Akron, OH -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/30/2016 -- Stephen Hopkins was from Hampshire, England. He married his first wife, Mary, and resided in the parish of Hursley, Hampshire. They had three (3) children: Elizabeth, Constance, and Giles; all baptized there. It has long been claimed that the Hopkins family was from Wortley, Gloucester, but this was disproven in 1998 with the discovery of his true origins in Hursley.
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" (Bermuda). 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. "So 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 a small ship and sailed themselves to Jamestown. How long Stephen remained in Jamestown is not known. However, while he was gone, his wife Mary died. She was buried in Hursley on 9 May 1613, and left behind a probate estate which mentions her children Elizabeth, Constance and Giles.
Stephen was back in England by 1617, when he married Elizabeth Fisher, but apparently had every intention of bringing his family back to Virginia. Their first child, Damaris, was born about 1618. In 1620, Stephen Hopkins brought his wife and children Constance, Giles, and Damaris on the Mayflower (child Elizabeth apparently had died). Stephen was a fairly active member of the Pilgrim group shortly after arrival, perhaps a result of his being one of the few individuals who had been to Virginia previously. He was a part of all the early exploring missions, and was used as an "expert" on Native Americans for the first few contacts. While out exploring, Stephen recognized and identified an Indian deer trap. And when Samoset walked into Plymouth and welcomed the English, he was housed in Stephen Hopkins' house for the night. Stephen was also sent on several of the ambassadorial missions to meet with the various Indian groups in the region.
Stephen was an assistant to the governor through 1636, and volunteered for the Pequot War of 1637 but was never called to serve. By the late 1630s, however, Stephen began to occasionally run afoul of the Plymouth authorities, as he apparently opened up a shop 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: guest William Reynolds was fined, but the others were acquitted. In 1638 he was twice fined for selling beer at twice the actual value, and in 1639 he was fined for selling a looking glass for twice what it would cost if bought in the Bay Colony. Also in 1638, Stephen Hopkins' maidservant got pregnant from Arthur Peach, who was subsequently executed for murdering an Indian. The Plymouth Court ruled he was financially responsible for her and her child for the next two years (the amount remaining on her term of service). Stephen, in contempt of court, threw Dorothy out of his household and refused to provide for her, so the court committed him to custody. John Holmes stepped in and purchased Dorothy's remaining two years of service from him: agreeing to support her and child.
Stephen died in 1644, and made out a will, asking to be buried near his wife, and naming his surviving children.
BAPTISM: 30 April 1581 at Upper Clatford, Hampshire, England, son of John and Elizabeth (Williams) Hopkins.
FIRST MARRIAGE: Mary, possibly the daughter of Robert and Joan (Machell) Kent of Hursley, co. Hampshire, prior to 1604.
SECOND MARRIAGE: Elizabeth Fisher on 19 February 1617/8 at St. Mary Matfellon, Whitechapel, co. Middlesex, England.
CHILDREN (by Mary): Elizabeth, Constance, and Giles.
CHILDREN (by Elizabeth): Damaris, Oceanus, Caleb, Deborah, Damaris, Ruth, and Elizabeth.
DNA HAPLOGROUP: R1b-M269
Master Christopher Jones and several business partners purchased the ship Mayflower about 1607. Its origins prior to that remain uncertain. Its first documented voyage of record was to Trondheim, Norway, in 1609. Andrew Pawling hired the ship to take a cargo of London goods to Norway, sell them off, and buy Norway goods (lumber, tar, and fish) to return back to England. Unfortunately on the return voyage, the Mayflower encountered a severe North Sea storm and the master and crew were forced to toss most of Pawlings goods overboard to lighten the ship. The home of Master Christopher Jones: Harwich, co. Essex, England.
Following that, Christopher Jones seems to have stuck with safer trading routes. The Mayflower made numerous trips primarily to Bordeaux, France, returning to London with cargoes of French wine, Cognac, vinegar, and salt. The Mayflower could freight about 180 tons of cargo. The Mayflower also made occasional voyages to other ports, including once to Malaga, Spain, and twice to Hamburg, Germany.
Upon returning from a voyage to Bordeaux, France, in May 1620, the Mayflower and master Christopher Jones were hired to take the Pilgrims to Northern Virginia. This was the first recorded trans-Atlantic voyage for both ship and master, though Christopher Jones had several crewmembers, including pilot and master's mates John Clarke and Robert Coppin, who had been to the New World before.
The Mayflower was supposed to accompany another ship, the Speedwell, to America, but the Speedwell proved too leaky for the voyage so the Mayflower proceeded alone. Departing on 6 September 1620, the ship was at sea for 66 days, arriving November 9. The ship and crew overwintered with the Pilgrims and departed back for England on 5 April 1621, arriving back to England on May 6.
Christopher Jones took the ship out for a few more trading runs, but he died a couple of years later in March 1621/2. The ship was appraised for probate purposes in May 1624, and was referred to as being "in ruins." It was only valued at 128 pounds sterling, and was almost certainly broken up and sold off as scrap.
The End of the Mayflower: "Mayflower's End," by Mike Haywood. The Mayflower returned to England from Plymouth Colony, arriving back on 9 May 1621. Christopher Jones took the ship out on a trading voyage to Rochelle, France, in October 1621, returning with a cargo of Bay salt. Christopher Jones, master and quarter-owner of the Mayflower, died and was buried at Rotherhithe, co. Surrey, England, on 5 March 1621/2. No further record of the Mayflower is found until May 1624, when it was appraised for the purposes of probate and was described as being in ruins. The ship was almost certainly sold off as scrap.
The claim, first originating from J. Rendel Harris' book The Finding of the Mayflower (1920), that the Mayflower ended up as a barn in Jordans, England, is now widely discredited as being a figment of an overzealous imagination on the tercentenary anniversary of the Mayflower's voyage, combined with a tainted oral history. None of the evidence has withstood subsequent investigation. Regardless of the lack of evidence for its authenticity, it has been featured in National Geographic on several occasions and is a tourist destination. It is important to realize that in 1624, when the ship was scrapped, it was not at all famous, and nobody would have thought twice about letting it rot away.
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MayflowerHistory.com, the Internet's most complete and accurate website dealing with the Mayflower passengers and the history of the Pilgrims and early Plymouth Colony. The website was first created back in 1994 (when the web was still mostly text!) as a simple, but complete, passenger list of the Mayflower. It has grown over the past twenty years as the author, historian Caleb Johnson, has researched and compiled material.