Stephen Hopkins

Stephen HOPKINS (1580 – 1644) (wiki) was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Hopkins Coat of Arms

Hopkins Coat of Arms

Stephano Quote

Stephen was the only Mayflower passenger who had previously been to the New World.  His adventures  included surviving a the  Sea Venture’s  1609 shipwreck in Bermuda [including being pardoned for mutiny!] and working from 1610–14 in Jamestown as well as knowing the legendary Pocahontas, who married John Rolfe, a fellow Bermuda castaway.  Some Shakespearean scholars believe he was the model for the rogue Stephano in the Tempest.

Stephano in theTempest, here played by Alfred Molina in the 2010 film version

Stephen may be the real life inspiration for Stephano in the Tempest, played in the 2010 film version by Alfred Molina

Stephen Hopkins was baptized 30 Apr 1581 in the Church of All Saint, Upper Clatford, Hampshire, England. His parents were John HOPKINS and Elizabeth WILLIAMS. Not much is known about his early life in Hampshire, but his family appears to have removed to Winchester  by 1586. His father died there in 1593, and by 1604 he had moved to Hursley, He first married about 1602 to Mary [__?__]. He next married 9 Feb 1617/18 in St. Mary Matfelon, Whitechapel, London to Elizabeeth Fisher. Stephen died Jul 1644 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony.

Stephen was baptized in Church of All Saints Upper Clatford

Stephen was baptized in Church of All Saints Upper Clatford – Originally built during the reign of Henry I

Mary [__?__] was born about 1585 in England.  Her father may have been Giles MACHELL.  Stephen and Mary named their first son Gyles.  Mary died 9 May 1613  in Hursley, Hampshire, England.  Her death occurred while her husband was in Jamestown, Virginia.  The administration of her estate for her children presumes that her husband was either missing or dead. It certainly supports the evidence for Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower being the same person as Stephen Hopkins of the Sea Venture in 1609

Elizabeth Fisher was born about 1595 in England. Elizabeth died about 1643 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony.

Elizabeth Hopkins Reenactor

Elizabeth Hopkins Reenactor

Plimoth Plantation 1627 Village

Plimoth Plantation 1627 Village

Stephen was referred to as a tanner or leathermaker at the time of the voyage and a merchant and planter in Plymouth Colony records. He also apparently was a tavern keeper. He kept his home at what is now the corner of Main Street and Leyden Street for his entire life, except a brief time in Yarmouth where he did not stay, giving that land to his son Giles. He built the first wharf on record in Plymouth Harbor.

Our ancestors or their close relatives had almost half the lots in early Plymouth – (George Soule was the grandfather of John TOMSON’s son-in-law, not close enough to get a #)

Our ancestors or their close relatives had almost half the lots in early Plymouth – (George Soule was the grandfather of John TOMSON’s son-in-law, not close enough to get a #)

Children of Stephen and Mary:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Elizabeth Hopkins bapt.
13 May 1604 Hursley, Hampshire, England
1613-1620 in England
2. Constance HOPKINS bapt.
11 May 1606  Hursley, Hampshire, England
Nicholas SNOW
1 Jun 1627 Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
25 Nov 1677  Eastham, Plymouth Colony
3. Gyles Hopkins bapt.
30 Jan 1608 Hursley, Hampshire, England
Katherine Whelden (Daughter of Gabriel WHELDEN)
9 Oct 1639 Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
5 Mar 1689 Eastham, Plymouth Colony
16 Apr 1690


Children of Stephen and Elizabeth

Name Born Married Departed
4. Damaris Hopkins 1618 England 1624 in Plymouth Colony
5. Oceanus Hopkins Btw. 16 Sep and 11 Nov 1620 at Sea (the only child to be born on the Mayflower) Bef. 1627 Plymouth Colony
6. Caleb Hopkins 1623 Plymouth, Plymouth Colony Btw. 1644 and 1651 Barbados
7. Deborah Hopkins 1625 Plymouth, Plymouth Colony Andrew Ring (son of our ancestor William RING)
23 Apr 1646 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
Bef. 1674 Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
8. Damaris Hopkins 22 May 1627 Plymouth, Plymouth Colony Jacob Cook (son of our ancestor Francis COOKE)
10 Jun 1646 Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
1668 Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
9. Ruth Hopkins ~ 1630 Plymouth, Plymouth Colony. 1644-1651 Plymouth Colony
10. Elizabeth Hopkins ~ 1632 Plymouth, Plymouth Colony ~ Oct 1659  Plymouth Colony


Upper Clatford as it might have looked when Stephen was growing up

Upper Clatford as it might have looked when Stephen was growing up

Stephen was fined on 19 May 1608 at the Merdon Manorial Court, however, the reason was not recorded. Stephen’s lease at Hursley’s Merdon Manor was turned over to a “Widow Kent.”  The Hopkins family either moved out or was forced out.

In 1609 Stephen left his wife and three small children to sign on with the Third Supply, a fleet of nine ships taking 500 settlers and supplies to Jamestown. Having no money to invest, and no rank of any kind, Stephen’s name does not appear on the list of Virginia Company investors. Instead, he is lumped with the anonymous “sailors, soldiers, and servants” on the fleet’s flagship, the Sea Venture.

In his contract with the Virginia Company, Stephen would serve three years as an indentured servant, his labors profiting those who had financed the venture. In exchange, he would receive free transportation, food, lodging, and 10 shillings every three months for his family back home. At the end of three years, he would be freed from his indenture and given 30 acres in the colony.

He is later described by William Strachey, who chronicled the voyage of the Sea Venture, as “A fellow who had much knowledge in the Scriptures, and could reason well therein” and therefore was chosen by Jamestown’s future minister,  Rev. Richard Buck “to be his Clarke, to reade the Psalmes, and chapters upon Sondayes at assembly of the Congregation under him.”

[The Reverend Richard Buck, a close friend of William Shakespeare, sealed the peace between Jamestown colonists and local Algonquians in 1614 by marrying planter John Rolfe and Pocahontas, the daughter of the Powhatan Mamanatowick , or supreme chief. Buck acquired 750 acres of land in the Neck-of-Land area on January 20, 1619. He and his wife had perished by 1624 and were survived by six of their children– Elizabeth, Bridget, Mara, Gercian, Benoni, and Peleg. Several of the Buck children were born with disorders and the children’s estate was the focus of frequent battles between custodians who tried to acquire sizable portions of Buck land legally and otherwise. Historical court records detailed the disputes of Neck-of-Land’s inhabitants, providing elaborate descriptions of mismanaged inheritance, land squabbles, diseased cattle, kidnappings, and murder. During the approximate 20-year occupation, the land passed from Richard Buck’s son-in-law Sergeant Thomas Crump to the Reverend’s eldest son Gercian to his youngest son Peleg, and finally to his eldest daughter Elizabeth]

On May 15 1609, Stephen boarded the  Sea Venture the new flagship of the Virginia Company.  Also on board were the Admiral of the Company himself, Sir George Somers,  Jamestown’s next Governor, Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Gates, the ship’s captain Christopher Newport, Sylvester Jordain,  and secretary William Strachey),

Wife Mary, two daughters Elizabeth and Constance and son Giles, barely a year old were left behind to fend for themselves until he returned or send for them.  There is some evidence Mary may have had a side business as a shop keeper.

Mary died in 1613 before Stephen returned.

“An inventory of the goods and Chattells of Mary Hopkins of Hursley in the Countie of South[amp]ton widowe deceased taken the tenth day of May 1613 as followeth vizt.

Inprimis certen Beames in the garden & wood in the back side
It[e]m the ymplem[en]ts in the Beehouse
It[e]m certen things in the kitchin
It[e]m in the hall one table, one Cupboorde & certen other things
It[e]m in the buttry six small vessells & some other small things
It[e]m brasse and pewter
It[e]m in the Chamber over the shop two beds one table & a forme with some other small things
It[e]m in the Chamber over the hall one fetherbed & 3 Chests & one box
It[e]m Lynnen & wearing apparrell
It[e]m in the shop one shopboarde & a plank
It[e]m the Lease of the house wherin she Late dwelled
It[e]m in ready mony & debts by specialitie & without specialitie
S[um] total xxv xj [25 pounds 11 shillings]

Gregory Horwood (his X mark)
William Toot
Rychard Wolle”

Wreck of the Sea Venture

The coat of arms of Bermuda features a representation of the wreck of the Sea Venture

The coat of arms of Bermuda features a representation of the wreck of the Sea Venture

On Jun  2 1609, the Sea Venture, under the command of Sir George Somers, admiral of the fleet, with Christopher Newport as captain and Sir Thomas Gates, Governor of the colony, departed from Plymouth, England followed by the rest of the Virginia Company’s fleet, the Falcon,DiamondSwallowUnityBlessingLion, and two smaller ships.

