Stephen Hopkins 1
- Born: 1582, Probably In Hampshire, England
- Marriage (1): Elizabeth Fisher on 19 Feb 1618 in St. Mary Matfellon, Whitechapel, Middlesex, England
- Died: 1644, Between 6 June And 17 July 1644, Plymouth at age 62
Stephen Hopkins was a tanner and merchant who was one of the passengers on the Mayflower in 1620, settling in Plymouth Colony. Hopkins was recruited by the Merchant Adventurers to provide governance for the colony as well as assist with the colony's ventures. He was a member ofagroup of passengers known to the Pilgrims as "The Strangers". Hopkinswas one of forty-one signatories of the Mayflower Compact and was an assistant to the governor of the colony through 1636.
Sea Venture shipwreck and Mutiny
Hopkins had made a previous attempt to reach the New World in 1609 aboard the new flagship of the Virginia Company the Sea Venture on whichSir George Somers took the helm. Hopkins had embarked as a Minister'sClerk and the Admiral of the Company. The ship was on the way to the Jamestown Colony in Virginia with much needed supplies when it was deliberately driven onto the reefs of Bermuda to prevent its foundering asa result of the damage it had sustained during a severe storm. All aboard, 150 passengers and crew and a dog, survived. The Sea Venture'slongboat was fitted with a mast and sent to find Virginia, but it anditscrew were never seen again. Hopkins attempted to start a mutiny whilestranded on the island. He was sentenced to death when this was discovered but was eventually set free after complaining of the "ruin of his wife and children". Hopkins and the remaining survivors spent nine months on Bermuda building two smaller ships, the Deliverance and Patience, from Bermuda cedar and materials salvaged from the Sea Venture. He and the other castaways eventually made their way to Jamestown,where Hopkins appears to have stayed for (some say) two years before returning to England. The Hopkins family is considered one of the First Families of Virginia. The story of the Sea Venture shipwreck (and Hopkins' mutiny) is said to be the inspiration for The Tempest by William Shakespeare.
Diplomat and Veteran
In 1621 Hopkins, Edward Winslow and William Bradford were delegated by their associates to treat with the Indians in the Plymouth vicinityon behalf of the Pilgrims and succeeded in winning the friendship of Chief Massasoit (1580-1661), concluding a peace treaty on 22 March. Heserved in the Pequot War of 1637.
1. Mary (maiden name unknown): She may have died while Hopkins was onhis first attempt to reach New World.
2. Elizabeth Fisher: married Hopkins at St. Mary Matfellon, Whitechapel, London, on 19 February </wiki/February_19> 1617/8, and was a Mayflower passenger who died in Plymouth, 1639.
Stephen and Mary had three children:
Elizabeth b. England; she more than likely died before the Mayflower voyage.
Constance b. England, 1607; Mayflower passenger; married Nicholas Snow, who came to Plymouth on the ship Anne in 1623; died in Plymouth Colony, 1677.
Giles b. England, 1607/8; Mayflower passenger, married Catherine Whelden, daughter of Gabriel Whelden of Malden and Yarmouth
Stephen and Elizabeth had seven children:
Damaris b. England, 1618; Mayflower passenger.
Oceanus b. en route to Plymouth on Mayflower.
Caleb b. Plymouth, 1623; dead by spring 1651.
Elizabeth b. Plymouth, 1623.
Deborah b. Plymouth, 1626, married Andrew Ring, son of William and Mary Ring
Damaris b. Plymouth, 1628, married Jacob Cooke, son of Pilgrim, Francis Cooke and Hester Mayhieu (Cooke)
Ruth b. Plymouth, 1630.
Caleb Johnson, The American Genealogist 73:161-171, “The True EnglishOrigins of Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower”, July 1998. His first wife was not Constance Dudley, though this erroneous name is given by older references.
Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Volume Six, Third Edition, Stephen Hopkins ISBN 0-930270-03-7
Will of Stephen Hopkins
6 June 1644
The last Will and Testament of Mr. Stephen Hopkins exhibited upon theOathes of mr Willm Bradford and Captaine Miles Standish at the generall Court holden at Plymouth the xxth of August Anno dm 1644 as it followeth in these wordes vizt.
