People and places of Middleton
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The Hopwood's of Hopwood (A recent History)

Hopwood Family Coat of Arms

Much of the information presented below and more can be researched through British history online www.british-history.ac.uk.
Some is taken from "A History of Hopwood Hall" by C. Stuart Macdonald first published in 1963 on behalf of The De La Salle Training College, Middleton, by Waldegrave (Publishers) Limited, London SW1. Copyright C.S. Macdonald 1963.

Hopwood Hall in Its Glory. Hopwood Hall was the ancestral home of the Hopwood family and there has been a residence on the site of the present Hall since the 12th Century. The current Hopwood Hall is mostly thought to have been rebuilt in the 17-18th century with parts dating back much further and is officially a scheduled Grade 2 listed building of historical importance.

The Last Hopwood of Hopwood

John and Elizabeth Hopwood brought up two studious sons, and a daughter. Edmund the heir who inherited, was a governor of Chetham's Library, a magistrate and a High Sheriff. He died without children and was succeeded by his brother Dr. Robert Hopwood.

Robert was the last of the original Hopwood's. He spent much of his early life in London and studied in both Oxford and London. Dr Robert Hopwood left London in 1745 just before the outbreak of the great Jacobite Rebellion. Robert was not called up by the militia because his friend Edward Gregge of Chamber Hall served as substitute for him. After only four years as a squire, the doctor died in 1762. He left no family and Hopwood was bequeathed to his widow Mary, then to his friend Edward Gregge.

Edward Gregge took over Hopwood in 1773 on the death of the widow Mary Hopwood and assumed the name Hopwood by act of Parliament. Dr Robert Hopwood probably regarded Edward as an adopted son as he was twenty years his junior and had served as his substitute in the King's army in 1745. When Edward Gregge-Hopwood died in 1798, his son Robert succeeded him at Hopwood. The new squire was a good friend of Lord Byron.

Lord George Gordon Byron became Lord of the Manor of Rochdale from 1808-1823. He was known to be an "intimate friend of Robert Gregge-Hopwood." In 1811 Lord Byron resided at Hopwood Hall while he concluded the settlement of the Byron family estate in Rochdale. It is also rumoured that while residing at Hopwood Hall he drafted his most famous poem 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'.

Written by Mr Dennis Horner. Submitted March 2009

The Hopwood family vacated Hopwood Hall in 1923. In 1946 The De La Salle Brothers purchased Hopwood Hall and grounds for £12,500 and ran a teacher training college before selling it to Rochdale Council in the 1990's. The now neglected state of dis-repair can be found highlighted in 'Local Issues' in the Community section.

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