This surname is of early medieval English origin, and is an occupational name for someone who fitted wooden or metal hoops on wooden casks and barrels; a cooper. The derivation is from the Middle English "hoop", hoop, band, with the addition of the agent suffix "- er", one who does or works with. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Early examples of the surname include: Alexander le Hopere, noted in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Devonshire; illiam le Houper, entered in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Somerset, and Richard Hoper listed in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York, dated 1367. In 1444, one Ralph Hooper was recorded in "A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds", Devonshire. Notable bearers of the name include: Edmund Hooper (1553 - 1621), organist of Westminster Abbey from 1606 to 1621, and gentleman of the Chapel in 1603; John Hooper (deceased 1555), Bishop of Gloucester and Worcester, and Robert Hooper (1773 - 1835), M.D. St. Andrew's, 1805, and medical writer, whose works include the "Compendious Medical Dictionary", 1798. William Hooper, aged 18, who embarked from London on the ship "James" bound for New England in July 1635, was one of the earliest recorded namebearers to settle in America. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a gyronny of eight ermine and azure, overall a silver tower, the Crest being a demi wolf couped, holding in the dexter paw an oak branch fructed, all proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam le Hoper(e), which was dated 1228, in the "Close Rolls of Wiltshire, during the reign of Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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