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Hopkins family papers

Collection MS-1991-023: Hopkins family papers


  • Creation: 1826 - 1989
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1826 - 1918

Scope and Contents

The Hopkins family papers is composed of materials relating to members of the Hopkins family, especially Manley Hopkins, his wife Catherine ("Kate"), and their children. A number of items concern Manley Hopkins's involvement with religious and political affairs in Hawaii. There are also clippings, photographs and correspondence of Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ.

Materials by and about other family members include correspondence, manuscripts, poems, legal documents, drawings, music and photographs. The papers also include items related to other families in connection with the Hopkins family.


Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical note: Manley Hopkins

Manley Hopkins was born on July 9, 1818, to Martin Edward and Ann Manley Hopkins. He married Catherine Smith on August 8, 1843, and they had nine children: Gerard Manley (1844-1889), Cyril (1846-1932), Arthur (1848-1930), Milicent (1850-1846), Felix (1852-1853), Lionel Charles (1854-1952), Kate (1856-1933), Grace (1858-1945), and Everard (1860-1928).

Hopkins worked in the marine insurance industry as an average adjuster and published multiple manuals on the subject. He became involved with diplomatic and missionary relations between the Kingdom of Hawaii and Great Britain in the 1850s at the encouragement of his brother, Charles Gordon Hopkins. He was appointed as Consul General in London for the Hawaiian government in 1856, a position he held for approximately forty years. With the support of Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, he became a leading figure in the establishment of an Anglican Church in Hawaii. Hopkins wrote a history of Hawaii based on his own research and experiences, titled Hawaii: the past, present, and future of its island-kingdom, first published in 1862, with a revised edition in 1866. As part of his service, he accompanied Queen Emma and others on their diplomatic visit to England in 1865, and he supervised the education of a number of young Hawaiians attending English universities.

Hopkins was also a prolific poet, and his publications include A Philosopher’s Stone and Other Poems (1843), Pietas Metrica (1849), and Spicelegium Poeticum, A Gathering of Verses by Manley Hopkins (1892).

Manley Hopkins died on August 26, 1897.

Biographical note: Catherine "Kate" Smith Hopkins

Catherine “Kate” Smith was born on March 3, 1821. She was the daughter of Maria and John Simm Smith. On August 8, 1843 she married Manley Hopkins. Together the couple had nine children: Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), Cyril Hopkins (1846-1932), Arthur Hopkins (1848-1930), Milicent Hopkins (1850-1946), Felix Hopkins (1852-1853), Lionel Charles Hopkins (1854-1952), Kate Hopkins (1856-1933), Grace Hopkins (1858-1945), and Everard Hopkins (1860-1928). She was a painter, poet, and a novelist, and was also a devout Anglican. She died in Surrey on September 30, 1920, aged 99.

Biographical note: Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ

Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ was born in Stratford, Essex, on July 28, 1844, as the eldest of nine children to Manley and Catherine (Smith) Hopkins. From 1863 to 1867, Hopkins studied classics at Balliol College, Oxford University, taking first-class degrees in both Classics and "Greats." At Oxford, Hopkins befriended the poet Robert Bridges. In 1866, Hopkins converted to Catholicism. Upon entering the Society of Jesus in 1868, he destroyed the poetry he had written up to that point. Hopkins then studied theology at St. Beuno's College in Wales from 1874 to 1877.

After his ordination in 1877, Hopkins taught Latin and Greek at Stonyhurst College, Lancaster, and at University College, Dublin. His years in Ireland were marked by overwork and poor health, and provoked a series of poems known as the "terrible sonnets," reflecting his melancholy dejection. He died of typhoid on June 8, 1889, in Dublin.

Hopkins was not published during his own lifetime, but became famous posthumously for his use of sprung rhythm. His poems include: "Binsey Poplars,” (1879) "Pied Beauty," (1877) "The Windhover: To Christ our Lord," (1877) and “The Wreck of the Deutschland” (1875).