Hodges writes,

“For seven weeks the ships stayed within sight of each other, often within earshot, and captains called to one another by way of trumpets. On the Sea Venture all was peaceful. Morning and evening, Chaplain Buck and Clerk Hopkins gathered the passengers and crew on deck for prayers and the singing of a psalm.”

The ships were only eight days from the coast of Virginia, when they were suddenly caught in a hurricane, and the Sea Venture became separated from the rest of the fleet.  The Sea Venture fought the storm for three days. Comparably sized ships had survived such weather, but the Sea Venture had a critical flaw in her newness: her timbers had not set. The caulking was forced from between them, and the ship began to leak rapidly. All hands were applied to bailing, but water continued to rise in the hold. The ship’s guns were reportedly jettisoned (though two were salvaged from the wreck in 1612) to raise her buoyancy, but this only delayed the inevitable.

William Strachey chronicled the Sea Venture’s final days:

“On St. James Day, being Monday, the clouds gathering thick upon us and the wind singing and whistling most unusually, a dreadful storm and hideous began to blow from out the northeast, which, swelling and roaring as it were by fits, at length did beat all night from Heaven; which like a hell of darkness, turned black upon us . . . For four-and-twenty hours the storm in a restless tumult had blown so exceedingly as we could not apprehend in our imaginations any possibility of greater violence; yet did we still find it not only more terrible but more constant, fury added to fury, and one storm urging a second more outrageous than the former . . . It could not be said to rain. The waters like whole rivers did flood in the air. Winds and seas were as mad as fury and rage could make them. Howbeit this was not all. It pleased God to bring greater affliction yet upon us; for in the beginning of the storm we had received likewise a mighty leak.”

Sea Venture in the Storm by William Harrington

Sea Venture in the Storm by William Harrington

The ship had begun to take on water and every man who could be spared went below to plug the leaks and work the pumps. The men worked in waist-deep water for four days and nights, but by Friday morning they were exhausted and gave up.

Another chronicler, Silvester Jourdain, wrote that some of the men,

“having some good and comfortable waters [gin and brandy] in the ship, fetched them and drunk one to the other, taking their last leave one of the other until their more joyful and happy meeting in a more blessed world.”

Then there was a crash and the Sea Venture began to split seam by seam as the water rushed in. Jourdain continues:

“And there neither did our ship sink but, more fortunately in so great a misfortune, fell in between two rocks, where she was fast lodged and locked for further budging; whereby we gained not only sufficient time, with the present help of our boat and skiff, safely to set and convey our men ashore . . . “

The Sea Venture had been thrown upon a reef about a mile from Bermuda, then known as the “Isle of the Devils.” Those who could swim lowered themselves into the waves and grasped wooden boxes, debris, or anything that would keep their heads above water. Stephen made it to shore clutching a barrel of wine. The entire crew, including the ship’s dog, survived.

As it turned out, the Sea Venture did not break apart and the men were able to retrieve the tools, food, clothing, muskets, and everything that meant their survival. Most of the ship’s structure also remained, so using the wreckage and native cedar trees, the 150 castaways immediately set about building two new boats so that they could complete their voyage to Jamestown.

Wreck of the Sea Venture by Christopher Grimes

Wreck of the Sea Venture by Christopher Grimes

The ship’s longboat was fitted with a mast and sent to Virginia for help, but it and its crew were never seen again.

The men were pleasantly surprised to find that the island’s climate was agreeable, food plentiful, and shelters easily constructed from cedar wood and palm leaves. The Isle of the Devils, turned out to be paradise, and a few began to wonder why they should leave.

Strachey recounts that some of the sailors, who had been to Jamestown with the Second Supply, stated that

“in Virginia nothing but wretchedness and labor must be expected, there being neither fish, flesh, or fowl which here at ease and pleasure might be enjoyed.”

The first attempt at mutiny was made by Nicholas Bennit who “made much profession of Scripture” and was described by Strachey as a “mutinous and dissembling Imposter.” Bennit and five other men escaped into the woods, but were captured and banished to one of the distant islands. The banished men soon found that life on the solitary island was not altogether desirable and humbly petitioned for a pardon, which they received. But the clemency of the Governor only encouraged the spirit of mutiny.

William Strachey notes that while Stephen HOPKINS was very religious, he was contentious and defiant of authority and had enough learning to wrest leadership from others. On January 24, while on a break with Samuel Sharpe and Humfrey Reede, Stephen argued:

“. . . it was no breach of honesty, conscience, nor Religion to decline from the obedience of the Governor or refuse to goe any further led by his authority (except it so pleased themselves) since the authority ceased when the wracke was committed, and, with it, they were all then freed from the government of any man . . .[there] were two apparent reasons to stay them even in this place; first, abundance of God’s providence of all manner of good foode; next, some hope in reasonable time, when they might grow weary of the place, to build a small Barke, with the skill and help of the aforesaid Nicholas Bennit, whom they insinuated to them to be of the conspiracy, that so might get cleere from hence at their own pleasures . . . when in Virginia, the first would be assuredly wanting, and they might well feare to be detained in that Countrie by the authority of the Commander thereof, and their whole life to serve the turnes of the Adventurers with their travailes and labors. “

The mutiny was brought to a quick end when Sharpe and Reede reported Stephen to Sir Thomas Gates who immediately put him under guard. That evening, at the tolling of a bell, the entire company assembled and witnessed Stephen’s trial:

“. . . the Prisoner was brought forth in manacles, and both accused, and suffered to make at large, to every particular, his answere; which was onely full of sorrow and teares, pleading simplicity, and deniall. But he being onely found, at this time, both the, Captaine and the follower of this Mutinie, and generally held worthy to satisfie the punishment of his offence, with the sacrifice of his life, our Governour passed the sentence of a Maritiall Court upon him, such as belongs to Mutinie and Rebellion. But so penitent hee was, and made so much moane, alleadging the ruine of his Wife and Children in this his trespasse, as it wrought in the hearts of all the better sorts of the Company, who therefore with humble entreaties, and earnest supplications, went unto our Governor, whom they besought (as likewise did Captaine Newport, and my selfe) and never left him untill we had got his pardon.”

Stephen begged and moaned about the ruin of his wife and children, and was pardoned out of sympathy.  After pleading his way out of a hanging, Stephen continued his duties as Minister’s Clerk and worked quietly with the others to finish the construction of the ships from Bermuda cedar and materials salvaged from the Sea Venture, especially her rigging.

Some members of the expedition died in Bermuda before the Deliverance and the Patienceset sail on 10 May 1610. Among those left buried in Bermuda were the wife and child of John Rolfe, who would found Virginia’s tobacco industry, and find a new wife in Chief Powhatan‘s daughter Matoaka (Pocahontas). Two men, Carter and Waters, were left behind; they had been convicted of unknown offences, and fled into the woods of Bermuda to escape punishment and execution. 

On May 10, 1610, the men boarded the newly built Deliverance and Patience and set out for Virginia. They arrived in Jamestown on May 24, almost a full year after they had left England.

The Tempest 

The story of the Sea Venture shipwreck (and Hopkins’ mutiny) is said to be the inspiration for The Tempest by William Shakespeare. Stephen is said to be the model for the character Stephano.

The shipwreck in Act I, Scene 1, in a 1797 engraving based on a painting by George Romney

The shipwreck in Act I, Scene 1, in a 1797 engraving based on a painting by George Romney

William Strachey‘s A True Reportory of the Wracke and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates, Knight, an eyewitness report of the real-life shipwreck of the Sea Venture in 1609 is considered by most critics to be one of Shakespeare’s primary sources because of certain verbal, plot and thematic similarities.  Although not published until 1625, Strachey’s report, one of several describing the incident, is dated 15 July 1610, and critics say that Shakespeare must have seen it in manuscript sometime during that year.

