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Hopkins family papers

Collection MS-1991-023: Hopkins family papers


  • 1826 - 1989
  • 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, photos and correspondence of Gerard Manley Hopkins.

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 notes

Manley Hopkins (1818-1897) A devout member of the High Anglican Church, Manley Hopkins was appointed consul-general for Hawaii to Great Britain in 1856. Based in London, he also worked as an average adjuster and was a forerunner of marine insurance. Among other minor political activities, Manley was an amateur painter, poet, and a novelist. He also published a number of non-fiction works.

Catherine "Kate" (Smith) Hopkins (1821-1920) Kate Smith married Manley Hopkins in 1843. She was the daughter of Maria and John Simm Smith, and had a better education than most Victorian women. She shared her husband’s artistic and intellectual interests, and was also a devout Anglican. Together they had nine children.

Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. (1844-1889) Eldest child of Manley and Kate Hopkins, Gerard Manley Hopkins attended Balliol College, Oxford University, where he excelled in academics. While at Oxford, he converted to Catholicism in 1868, and burned all of his poems. For the next seven years he wrote infrequently, but in 1875 he returned to writing regularly. In 1877 he was ordained as a Jesuit priest. It was only after his death in 1889 that his friend, the poet Robert Bridges, considered having his work published. Poems was published posthumously in 1918. He soon became known as one of the great religious poets, attaining a popularity which lasts until the present day.

Arthur Hopkins (1847-1930) Son of Manley and Kate Hopkins, Arthur Hopkins was an excellent sketcher and author who later became a professional artist. He illustrated Thomas Hardy's Return of the Native (1917), contributed to Punch magazine, and was a member of the Royal Watercolor Society. He exhibited at the Royal Academy.

Millicent Hopkins (1849-1946) Daughter of Manley and Kate Hopkins. She was preoccupied with music in her youth, before becoming an "out-sister" of All-Saints' Home, an Anglican sisterhood in London. She became a full sister in 1878.

Lionel Hopkins (1854-1952) Son of Manley and Kate Hopkins, Lionel Hopkins was known for his love of language. He was top of the senior division of Modern School in Winchester, earning a reputation for thoughtful work in French and German. He became an interpreter in the British Consular Service in China and eventually consul-general of Tientsin. He was also an expert in ancient Chinese manuscripts and in colloquial Chinese.

Kate Hopkins (1856-1933) Daughter of Manley and Kate Hopkins, she was a devout Anglican. She enjoyed sketching and helped Robert Bridges publish the first edition of Poems (1918) by her brother Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Grace Hopkins (1857-1945) Daughter of Manley and Kate Hopkins, she too was a devout Anglican. Grace Hopkins was musical and composed songs with Robert Bridges. She set some of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poems to music.

Everard Hopkins (1860-1928) Son of Manley and Kate Hopkins, he, too, was artistic. Everard Hopkins attended the Slade School of Art and became a professional illustrator and cartoonist for newspapers and periodicals. His watercolors and pastels were exhibited in London, and he was also a regular contributor to Punch.

Other Hopkins Children: Cyril Hopkins (1846-1932) Felix Hopkins (185?-1853)

Extended Family:

Maria Giberne (b. 1810s or 1820s) Sister of Kate Smith Hopkins, she married Judge George Giberne, who took the surviving early portraits of Gerard Manley Hopkins. She taught Gerard Manley sketching and wrote poetry herself. She is considered to have had an influence on Gerard Manley's artistic development as a boy with regard to sketching.

Anne Eleanor Hopkins (1815-1887) Sister of Manley Hopkins. She taught Gerard Manley Hopkins music, painting, and sketching.


17 Linear Feet (19 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. Collection also includes a few pieces of correspondence by British Catholic author Gerard Manley Hopkins.


This collection contains eleven series. I. Gerard Manley Hopkins materials; II. Family correspondence; III. Poetry; IV. Prose; V. Art; VI. Music; VII. Personal notes of Manley Hopkins; VIII. Photographs; IX. Legal papers; X. Printed material; and XI. Ephemera.

Hopkins Family Papers
1826-1989 (bulk 1826-1918)
Meghan Ryan
Language of description
Script of description

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
617-552-2465 (Fax)