Hugh Hopkins

Client

B/W photograph of Hugh Hopkins

Hugh Hopkins (1831–2 April 1911) 'the doyen of the Glasgow booksellers', was so much a part of Glasgow's cultural fabric that, like John Honeyman, John Keppie and Mackintosh, he was included in the celebratory publication Who's Who in Glasgow in 1909. 1 Hopkins was the son of an Ayrshire carpet-weaver, turned Glasgow bookseller, and in the 1851 Census and various Post Office directories it can be seen that several of his uncles and brothers also ran bookshops and circulating libraries for short periods. 2 They appear as both 'Hopkin' and 'Hopkins' before eventually settling on the latter spelling.

By 1861, Hugh and his brother Archibald were living together, but they traded separately – Archibald continued their father's business at the Bazaar, in Candleriggs, and Hugh had a shop in Buchanan Street. 3 Archibald kept the same address until c. 1884, when he moved to Renfrew Street, but Hugh moved several times, leaving 85 Renfield Street for 17 West Regent Street around 1889. 4 Who's Who in Glasgow in 1909 described his shops as 'a resort of the literati ... [where] Historian and antiquarian, journalist and poet ... foregather in the back room'. 5 He published literary and scholarly works, including an Ayrshire minister's poetry (1875), an account of the Battle of Langside (1885), an 18th-century French geologist's Scottish travels (1907), a history of Crookston Castle marking its restoration (1909) and The Book of Arran (1910). 6

Only one of his nine children joined the business, his seven daughters presumably bypassed in favour of his son, Hugh Cuthbertson Hopkins (1874–1946). 7 In 1931, Hopkins Junior became the first Scottish President of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (International). 8

Both father and son participated in many notable book and library sales, such as those of the Town Clerk of Rutherglen (1907). 9 At the Huth Library sale (1911), Hopkins Junior was said to have paid a record price of £730 for a Kilmarnock edition of Burns, the poet's first collection, published in 1786. 10 In 1931, he bought another copy for £1050. 11

The Hopkins were John Keppie's uncle and cousin. 12

Notes:

1: George Eyre-Todd, Who's Who in Glasgow in 1909, Glasgow: Gowans & Gray, 1909, digitised, unpaginated, at http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/eyrwho/index.html [accessed 26 May 2012].

2: James Hopkins, Census 1841, Parish: Gorbals; ED: 56; Page: 10; Line: 620; Year: 184; Census 1851, Parish: Glasgow St Paul; ED: 14; Page: 10; Line: 14; Roll: CSSCT1851_157; Year: 1851, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 26 May 2012].

3: Hugh Hopkins, Census 1861, Parish: Glasgow Inner High; ED: 70; Page: 2; Line: 9; Roll: CSSCT1861_97, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 26 May 2012].

4: Glasgow Post Office directories, 1840–1911, www.nls.uk/family-history/directories/post-office [accessed 26 May 2012].

5: George Eyre-Todd, Who's Who in Glasgow in 1909, Glasgow: Gowans & Gray, 1909, digitised, unpaginated, at http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/eyrwho/index.html [accessed 26 May 2012].

6: Scotsman, 12 June 1875, p. 7; 23 June 1885, p. 7; 10 June 1907, p. 2; 11 November 1909, p. 4; 20 June 1910, p. 3.

7: Hugh Hopkins, Census 1881, Parish: Glasgow Barony; ED: 55; Page: 1; Line: 7; Roll: cssct1881_236, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 26 May 2012]; Scotsman, 21 December 1946, p. 3.

8: I.L.A.B.'s History of the A.B.A, Part 1: 1906–1956, www.aba.org.uk/the-aba/94-ilabs-history-of-the-aba-part-1 [accessed 26 May 2012].

9: Scotsman, 11 March 1907, p. 12; 19 November 1907, p. l0.

10: Scotsman, 24 November 1911, p. 7.

11: Scotsman, 31 January 1931, p. 11; 21 December 1946, p. 3.

12: The death certificates of Hopkins and of Keppie's mother, Helen Morton Keppie, née Hopkins, d. 3 September 1908, both record the parents' names as James Hopkins, bookeller, and Elizabeth Hopkins, née Cuthbertson.