Miniature portrait of Phyllis (Phillis) Hopkins nee Bright of Madras and London, died 1795

Phyllis (Phillis) Hopkins nee Bright
Of Madras in India and London in England
died 1794 or 1795

Born: not know but presumably before 1720.  Died in December 1794 or January 1795 in London.
Daughter of:  not known.
Sister of:
1. Possibly a John Bright who named his daughter Phyllis Bright in 1753 in Madras.
2. Possibly a sister who became Mrs Stratton.
3. Possibly others.

Phyllis married: 22 May 1736, in Madras (British Library N/2/1 f.141), Capt Charles Hopkins.
Charles and Phyllis' children were:
1. Sarah Hopkins, baptized 16 January 1738 in Madras, India (British Library N/2/1 f.157).
3. Sarah Cuthbert nee Hopkins (1744-1777) who married Arthur Cuthbert (1734?-1788).
4. Amelia Smith nee Hopkins who married in 1756 Captain (afterwards General) Richard Smith (1734?-1803).
5. Col Charles Hopkins (1740-1809) who married Martha (alive after 1809).
6. Possibly others.

Phyllis Hopkins: An Overview

We know about Phyllis and Charles from the following sources:

1. The book 'Vestiges of old Madras, 1640-1800: traced from the East India' Volume 3, pages 53, 77, 78, 79, 110, 234, 249, 269, by Henry Davison Love, 1913.
2. Her miniature portrait which is numbered 5 and was once in the collection of Anne Marsh Caldwell (1791-1874).
3. A silver christening mug given by Phyllis to her grand daughter Amelia Marsh nee Cuthbert in 1789. This was passed down in the Marsh family.  

Vestiges of Old Madras, Vol 3, Page 53.
A tomb of the Hopkins family (presumably that of Capt Charles Hopkins, a master-mariner, who was admitted to the civil service in 1750, became Chief of Devikota, and died in 1757) occupied in 1772 a position in Peddanaikpetta on the borders of the Esplanade.  Mrs Phyllis Hopkins, the widow, sold her ground 'in Mootoo Kistna Moodeliar Street' to a native, who subsequently complained that part of it was considered by the Engineer to be within the limits of the Esplanade.  A certificate of Mrs Hopkins' ownership, signed by Warren Hastings and Richard Brickenden, showed that on the property 'a Tomb with an Epitaph is erected, measuring in length sixteen feet and in breadth sixteen feet, which ground is not to be disposed of by anyone'.  The injunction has not been obeyed for no trace of the tomb can now be found.
Mrs Hopkins' daughter Amelia became the wife in 1756 of Captain (afterwards General) Richard Smith.

Vestiges of Old Madras, Vol 3, Page 77.
Arthur Cuthbert and family are noted, in the consultations of January 1775, as going back to England in a company ship, Speke, commanded by Capt Jeffery Jackson.  The passengers included, Arthur Cuthbert, his wife, his mother in law and his three children.  Mr Arthur Cuthbert came to India with Admiral Watson in 1754, was a free merchant from 1763, and in 1771 became an Agent for the Squadron.  Mrs Phyllis Hopkins was also a passenger. Her daughter Sarah had become the wife of Arthur Cuthbert in 1765.

In the diary of George Marsh Mrs Hopkins is noted just after the wedding of her grand daughter Amelia Cuthbert and William Marsh.  The wedding took place at St. Mary L'bone Chapel, 27th October 1785.   The entry reads:
We returned to Mr Cuthbert's house in Berner Street where we met Mrs Hopkins Mr Cuthbert's mother-in-law, my son George, Mr John Marsh and his wife, and proceeded from thence to Mr Cuthbert's house called Woodcott Park near Epsom and spent several day together.

The will of Phillis Hopkins, provides some additional information.  She refers to Arthur and Sarah as her oldest son and daughter.  She appears to leave most of her estate to her younger son Charles Hopkins and his wife Martha Hopkins.  She mentions a nephew George Stratton of Great Tow in Oxfordshire.  She also mentions her grandchildren, John Mannseur Smith, Sarah Brook and James Ramsey.  She refers to James Ramsey has having a wife Mary and them both living at Bath.  She also leaves money to Ann Burnisby Cridden of Southampton.  The executors are William Marsh, Alexander Cuthbert and Samuel Hawkins of Pall Mall.  Her will is dated 16 and 27 December 1794 and it is proved 14 February 1795 so she must have died between these two dates.

If you have any information to add to the above please contact me on jj@jjhc.info
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