Strachey was no stranger to the theater people who met regularly at the Mermaid Tavern, so it’s probable that Shakespeare was among those who got a preview of the work.

Several years later, the Virginia Company published a heavily sanitized version of Strachey’s A True Reportory fearing that if the public knew the truth about Jamestown, there would be no more recruits.

In the 19th century Sylvester Jourdain’s pamphlet, A Discovery of The Barmudas (1609), was proposed as that source, but this was superseded in the early 20th century by the proposal that “True Reportory” was Shakespeare’s source because of perceived parallels in language, incident, theme, and imagery.

The Tempest is believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skillful manipulation. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio’s low nature, the redemption of the King, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso’s son, Ferdinand.

Stephano, Caliban and Trinculo

Stephano, Caliban and Trinculo

Stephano   is a boisterous and often drunk butler of King Alonso.  He, Trinculo and Caliban plot against Prospero. In the play, he wants to take over the island and marry Prospero’s daughter, Miranda. Caliban believes Stephano to be a god because he gave him wine to drink which Caliban believes healed him.

Stephano’s Quotes
The master, the swabber, the boatswain, and I,
The gunner, and his mate,
Lov’d Mall, Meg, and Marian, and Margery,
But none of us car’d for Kate;
For she had a tongue with a tang,
Would cry to a sailor Go hang!
She lov’d not the savour of tar nor of pitch,
Yet a tailor might scratch her where’er she did itch.
Then to sea, boys, and let her go hang!
This is a scurvy tune too; but here’s my comfort. (Drinks)
Act 2: Scene II

Caliban: Hast thou not dropp’d from heaven?
Stephano: Out o’ th’ moon, I do assure thee; I was the Man i’ th’ Moon, when time was.
Caliban: I have seen thee in her, and I do adore thee. My mistress show’d me thee, and thy dog and thy bush.
Act 2: Scene II

Flout ’em and scout ’em, and scout ’em and flout ’em;
Thought is free.
Act 3: Scene II

He that dies pays all debts.
Act 3: Scene II

Hodges writes, “To have provided some of the fabric for Shakespeare’s vision of The Tempest and to appear in the play, even in the absurd disguise as Stephano, this in itself is a kind of immortality for Stephen Hopkins.”


The shipwreck and castaway was not the end of the survivors’ ordeals.  Over the winter of 1610, food in Jamestown had become so scarce that the settlers had been compelled to eat their horses, dogs, and even the flesh of those who had died. Only 60 of the 500 colonists remained. In contrast, the Bermuda crew were well-fed and healthy. Jamestown was judged to be unviable.

Strachey wrote of Jamestown,

“the palisades torn down, the ports open, the gates off the hinges, and empty houses rent up and burnt, rather than the dwellers would step into the woods a stone’s cast off to fetch other firewood. The Indians killed as fast, if our men but stirred beyond the bounds of their blockhouse, as famine and pestilence did.”

The new arrivals calculated that the meal cakes they had brought with them would feed everyone for no longer than ten days. So it appeared that abandonment of the settlement was their only hope. The plan was for all to board the Patience and Deliverance and sail up the coast to Newfoundland where, at this time of year, they could find fishing vessels to take them home to England. They anchored that night off an island near the mouth of the James. The next morning they were surprised by an approaching longboat which brought the news that Lord Delaware  [our ancestor Governor Thomas WEST 3rd Baron de la Warr (1577 – 1618)] was following with three shiploads of settlers and provisions to feed 400 for a year. The settlers from Jamestown returned to the abandoned colony and were at the gate of the fort to welcome the new governor when he dropped anchor on June 10th.

All the settlers were relanded at the colony, but there was still a critical shortage of food. Somers returned to Bermuda with the Patience to secure provisions, but died there in the summer of 1610. His nephew, Matthew, the captain of the Patience, sailed for England to claim his inheritance, rather than return to Jamestown. A third man, Chard, was left behind in Bermuda with Carter and Waters, who remained the only permanent inhabitants until the arrival of the Plough in 1612.

West immediately set about restoring the broken down fort. By midsummer the gate and palisade were repaired, and there was a new chapel and three rows of houses inside the triangular fort. Jamestown finally seemed to be on solid footing.

The English in Jamestown and those later in Plymouth were the antithesis of each other — with those in Virginia composed of titled leaders who were in charge of often inexperienced settlers and soldiers who were veterans of European wars, such as Capt. John Smith. All at Jamestown were focused on returning a profit to their London investors, and under great stress when no gold, minerals or anything else of much value to London was found in the Chesapeake area. The colonists could not/would not farm, tried to barter for food with the Indians and later stole food from them, leading to much violence, which continued for years.

Stephen does not appear on any of the lists of Jamestown colonists and, after his attempted mutiny, the assumption is that he was put on the first ship back to England. However, he is not in England in 1613 when his wife dies, and his later familiarity with Indians in Plymouth suggests that he may have spent several years in Jamestown.  Hopkins returned to England sometime between 1613 and 1617.   The Hopkins family is considered one of the First Families of Virginia.


By late 1617 Stephen and his children had settled into a home just outside of the east wall of London, where he was said to be working as a tanner. On Feb 9 1618, in the local church of St. Mary Matfellon in Whitechapel he married Elizabeth Fisher. In late 1618 Elizabeth and Stephen added another child to the family, a daughter they named Damaris.

Nearby the Hopkins’ home was the famous Henage House, a mansion that had been converted into apartments which housed a number of nonconformists. Among these were Robert CUSHMAN, John Carver, and William BREWSTER, members of the Scrooby Separatist congregation who had fled to Leyden, Holland years earlier to escape religious persecution. The three had returned to raise money for a patent to create a settlement in the New World for their congregation now living in exile in Holland.

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 of a group of passengers known to the Pilgrims as “The Strangers” since they were not part of the Pilgrims’ religious congregation. Hopkins was one of forty-one signatories of the Mayflower Compact and was an assistant to the governor of the colony through 1636.

John Carver was the first to sign the Mayflower Compact  The Mayflower Compact, a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863-1930)

The Mayflower Compact, a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863-1930)

Stephen appears to have been a bit of a rebel on board the Mayflower, a dissenter questioning the authority of the Separatist leaders, just as he had a decade earlier on the Sea Venture.    Stephen was a member of a group of passengers known to the Pilgrims as “The Strangers” since they were not part of the Pilgrims’ religious congregation.  Storms forced the landing to be at the hook of Cape Cod in what is now Massachusetts. This inspired some of the passengers perhaps led by Stephen to proclaim that since the settlement would not be made in the agreed upon Virginia territory, they “would use their own liberty; for none had power to command them…”

To prevent this, many of the other colonists chose to establish a government and sign the Mayflower Compact, a document outlining how their new society would run.    Hopkins was one of forty-one signatories of the Mayflower Compact and was an assistant to the governor of the colony through 1636.

Stephen Hopkins was one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact and may have been the instigator

Stephen Hopkins was one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact and may have been the instigator

Hopkins arrived at Plymouth on the 1620 Mayflower accompanied by his wife, Elizabeth, and his sons Giles and Oceanus, and daughters Constance and Damaris, Oceanus having been born at sea on the Mayflower, plus two servants, Edward Doty and Edward Leister. Damaris died during the early years, and Hopkins and his wife later had a second daughter Damaris.

Page from Bradford's history listing the Hopkins family

Page from Bradford’s history listing the Hopkins family


Stephen Hopkins Reenactor

Stephen Hopkins Reenactor

On 15 Nov. 1620 16 men went ashore “under the conduct of Captaine Miles Standish, unto whom was adjoyned for counsell and advise, William Bradford, Stephen HOPKINS, and Edward Tilley.” They arrived back at the ship on the 17th.

Stephen Hopkins was a member of the early Mayflower exploratory parties while the ship was anchored in the Cape Cod area. As he was well-versed in the hunting techniques and general lifestyle of American Indians from his years in Jamestown Virginia, which was later found to be quite useful to the Pilgrim leadership.