Biographical note: Cyril Hopkins

Cyril Hopkins was the son of Manley and Catherine (Smith) Hopkins, born on March 18, 1846. He joined his father’s insurance practice some time before 1871. On October 3, 1873 he married Harriet Bockett. Cyril Hopkins died in 1932.

Biographical note: Arthur Hopkins

Arthur Hopkins was born on December 30, 1848 to Manley and Catherine (Smith) Hopkins. He attended Lancing College as a young boy and joined the Royal Academy of Arts in 1872. During this period he produced woodblock prints for various newspapers. In 1873, Hopkins married Rebecca Beckett.

Hopkins became influenced by the works of Frederick Walker, and soon made watercolor his primary medium. In 1877, he was inducted into the Royal Watercolour Society, and became treasurer in 1898. Hopkins was also inducted into the Royal British Colonial Society of Artists and exhibited at the Royal Academy. Hopkins died of heart failure at the age of 81 on September 10, 1930.

Biographical note: Milicent Hopkins

Milicent Hopkins was born on October 17, 1849 to Manley and Catherine (Smith) Hopkins. She joined the Anglican Sisters of Mercy convent of All Saints in St. Albans, London, in 1878, and died there on November 17, 1946.

Biographical note: Lionel Charles Hopkins

Lionel Charles Hopkins was born on March 20, 1854, to Manley and Catherine (Smith) Hopkins. He attended the Modern School in Winchester, and later became a Sinologist, specializing in Chinese languages. Hopkins went to Beijing in 1874 as an interpreter for the British consular service. In 1898, he was British Consul at Yantai (Chefoo), China, and in February 1902 he was appointed Consul-General for the provinces of Zhili (Chihli) and Shanxi, residing in Tianjin (Tientsin). He retired to England by 1910 and thereafter led a reclusive life. He collected Chinese oracle bones throughout his life, and donated his collection to Cambridge University, where a significant portion were discovered to be forgeries. Hopkins died in Surrey on March 11, 1952.

Biographical note: Kate Hopkins

Kate Hopkins was born in 1856 to Manley and Catherine (Smith) Hopkins. She enjoyed sketching, and also helped Robert Bridges publish the posthumous first edition of Poems (1918) by her brother Gerard Manley Hopkins. She died on May 19, 1933.

Biographical note: Grace Hopkins

Grace Hopkins was born on August 23, 1857 to Manley and Catherine (Smith) Hopkins. She was a musician and composer, and set many of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ and Robert Bridges’ poems to music. She died on October 31, 1945.

Biographical note: Everard Hopkins

Everard Hopkins was born on February 5, 1860 to Manley and Catherine (Smith) Hopkins. Like many in his family, Everard Hopkins was interested in the arts. He attended the Slade School of Art and became a professional illustrator and cartoonist for newspapers and periodicals. He exhibited five works at the New Watercolour Society between 1884 and 1885, but his main occupation was as a book illustrator and cartoonist. His watercolors and pastels were exhibited in London, and he was also a regular contributor to Punch from 1882 to 1895.

Between 1880 and 1890, he produced many drawings and watercolors that were distributed as prints; these include, "At the Queens Drawing Room" (1890), "Serenade in Venice" (1891), "Friendly Game of Mixed Doubles" and "Queen Victoria Greets Guests in a Drawing Room in Buckingham Palace" (1900). He was also a prolific illustrator of books and short stories, including “A False Start” by Arthur Conan Doyle (1891), A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy by Laurence Stern (1910), The Children of Wilton Chase by L.T. Meade, and The Princess by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1911). Everard Hopkins died in 1928.

Biographical note: Anne Eleanor Hopkins

Anne Eleanor Hopkins was born on July 18, 1815 to parents Ann Manley and Martin Hopkins. She was the sister of Manley Hopkins. She taught Gerard Manley Hopkins music, painting, and sketching. She died on May 18, 1887.

