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By Muriel L. Curtis Cushing

Date of birth: unknown
Baptized: 30 Apr 1581, Upper Clatford, Hampshire, England
Marriage 1: Mary (maiden name unknown) prior to 1604
Children: Three (3)
1. Elizabeth bpt. 1604, Hursley Hampshire, England
2. Constance bpt. 11 May 1606, Hursley, Hampshire, England. Married Nicholas Snow
3. Giles bpt. 30 Jan 1607/8, Hursley Hampshire, England. Married Katharine Whelden.
Marriage 2: Elizabeth Fisher, 19 February 1617/18, St. Mary Matfellon, Whatechapel, Middlesex, England.
Children: Seven (7)
1. Damaris, died young, by 1627. Came on Mayflower.
2. Oceanus, born at sea on the Mayflower voyage. Died by 1627.
3. Caleb, died in Barbados between 1644 and 1651
4. Deborah, married Andrew Ring
5. Damaris, married Jacob Cooke
6. Ruth, died unmarried before 1651
7. Elizabeth
Death: between 6 June 1644 and 17 July 1644, at Plymouth, MA
Burial Site: unknown

 

'Departure of the Pilgrim Fathers (Delft Haven)' by T.W. Knight

  • Stephen Hopkins was one of the Londoners or strangers recruited for the voyage. He was called Mater and gentleman.
  • Stephen was a merchant or leather maker.
  • Two servants (Edward Doty and Edward Lister) came with Hopkins on the Mayflower.
  • Elizabeth Hopkins accompanied her husband Stephen. With them were Stephen's two children by his first marriage (Giles and Constance) and Damaris, the daughter of Elizabeth and Stephen.
  • Stephen Hopkins went with the ship Sea Venture on a voyage to Jamestown, Virginia in 1609 as a minister's clerk, but the ship wrecked in the "Isle of Devils" in the Bermudas. Stranded on an island for ten months, the passengers and crew survived on turtles, birds and wild pigs. Six months into the castaway, Stephen Hopkins and several others organized a mutiny against the current governor. The mutiny was discovered and Stephen was sentenced to death. However, he pleaded with sorrow and tears. "Sp penitent he was, and made so much moan, alleging the ruin of his wife and children in this his trespass, as it wrought in the hearts of all the better sorts of the company." He managed to get his sentence commuted. Eventually the castaways built two small ships and sailed themselves to Jamestown arriving 24 May 1610. While Stephen was gone, his wife Mary died.
  • He was a signer of the Mayflower Compact.
  • He was a member of the first expedition that left the ship to find a place to settle; he also was in the first party that went ashore at Plymouth Rock; and was the first white man of the colony to entertain an Native American at his house overnight.
  • He went with Edward Winslow and Squanto on the first embassy sent to Massasoit to conclude a treaty.
  • He was a member of the first council of Governor's Assistants after the incorporation of Plymouth—a position to which he was chosen for three years in succession (1632-1635).

  • By the late 1630s, however, Stephen began to occasionally run afoul of the Plymouth authorities, as he apparently opened up a hop and served alcohol.
  • In 1636 he got into a fight with John Tisdale and seriously wounded him. In 1637, he was fined for allowing drinking and shuffleboard playing on Sunday. Early the next year he was fined for allowing people to drink excessively in his house.
  • While Stephen Hopkins was very religious, he was contentious and defiant of authority and possessed enough learning to undertake to wrest leadership from others.
  • He seems to have been fairly prosperous, for toward the close of his life he purchased a share in a vessel of 40 to 50 tons, valued at two hundred pounds sterling.
  • On June 6, 1644, he made his will. The exact date of his death is unknown; but it must have been before July 17, for then his inventory was taken. In his will, witnessed by Gov. Bradford and Capt. Standish, he passes by his oldest son, Giles, and makes Caleb, the only son of his second wife, his executor.
  • His eldest son Giles removed to Yarmouth in late 1638 or early 1693. Giles brother Caleb conveyed 100 acres to him 28 Oct 1644, a few months after his father's death. Giles then moved to Eastham where he lived the rest of his life. Stephen bequeathed livestock to each of his children and to his daughters Deborah, Damaris, Ruth and Elizabeth all the moveable goods that belonged to his home and the right to live in his home in Plymouth whenever and for as long as they liked while they were single.

 

REFERENCES
General Society of Mayflower Descendants
Mayflower Families Through Five Generations (Silver Books)
Pilgrim Hall Museum
One Hundred & Eleven Questions & Answers Concerning the Pilgrims, by William P. Muttart and Linda R. Ashley
Caleb Johnson's MayflowerHistory.com