Ralph Hopton 1598 - 1652

  • 1598

    Ralph Hopton was born at Witham Friary, Somerset, in the second week of March

     Witham Friary

  • 1614

    After his education he started a career in Law. However it became evident that he was more interested in military affairs. So, when the 30 years war erupted on the continent he volunteered to join Sir Horace Vere’s expedition force, fighting for the Protestant cause 

  • 1623

    Hopton rose through the military ranks, and during periods of leave from the 30 years war became involved in his local Trained Bands. He also Married his wife Elizabeth Lewin in th

  • 1626

    At  King Charles’ coronation  he was knighted  in recognition of his military service.

  • 1642

    A conscientious and thoughtful man, he could well have been described as a Puritan, and was in favour of many of the reforms that Parliament tried to impose upon the King. As the political unrest escalated, Hopton however would not be drawn past a certain point, and eventually came into conflict with the more radical elements at Westminster.  He was adamant that due process of the law should be followed, and this culminated with him being imprisoned

  • Outbreak of war 1642

     

    On the King’s command Sir Ralph Hopton and other notables began recruiting in Somerset in July 1642, hoping to gather together the militia that Hopton had spent so long training. Before this task was completed his men met in conflict with Parliamentarians. The first actions in the south were fought. A small skirmish at Marshall’s Elm (4th August) was followed by a short siege at Sherborne (6th – 10th August) where the Royalists held out, and a larger confrontation at Babylon Hill (11th) overlooking Yeovil where Hopton and his comrades again prevailed.

     

       Babylon Hill, Yoevil

  • Further Conflicts 1642

    Through the remainder of 1642 Hopton spent his time coming to grips with the problems of raising an effective army in Cornwall. Together with his close colleagues Sir Bevill Grenvile, Sir Nicholas Slanning and Sir John Berkeley he forged an effective force from the hundreds of volunteers, and they fought a series of skirmishes throughout the western peninsula.

  • More to come

    The timeline at this stage in very basic however our regimental historians are currently writing up a more detailed, longer version.

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