Susanna Hopton was born in 1627 to a wealthy mercantile family. By 1651 she was collaborating with her future husband Richard Hopton in his activities as a royalist agent and around the same time she was converted to Roman Catholicism by Henry Turberville, a secular priest and distinguished controversialist. After her marriage to Richard Hopton she was persuaded to rejoin the Church of England after 'long, and serious search and deliberation'. Her engagement with Roman Catholicism remained the defining event in her spiritual development and had a powerful influence on her writing, much of which consists of the adaptation of Roman Catholic devotional sources for Anglican use. Her first printed work, Daily Devotions, set the pattern for all her subsequent publications which were published anonymously through the mediation of male, clerical friends. In spite of her anonymity during the lifetime, Susanna Hopton had a flourishing posthumous reputation. Her works were frequently reprinted, and she herself was commemorated in compilations of the lives of celebrated women for a hundred and fifty years after her death.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface by the General Editors; Introductory note; Volume I: Daily Devotions, consisting of thanksgivings, confessions and prayers. In 2 parts. For the benefit of the more devout and the assistance of weaker Christians. By an humble penitent (1673); A letter written by a gentlewoman of quality to a Romish priest upon her return from the Church of Rome to the Church of England, and selected prefatory material from George Hickes A Second Collection of Controversial Letters Relating to the Church of England and the Church of Rome (1710) ; Meditations on the creation and meditations and devotions on the life of Christ, Parts I and II of A Collection of Meditations and Devotions in 3 Parts published by N. Spinckes M.A. (1717); Appendix: The sacrifice of a devout Christian, or his preparation for, and reception of the Blessed Sacrament, from Part III of A Collection of Meditations and Devotions in 3 Parts published by N. Spinckes M.A. (1717). Volume II [Susanna Hopton (rev), John Austin] Devotions in the ancient way of offices with psalms, hymns and prayers for every day of the week and for every holiday in the year. Reformed by a person of quality and published by George Hickes, D.D. (1700); Appendix: Selected pages from Susanna Hopton's annotated copy of [John Austin], Devotions. First Part. In the Antient Way of Offices With Psalms, Hymns and Pray'rs for every day in the Week, and every Holiday in the Year, 2nd edition (1672).
Julia J. Smith is an independent scholar