Name: Stephen Hopkins
Birth: Abt 1580 in Hursley, Hampshire
Baptism: 30 Apr 1581 Upper Clatford, Hampshire 1
Death: Jul 1644 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
"Stephen Hopkins was one of only a few passengers on the Mayflower to have made a prior trip to America. He came in 1609 on the Sea Venture headed for Jamestown, Virginia. But instead, they were marooned on Bermuda following a hurricane, and the 150 passengers and crew were stranded for nine months. Hopkins led an uprising, challenging the governor's authority, and was sentenced to death. But he begged and moaned about the ruin of his wife and children, and was pardoned out of sympathy. The company managed to build two ships in nine months, and continue on to Jamestown. After spending several years in Jamestown, Hopkins returned to England sometime between 1613 and 1617.
_TEXT: YES 2
Stephen Hopkins brought with him on the Mayflower his wife Elizabeth, children Giles and Constance by his first marriage, and Damaris by his second marriage. A son Oceanus was born while the Mayflower was at sea. Stephen participated in the early exploring missions and was an "ambassador" along with Myles Standish for early Indian relations.
Stephen Hopkins is mentioned in a letter written by William Bradford and Isaac Allerton on 8 September 1623, which was found in uncalendered papers at the Public Records Office in London. The letter was presented as evidence for the defense in the 1624 court case Stevens and Fell vs. the Little James. The letter is published in American Historical Review 8:294-301(1903).
In 1636, Hopkins was fined for the battery of John Tisdale, in 1637 he was found guilty of allowing men to drink on a Sunday at his house, and in 1638 he was fined for not dealing fairly with an apprentice-girl, Dorothy Temple. He was also charged with several other minor crimes, including selling glass at too high a price, selling illegal intoxicants, and allowing men to get drunk at his house. However, this in 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." -- modified from Graham/Pearse. Original source unknown.
"Stephen Hopkins was the only Mayflower passenger previously in America and he was useful in instructing the pilgrims how to survive from 1620-1623. At 19, he served the English navy during the battle with the Spanish Armada in 1588. [note -- this probably isn't true, since he was apparently born abt 1579.]. In 1602, he voyaged with Capt. Gosnold, who named Cape Cod [unreferenced] .In 1608, he voyaged to Jamestown, VA. In 1618, he voyaged to Pemaquid, ME [unreferenced]. On Dec. 8, 1620, he was at the First Encounter in Eastham, Mass. He died July 1, 1644 in Plymouth.
Stephen's 1st wife was Mary (maiden name unknown ). Their children were Giles, c 1607, and Constance. His 2nd wife was Elizabeth Fisher, whom he married on Feb. 19, 1617/18 in St. Mary's Church in Whitechapel, London, England.
Stephen Hopkins a friend of Myles Standish, in England, where they were "merchant adventurers."
Stephen and Elizabeth came over on the Mayflower with Stephen's children Giles and Constance. Stephen, Giles, and Constance Hopkins were among the earliest settlers of Plymouth, and Giles Hopkins was one of the earliest settlers of Yarmouth, in 1638. Nicholas Snow married Constance Hopkins, and they were the earliest settlers of Eastham.
Stephen Hopkins was in the Military Company of Barque Mayflower, Capt. Myles Standish.
From "The True Origin of Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower," in the July issue of "The American Genealogist" (Vol. 73, No.3 ), revealing major new evidence of Hopkins' life in England, prior to the historic Mayflower voyage, the important corrections are the following:
"Stephen Hopkins was of Hursley, Hampshire, England, originally. His first child, Elizabeth Hopkins, was baptized there May 13, 1604. His second child, Constance Hopkins, was baptized there May 11, 1606. His 3rd child, Giles Hopkins, was baptized there Jan. 30, 1607/08. Mary Hopkins, 1st wife of Stephen Hopkins, whose maiden name is unknown, was buried at Hursley May 9, 1613. 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. Stephen's 2nd marriage and his children by Elizabeth Fisher (2nd wife ) are the same as already written widely about. But he never married a wife named Constance Dudley, nor did he come from Wooten-under-Edge." -- source Jean Mayo
Great Migration Begins:
MIGRATION: 1620 on Mayflower
FIRST RESIDENCE: Plymouth
OCCUPATION: Tanner [disputed] and merchant.
