Stephen Hopkins1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

M, b. circa 1580, d. before 17 July 1644
     Stephen was born circa 1580 in Hampshire, England. He married Mary there circa 1603. Stephen's wife, Mary, died before 9 May 1613 in Hampshire, England, leaving him a widower. Stephen married 2nd Elizabeth Fisher on 19 February 1617/18 in Greater London, County Middlesex, England, at St. Mary Matfellon, Whitechapel. On 6 September 1620, Stephen and his family left from Southampton, England aboard the ship, the "Mayflower", bound for New England. Accompanying him on the voyage were his wife Eliabeth, his children Giles, Constance, Damaris, and a daughter, Oceanus, who was born at sea. They landed at Plymouth on the 11th of November. He had been chosen by Miles Standish for the expedition and of the seventeen freeman aboard the ship he was one of three men given the title of "Master"..9 They settled at Plymouth where they spent the remainder of their lives. He made his will 6 June 1644.

The sixth 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 be buryed 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 ll 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 atthe 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 tha 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 shal be 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, William Bradford.10

Stephen departed this life in Plymouth. He probably died at his home. The inventory of Stephen's estate was taken on Sunday, 17 July 1644. It was taken by Captain Miles Standish, Mr. Thomas Willet & Mr. John Done.11

Additional Notes:

Stephen & his family settled at Plymouth. Stephen was noted of London at the time he was recruited for this voyage by Miles Standish. He was one of three of seventeen free men on the voyage called "Master". He may have originated from the family of Hopkins, alias Seborne, located for several generations at Wortley, Wotton Underedge, County Glouchester, England. He may have been the son of Stephen Hopkins, a clothier of Wortley who also had son Robert Hopkins of London. "Stephen Hopkins was probably the young man of that name who served as minister's clerk on the vessel "Sea Venture" which sailed from London 2 June 1609, bound for Virginia. The ship was severely damaged in a hurricane, and the company was washed ashore on the Bermudan "Ile of Divels" on 28 July. The 150 survivors were marooned on the island for nine months, building two vessels which ultimately took them to Virginia. During the sojourn Stephen Hopkins encouraged an uprising by his fellows upon grounds that the Governor's authority pertained only to the voyage and the regime in Virginia, not to the forced existence in Bermuda. For his remarks he was placed under guard, brought before the company in manacles and sentenced to death by court-martial. "But so penitent hee was and made so much moane, alleadging the ruine of his Wife and Children in this his trespasse," according to William Strachey's record of the voyage, that friends among his cohorts procured a pardon from the Governor. The two newly built vessels, the "Patience" and the "Deliverance" arrived at Jamestown on 24 May 1610, but no evidence has been found of Hopkins' residence there, and it is presumed he soon returned to his family in England. Strachey noted that while Hopkins was very religious, he was contentious and defiant of authority and possessed enough learning to undertake wrest leadership from others. The home in England of Stephen Hopkins was just outside of London Wall on the high road entering the city at Aldgate in the vicinity of Heneage House. In this neighborhood lived John Carver and William Bradford of the Mayflower Company; Robert Cushman, the London agent for the Pilgrims; and Edward Southworth, who later came to New England. Stephen was called a tanner or leathermaker at the time of the Mayflower voyage. The name of Stephen's first wife remains unknown. No authority has been found for the often published identification of her as Constance Dudley." Two men servants, Edward Doty and Edward Lister, came on the Mayflower with the family. Their son Oceanus was born during the voyage. Upon the ship's arrival at Cape Cod 11 Nov 1620, Stephen was among the men signing the Mayflower Compact in the cabin. He was one of three men designated to provide counsel and advice to Captain Myles Standish on the first land expedition of the Pilgrims in the New World. During the third day out, the company chanced upon an Indian deer trap, and Stephen was able to explain its function and danger to his fellows. In February of 1620/21, when Indians appeared on a neighboring hilltop, Captain Standish took Stephen Hopkins with him to negotiate with the savages. Thereafter, Stephen was invariably deputized to meet the Indians and act as an interpreter. In July of 1621 he served as envoy to friendly Chief Massasoit, and he made a friend for the colonists of Samoset, another Indian whom Stephen entertained in his home. Despite the mortality caused by tribulations of the first Pilgrim winter in New England, Stephen Hopkins' household of eight persons was one of only four households that escaped loss. Stephen Hopkins was referred to as a merchant and a planter in Plymouth records, also as "Gentleman" and "Master". He received a six-acre lot in the division of land in 1623 and later had other plots by grant or purchase. It is stated that he kept for his home throughout his life at Plymouth the lot on the easterly corner of Main and Leyden Streets that had been assigned to him on arrival. He built and owned the first wharf in Plymouth Colony of which there is record, selling it for sixty pounds in July of 1637. He built a house at Yarmouth on Cape Cod but returned to Plymouth and gave the Yarmouth dwelling to son Giles, who remained there. Stephen Hopkins was made freeman by 1633 and served with sons Giles and Caleb and son-in-law Jacob Cooke as "Voluntary" in the Pequot War of 1637. He held the position of Assistant in the Colony from at least 1633 to 1636. Probably because of his status in the Colony as a "stranger", Stephen Hopkins found himself on occasion in official difficulty. In June of 1636, while serving as Assistant, he was fined for battery of John Tisdale. In 1637 and 1638 he was charged with various indiscretions involving the sale of intoxicants and other items at his dwelling. In 1638/9 he was found in contempt of court for refusing to deal fairly with Dorothy Temple, an apprentice girl, and in December of 1639 he was charged with selling a looking glass at an excessive price. The will of Stephen Hopkins, dated 6 June 1644, was proved upon testimony of William Bradford and Captain Myles Standish at a General Court at Plymouth on 20 Aug 1644, Calling himself of Plymouth in New England and "weake yet in good and prfect memory," he directed that his body be "buryed as neare as convenyently may be to my wyfe, Deceased." He made these bequests: To son Giles Hopkins the great bull now in the hands of Mris. Warren. To Stevnen Hopkins "my sonn Giles his sonne" 20 shillings in Mris Warren's hands for the hire of said bull. To dau. Constanc Snow, wife of Nicholas, "my mare" To dau. Deborah Hopkins "the brodhorned black cowe and her calf and half the Cowe called Motley". To dau. Damaris Hopkins "the Cowe called Damaris heiffer and the white faced calf and half the cowe called Mottley." To dau. 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." To dau. Elizabeth "the Cowe called Smykins and her calf and thother half of the Curld Cowe wth Ruth and an yearelinge heiffer wthout a tayle in the keepeing of Gyles Hopkins at Yarmouth." To four daus. Deborah, Damaris, Ruth and Elizabeth Hopkins, all the moveable goods that belonged to his house, "and in case any of my said daughters should be talken away by death before they be marryed then...their division to be equally devided amongst the Survivors." To son Caleb, "heire pparent," house and lands at Plymouth, one pair of oxen and the hire of them, then in the hands of Richard Church, and "all my debts which are now oweing unto me." The testator reserved to his daus. "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." He named son Caleb as executor, and Caleb and Captain Standish as joint supervisors of the will. The inventory of his goods, taken by Captain Standish, Thomas Willet and John Doane on 17 July 1644, listed livestock (fifteen neat cattle, a horse and other stock), household goods, clothing, tools and more than seventeen pounds owed to Hopkins by debtors. The estate was given a total value of about 130 pounds. The division of his moveable estate to daus. Deborah, Damaris, Ruth and Elizabeth was made by son Caleb and Captain Standish on 30 Nov 1644. In his list of the Mayflower passengers, Governor Bradford included: "Mr. Steven Hopkins, and Elizabeth, his wife, and 2 children, caled Giles and Constanta, a doughter, both by a former wife; and 2 more by his wife caled Damaris and Oceanus; the last was borne at sea; and two servants, called Edward Doty adn Edward Lister." Taking note of changes after 30 years, Bradford wrote of the Hopkins family in the spring of 1651: "Mr. Hopkins and his wife are now both dead, but they lived above 20 years in this place, and had one sone and 4 doughters borne here. Ther sone became a seaman, and dyed at Barbadoes; one daughter dyed here, and 2 are maried, one of them hath 2 children; and one is yet to mary. So their increase which still survive are 5. But doughter Constanta is also maried, and hath 12 children, all of them living, and one of them maried."

