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.
Julia J. Smith is an independent scholar