Hopkins, William

, an Arian writer, although belonging to the Church of England, was born at Monmouth in 1706. He received the elements of a learned education at his native town, whence he was sent to All-Souls, Oxford, in 1724. He was admitted to deacon’s orders in 1728, and in the following year undertook the curacy of Waldron, in Sussex. In 1731 he was presented to the vicarage of Bolney, in the same county. In 1753 he published anonymously, “An Appeal to the common sense of all Christian people, more particularly the members of the Church of England, with regard to an important point of faith and practice, imposed upon their consciences.” This excited a controversy which was carried on many years. In 1756 he was elected master of the grammar school of Cuckfield; and in 1766, undertook the curacy of Slaugham, and continued to officiate there many years, and in his own parish of Bolney, making what alterations he pleased in the service, at which the churchwardens were pleased to connive. He supported the famous petition to | parliament for relief, in the matter of subscription to the liturgy and thirty-nine articles of the church; and wrote some pamphlets on the subject, but all anonymously. His last work, in 1784, was “Exodus, a corrected translation, with notes critical and explanatory,” in which notes there is little that can gratify the taste of curious and critical readers, but so many severe reflections on the articles and liturgy of the Church of England, that the Monthly Reviewer took for granted he had quitted it, although in the title he called himself the vicar of Bolney. Immediately after this publication, his health began to decline; and his mental faculties were greatly impaired before his decease, which happened in 1786, when he had attained to his eightieth year. 1


Life prefixed to an edition of his “Appeal,” printed in 1787. —Rees’s Cyclopaedia. Monthly Review, vol. LXXII.