The sixt of June 1644 I Stephen Hopkins of Plymouth in New England being weake yet in good and prfect memory blessed be God yet consideringthe fraile estate of all men I do ordaine and make this to be my lastwill and testament in manner and forme following and first I do committmy body to the earth from whence it was taken, and my soule to the Lord who gave it, my body to be buryed as neare as convenyently may betomy wyfe Deceased And first my will is that out of my whole estate my funerall expences be discharged secondly that out of the remayneingpart of my said estate that all my lawfull Debts be payd thirdly I dobequeath by this my will to my sonn Giles Hopkins my great Bull wch is now in the hands of Mris Warren. Also I do give to Stephen Hopkins my sonn Giles his sonne twenty shillings in Mris Warrens hands for thehireof the said Bull Also I give and bequeath to my daughter Constanc Snow the wyfe of Nicholas Snow my mare also I give unto my daughterDeborah Hopkins the brodhorned black cowe and her calf and half the Cowe called Motley Also I doe give and bequeath unto my daughter Damaris Hopkins the Cowe called Damaris heiffer and the white faced calf and half the cowe called Mottley Also I give to my daughter Ruth the Cowe called Red Cole and her calfe and a Bull at Yarmouth wch is in the keepeing of Giles Hopkins wch is an yeare and advantage old and half the curld Cowe Also I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth the Cowe called Smykins and her calf and thother half of the Curld Cowe wth Ruth and an yearelinge heiffer wth out a tayle in the keeping of GylesHopkins at Yarmouth Also I do give and bequeath unto my foure daughters that is to say Deborah Hopkins Damaris Hopkins Ruth Hopkins and Elizabeth Hopkins all the mooveable goods the wch do belong to my house as linnen wollen beds bedcloathes pott kettles pewter or whatsoevr aremoveable belonging to my said house of what kynd soever and not namedby their prticular names all wch said mooveables to be equally devided amongst my said daughters foure silver spoones that is to say to eich of them one, And in case any of my said daughters should be taken away by death before they be marryed that then the part of their division to beequally devided amongst the Survivors. I do also by this my will makeCaleb Hopkins my sonn and heire apparent giveing and bequeathing untomy said sonn aforesaid all my Right title and interrest to myhouse and lands at Plymouth wth all the Right title and interrest wchdoth might or of Right doth or may hereafter belong unto mee, as alsoI give unto my saide heire all such land wch of Right is Rightly due unto me and not at prsent in my reall possession wch belongs unto me by right of my first comeing into this land or by any other due Right,as by such freedome or otherwise giveing unto my said heire my full &whole andentire Right in all divisions allottments appoyntments or distributions whatsoever to all or any pt of the said lande at any tymeor tymes so to be disposed Also I do give moreover unto my foresaid heire one paire or yooke of oxen and the hyer of them wch are in the hands of Richard Church as may appeare by bill under his hand Also I do give unto my said heire Caleb Hopkins all my debts wch are now oweing unto me, or at the day of my death may be oweing unto mee either by booke bill or bills or any other way rightfully due unto mee ffurthermore my willis that my daughters aforesaid shall have free recourse to my house in Plymouth upon any occation there to abide and remayne for such tymeas any of them shall thinke meete and convenyent & they single persons And for the faythfull prformance of this my will I do make and ordayne my aforesaid sonn and heire Caleb Hopkins my true and lawfull Executor ffurther I do by this my will appoynt and make my said sonn and Captaine Miles Standish joyntly supervisors of this my will according to the true meaneing of the same that is to say that my Executor & supervisor shall make the severall divisions parts or porcons legacies orwhatsoever doth appertaine to the fullfilling of this my willIt is also my will that my Executr & Supervisor shall advise devise and dispose by the best wayes & meanes they cann for the disposeing in marriageor other wise for the best advancnt of the estate of the forenamed Deborah Damaris Ruth and Elizabeth Hopkins Thus trusting in the Lord my will shalbe truly prformed according to the true meaneing of the sameI committ the whole Disposeing hereof to the Lord that hee maydirect you herein
June 6th 1644
Witnesses hereof By me Steven Hopkins
Stephen married Elizabeth Fisher on 19 Feb 1618 in St. Mary Matfellon, Whitechapel, Middlesex, England. (Elizabeth Fisher was born on 19 Feb 1617.)