The story of the “First Encounter” appears both in Mourt’s Relation by George MORTON, published in London in 1622, and (in a condensed version) in William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation.

“Wednesday, the sixth of December [1620]. It was resolved our discoverers should set forth … So ten of our men were appointed who were of themselves willing to undertake it, to wit, Captain Standish, Master Carver, William Bradford, Edward Winslow, John TILLEY, Edward Tilley, John HOWLAND, and three of London, Richard Warren, Stephen HOPKINS, and Edward Doten, and two of our seamen, John Alderton, and Thomas English. Of the ship’s company there went two of the master’s mates, Master Clarke and Master Coppin, the master gunner, and three sailors …”

” … the 6th of December [1620] they sent out their shallop again with ten of their principal men and some seamen, upon further discovery, intending to circulate that deep bay of Cape Cod. The weather was very cold and it froze so hard as the spray of the sea lighting on their coats, they were as if they had been glazed. Yet that night betimes they got down into the bottom of the bay, and as they drew near the shore they saw some ten or twelve Indians very busy about something. They landed about a league or two from them … they made themselves a barricado with logs and boughs as well as they could in the time, and set out their sentinel and betook them to rest, and saw the smoke of the fire the savages made that night. When morning was come they divided their company, some to coast along the shore in the boat, and the rest marched through the woods to see the land, if any fit place might be for their dwelling. They came also to the place where they saw the Indians the night before, and found they had been cutting up a great fish like a grampus …

“So they ranged up and down all that day, but found no people, nor any place they liked. When the sun grew low, they hasted out of the woods to meet with their shallop … of which they were very glad, for they had not seen each other all that day since the morning. So they made them a barricado as usually they did every night, with logs, stakes and thick pine boughs, the height of a man, leaving it open to leeward, partly to shelter them from the cold and wind (making their fire in the middle and lying round about it) and partly to defend them from any sudden assaults of the savages, if they should surround them; so being very weary, they betook them to rest. But about midnight they heard a hideous and great cry, and their sentinel called “Arm! arm!” So they bestirred them and stood to their arms and shot off a couple of muskets, and then the noise ceased. They concluded it was a company of wolves or such like wild beasts, for one of the seamen told them he had often heard such noise in Newfoundland.

“So they rested till about five of the clock in the morning; for the tide, and their purpose to go from thence, made them be stirring betimes. So after prayer they prepared for breakfast, and it being day dawning it was thought best to be carrying things down to the boat …

“But presently, all on the sudden, they heard a great and strange cry, which they knew to be the same voices they heard in the night, though they varied their notes; and one of their company being abroad came running in and cried, “Men, Indians! Indians!” And withal, their arrows came flying amongst them. Their men ran with all speed to recover their arms, as by the good providence of God they did. In the meantime, of those that were there ready, two muskets were discharged at them, and two more stood ready in the entrance of their rendezvous but were commanded not to shoot till they could take full aim at them. And the other two charged again with all speed, for there were only four had arms there, and defended the barricado, which was first assaulted. The cry of the Indians was dreadful, especially when they saw their men run out of the rendezvous toward the shallop to recover their arms, the Indians wheeling about upon them. But some running out with coats of mail on, and cutlasses in their hands, they soon got their arms and let fly amongst them and quickly stopped their violence …

“Thus it pleased God to vanquish their enemies and give them deliverance; and by his special providence so to dispose that not any one of them were either hurt or hit, though their arrows came close by them and on every side [of] them; and sundry of their coats, which hung up in the barricado, were shot through and through. Afterwards they gave God solemn thanks and praise for their deliverance, and gathered up a bundle of their arrows and sent them into England afterward by the master of the ship, and called that place the FIRST ENCOUNTER.”

Jan 1621 : “Saturday, the 17th day, in the morning, we called a meeting for the establishing of military orders among ourselves; and we chose Miles Standish our captain, and gave him authority of command in affairs. And as we were in consultation hereabouts, two savages presented themselves upon the top of a hill, over against our plantation, about a quarter of a mile and less, and made signs unto us to come unto them; we likewise made signs unto them to come unto us. Whereupon we armed ourselves and stood ready, and sent two over the brook, towards them, to wit, Captain Standish and Stephen Hopkins, who went towards them. Only one of them had a musket, which they laid down on the ground in their sight, in sign of peace and to parley with them. But the savages would not tarry their coming. A noise of a great many more was heard behind the hill; but no more came in sight.”

On 17 Feb 1620/21 two Indians appeared on the top of a hill and motioned for the settlers to come to them. Miles Standish and Stephen were sent to them but, they disappeared.

The first formal meeting with the Indians was held at Hopkins’ house and he was called upon to participate in early Pilgrim visits with the Indian leader Massasoit. Over the years Hopkins assistance to Pilgrims leaders such as Myles Standish and Edward Winslow regarding his knowledge of the local Indian languages was found to be quite useful.

Steven Hopkins meeting with the colonists Wampanoag Indian interpreter Hobbamock

Steven Hopkins meeting with the colonists’ Wampanoag Indian interpreter Hobbamock

When Samoset first came to the settlement on 16 Feb 1620/21, the Englishmen were suspicious of him, and they “lodged him that night at Steven Hopkins house, and watched him” (Mourt’s Relation, p. 33).

On 2 July 1621 Edward Winslow and Stephen were sent by Gov. Carver to see Chief Massasoit  and visited he chief at his residence in Warren, RI with the assistance of Squanto. They arrived back at Plymouth on 7 July.

Interview of Samoset with the Pilgrims

12 July 1621 : “Having in some sort ordered their business at home, it was thought meet to send some abroad to see their new friend Massasoit, and to bestow upon him some gratuity to bind him the faster unto them; as also that hereby they might view and country and see in what manner he lived, what strength he had about him, and how the ways were to his place, if at any time they should have occasion.

So the second of July they sent Mr. Edward Winslow and Mr. Hopkins, with the foresaid Squanto for their guide; who gave him a suit of clothes and a horseman’s coat, with some other small things, which were kindly accepted; but they found but short commons and came both weary and hungry home. For the Indians used then to have nothing so much corn as they have since the English have stored them with their hoes, and seen their industry in breaking up new grounds therewith.

“They found his place to be forty miles from hence, the soil good and the people not many, being dead and abundantly wasted in the late great mortality, which fell in all these parts about three years before the coming of the English, wherein thousands of them died. They not being able to bury one another, their skulls and bones were found in many places lying still above the ground where their houses and dwellings had been, a very sad spectacle to behold. But they brought word that the Narragansetts lived but on the other side of that great bay, and were a strong people and many in number, living compact together, and had not been at all touched with this wasting plague.”

When Massasoit returned, the Englishmen greeted him by firing their guns in salute. He welcomed them into his house, where Squanto acted as interpreter. They gave Massasoit a red cotton horseman’s coat and copper necklace, which he immediately donned and modeled for the entertainment of his tribe.

As diplomat, Winslow suggested that Massasoit’s people should only come to Plymouth with the consent of the chief, since the colony was short of food and could no longer entertain an unlimited number of guests. They also stated that they wanted to repay the Nauset for the corn they had taken from their mounds, and asked if Massasoit would send word to them. Winslow also asked for trading goods, such as beaver skins, which could be sent back to England.

Massasoit agreed to all their requests and gave a lengthy speech explaining the matter to his people and naming all thirty of his villages that were bound by the agreement. He ended his speech after pledging loyalty to the English King, and telling the pilgrims that he felt sorry for King James whose wife, Queen Anne, had died in 1619. He then lit tobacco for them, and they discussed matters in England, particularly how the King was getting along without a wife.

When the group retired, Stephen and Winslow were invited to join the chief and his wife in their bed. By custom, the bed had to be full, so two other tribal leaders crowded in the remaining space. The four Wampanoags quickly put themselves to sleep through rhythmic chanting, but the Pilgrims had a restless night. The bed was full of lice and fleas, but moving outside meant they would be eaten alive by mosquitoes. Winslow later complained that they were more weary “of their lodging, than of their journey.”

The next day the Wampanoags held games with beaver skins as prizes. The pilgrims didn’t participate, but were asked to demonstrate their skills as marksmen. At noon, forty men gathered to share a meager lunch of three large fresh water fish. The Pilgrims spent another night with the Wampanoags, but told the chief they must be returning home to keep the Sabbath.

