Mother: Margaret Pert, daughter of William Pert of Tiverington, Yorkshire, and Joan le Scrope.
Nothing more is known of John's early life until February 1430, at about twenty-five years of age, he came into possession of the Yorkshire and Suffolk estates of the Swillington Family.
He owed his unexpected good fortune to the fact his father was the bastard son of Sir Robert Swillington (d. 1391), Chamberlain of John of Gaunt's household, and consequently, a great man in the West Riding of Yorkshire and throughout England.
Thomas' mother, Joan Hopton, came of a gentle family with lands near to Swillington, in the valley of the Aire, a few miles south-east of Leeds. Thomas took her family name and was also close to his half-brother, Sir Roger Swillington (d. 1417), Sir Robert's legitimate son. It must have been for this reason that in Sir Roger's settlement of his landed estate he allotted a reversionary interest to Thomas and his male heirs.
The Swillington Inheritance
As fate would have it, John Hopton unexpectedly came to control the majority of the lands accumulated by his grandfather, Robert Swillington of Swillington. As the son of an illegitimate son who didn't even carry his grandfather's name, John Hopton essentially had zero expectation that he would receive any of the Swillington lands.
Robert Swilligton died testate in July 1391. He left a son and heir Roger Swillington and an illegitimate son Thomas Hopton. To this "bastard" son Thomas Hopton he left £20, and to Joan Hopton (the presumed mother of Thomas Hopton) he left an annuity of £2 per year. It is evident that Thomas Hopton got along well with his half-brother Roger Swillington for he was given a remainder interest to Roger Swillington's lands.
In a series of fine between 1413 and 1417, Roger had carefully entailed his property to his son John and his male heirs with successive remainders to his second son Robert and his male heirs, then the daughters of John and their right heirs, then to the daughters of Robert and their right heirs, then Roger’s daughter Margaret and her right heirs, and finally to Thomas Hopton and his heirs. Certainly, when the entails were made there was no expectation that the Swillington to estates would fall to his illegitimate half-brother.
Roger Swillington died 6 August 1417, leaving his son John as his heir. John Swillington died without issue on 2 April 1418, and by the fines of his father was succeeded by his brother Robert.  Robert Swillington died without issue on 5 October 1420 when he was killed at the siege of Melun.  His heir was his sister Margaret (Swillington) Graa. Margaret died without issue on 7 October 1429. 
Removed "Sir" from profile (this comment in G2G and also the comment on this profile): John, son of Thomas Hopton by his wife Margaret Pert, was never knighted, nor was his mother ever Lady Westwood and he was "never called anything but Hopton." (Contrary to information from this entry for "Sir Knight John Hopton Lord Westwood (1408-1478)" in an online, unsourced tree.) ~ Noland-165 00:19, 31 January 2018 (EST)
Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, in 5 vols. (Salt Lake City, Utah, 2013): vol. III pages 312-313.
Richardson, Douglas. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, exp. 2nd ed. in 4 vols, (Salt Lake City, Utah, 2011): 400. Google Books Preview View - search for swillington
Great Britain, J.L. Kirby ed. Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Vol. 21, 6-10 Henry V, 1418-1422. (London, 2002): 13-15, IPM of John Swyllyngton, knight. Available online at Mapping the Medieval Countryside website.
Great Britain, J.L. Kirby ed. Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Vol. 21, 6-10 Henry V, 1418-1422. (London, 2002): 150-152, IPM of Robert Swyllyngton, knight. Available online at Mapping the Medieval Countryside website.
Great Britain, Claire Noble ed. Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Vol. 23, 6-10 Henry VI, 1427-1432. (London, 2004): 60-63, IPM of Joan, widow Roger Swillington and William Pert. Available online at Mapping the Medieval Countryside website.
Great Britain, Claire Noble ed. Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Vol. 23, 6-10 Henry VI, 1427-1432. (London, 2004): 209-219, IPM of Margaret, wife of John Gra, knight. Available online at Mapping the Medieval Countryside website.
Richmond, Colin. John Hopton: Fifteenth Century Suffolk Gentleman. (Cambridge University Press, 1981). Google Books Preview View
Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, ser. 3 vol. 3 (1900): 49-53. Notes to the Pedigree of Hopton of Suffolk and Somerset, by W.L. Rutton. Books.googlecom LINK
The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham (1816-1840), Surtees, Robert, of Mainsforth, Esq. F. S. A., (4 volumes. London: J.B. Nichols, Parliament-Street and G. Andrews, Durham 1816-1840), FHL book Folio 942.81 H2s; FHL microfilms 899,861-., vol. 3 p. 247.
Source: Image Citation: Fox & Pheasants without border this was the first tapestry to be designed by John Dearle (1860-1932) who later became Morris & Co's chief textile designer. Dearle and others worked on the 'Fox & Pheasants' during the Royal Jubilee Exhibition held in Manchester in 1887. The tapestry was finished in 1888 and subsequently bought for the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, where it remains to this day. Accessed: 12 March 2015. Image URL: http://www.llph.co.uk/FlemishWall2/fox-pheasants.jpg Main URL: http://www.llph.co.uk/flemish-tapestry-wall-hangings.htm
Source: Richardson, Douglas; Everingham, Kimball G., Editor. Magna Carta Ancestry: A study in Colonial and Medieval Families, (2nd edition, 2011), Vol. I, pg. 400.
Source: Richardson, Douglas; Everingham, Kimball G., Editor. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, Vol. III, pg 402. Salt Lake City, Utah. 2013.
Source: The visitation of the county of Somerset in the year 1623, Colby, Frederic Thomas, (Micro Reproduction of original published: London: [Harleian Society], 1876. viii, 164 p.), FHL microfilm 162048 item 1., vol. 11 p. 56.
This page has been edited according to Style Standards adopted January 2014.
Thank you to Lynden Raber Castle Rodriguez for her contributions to the development of this profile on behalf of this profile on behalf of the Magna Carta Project on 16 February 2015.
Magna Carta Project
Magna Carta trail
This profile is apparently in a trail that was developed by a Magna Carta project member but does not appear to have been reviewed/approved (or, if it was, the appropriate Descendant categories were not added). From what I can tell, his daughter-in-law continues the project-approved trail from Isham-12. The profile for his son, this profile, & Pert-73 (his mother) need to be reviewed and approved by the project to complete a trail to Ros-162 (through Scrope-166, which is part of a project-approved trail from Corbin-100 to Ros-162). This profile does not currently meet the project's quality standards (see the review checklist for details). ~ Noland-165 10:23, 9 December 2017 (EST)
Re-review needed: See comment that says most of the information in the profile is wrong. ~ Noland-165 15:46, 28 January 2018 (EST)
Hmmm, Richardson (RA, 3:313) says twice that John is a knight, and says he is of Westwood in Blythburgh and Wissett, Suffolk, Swillinton, Yorkshire, etc. Don't understand the comments here or the controversy that is implied.
updated: the project now has a project box appropriate for "pending" profiles - so I added it & upgraded WikiTree-36 to be manager
I added the Magna Carta project to the trusted list. The profile cannot be managed by the project (it is not eligible to display the Magna Carta project box), but the project should be on the trusted list of profiles displaying the Magna Carta Project's sticker.
This is an extremely well documented man, subject of encyclopedia articles and a full scholarly biography, but a lot of the information here is outright wrong. Never a knight, just plain John Hopton, he did sometimes use his grandfather's family name Swillington when young but in his maturity he was always Hopton. Neither his family name nor that of his mother was ever “de Westwode”. His place of birth is unknown and I believe his place of death as well. If he did die at home, the house was Westwood in the parish of Blythburgh, Suffolk.