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Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower

Mayflower passenger Stephen Hopkins may have been the same Stephen Hopkins who was on board the Sea Venture, which was shipwrecked in Bermuda in 1609. The Sea Venture was part of a fleet of 9 ships under the command of Sir George Somers and Sir William Gates. Scattered by a hurricane, some of the ships made their way to Jamestown. The Sea Venture, however, was wrecked off Bermuda. The Stephen Hopkins of the Sea Venture (and possibly the Mayflower) was a minister’s clerk who fomented a mutiny on the grounds that the authority of the governor ceased when the ship was wrecked. This Stephen Hopkins was sentenced to death, but pardoned, with reference made to his [unnamed] wife and children. This Stephen Hopkins spent a further two years in the English colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia.

Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower had two wives. The name of his first wife is unknown. His second wife was named Elizabeth Fisher, she and Stephen were married in London in 1618. Elizabeth died in Plymouth in 1639. Stephen Hopkins had two children by his first wife, and 7 by his second.

Elizabeth Hopkins accompanied her husband Stephen on the Mayflower. With them were Stephen’s two children by his first marriage (Giles and Constanta), and Elizabeth and Stephen’s daughter Damaris. Their son, Oceanus, was born while the Mayflower was at sea.

Stephen Hopkins had positions of responsibility in the Colony. Hopkins and Edward Winslow were chosen to approach Massasoit and Hopkins repeated this duty as emissary. He nevertheless ran afoul of the law several times, for assault, for not properly regulating other people’s alcohol intake, and for overpricing.

Stephen Hopkins died between 6 June 1644, when his will was made, and 17 July 1644, when the inventory of his estate was taken. Click here for the text of his will and the inventory of his estate.

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