Biographical note: Maria Smith Giberne

Maria Smith Giberne was born in 1823 in Whitechapel, Middlesex, England to John Simm and Maria Smith. She married Judge George Giberne in Reigate, Surrey, on July 20, 1846. The couple had four children: Edgar, Evelyn, Harold and Isabel. Maria Giberne taught Gerard Manley Hopkins sketching and wrote poetry herself. She died on September 26, 1911.

Biographical notes: Sources

"Arthur Hopkins," Ancestry Family Trees.

August, Eugene R. "A Checklist of Materials Relating to the Hopkins Family in the State Archives of Hawaii," The Hopkins Quarterly, 6:2, 61-83, 1979.

Blackett-Ord, Carol. "Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue." National Portrait Gallery. Accessed July 17, 2023.

Census, England, 1841. Accessed via

Census, England, 1851. Accessed via

Census, England, 1861. Accessed via

Census, England, 1881. Accessed via

Census, England, 1891. Accessed via

"Cyril Hopkins," Ancestry Family Trees.

Dong, Linfu. Cross Culture and Faith: The Life and Work of James Mellon Menzies. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005. Page 158.

England, Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976. Accessed via

England, Select Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991. Accessed via

England, Select Marriages, 1538-1973. Accessed via

England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837-1915. Accessed via

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995. Accessed via

Essex, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1918. Accessed via

"Everard Hopkins." The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia. Accessed July 17, 2023.

"Everard Hopkins," in Ancestry Family Trees.

"Gerard Manley Hopkins." Poetry Foundation, 2023.

"Gerard Manley Hopkins." Wikipedia, June 11, 2023.

"Grace Hopkins," Find a Grave. Accessed September 20, 2023.

Hopkins, Manley. Hawaii: the past, present, and future of its island-kingdom; an historical account of the Sandwich Islands. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1869.

Hopkins, Manley. A manual of marine insurance. London: Smith, Elder, 1867.

"Kate Hopkins", Find a Grave. Accessed September 20, 2023.

"Lionel Charles Hopkins." Wikipedia, March 17, 2023.

"Lionel Charles Hopkins Consul-General China", Ancestry Family Trees.

"Maria Smith Giberne," Find a Grave. Accessed September 20, 2023.

Miller, Nicholas B. "Trading Sovereignty and Labour: The Consular Network of Nineteenth-Century Hawai‘i," The International History Review, 42:2, 260-277, 2020.

Oxford University Alumni, 1500-1886. Accessed via


16 Linear Feet (28 containers)

Language of Materials



Composed of materials relating to members of the Hopkins family, especially Manley Hopkins, his wife Catherine ("Kate"), and their children. A number of items concern Manley Hopkins's involvement with religious and political affairs in Hawaii. The collection also includes a few pieces of correspondence by British Catholic author Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ.


Arranged in ten series: I. Correspondence; II. Ephemera; III. Legal papers; IV. Music; V. Notes; VI. Photographs; VII. Poetry; VIII. Printed material; IX. Prose; and X. Visual Art.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased, 1991.

Related Materials

Miles L. Fay, SJ papers, BC.1995.079, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

William Van Etten Casey, SJ papers, BC.1991.035, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

Separated Materials

Published works associated with this collection have been transferred within the Burns Library and can be found in the Boston College Library catalog. These include Goodwill Magazine, 1903; "Letter from Queen Pomae to Louis Philippe", 1844; "Hail to Queen Emma of Hawaii", 1865; "Notice sur les Iles Hawaii", 1867; Education 1873 New Code of Regulations with an Appendix of New Articles and of all Articles Modified by the Right Honourable the Lords of the Committee of the Privy Council on Education, 1873; "The Church in Hawaii", 1880; and The Cholmeian, 1889.

  • Clippings and reproductions
Hopkins Family Papers
1826-1989 (bulk 1826-1918)
Meghan Ryan, 2009; revised by Elizabeth Peters, 2023.
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023 September: Collection rehoused, with slight rearrangement and collection-level description revisions.

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States