FREEMAN: In the "1633" list of Plymouth freemen Stephen Hopkins is near the head of the list, included among the assistants [PCR 1:3]. In list of Plymouth Colony freemen, 7 March 1636/7 (as "Steephen Hopkins, gen.") [ PCR 1:52]. In the Plymouth section of the 1639 Plymouth Colony list of freemen (as "Mr. Steephen Hopkins," annotated "dead") [ PCR 8:173].
EDUCATION: He signed his will. The inventory included "diverse books" valued at 12s.
OFFICES: Assistant, 1633-36 [ PCR 1:5, 21, 32, 36].
Volunteered for service in the Pequot War, 1637 [ PCR 1:61].
ESTATE: In the 1623 Plymouth division of land "Steven Hobkins" received six acres as a passenger on the Mayflower [ PCR 12:4]. In the 1627 Plymouth division of cattle Stephen Hopkins, his wife Elizabeth Hopkins, Gyles Hopkins, Caleb Hopkins and Deborah Hopkins are the first five persons in the seventh company, and Damaris Hopkins is the thirteenth person in the eighth company [ PCR 12:11, 12].
In the Plymouth tax list of 25 March 1634 Stephen Hopkins was assessed £1 7s., and in the list of 27 March 1634 £1 10s. [ PCR 1:9, 27]. "Steven Hopkins" was one of the Purchasers [ PCR 2:177].
On 1 July 1633 "Mr. Hopkins" was ordered to mow where he had mowed the year before [ PCR 1:15], followed by similar orders on 14 March 1635/6 and 20 March 1636/7 [ PCR 1:41, 57].
On 5 February 1637/8 "Mr. Stephen Hopkins requesteth a grant of lands towards the Six Mile Brook" [ PCR 1:76].
On 7 August 1638 "[l]iberty is granted to Mr. Steephen Hopkins to erect a house at Mattacheese, and cut hay there this year to winter his cattle, provided that it be not to withdraw him from the town of Plymouth" [ PCR 1:93].
On 17 July 1637 "Steephen Hopkins of Plymouth, gent.," sold to George Boare of Scituate, yeoman, "all that his messuage, houses, tenements, outhouses lying and being at the Broken Wharfe towards the Eele River together with the six shares of lands thereunto belonging containing six acres" [ PCR 12:21]. On 30 November 1638 "Mr. Steephen Hopkins" sold to Josias Cooke "all those his six acres of land lying on the south side of the Town Brook of Plymouth" [ PCR 12:39]. On 8 June 1642 William Chase mortgaged to "Mr. Stephen Hopkins ... all that his house and lands in Yarmouth containing eight acres of upland and six acres more lying at the Stony Cove" [ PCR 12:83].
On 1 June 1640 "Mr. Hopkins" was granted twelve acres of meadow [ PCR 1:154, 166].
In his will, dated 6 June 1644 and proved 20 August 1644, Stephen Hopkins "of Plymouth ... weake yet in good and perfect memory" directed that he be buried "as near as conveniently may be to my wife, deceased," and bequeathed to "son Giles Hopkins" the great bull now in the hands of Mrs. Warren; to "Steven Hopkins my son Giles his son" 20s. in Mrs. Warren's hands; to "daughter Constanc[e] Snow, wife of Nicholas ... my mare"; to "daughter Deborah Hopkins" cows; to "daughter Damaris Hopkins" cows; to "daughter Ruth" cows; to "daughter Elizabeth" cows; to "four daughters Deborah, Damaris, Ruth and Elizabeth Hopkins" all the moveable goods; if any of the daughters die, their share to be divided equally among the survivors; to "son Caleb heir apparent" house and lands at Plymouth, one pair of oxen and hire of them and all the debts "now owing unto me"; daughters to have free recourse to use of the house in Plymouth while single; "son Caleb" executor; Caleb and Captain Standish joint supervisors [PCPR 1:1:61].
