Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stephen Hopkins’ Spoon

Stephen Hopkins was a noteworthy early American colonist, having been one of the castaways from the Sea Venture’s 1609 shipwreck on Bermuda, and who arrived as short time resident of Jamestown after the Starving Times in 1610 and as a passenger on the Mayflower in 1620. (See our posts on accounts of the Sea Venture on 10/31/10 and August 21 and October 2, 2009). However, he doesn’t appear in Martha McCartney’s classic compendium of Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635, as he was back in England by 1617.  McCartney shows only a Hopkins - sans Christian name - as a "minister's clerk" who sought to ship out from England for Jamestowne in 1622, after Stephen Hopkins had arrived in Massachusetts. 

Michael Edds has posted an interesting article about Hopkins on his blog, The Final Great Awakening, which chronicles a family heirloom that has come down in his wife's family from Hopkins. He says, “The story centers on an old silver spoon, which has been handed down to the youngest daughter of each generation in her family. So the tale goes, the spoon came over on the Mayflower in the possession of one of its passengers, Stephen Hopkins. However, lost in the mists of time has been the reason for giving the spoon to the youngest female in each generation.”

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