James HOPKIRK was the eldest son of the second marriage for William HOPKIRK. William married Margeret LAWRIE
James(4) HOPKIRK, born 16 May 1756, Melrose. The Hopkirk's of South Africa, USA, and New Zealand are descended from James HOPKIRK and Anne WRIGHT. 
                    James(4) HOPKIRK was a shoemaker in Melrose, Scotland. He died on 10 June of 1841 and as mentioned in the
                     letter of William(5) HOPKIRK's wife to their children in the USA,  he was buried next to his recently deceased grandson James(6) HOPKIRK. From  other sources they were buried at the Melrose Abbey. There is no trace of gravestones for either James Hopkirk(1756-1841) or James grandson James(1806-1841)
From letter #13(see Letters link) written by James' grandson Alexander(1823-1907) to his own son, John Brown HOPKIRK, we learn the following about  James Hopkirk(1756-1841) "Dear John, I find it a difficult task to give you a history of your progenitors. James Hopkirk , your great grandfather was born in Jedburgh, a shoemaker to trade.  I only remember him as an old man, lame in one leg, a pleasant breezy face.  He used to play on the fiddle when I visited him, remarkable for nothing but his strength and agility."
From the same letter wwe learn this about Alexander's grandmother Anne WRIGHT: 

Your great grandmother, a nice motherly woman, very kind to Willie’s bairns as she called my father.  She died suddenly after a brief illness.  My mother went when she heard she was ill.  In  (the) course of conversation she said I was left at home on Sabbath last and was wonderfully strengthened  to commend you all to god.  I felt my end near.  When she died her hair was as black as a Raven’s wing, not a grey hair seen.

                         From the 1841 census James is a shoemaker, living on Main Street with his son Robert and daughter Mary. James Hopkirk and Anne Wright's first to children were born in Melrose before 1780. The next two were born in Jedburgh between 1780 and 1786. James was probably an apprentice in Jedburgh, learning his shoemaking craft, during that six year period. He then moved back to Melrose and set-up his own shop on Main Street. The Hopkirk's had been in Melrose for some time by now, as Thomas Hopkirk had married in Melrose in 1647. Thay probably owned property as William Hopkirk(1685) and his sisters ran an Ale House in Melrose in the early 1700's. See the story about the tinkers getting drunk in Mary Perkins Hopkirk's account of the Hopkirk Family in the Hopkirk Family History section of this website. The rest of Melrose were none to happy with the Hopkirks. Shortly after James(1756-1841) returned to Melrose in 1786, he joined the Melrose Masonic Lodge. See this email from the Melrose Lodge listing James as joining in 1787, brother John, of Melrose, joining 14 December 1835, and grandson's Robert and Alexander Hopkirk, of Gattonside, joining on 15 November 1855. Our thanks goes to Alistair Little for reviewing the old Melrose Lodge records for us. Two of James great great great grandsons, Maurice L. Hopkirk and J. Kent Hopkirk were both long-time Masons. Kent being the 1950 Past Master of the San Carlos, California, Lodge, now know as the Peninsula Lodge. James shoe business and residence were located in the building next to the Melrose Masonic Lodge. The original building is still standing. Could that also have been the location of the Ale House?

       James(4) HOPKIRK & Anne WRIGHT had the following children, but they did not follow the normal naming pattern:

                    Agnes(5) HOPKIRK, 21 Apr 1778 in Melrose. Agnes died 6 days after she was born. This daughter should have been named after Anne's mother, as the first daughter is named after the mother's mother.

                    Anne(5) HOPKIRK, 25 Apr 1779 in Melrose. The second daughter should be named after the father's mother. (Probably deceased as of 1841 since she is not mentioned in James(1756-1841) will, per June 30, 1841 letter written by Isabella Home Hopkirk)

                    William(5) HOPKIRK, born 25 Dec 1780, in Jedburgh, mariried Isabelle Home (Named after fathers' father) (Christened 7 January 1781 in Jedburgh) (USA & New Zealand Hopkirks descend from this couple) William was a shoemaker and as of 1841 census he was living in Gattonside with his wife Isabella and his son Robert, age 20, is a shoemaker Journeyman, and son Alex, 15, is an Apprentice Wright. From the will William received the "under part of the house he was living in, in Gattonside, along with a closet upstairs. His sister Mary(Molly) was left the other part of the house. But sister Mary remained in the other half of the house with Robert, and Walter remained in St. Cuthbert, but Walter's son was working for Robert in 1851. So the family must have made some trades among themselves after the will was read.                             

                    James(5) HOPKIRK, christened 14 January 1783 in Jedburgh, married Jean Turnbull, 21 Jun 1804. (Named after father, or possibly mother's father) Per 1841 census James is a shoemaker in Jedbugh.