The inventory of the estate of Stephen Hopkins was taken 17 July 1644 and was untotalled, with no real estate included [ PCPR 1:1:62-63].
On 28 October 1644 "Caleb Hopkins son and heir unto Mr. Steephen Hopkins of Plymouth deceased" deeded to "Gyles Hopkins of Yarmouth, planter, one hundred acres of those lands taken up for the Purchasers of Satuckquett which said lands do accrue unto the said Steephen as a Purchaser" [ PCR 12:104].
BIRTH: By about 1579 based on estimated date of first marriage.
DEATH: Plymouth between 6 June 1644 (writing of will) and 17 July 1644 (proving of will).
COMMENTS: Caleb Johnson's discovery [ TAG 73:161-71] of the family of Stephen Hopkins in Hursley, Hampshire, eliminates at last the suggestion that Stephen Hopkins was son of Stephen Hopkins, a clothier, of Wortley, Wooten Underedge, Gloucestershire [MF 6:3, citing "[t]he Wortley historian"].
Johnson's discovery also strengthens the argument that this was the same Stephen Hopkins who was the minister's clerk on the vessel Sea Venture which met with a hurricane in 1609 while on a voyage to Virginia [ TAG 73:165-66]. One of one hundred and fifty survivors marooned on a Bermuda, he fomented a mutiny and was sentenced to death, but "so penitent he was and made so much moan, alleging the ruin of his wife and children in this his trespass," that his friends procured a pardon from the Governor [ MF [3v 6:3, citing William Strachey's account].
In his listing of the Mayflower passengers Bradford included "Mr. Stephen Hopkins and Elizabeth his wife, and two children called Giles and Constanta, a daughter, both by a former wife. And two more by this wife called Damaris and Oceanus; the last was born at sea. And two servants called Edward Doty and Edward Lester" [ Bradford 442]. Stephen Hopkins signed the Mayflower Compact. In his accounting of this family in 1651 Bradford reported that "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" [ Bradford 445].
In June 1621 Steven Hopkins and Edward Winslow were chosen by the governor to approach Massasoit, and Hopkins repeated this duty as emissary frequently thereafter [Young's Pilgrim Fathers 202, 204].
Despite his social standing and his early public service, Stephen Hopkins managed to run afoul of the authorities several times in the late 1630s. In June of 1636 while an Assistant, he was fined for battery of John Tisdale, whom he "dangerously wounded" [ PCR 1:41-42]. On 2 October 1637 he was fined for allowing drinking on the Lord's day and the playing of "shovell board" [ PCR 1:68] and on 2 January 1637/8 he was "presented for suffering excessive drinking in his house" [ PCR 1:75]. On 5 June 1638 he was "presented for selling beer for 2d. the quart, not worth 1d. a quart" [ PCR 1:87]; for this and other similar infractions he was on 4 September 1638 fined £5 [ PCR 1:97]. He dealt harshly with his pregnant servant Dorothy Temple and only the intercession of John Holmes freed him from being held in contempt of court [ PCR 1:111-13]. In December 1639 he was presented for selling a looking glass for 16d. when a similar glass could be bought in the Bay for 9d. [ PCR 1:137].
Mary b: est 1585 in England
MARRIAGE: (1) By 1604 Mary _____; she was buried at Hursley, Hampshire, 9 May 1613 [TAG 73:169]. 3
i ELIZABETH, bp. Hursley, Hampshire, 13 Mar 1604 [ TAG 73:170]; living on 12 May 1613 [ TAG 73:165]; no further record. [baptism date corrected from May]
ii CONSTANCE, bp. Hursley, Hampshire, 11 May 1606 [ TAG 73:170]; m. Plymouth by 1627 NICHOLAS SNOW (in the 1627 Plymouth division of cattle "Nickolas Snow" and "Constance Snow" were the sixth and seventh persons in the seventh company, which was headed by Stephen Hopkins [ PCR 12:11]).
ii GILES, bp. Hursley, Hampshire, 30 January 1607/8 [ TAG 73:170]; m. Plymouth 9 October 1639 Catherine Whelden [ PCR 1:134;TAG 48:5].