Family 1

Mary d. b 9 May 1613

Family 2

Elizabeth Fisher b. c 1596, d. b 6 Oct 1659


  1. [S297] Leon Clark Hills, History and Genealogy of the Mayflower Planters and First Commers to Ye Olde Colonie - Cape Cod Series, Volume I: page 142.
  2. [S478] Caleb Johnson, The True Orgins of Mayflower Passenger Stephen Hopkins.
  3. [S457] Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633.
  4. [S905] Stephen Hopkins, page 165 - It has to be proven that Stephen HopkinsS sailed aboard the Sea Venture bound for Virginia, but is is quite possible.
    page 167 - Criminal* Sep 04, 1638 Plymouth, Plymouth County, MA; was fined "for selling wine, beere, strong waters, and nutmegs at excessive rates"
    page 169 - Land Divis* purchased 1623 land in Plymouth, Plymouth County, MA; six acres indicating five people in his household, (since Stephen should have an extra share) ... May 22, 1627 Plymouth, Plymouth County, MA; In the cattle division, the seventh lot "fell to Stephen Hopkins and his companie joyned to him"; wife Elizabeth Hopkins, Gyles Hopkins, Caleb Hopkins, Debora Hopkins, Nichollas Snow, Constance Snow, Wil an unknown place iam Palmer, Frances Palmer, Wil an unknown place iam Palmer Jr., John Billington Sr., Hellen Billington, and Frances Billington.
  5. [S907] W. B. Trask, Abstract of Early Wills, page 75.
  6. [S908] Ralph Phillips, Hopkins Family of Wortley, Gloucestershire--Possible Ancestry of Stephen Hopkins, Volume 9: pages 95-97.
  7. [S404] Reverand B. F. De Costa, Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower.
  8. [S731] George Ernest Bowman, The Mayflower Genealogies, Stephen Hopkins & His Descendants.
  9. [S904] John A Goodwin, , pages 433-440.
  10. [S884] George Earnest Bowman, The Will & Inventory of Stephen Hopkins, pages 12-14 - Will of Stephen Hopkins dated: 06 June 1644.
  11. [S884] George Earnest Bowman, The Will & Inventory of Stephen Hopkins, pages 14-17 - Inventoryl of Stephen Hopkins dated: 17 July 1644.