Elizabeth Hopkins

Rock formations at the Bay of Fundy, Canada.

Image via Wikipedia

After locating New Brunswick Fencibles Officer’s Coatee in the York Sunbury Historical Society collection I have been just a little bit curious about the New Brunswick Regiment.  I found this newspaper article while looking for information about the 104th and their winter march in Daniel Johnson’s vital statistics.  It would be fun to learn more about Elizabeth Hopkins, she sounds like she was an incredible person.

Transcribed by Daniel F. Johnson.

Volume 25 Number 1457
Date April 17 1867
County York
Place Fredericton
Newspaper The Head Quarters

The following curious memorial and note, taken from the Quebec ‘Gazette’ of 1817 will interest many of our readers. To the Right Honorable Secretary of War – The memorial of Elizabeth HOPKINS wife of Jeremiah HOPKINS, Sgt. of the 104th New Brunswick Regt. of Foot – Most Humbly Sheweth – That she was born of British parents at Philadelphia in the year 1741; has her husband, six sons and a son-in-law, viz.: Jeremiah HOPKINS (husband), Samuel WOODWARD, Timothy WOODWARD Robt. WOODWARD, Nathaniel WOODWARD, Archibald WOODWARD, Nicholas HOPKINS (son); James McDONOUGH (son-in-law) serving his Majesty in the 104th and during the course of her life, for her attachment for her king and country, he has endured more hardships than commonly fell to the lot of her sex. In the year 1776, being with her first husband, John JASPER, a Sgt. of Marines on board the brig “Stanley”, tender to the “Roebuck” she was wounded in her left leg in an engagement with three French vessels, when she was actually working at the guns. The Marines having landed at Cape May in America, her husband was taken prisoner by Capt. PLUNKETT of the army near Mud Fort Head? and sentenced to suffer death; and by her means he was enabled to escape with 22 American deserters, to whom she served arms and ammunition, and on their way to join the army, the party was attacked by the enemy’s light cavalry. She was fired at and wounded in her left arm, but undismayed, took a loaded firelock, shot the Rebel and brought his horse to Philadelphia (the headquarters of the army) which she was permitted to sell to one of General Sir William HOWE’s aides de camp. That after many fatigues and campaigns, her husband died and she married Samuel WOODWARD, a soldier in Col. CHAMBERS’s corps; was with the troops under General CAMPBELL at the taking of Pensacola, having however during the seige served at the guns and tore off her clothes and used them for wadding. Having been exchanged at the Peace of 1783 from attachment to the royal cause, she embarked on board a transport with a party of Delancey’s and Chamber’s corps, but was shipwrecked on Seal Island in the Bay of Fundy whenn nearly 300 men and numbers of women and children were lost; that she suffered unparalleled distress being pregnant with a child in her arms; remained three days on the wreck; was taken up with her husband and child by a fisherman off Marblehead, and after being landed was of delivered of three sons, two of whom are now in the 104th Regt., the other dead; lastly, she had the honor of being the mother of 22 children, viz. 18 sons and 4 daughters, seven of the former being alive and three of the latter. That your memorialist humbly prays that you may consider her a fit object for some allowance from the commissariat fund towards her maintenance in her old age; and having lost all her property, and as a reward for her long and faithful service to her King and as in duty bound will ever pray. – Fredericton (York Co.) 12th April 1816. The subject of this memorial is a womderful old woman of much above 70 and as well and hearty at Quebec in January 1817. In consequence of her memorial, she obtained a pension of 100 pounds a year. The following is another instance of her strength and mind. At Fort Erir, the pride of her heart, her twins fell; also McDONOUGH, her son-in-law. On hearing the news she called her children round her, made them an animated speech, charged them to be revenged on the Yankees for that loss; and the next time they went into action, they were cheered and encouraged by ‘Mammy Hopkins’ – the name she goes by in the Regt. – ‘Hamilton Spectator’

Volume 30 Number 1823
Date April 8 1871
County Carleton
Place Woodstock
Newspaper Carleton Sentinel

d. Kent (Carleton Co.) Richard R. HOPKINS, age 69 years 9 mos. 6 days, last one remaining of 22 children. He likewise served in H.M. 104th Regt. in Canada and was the youngest s/o late Jeremiah HOPKINS and Elizabeth HOPKINS, left wife, 6 children, 16 grandchildren. Funeral sermon preached by Rev. Charles McMullin. (see poem)

Volume 20 Number 763
Date December 3 1858
County Saint John
Place Saint John
Newspaper Religious Intelligencer

d. 22nd Sept., Kent (Carleton Co.) Nathaniel WOODARD, age 67 native of this Province and 20th child of late Elizabeth HOPKINS who was the mother of 22 children, 3 sons at one birth. He was a member of the Baptist Church.

Volume 30 Number 1083
Date April 12 1871
County Saint John
Place Saint John
Newspaper The Daily Telegraph

d. Kent (Carleton Co.) Richard R. HOPKINS, age 69 years 9 mos. 6 days. Deceased was the last one remaining of 22 children. He likewise served in H.M. 104th Regt. in Canada and was the youngest s/o the late Jeremiah HOPKINS and Elizabeth HOPKINS. He leaves a wife, 6 children, 16 grandchildren. Funeral sermon preached by Rev. Charles McMullin.

Article:  Elizabeth Woodward: Loyalist Castaway — © Stephen Davidson


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