They rose before sunrise the next day and departed with the six Indians who had brought them. They shared the last of their food with their guides who surprised them the next morning with a breakfast of fresh fish. They were caught in a “great storm” on the last day and reachedPlymouth wet and weary, but elated with success.

Stephen and Squanto had barely recuperated from their trip, when they were asked to join a search party to find young John Billington. They soon learned that he had been found in the woods by the unfriendly Nausets, so they gathered their courage and rowed the shallop to the Nauset village.

Hearing that the pilgrims were coming, Chief Aspinet met the boat with “no less than a hundred of his men,” but the colonists had nothing to fear. With Squanto’s help, they understood that the pilgrims had come in peace and wished to pay for the corn they had taken. A great train of men then carried the boy through the water to the boat unharmed and bedecked with beads. The colonists thanked Chief Aspinet and the man who had found Billington with gifts of knives.

Plymouth’s first criminal act was committed by Stephen’s indentured servants, Edward Dotey and Edward Leister. While Stephen was off on one of his expeditions that first summer in Plymouth, the two men began to compete for the affections of his daughter, Constance. After an open quarrel, they went into the woods with swords and daggers and returned with wounds in the hand and thigh.

Dueling was illegal, and Stephen returned home to find his servants in handcuffs and awaiting trial. After finding the men guilty, Governor Bradford consulted William Brewster’s book of English law which prescribed that the men have their necks tied to their feet and remain in that agonizing position for twenty-four hours in the town square.

Stephen couldn’t bear their suffering and implored Governor Bradford and Captain Standish to set the men free. “Within an hour,” says an early record, “because of their great pains, at their own and their master’s humble request, they were released by the Governor.”

In 1623 Stephen was alloted 6 acres in the division of land on the south side of the brook.

The Rear of Stephen Hopkins Plymouth Home as seen from the goat enclosure fence

The Rear of Stephen Hopkins Plymouth Home as seen from the goat enclosure fence

22 May 1627 — The cows and goats were divided among the settlers with Lot No. 7 going to Stephen and his family, the Snows, Palmers, and Billingtons. This lot consisted of two calves and two goats:

“At a publique court held the 22th of May it was concluded by the whole Companie, that the cattell wch were the Companies, to wit, theCowes & the Goates should be equally devided to all the psonts of the same company … & so the lotts fell as followeth, thirteene psonts being pportioned to one lot… “the seauenth lott fell to Stephen Hopkins & his company Joyned to him (2) his wife Elizabeth Hopkins (3) Gyles Hopkins (4) Caleb Hopkins (5) Debora Hopkins (6) Nickolas SNOW (7) Constance SNOW (8) William Pallmer (9) ffrances Pallmer (10) Willm Pallmer Jnor (11) John Billington Senor (12) Hellen Billington (13) ffrancis Billington.

The Hopkins home sat across from Governor Bradford’s on the eastern corner of Main and Leyden. It was one of the largest houses inPlymouth to accommodate its large family. By 1627 each house had a fenced garden with flowers and herbs. The Hopkins also had a barn, dairy, cow shed, and small apple orchard. Both Damaris and Oceanus died around 1626, but five new children, Caleb, Deborah, Damaris (again), Ruth, and Elizabeth, were born between 1622 and about 1630. Constance moved out in 1628 when she married carpenter Nicholas Snow who had sailed on the Anne.

Stephen was probably also one of the dissenters at Plymouth whose actions led to the necessity for drafting the Mayflower Compact. Bradford,, and Mourt’s Relation, p. 40, tell how in 1621 the colonists sent Mr. Edward Winslow and Mr. Stephen Hopkins on a mission to visit Massasoit. Mourt’s Relation, pp. 7-8, also shows how Hopkins warned colonists on an early expedition about an Indian trap to catch deer, and how Bradford, not hearing the warning, stepped on the trap and was immediately caught by his leg.

Hopkins was an Assistant at least as early as 1633, and he continued in 1634, 1635, and 1636. He was on the original freeman list.  He was a volunteer in the Pequot War  (See my post)

Jan 1 1633 : “At this Court, Mr Thomas PRENCE was elected Govr for the yeare following, and to enter upon the place the first of March or the 27 of the same, and to execute the office of Govr for one whole yeare from the time of his entry.
“At the same time, Edw: Wynslow, Mr Will Bradford, Mr Isaack ALLERTON, Mr Joh Alden, Mr Joh HOWLAND, & Mr Stephen HOPKINS chosen to the office of Assistant to the said Govr, & to enter therupon with the said Govr elect as foresaid.”

Keeping in mind the delicate balance in Plymouth between “covenant” and “noncovenant” colonists, it is reasonable to assume that Hopkins must have been a leader of the non-Separatist settlers, and in his career at Plymouth can be seen some of the ambiguity that attached to the non-Separatists living in a Separatist colony.

7 Jun 1636 – At a time when Hopkins was an Assistant, the General Court found him guilty of battery against John Tisdale, and he was fined £5, and ordered to pay Tisdale forty shillings, the court observing that he had broken the King’s peace, “wch [p.309] he ought after a speciall manner to have kept”

2 Oct 1637 – He was presented twice, first for suffering men to drink in his house on the Lord’s day before meeting ended, and for allowing servants and others to drink more than proper for ordinary refreshing, and second for suffering servants and others to sit drinking in his house (contrary to orders of the court), and to play at shovel board and like misdemeanors is therefore fined fourty shillings.”

2 Jan 1637/38 – Hopkins was presented for suffering excessive drinking in his house “as old Palmer, James Coale, & William Renolds”

Jan 2 1637 : “Presentment by the Grand Jury.
“1. William Reynolds is psented for being drunck at Mr Hopkins his house, that he lay vnder the table, vomitting in a beastly manner, and was taken vp betweene two. The witness hereof is Abraham Warr, als Hoop, als Pottle, and sayth that there was in company Francis Sprague, Samuell Nash, & Georg Partrich.
2. Mr Hopkins is psented for sufferinge excessiue drinking in his house, as old Palmer, James Coale, & William Renolds, John Winslow, Widdow Palmers man, Widdow Palmer, Thomas Little, witnesss & Stepheen Travy

5 Jun 1638 – He was presented for selling beer for two pence a quart which was not worth a penny a quart, and for selling wine at excessive rates “to the oppressing & impovishing of the colony”; he was fined £5 for some of these offenses, including selling strong waters and nutmegs at excessive rates

5 June 1638 : “Presentments by the Grand Jury…
“Mr Steephen Hopkins is prsented for selling beere for ij d the quart, not worth j d a quart. Witness, Kenelme Winslow.
“Item, for selling wine at such excessiue rates, to the opressing & impouishing of the colony. Kenelme Winslow & John Winslow, witnesses.”

1638 – He was fined for not dealing fairly with an apprentice-girl, Dorothy Temple. In the Temple case  he was “committed to ward for his contempt to the Court, and shall so remayne comitted untill hee shall either receive his servant Dorothy Temple, or els pvide for her elsewhere at his owne charge during the terme shee hath yet to serve him” (PCR 1:112).

Story of Dorothy Temple

Story of Dorothy Temple

Dorothy Temple 2

4 Feb 1638 – “Concerning Mr Steephen Hopkins and Dorothy Temple, his servant, the Court doth order, with one consent, that in regard by her couenant of indenture shee hath yet aboue two yeares to serue him, that the said Mr Hopkins shall keepe her and her child, or puide shee may be kept with food and rayment during the said terme ; and if he refuse so to doe, that then the collony pruide for her, & Mr Hopkins to pay it…

“Mr Steephen Hopkins is committed to ward for his contempt to the Court, and shall so remayne comitted vntill hee shall either receiue his servant Dorothy Temple, or else puide for her elsewhere at his owne charge during the terme shee hath yet to serue him …

8 Feb 1638 – “The viijt of Februar., 1638. Memorand : That whereas Dorothy Temple, a mayde servant dwelling with Mr Stephen Hopkins, was begotten with child in his service by Arthur Peach, who was executed for murther and roberry by the heigh way before the said child was borne, the said Steephen Hopkins hath concluded and agreed with Mr John Holmes, of Plymouth, for three pounds sterl., and other consideracons to him in hand payd, to discharge the said Steephen Hopkins and the colony of the said Dorothy Temple and her child foreuer ; and the said Dorothy is to serue all the residue to her tyme with the said John Holmes, according to her indenture.”

