b.6 April 1709 London, England
Facts and Events
Thomas Hopkinson (April 6, 1709 – November 5, 1751) was a lawyer, public official, and prominent figure in colonial Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Thomas Hopkinson was born in London, in 1709, the son of Thomas Hopkinson, a London scrivener and a member of Middle Temple. He was educated there, then immigrated about 1731 to Pennsylvania, where he became a merchant, lawyer, judge, and natural philosopher, as well as a friend of Benjamin Franklin. He worked with Franklin on several of his experiments on electricity and was a member of the Junto.
Hopkinson held a number of legal and judicial positions, including judge of the vice-admiralty for the province of Pennsylvania. He was also a member of the Governor's Council. As a merchant, Hopkinson acted as agent for several London firms, and in partnership with William Coleman, imported and sold a wide variety of goods, including fabrics, spices, gunpowder and iron.
Hopkinson was a founder of both the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Academy of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania), and served as first president of the American Philosophical Society. He was also an active Mason. He married Mary Johnson in 1736, and together they had eight children. He enrolled his son Francis Hopkinson, later a signatory of the Declaration of Independence in the first classes at the Academy. One of his daughters married Reverend Jacob Duché, and another Dr. John Morgan.
He died in Philadelphia, 5 November 1751.