                                        His son James is a painter. Per the 1841 letter James was unable to come, but his son James was there for the reading of the will. James received ten pounds)

                    David(5) HOPKIRK, christened 21 Jun 1787 in Melrose, married Margeret Greive, 11 May 1811(South African & some London Hopkirks) (David received ten punds from his father's will)

                                        From the 1841 census David is a Hand Loom Weaver at 8 Earl Grey St., St Cuthburt's

                    John(5) HOPKIRK, 5 Jul 1789(Not mentioned in June 30, 1841 letter, so John must be deceased as of 1841) John joined the Melrose Masonic Lodge in 1835.

                    Margeret(5) HOPKIRK, 22 May 1791. (Named after father's mother, so one of the earlier daughter's must have been named after a recently deceased relative) (Not mentioned in 1841 letter, so Margaret must be deceased as of 1841)

                    Alexander(5) HOPKIRK, christened 2 Jun 1793. Died 27 September 1793, age 5 months of chincough.(Whooping cough)

                    Walter(5) HOPKIRK, born 26 Oct 1794, married Janet PEASTON  (from his father's will, Walter received 1/2 of the house Robert is living in)(Walter is living in St. Cuthbert's)

                    Robert(5) HOPKIRK, 30 Apr 1797, unmarried, a Bootmaker(From 1851 census he is a "boot and shoemaker", employing 4 men, including his 22 year old nephew William Hopkirk, Walter's son) (From the 1841 will Robert received 1/2 of the house he was living in, in Melrose on Main Street. Main Street is now High Street.) 

                    Mary(5)(Molly) HOPKIRK, 4 Aug 1799. , unmarried. Mary was still living as of the 1881 census.
                           She was listed as living at "High Street" in Melrose and being age 80, unmarried, and born in Melrose. From her father's will she recieved the other part of the house in Gattonside. But she remained living with her brother Robert in the house on Main Street(High Street) in Melrose until she died 4 November 1889. Mary's will tells us the location of the family home. See Mary's page for more details.

                    Thomas HOPKIRK, born 21 January 1803 and christened 10 April 1803, both at Melrose. From father James' will, Thomas got some money from the "other house." (We have been unable to find Thomas in the 1841 census.) Thomas passed away 27 February 1850 at age 47. Like most of his brothers, Thomas was also shoemaker. Since Thomas was not mentioned in his sister Mary's will in the 1889 reading, we believe Thomas had no issue.

Below is the Hopkirk residence in Melrose, that is still standing, and in use, to this day. The picture was taken on 29 May 2017. That is James Hopkirk and Anne Wright's great great great great grandson John Kent Hopkirk standing in front of 16 High Street, Melrose. From Mary(Molly) Hopkirk's will we know that the building directly to the East is the Melrose Masonic Lodge, which, per the Lodge website, has been in its current location since 1791. If you look closely at the picture of the lodge on their website, you can see a sliver of the James Hiopkirk/Anne Wright building on the far left, or west side. The address of the Lodge is "1 Market Square." The address of the Hopkirk building is 16 High Street. If you look at the upper right hand corner of the Hopkirk building, pictured below, you will notice that "High Street" is on the Hopkirk building, and "Market Square" is on the Masonic Lodge building.This is the point where the names of the streets change in Melrose. Mary Hopkirk's will also states that "High Street" itself is the southern boundry for the Hopkirk building.

We do not yet know when James and Anne began occupying this building, but it could have been as early as about 1787. Their first two children were born in Melrose in the late 1770's. Then James moved the family to Jedburgh where his sons William and James were born in 1780 and 1783. He probably moved to Jedburgh to be an apprentice shoemaker. He returned around 1785 and in 1787 his son David was born in Melrose and James joined the Masonic Lodge in that year. See the email from the Melrose Masonic Lodge confirming his membership.  The building below remained in Hopkirk hands until the passing of James' daughter Mary(Molly) Hopkirk(1799-1889) in November of 1889. It is not known if the building passed into the hands of her nephew, her sister Margeret's son, Alexander Monard, or if the building was sold.

Jmaes Hopkirk(1756-1841) & Anne Wright Hopkirk(1761-1833) 16 High Street, Melrose, Scotland

Anne Wright Hopkirk died on 19 March 1833, at age 72. Here is the link to Anne's parish death record, along with that of Elizabeth Hopkirk of Newstead, aged 111 years, two weeks earlier!!!.

James Hopkirk died in June 1841, age 86 years.  Here is the link to James' parish death record, along with that of his grandson James Hopkirk, age  34 , of Gattonside.  (This is confirmation that the William Hopkirk(1780-1854) family was already in Gattonside at this time.)

At this link you can find information about James Hopkirk's will written on 21 January 1836 and finalized on 6 August 1842 in Jedburgh.

Father James (1756-1841) HOPKIRK had five sons who were shoemakers like himself, plus many grandsons who were also shoemakers. The total number of shoemakers is probably at least ten. 

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This page was last updated on 17 June 2017