- Elizabeth Hopkins
- Constance Hopkins
- Gyles Hopkins
Elizabeth Fisher b: est 1595 in England
9 Feb 1618
in St. Mary Matfelon, Whitechapel, London 4 3
Stephen Hopkins brought with him on the Mayflower his wife Elizabeth, children Giles and Constance by his first marriage, and Damaris by his second marriage. A son Oceanus was born while the Mayflower was at sea. 3
Great Migration Begins:
MARRIAGE: (2) St. Mary Matfellon, Whitechapel, London, 19 February 1617/8 Elizabeth Fisher. She died at Plymouth sometime in the early 1640s before her husband, who desired to be buried near her; Bradford indicated that both she and her husband had lived in Plymouth above twenty years.
iii DAMARIS, b. say 1618; probably died at Plymouth before the birth of her sister of the same name.
iv OCEANUS, b. at sea on the Mayflower voyage between 16 September and 11 November 1620; died by 1627.
v CALEB, b. Plymouth say 1624; "became a seaman & died at Barbadoes" between 1644 and 1651 [Bradford 445].
vi DEBORAH, b. Plymouth say 1626; m. Plymouth 23 April 1646 as his first wife Andrew Ring [ PCR 2:98; TAG 42:202-05], daughter of widow MARY RING .
vii DAMARIS, b. Plymouth say 1628; m. Plymouth shortly after 10 June 1646 Jacob Cooke [MD 2:27-8], son of FRANCIS COOKE . (Since this Damaris was still bearing children in the early 1670s, she cannot be the same as the Damaris who came on the Mayflower.)
viii RUTH, b. Plymouth say 1630; d. after 30 November 1644 and before spring 1651 [ Bradford 445]; unm.
ix ELIZABETH, b. Plymouth say 1632; believed to have died by 6 October 1659 when her property was appraised "in case Elizabeth Hopkins do come no more" [ MD 4:114-19]; unm.
- Damaris Hopkins b: 1618 in England
- Oceanus Hopkins b: Nov 1620 in Mayflower, At Sea
- Caleb Hopkins b: 1623 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
- Deborah Hopkins b: 1625 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
- Damaris Hopkins b: 22 May 1627 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
- Ruth Hopkins b: Abt 1630 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
- Elizabeth Hopkins b: Abt 1632 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
- Title: Caleb Johnson's MayflowerHistory.com
Author: Caleb Johnson
- Title: Graham/Pearse Family
Author: Kathy Pearse
Page: Stephen Hopkins
Text: New discoveries regarding Stephen Hopkins have recently been made, which disprove most all information that has been previously published on his English origins, and add significant new facts. This new information is published in an article in the July 1998 issue of the American Genealogist 73:161-171. He did not marry Constance Dudley, a claim which was disproved in a fore mentioned article.
The Mayflower Quarterly has published a number of factually baseless articles on Stephen Hopkins's genealogy, most recently in the November 1997 and August 1998 issues. These articles should not be used by anyone concerned about genealogical accuracy; there is a highly erroneous biography published by Margaret Hodges, titled Hopkins of the Mayflower: Portrait of a Dissenter. The genealogical information in these workes are flat out wrong, and easily proven so with primary source documentation.
Stephen Hopkins was not from Wrotley, Wotton-Under-Edge, Glouchestershire, as has been previously published in numerous books and articles.
- Title: The Great Migration Begins. Immigrants to New England 1620-1633
Author: Robert Charles Anderson
Publication: 1995. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society. Great Migration Study Project.
Page: Stephen Hopkins
- Title: Stephen Hopkins family
Sources for Stephen Hopkins family: Caleb Johnson, "The True Origin of Stephen Hopkins," The American Genealogist, July 1998, 292:161+; Charles Edward Banks, "The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers," Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore 1989, pp 61-64
Page: Stephen Hopkins family