Henry Hopkins


Henry Hopkins with his family at his residence, Summerhome, Moonah (AOT PH30/1/5461)

Henry Hopkins (17871870), businessman and philanthropist, was a woolclasser before emigrating from England in 1822 with his wife Sarah and his savings, invested in boots. He put the proceeds from his Hobart shop into wool, establishing Tasmania's wool trade by making exports profitable. Wool proceeds went into importing ironmongery to Hobart, and Hopkins sometimes doubled his money in a year. He and Sarah were leading Congregationalists and anti-transportationists.

As magistrate, and Legislative Councillor (1846), Hopkins sought to enforce the licensing laws, but, opposed by publicans, lost subsequent elections. As chairman, director and investor he supported local businesses, from banking, gas and mining to guano, and was a major philanthropist. Hopkins left Tasmania the wool trade, the Congregational church, West's History of Tasmania which he commissioned, and a stone mansion, Westella.

Further reading: ADB 1.

James Alexander