Heraldry Online Blog

7 May 2014

Hopkinson of Wootton Court and of Edgeworth Manor, Glos

Earlier this year I was contacted by Richard Crook, of the landscape architects Portus & Whitton, to see if I could identify some heraldic stonework unearthed in land that was once part of the kitchen garden of Edgeworth Manor, Gloustershire.

Edgeworth Manor Coat of Arms1

A trawl through Burke’s General Armory looking at Arms associated with the surnames of various owners of Edgeworth Manor was not conclusive.  The closest match was for Hopkinson of Lofthouse, Yorkshire “Vert three pillows ermine“. That hinted towards Edmund Hopkinson who bought the manor in 1832 and died in 1869.

Richard then advised that Edmund’s father was George Caesar Hopkinson of Wootton Court who had served in the King’s Light Dragoons.  The Harleian Society’s Grantees of Arms made mention of a Grant of Arms to a Lt Col Hopkinson of Wootton Court in 1823.  Unfortunately, I could not find any mention of the blazon in any of my reference books or on the Internet.  After numerous searches I did manage to find a rather poor quality image of Edmund Hopkinson’s bookplate. That at least was sufficient evidence to confirm the identity of the stonework.

Edmund Hopkinson Bookplate2

I am extremely grateful to Timothy Duke, Chester Herald, who kindly supplied the full blazon;

The arms are blazoned Vert a Horse’s head couped Argent bridled Sable between three Cushions Ermine tasselled Or and the crest on a wreath of the colours (ie Argent and Vert) A dexter Arm embowed habited Azure cuff Gules (being the Uniform of His Majesty’s aforesaid 15th Regiment of Dragoons) the hand grasping a Sabre the Arm entwined with a Laurel branch all proper and in an Escocheon the word EMSDORF.  Below the arms is inscribed the motto ONCE AND ALWAYS (Coll Arm ms Grants 34, 10).

Using that blazon I had a go at producing my rendition of the Arms;

Hopkinson-ColonelI had not realised that the Battle of Emsdorf, in which the 15th Light Dragoons played a major role, was the first instance of a battle honour being awarded to a British Regiment.  I am a bit puzzled by the blazon for the crest because the various pictures of the 15th have them with red sleeves and blue cuffs.


1 Comment »

  1. George Caesar Hopkinson (1738 – 1825) is my 4 x great-grandfather. When I learned of the arms granted him late in life I asked the College of Arms what evidence he had produced. David White Somerset Herald advised me in July 2012 that no claim of descent from the Hopkinsons of Lofthouse near Wakefield had been proved & no lineage offered. Perhaps GCH had a family story in mind or harked back to his own youth in Ripon or to a wish to link himself to the 17C Yorkshire antiquary John Hopkinson of Lofthouse. I understand that the College regards the early 19C as a period when rigour often lapsed if applicants were wealthy; after resigning his commission in 1794 GCH had founded a bank & army agency which flourished for over a century.
    The uniform question may turn on a change in the clothing regulations for light dragoons in 1784. The blue coat & red cuffs would have been what GCH wore as an officer for his last 10 years in the regiment – see Alan Kemp’s “15th the King’s Hussars Dress and Appointments 1759-1914″ published by Almark in 1972″. We may think it odd he didn’t choose the colours appropriate to 1760, when he himself had fought at Emsdorf, but in 1823 he may have preferred the newer version or possibly this detail was decided by Edmund as his father was in his late 80s at the time.
    Thank you Stephen for showing the stonework from Edgeworth & for the detective work.
    Best wishes David Hopkinson, Bromborough, Wirral

    Comment by bhopkinson1 — 21 May 2014 @ 06:34 | Reply

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