3 Dec 1639 – He was presented for selling a looking glass for sixteen pence which could be bought in the Bay Colony for nine pence, and he was also fined £3 for selling strong water without license” (PCR 1:137).

3 December 1639 : “Mr Steephen Hopkins, vpon his psentment for selling a lookeing glasse for 16d, the like whereof was bought in the Bay for ix d is referred to further informacon.
“Mr Steephen Hopkins, for selling strong water wthout lycense, proued & confesed in Court, is fyned iiij li.”(probably to the sucker who bought the mirror!)

Jonathan Hatch, who from the records seems to have been a recurring disciplinary problem in the colony, on 5 April 1642 was ordered by the court to dwell with Mr. Stephen Hopkins, “& the said Mr Hopkins to have a speciall care of him” (PCR 2:38).

All these misdemeanors  no way indicated he was disloyal to the Colony–in fact, he was Assistant Governor from 1633 to 1636, and he volunteered to fight in the Pequot War of 1637.”

7 Aug 1638 – “Liberty is graunted to Mr Steephen Hopkins to erect a house at Mattacheese, and cutt hey there this yeare to winter his cattle, puided that it be not to wthdraw him from the towne of Plymouth.” Mattacheese was later called Yarmouth.

8 June 1642 – William CHASE mortgaged his house and land in Yarmouth to Stephen  for £ 5.

Stephen Hopkins was a friend of Myles Standish, in England, where they were “merchant adventurers.”  They were both in the Military Company of Barque Mayflower, Capt. Myles Standish.

The last Will and Testament of Mr. Stephen Hopkins exhibited upon the Oathes 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 considering the fraile estate of all men I do ordaine and make this to be my last will and testament in manner and forme following and first I do committ my body to the earth from whence it was taken, and my soule to the Lord who gave it, my body to b eburyed as neare as convenyently may be to my wyfe Deceased

And first my will is that out of my whole estate my funerall expences be discharged

secondly that out of the remayneing part of my said estate that all my lawfull Debts be payd

thirdly I do bequeath 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 the hire of 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 daughter Deborah 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 Gyles Hopkins 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 are moveable belonging to my said house of what kynd soever and not named by 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 be equally devided amongst the Survivors.

I do also by this my will make Caleb Hopkins my sonn and heire apparent giveing and bequeathing unto my said sonn aforesaid all my Right title and interrest to my house and lands at Plymouth wth all the Right title and interrest wch doth might or of Right doth or may hereafter belong unto mee, as also I 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 and entire Right in all divisions allottments appoyntments or distributions whatsoever to all or any pt of the said lande at any tyme or 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 will is that my daughters aforesaid shall have free recourse to my house in Plymouth upon any occation there to abide and remayne for such tyme as 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 or whatsoever doth appertaine to the fullfilling of this my will

It is also my will that my Executr & Supervisor shall advise devise and dispose by the best wayes & meanes they cann for the disposeing in marriage or 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 same I committ the whole Disposeing hereof to the Lord that hee may direct you herein

June 6th 1644
Witnesses hereof By me Steven Hopkins
Myles Standish (wiki)
William Bradford (wiki)

“The inventory of the goods of Stephen Hopkins, deceased 1644

£    s   d
Inpris one brod horne Cowe                                                   05 10 00
it Mottlis Cowe                                                                         05 10 00
it Damaris heifer                                                                        05 00 00
it Red Cowe                                                                               05 05 00
it Curld Cowe                                                                            05 05 00
it Symkins Cowe                                                                       05 00 00
it brod Hornes calf                                                                   00 12 00
it white faced calf                                                                     00 15 00
it Cooles calf                                                                             00 14 00
it Symkins calfe                                                                        00 12 00
it a great Bull                                                                            08 00 00
it a mare                                                                                     06 00 00
it a yeong bull                                                                          01 05 00
it a yearling heiffer wthout a tayle                                     01 05 00
it a yok of oxen                                                                        15 00 00
it 2 pigges                                                                                 00 04 00
it poultry                                                                                   00 10 00
it a bed & boulster & one pillow                                           03 10 00
it another bed & boulster & pillow                                       03 10 00
it another feather bed & pillow                                              03 00 00
it another bed & boulster wth an old straw bed                02 00 00
it 3 white blankets                                                                    01 00 00
it one covering                                                                          00 12 00
it one covring                                                                            00 04 00
it a yellow Rugg                                                                        00 08 00
it a greene Rugg                                                                        00 06 00
it 2 checkr blanketts                                                                  00 14 00
it curtaines and vallence                                                          00 10 00
it a scarfe                                                                                    00 06 00
it a pair of flanell sheets                                                           00 07 00
it one old paire of sheets                                                          00 05 00
it one paire of sheets                                                                 00 08 00
it 3 sheets                                                                                    00 10 00
it 4 pillow beares                                                                        00 12 00
it 5 napkins                                                                                 00 03 06
it 1 diapr napkins                                                                       00 02 06
it 3 table clothes                                                                         00 04 00
it 4 dymothy caps                                                                      00 02 00
it 2 white capps                                                                          00 03 00
it 2 wrought caps                                                                       00 02 06
it 2 shirts                                                                                     00 12 00
86 06 06

it two paire of shooes                                                               00 06 00
it prs of cotton stockings                                                         00 02 06
it 4 spoones                                                                                01 08 00
it in money                                                                                  00 00 06
it claspes                                                                                     00 00 02
it a pair of garters                                                                       00 00 04
it 2 Ruffe                                                                                      00 07 00
it a paire of drawers                                                                   00 00 04
it a moheire petticote                                                                 01 15 00
it a petticote of phillip & cheny                                               01 00 00
it a grogorm coate                                                                      01 00 00
it a prpetuam coate                                                                    01 00 00
it a cloth coate                                                                            01 00 00
it a cloake                                                                                     01 10 00
it a gray cloak                                                                              01 10 00
it a suit of cloth                                                                            00 08 00
it a pair of breeches                                                                     00 03 00
it an old coate & jerkine                                                              00 10 00
it a muffe                                                                                        00 06 00
it 3 cusheons & a pair of breeches                                          00 04 00
it a chest                                                                                        00 08 00
it a chest                                                                                        00 06 00
it a case & bottel & box                                                              00 03 00
it a hogshead                                                                                00 01 00
it an old warmeing pann                                                            00 02 00
it a frying pann                                                                             00 01 00
it 6 porringers                                                                               00 05 00
it 2 porringers                                                                               00 01 00
it 4 wine measures                                                                       00 06 00
it 3 quart potts                                                                             00 06 00
it chamber potts                                                                           00 02 00
it 2 laten candlesticks                                                                 00 01 00
it 1 puter candlestick                                                                   00 01 00
it a pestell & morter                                                                     00 03 06
it a beere bowle & wine cup                                                       00 01 06
it a beaker                                                                                      00 00 06
it a salt seller                                                                                 00 01 00
it 2 funnells                                                                                   00 01 00
it 2 basens                                                                                     00 06 00
it a great dish                                                                                00 05 00
it 6 dishes                                                                                      00 14 00
it a little dish                                                                                 00 00 02
it earthen potts                                                                             00 00 06
it an Iron pott                                                                                00 05 00
it a bras pott                                                                                  00 08 00
it a cast skellet                                                                              00 05 00
it a smale skellet                                                                           00 01 06
it a great kettle                                                                              01 02 00
it a lesse kettle                                                                              00 06 00
it a smaler ketle                                                                             00 04 00
it another kettle                                                                            00 07 00
it 5 spoones                                                                                  00 01 00
it 1 dossen & half trenchers                                                       00 01 00
it two graters 2s                                                                            00 02 00
it a shooeing horne                                                                      00 00 01
it a paire of bellowes                                                                    00 01 00
it 4 paire of old pothookes                                                          00 03 00
it a fireshovell & tongs                                                                00 04 00
it two spitts                                                                                    00 03 06
it 3 paire of links                                                                            00 07 06
it a peece of a bar of Iron                                                             00 01 06
it a gridiron                                                                                     00 01 00
it 9 trayes                                                                                        00 09 00
it a churne                                                                                       00 04 00
it 2 chees vtts                                                                                 00 01 00
it a old Cullender                                                                            00 00 02
it 2 payles                                                                                        00 01 04
it wodden Mo                                                                                 00 01 06
it 2 wheeles                                                                                     00 07 00
it 2 chaires                                                                                       00 08 00
it 2 stooles                                                                                       00 02 00
it latten pans                                                                                   00 00 06
it a tubb & forme                                                                            00 12 00
it a cheane                                                                                       00 06 00
it a sive                                                                                            00 00 06
it old chest                                                                                      00 02 00
it a bakeing Tub                                                                             00 02 00
it old tubbs                                                                                     00 01 00
it feathers                                                                                        00 03 00
it 3 hoopes of Iron                                                                         00 01 06
it 1 sawe                                                                                          00 01 06
it a cheese rack                                                                              00 04 00
it 4 skins                                                                                         00 03 00
it an axe                                                                                          00 01 06
it a prcell hemp                                                                              00 02 06
it scales and waights                                                                    00 05 00
it Debts                                                                                           16 05 00
it Divers bookes                                                                            00 12 00
it more in Debts                                                                             01 01 00
it a hatt                                                                                            00 01 00

