HOPKINS, Francis Powell

1830 - 1913

Major Shortspoon

Francis Powell Hopkins was born at Fitzwilliam Street, Saint Mary the Less, Cambridge and baptised at St Mary-the-Less, Cambridge on 1 July 1830, son of William Hopkins (1793-), of St John's College, Cambridge, and his wife, Caroline Frances née Rowley (1792-11 November 1880) who married on 19 June 1828. Francis was educated at Rugby School and in 1848 joined the army purchasing as an Ensign and on 24 May 1850 promoted Lieutenant by purchase. As Captain Francis Powell Hopkins of 15th Regiment of Foot, he married at Titchfield Church, Hampshire on 27 August 1856, Rachel Elizabeth Bainbrigge (1828-6 June 1912), daughter of Lieut-General Sir Philip Bainbrigge (1786-1862). In 1861, a 31-year-old captain in the army, living at Water Street, St Mary, Pembrokeshire with his 32-year-old wife Rachel Elizabeth, born Plymouth, Devon and their children, Rachel Augusta 3, born Isle of Wight, Francis Ellis 1 and newly born Emily Annie, both born at Pembroke. Promoted to major in 1866 but retired in 1869 when he went into partnership with Marcus Horatio Bland of Gibraltar and William Thomas Summers of Aldershot, trading as the Aldershot Ice Company, this partnership was dissolved in 1882. In 1891, a 61-year-old retired army major, living at Nelson Road, Bideford, Devon with his 62-year-old wife Rachel, children Francis with his family, and daughter Beatrice Katherine 25, born Winchester, Hampshire. By 1911, he was living at 'Dormi', Westward Ho, Devon with his 81-year-old wife Rachel and one of their six children, 50-year-old married daughter, Emily Wigan, born Pembrokeshire. Using the nom-des-plumes, Major S. Shortspoon or Major Shortspoon, Hopkins created hundreds of small watercolours in his lifetime, many of which were of golfing scenes. They are in demand, as his works documented people, places, events, and the manner of play prior to the advent of photography. The author of a book in 1893 'Fishing Experiences of Half a Century' and wrote articles for 'The Field'. During his painting career, he also created four master oil paintings of some 21 inches by 44 inches of important documentary scenes with known prominent figures of the period. A member of the Ipswich Art Club 1903-1907 and an exhibition of 17 of his golfing pictures was held at Burlington Galleries in July 1988. His wife died at Dormi, Westward Ho, Northam, Devon on 6 June 1912, aged 84 and Francis followed on 3 June 1913 and buried at Northam and Appledore, Devon on 6 June 1913, aged 82. His oils are signed 'F. P. Hopkins' or with initials and his watercolours 'Major S' or 'Shortspoon'.

Works by This Artist