Flanders Hopkin was the seventh of the fifteen children of farmer Philip Hopkin and his wife Ann Cranfield of Witchford, Cambridgeshire, England.
His name appears to have been handed down through the Hopkin family, and he was their second son to bear the name Flanders, with his older namesake dying the previous year. Flanders would go on to give the name to his oldest son.
Flanders worked as an Agricultural Labourer on the rich fenland surrounding Witchford, and is known to have owned a horse and cart that he would take into nearby Ely.
On two occasions in 1877 and 1880, Flanders went out drinking and ended up appearing in front of the Ely Petty Sessions and fined for his drunken behaviour in Ely and Witchford. On a third occasion, in October 1901, he was charged with 'using obscene language' and was found to be 'drunk whilst in charge of a horse and cart'. Flanders' conduct within the court room saw him shouting at witnesses and disrespecting the magistrate, and what appears to be his nemesis, Inspector Burton. He narrowly escaped prison, and escaped with yet more fines.
He married Louisa Barber in 1903 despite the protest of her mother who didn't want her daughter marrying a man 27 years her senior, yet seven months later Flanders and Louisa welcomed the first of their four legitimate children.
Louisa already had an illegitimate son - Ernest Herbert Barber, whom she had given birth to in January 1902 - just a few months after Flanders had been in court.
One of Louisa's grand-daughters was adamant that Flanders was the real father of Ernest, and perhaps his brush with the courts just months before his birth, contributed to her mother's resistance of the marriage.
Flanders died in April 1910 aged 56 years, leaving Louisa with 5 children under the age of 9. She would re-marry 4 years later, and out-live him by 64 years.
- 1854 at Witchford, Cambridgeshire, England.
- Louisa Barber (1881-1974) on 27th January 1903 at St. Andrew's Church, Witchford, Cambridgeshire, England.
- Phillis Effie Hopkin (1903-1985) married George Burrell (1901-1986)
- Flanders Hopkin (1904-1995) married Lillian Blanche Wilson (1902-1983), and later to Edna Irene Hotchkiss (1912-1991)
- Walter Hopkin (1906-1987) married Eleanor Maud Sizer (1905-1982)
- Richard Sidney Hopkin (1909-1974) married Dorothy May Lockwood (1910-2005)
Census and Residence
- 1861: 7yrs, Main Street, Witchford, Cambridgeshire, England.
- 1871: 17yrs, Witchford, Cambridgeshire, England.
- 1881: 27yrs, Witchford, Cambridgeshire, England.
- 1891: 38yrs, Main Street, Witchford, Cambridgeshire, England.
- 1901: 44yrs, Main Street, Witchford, Cambridgeshire, England.
- 1871: Farmer's Son
- 1881-1901: Agricultural Labourer
- 3rd April 1910 at Witchford, Cambridgeshire, England, aged 56 years.
- 6th April 1910, with his brothers Richard Hopkin and Walter Hopkin at St. Andrew's Churchyard, Witchford, Cambridgeshire, England.