The inventory amounted to £128/16/7.

20 August 1644 : “Captaine Miles Standish & Mr Willm Bradford deposed to the last will & testament of Mr Steephen Hopkins, deceased. Caleb Hopkins, constituted executr thereof, exhibited an inventory all his goods & cattells vpon his oath.”

29 June 1652 : “The Court haue agreed with Captaine Standish about the house that was Mr Hopkinses, in which hee is to see that a convenient place bee made to keepe the common stocke of powder and shott, and the countrie to make vse thereof as they shall haue occation for the meetings of the comitties & juryes and oter such like vses; and it is to bee repaired att the countryes charge, provided, that when the owners doe make vse thereof, they are to make satisfaction for the repairing thereof.”


“And seeing it hath pleased Him to give me [William Bradford] to see thirty years completed since these beginnings, and that the great works of His providence are to be observed, I have thought it not unworthy my pains to take a view of the decreasings and increasings of these persons and such changes as hath passed over them and theirs in this thirty years…

“Mr Hopkins and his wife are now both dead, but they lived above twenty years in this place and had one son and four daughters born here. Their son became a seaman and died at Barbadoes, one daughter died here and two are married; one of them hath two children, and one is yet to marry. So their increase which still survive are five. But his son Giles is married and hath four children.
“His daughter Constanta is also married and hath twelve children, all of them living and one of them married.”

2. Constance HOPKINS (See Nicholas SNOW‘s page)

3. Gyles Hopkins

Gyles’ wife Katherine Whelden was baptized 6 Mar 1617 in St. Leodegarius Church, Basford, Nottingham, England. Her parents were our ancestors Gabriel WHELDEN  and Jane [__?__].  Katherine died after 15 Mar 1689 in Eastham, Plymouth Colony.

In 1637, Giles volunteered to go with his father and brother, Caleb, to fight against the Pequot Indians in 1637. By early 1639, he had moved from Plymouth to Yarmouth on Cape Cod. He and Catherine lived in the first house built by the English on Cape Cod south of Sandwich. Giles was made a surveyor of Highways in Yarmouth in 1643. He moved to Eastham on the Cape in 1644 where he also served as highway surveyor.

Giles signed a will on 19 Jan 1682 and also a codicil to the will dated 5 Mar 1688/89. His will was admitted to probate 16 Apr 1690.

Click here for the Last Will & Testament of Gyles Hopkins, 1682/1683

Children of Gyles and Katherine:

i. Mary Hopkins b: Nov 1640 Yarmouth, Plymouth colony; d. 20 Mar 1700 Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.; Burial:Cove Burying Ground Eastham; m. her cousin Samuel Smith (b. 26 May 1668 Eastham – d. 22 Sep 1692 Eastham) Samuel’s parents were Ralph SMYTH and Grace [__?__]. Samuel and Grace had eight children born between 1667 and 1678.

Early in life, Samuel Smith engaged in the whale and mackerel fishery business, and was very successful at it. Later he was a trader and inn keeper in Eastham. He owned at one time more than a 1000 acres of land, 400 acres being in the South side of the town of Eastham and was known for many years afterwards as the “Smith Purchase.” He also bought two farms in Chatham, Mass, one at Tom’s Neck, comprising a considerable part of the present village of Chatham. His estate at his death was valued at more than 1200 pounds. The inventory shows he was in possession of over fifty head of cattle, 60 sheep and a number of horses. He held various local offices in Eastham, was styled “mister” in the records and Judge Samuel Sewell mentions him in his diary. He has been descrided as a “resolute and determined man.”

It seems Samuel Smith experienced considerable trouble from the law: He sued a Stephen Merrick for unlawfully taking a horse (25 Oct. 1668). The next year he appeared in Plymouth Colony Court to answer suits brought against him, Ralph Smith and Daniel Smith by Josias Cooke. He served as constable of Eastham in 1670 and the next year was sued by Joseph Harding for abuse of his duties in that position. On 7 July 1682 Thomas Clarke Sr of Plymouth sued Samuel Smith of Eastham for unjustly detaining profits of a Cape Cod fishing venture. On the first Tuesday in Oct. 1686 Samuel Smith and John Mayo of Eastham were charged with netting mackerel at Cape Cod in violation of a court order.”

ii. Stephen Hopkins b: Sep 1642 Yarmouth, Plymouth colony; d. 10 Oct 1718 Harwich, Barnstable, Mass.; m1. 23 May 1667 Eastham to Mary Merrick (1650 – 1692); Stephen and Abigail Hopkins married Mary and William Merrick on the same day. The Merrick parents were William Merrick (1602 – 1688) and Rebecca Tracy (1625 – 1686) Stephen and Mary had ten children born between 1667 and 1692. Mary may well have died after giving birth;

m2. 7 Apr 1701 Eastham to Bethiah Linnell (b: 7 Feb 1641 in Barnstable – d. 25 Mar 1726 Harwich) Bethiah’s parents were Robert Linnell and Peninnah Howse. Her grandparents were Rev. John HOWSE and Abigail LLOYD. She first married 25 Mar 1664 Eastham to Henry Atkins (b. 1617, England – d. 24 Aug 1700 Eastham)

iii. John Hopkins b: 1643 Yarmouth, Plymouth colony; d. 1643

iv. Abigail Hopkins b: Oct 1644 Eastham, Plymouth Colony; d. 1691; m. 23 May 1667 Eastham to William Merrick b: 15 Sep 1643 Duxbury, Plymouth Colony – 30 Oct 1732 Harwich ) Stephen and Abigail Hopkins married Mary and William Merrick on the same day. The Merrick parents were William Merrick (1602 – 1688) and Rebecca Tracy (1625 – 1686) Abigail and William had eight children between 1668 and 1691.

v. Deborah Hopkins b: Jun 1648 Eastham, Plymouth Colony; d. Bef Dec 1727 Eastham; m. 27 Jul 1668 Eastham to Josiah Cooke (b: 1645 Eastham – d. 31 Jan 1732 Eastham ) Josiah’s parents were Josiah Cooke and Elizabeth Ring.  Some say his grandparents were our ancestors Francis COOKE and Hester le MAHIEU but serious genealogists don’t believe in this connection.  Josiah’s maternal grandparents were our ancestors William RING and Mary DURRANT. Deborah and Josiah had eight children born between 1669 and 1686.

vi. Caleb Hopkins b: Jan 1651 Eastham, Plymouth Colony; d. 22 May 1728 Harwich; m. Mary Williams (b: 1660 Eastham – d. 27 May 1709 Harwich) Mary’s parents were Thomas Williams (b: ~1615) and Elizabeth Tart (b: ~1620). Caleb and Mary had four children born between 1784 and 1709.

