Grant of arms donated by Isaac Heard, Garter, principal King of Arms and George Harrison, Clarenceux, King of Arms of the south east and west parts of England, to the reverend William Hopton (?-1841), heretofore known as William Parsons of Stretton Gransome in the county of Hereford, now city of Hereford clerk in order to grant him the arms belonging to the name of Hopton he took earlier in the year by Royal decree.
British Empire, d.d. 1 August 1817. Vellum charter, good condition. 60x45 cm. Manuscript text and calligraphy, with 4 coloured coats of arms (three of the King and the officials and one of Hopton). Original 'signatures' (written names) and attached wax seals of both officials in decorated wooden (spane) casings. Encased in a made to fit oblong wooden case, with metal closing mechanism and clothed with red linen, decorated in gold with GR initials and crowns. This comes with an original letter from George W. Marshall, Rouge Croix, from the College of Arms dated 1900 and the Royal licence (signed by Queen Victoria) adressed to Lieutenant-Colonel Hopton for a change of name and arms from John Dutton Hunt to Hopton. This charter explains that William Hopton, heretofore William Parsons, only surviving son of John Parsons MP of Kemerton Court county Gloucester, deceased by Deborah his wife who was the daughter of Richard Hopton of Canon Frome in Hereford and the aunt of Richard Cope Hopton also deceased, took the name of Hopton by Royal decree of 11 March 1817 in order to inherit the Canon Frome estate. It also relates to the impressive family history dating several centuries back. The Hoptons had lived at Canon Frome for several generations, the succession often being through the female line. The Canon Frome estate was one of the largest in the county and he was a typical ‘squarson'. William (Parsons) Hopton, married twice (first to Mary Graves and second to Anna Poole), and his eldest grandson by the second marriage, Edward married his cousin, Clare Ellen Trafford. A soldier who served in the Crimea, Indian Mutiny, and the Kaffir and Zulu Wars, Edward became a General and was knighted in 1900. He, and his son Edward after him, were Trustees of the Michaelchurch Estate, and Eliza Rawson bought them a house (at Cagebrook in the parish of Eaton Bishop?). It seems that Canon Frome Court is now inhabitated by a rural living community of adults and children. Kemerton Court (apparently the ancestral home of the Parsons family) still exists and in the village of Kemerton there is a two storey tower still known as "Parsons folly". Unusual is the grant of a crest "out of a Ducal Coronet" "under the peculiar circumstances and the antiquity of the family" but "may not be made a precedent." H96
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