Mrs Hopkirk died on 7 August 1824 aged 28 years, her husband John Glassford Hopkirk died
on 2 August 1859 aged 70 years. His eldest daughter Isabella Jessie above mentioned died
unmarried at 75 King Street, Edinburgh an 6 March 1899 aged 79 years, all of the family are
buried in the Yard of the Kirk of the Greyfriars there. It was she who bequeathed the portrait
of her grandfather James Hopkirk I to Glasgow Corporation. It will be observed that this
branch of the family is certainly extinct.
James Hopkirk II the youngest of the three sons of James Hopkirk 1 matriculated at
Glasgow University in 1816 and graduated LLB there in 1826. On 9 March 1825 he was
admitted a member of the Scottish Bar. How long he practised there is unknown, but by 1836
he had removed to Canada and died at Kingston, Ontario, on 15 October 1859. Whether this
line is continued is unknown.
Signed . James Gourlay,
13 November 1947
[Gertrude Varlow made a summary of this. She says the typewritten information (as above)
was given to Cyril Spottiswoode Hopkirk by Mary Hopkirk, wife of Rev. Fred Hopkirk
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