vii. Ruth Hopkins b: Jun 1653 Eastham, Plymouth Colony; d. dates given online vary from 1693 to 1738, in Eastham or Harwich; m. 26 May 1681 Eastham to Samuel Mayo (b: 12 Oct 1655 Eastham – d. 29 Oct 1738 Eastham) Samuel’s parents were Nathaniel Mayo and Hannah Prence. His grandparents were Gov. Thomas PRENCE and Patience BREWSTER) Hannah Prence married our ancestor Jonathan SPARROW as his second wife. Ruth and Samuel had seven children born between 1682 and 1696. Later, Samuel married 31 Aug 1728 Eastham to Mary Sweat (b: 1701 Eastham)

viii. Joshua Hopkins b: Jun 1657 Eastham, Plymouth Colony; d. Aug 1738; m. 26 May 1681 Eastham to Mary Cole (b: 10 Mar 1658 Eastham – d. 1 Mar 1733 Eastham) Mary’s parents were Daniel Cole (b: 1614) and Ruth Collier (b: 1627). Joshua and Mary had eight children born between 1684 and 1702.

ix. William Hopkins b: 9 Jan 1660 Eastham, Plymouth Colony

The will of William’s father, Giles, indicates that William was incapacitated physically or mentally, because William’s brother Stephen was required to take care of him decently: “Unto my son Stephen Hopkins and to his heirs forever: and half my stock of cattill for and in consideration of ye above sd Land and half stock of cattel my will is that after my decease my son Stephen Hopkins shall take ye care and oversight and maintaine my son William Hopkins during his natural Life in a comfortable decent manner.”

x. Elizabeth Hopkins b: Nov 1663 Eastham, Plymouth Colony; d. Dec 1663 Eastham

6. Caleb Hopkins

Caleb Hopkins volunteered to fight the Pequots with his father (Stephen) and brother Gyles.

Great Migration Begins: ” Caleb, b. Plymouth say 1624; “became a seaman & died at Barbadoes” between 1644 and 1651 [Bradford 445].”

7. Deborah Hopkins

Deborah’s husband Andrew Ring was born in 1618 in Pettistree, Suffolk, England. His parents were William RING and Mary DURRANT.  After Deborah died in  he married after 3 Oct 1673 Middleboro, Mass to Lettice Kempton.  Andrew died 22 Feb 1693 in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

There were two woman named Lettice [joy in Latin] in early Plymouth.   Lettice Hanford and Lettice Kempton  are often mixed up with four marriages between them.  There is only one recorded death:  22 Feb 1691.  Here’s my crack at unsorting the tangle.

Andrew’s second wife Lettice Kempton was about 1629 in London.  Her parents were our ancestors Ephraim KEMPTON and Hannah [__?__].  Lettice first  married 1648 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Mass to John Morton, son of George MORTON (b. 1616 in Leyden, Holland – d. 3 Oct 1673 in Plymouth, Mass.). Lettice died 22 Feb 1691 in Middleboro, Plymouth, Mass.

Lettice Hanford was baptized  8 June 1617,at Alverdiscott, Devonshire.  Her parents were Jeffrey Hanford and Eglin Hatherley.   Lettice Hanford clearly preceded her mother & younger sisters to New England.  On 10 Apr 1635, Eglin Hanford,” aged 46, & “2 daughters, Margaret Manford,” aged 16, & “Eliz[abeth] Hanford,” aged 14, along with “Rodolphus Elmes,” aged 15. & “Tho[mas] Stanley,” aged 16, were enrolled at London as passengers for New England on the Defence.)

Lettice Hanford first married  8 Apr 1635 in Scituate, Plymouth, Mass. to Edward Foster (b. 24 Jan 1590 in Frittendon, Kent, England – d. 25 Nov 1643 in Scituate, Plymouth, Mass.)  at Mr. Cudworth’s [Scituate] by Captain Standish. She was admitted to Scituate church (as “Goody Foster”) 25 December 1636. They had 3 children: Timothy, Timothy again, & Elizabeth Hewett Ray.

After Edward died, she married Edward Jenkins (1618  Kent, England – d. 1699 Scituate, Plymouth, Mass)  On 4 March 1634/5, “Edw[ar]d Jeakins,” one of seven servants of Nathaniel Tilden of Tenterden, Kent, was included in the list of passengers of the Hercules of Sandwich.  Lettice and Edward had 3-4 children: Samuel (b. 1645), (probably) Sarah Bacon, Mary Atkinson Cocke, & Thomas.  In the late 1660s and early 1670s Edward Jenkins had to come to the aid of two of his children who experienced a number of problems. On 5 Mar 1666/67, “Dinah Silvester, Sarah Smith, and the daughter of Edward Jenkens, [are] summoned to the next court.

Children of Deborah and Andrew

i. Samuel Ring b: 1649 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony

ii. Elizabeth Ring b: 19 Apr 1652 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony

iii. William Ring b: 1653 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony

iv. Eleazer Ring b: 1655 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony

v. Mary Ring b: 1657 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony

vi. Deborah Ring b: 1659 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony

vii. Susanna Ring b: 1661 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony

8. Damaris Hopkins

Damaris’ husband Jacob Cooke was born 1618 in Leyden, Zuid-Holland. His parents were Francis COOKE and Hester le MAHIEU. After Damaris died in 1668, he married 18 Nov 1669 in Plymouth to Elizabeth Lettice. Jacob and Elizabeth had two children: Sarah (b. 1671) and Rebecca (b. 1675). Jacob died 18 Dec 1675 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony

Jacob’s second wife Elizabeth Lettice was born 1636 in Lincolnshire, England. Her parents were Thomas Lettice and Anna [__?__]. Elizabeth died 31 Oct 1693 in Swansea, Bristol, Mass.

Children of Damaris and Jacob:

i. Elizabeth Cooke b: 18 Jan 1648/49 Plymouth Plymouth, Colony

ii. Caleb Cooke b: 29 Mar 1651 Plymouth Plymouth, Colony

iii. Jacob Cooke b: 26 Mar 1653 Plymouth Plymouth, Colony

iv. Mary Cooke b: 12 Jan 1657/58 Plymouth Plymouth, Colony

v. Martha Cooke b: 16 Mar 1659/60  Plymouth Plymouth, Colony

vi. Francis Cooke b: 5 Jan 1662/63 Plymouth Plymouth, Colony

vii. Ruth Cooke b: 17 Jan 1665/66 Plymouth Plymouth, Colony

Sources: An excellent book on Stephen Hopkins:

Here Shall I Die Ashore: Stephen Hopkins: Bermuda Castaway, Jamestown Survivor and Mayflower Pilgrim. By Caleb Johnson 2007

This entry was posted in 13th Generation, Artistic Representation, First Comer, Historical Church, Historical Site, Immigrant - England, Line - Shaw, Wikipedia Famous and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Stephen Hopkins

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  26. Pat says:

    Learn of the probable grandparents of Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower from the book, “Master Fancher’s Light Unto Our Path; Illuminating the Mysteries of John Faunce and Stephen Hopkins”.

    • Roger says:

      There is no substantiation of this last name that I am aware of. The second link does no even mention this as a possibility. At this juncture no last name for Mary is known.

  27. SaviSoul says:

    Excellent research! Beautiful work! Thank you so much.

  28. Pingback: The History of The Sea Venture – Bermuda Stream

  29. Connie Sue Volkman says:

    Your research mirrors mine. I’m still trying to prove that William Ring is my ancestor. I have a lot of gaps between my grandfather John and william ring. thanks for your genealogical work..

    • Barbara P says:

      Hi Connie,
      Thank you for your message! I have a large collection of genealogical information set aside for me. Unfortunately, Covid is preventing me from obtaining the papers being that I’m two states away and there are travel restrictions. I’ll see if I can find anything on your ancestors. Our library here in Rhode Island has a genealogy room that provides many books as well as a computer for Internet research. The library owns subscriptions for anyone to use. They approve of taking pictures and said we can only use pencils. Libraries are a great source of information! I hope this helps. Lastly, for years many of us were searching for the names of Giles and Constance’s mother’s name. It’s Mary Kent. Let’s keep in touch and we can share our findings! Thanks so much for contacting me! All the best, Barbara (I have a new email address since my existing one is close to running out of space)

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