Little Buc: Ahoy, Followers! Ahoy, Giles!
Giles Hopkins: What cheer, Followers? What cheer, Little Buc! I am happy to announce that I have discovered another Mayflower connection aboard the TS Kennedy!
Little Buc: Another connection? I can’t believe it!
Giles Hopkins: I ran into 4/C Cadet Kyle Knowlton in the Computer Lab last night. He told me that he is a descendant of Richard More on his grandfather’s side. He even received a letter from the Society Of Mayflower Descendants.
Little Buc: I know Cadet Knowlton! He’s a Marine Engineering major from Amesbury, Massachusetts. He attended Amesbury Elementary School and Amesbury Middle School in his hometown. Last spring, Cadet Knowlton graduated from Whittier Technical High School in Haverhill.
Giles Hopkins: Richard More was just six years old when he traveled on Mayflower. Joining Richard was his eight year-old sister named Ellen, his seven year-old brother named Jasper, and his four year-old sister named Mary. The children were not traveling with their parents. Instead, they were put in the care of other families following the bitter divorce of their parents. Both Richard and Mary were in the care of William Brewster. John Carver had responsibility for Jasper. Ellen was supervised by Edward Winslow.
Little Buc: The young children must have been so frightened to be traveling without their parents on the long, stormy voyage.
Giles Hopkins: Sadly, while the Pilgrims were exploring Cape Cod and searching for the ideal place to settle in December, young Jasper died. Both Ellen and Mary More died in the winter of 1621.
Little Buc: That’s tragic! Richard was completely alone! No parents or siblings! Did he continue to live with the Brewster family?
Giles Hopkins: Yes, he did! In 1636, when Richard was twenty-two, he married Christian Hunter. The young couple soon moved to Salem, Massachusetts where Richard became a seaman and ship captain.
Little Buc: Salem? There are two cadets aboard the TS Kennedy from Salem, Massachusetts. 3/C Tyler Skeffington is a Marine Engineering major. 4/C Joshua Nichols is pursuing a career in Marine Transportation. I will have to tell them about Richard More.
Giles Hopkins: Some of Richard’s voyages took him back to England. He also traveled to Nova Scotia, the West Indies, New York, and Virginia. Richard and Christian were the parents of seven children; Samuel, Thomas, Caleb, Joshua, Richard, Susanna, and Christian.
But that’s not all, Little Buc! Cadet Knowlton has a second connection to the Pilgrims. On his grandmother’s side of the family, he is a descendant of Stephen and Mary Hopkins. That’s right! Their son was the Pilgrim that I am named after. We mentioned him during one of our first blog.
Little Buc: A second connection? That’s incredible! It’s almost as if Kyle Knowlton is related to you. Can you tell me and our followers about Stephen and Mary Hopkins?
Giles Hopkins: Yes! I almost feel as if Kyle is a relative!
Stephen Hopkins was about forty years old when he and his family traveled on Mayflower. It’s amazing that Stephen dared to step on Mayflower given what had happened during an earlier voyage on Sea Venture. The ship was heading to Jamestown, Virginia in 1609. At about thirty years old, Stephen was serving as a minister's clerk. Unfortunately, the Sea Venture wrecked on what was called the Isle of Devils. The island was given this somber name because of its stormy weather, loud native birds, and the deadly ring of coral that surrounds it. Today, we call this location Bermuda.
Stephen, his fellow passengers, and the crew…about 150 in all…were stranded on the Isle Of Devils for ten long months. They had no choice but to eat turtles, birds, and wild pigs to survive. Those certainly weren’t the foods that they were used to eating in England! Six months after the wreck, Stephen Hopkins and some of his fellow shipmates came up with a plan to take over the government on the island. When the plan was discovered, the authorities sentenced Stephen to death.
Little Buc: What! How did he escape?
Giles Hopkins: Stephen begged and pleaded for his life. He cried as he described how his death would tragically change the life of his wife and the lives of his children forever. It worked! Stephen’s sentence was thrown out.
Little Buc: Well, that’s a relief! How did Stephen get back to England?
Giles Hopkins: The wreck survivors built two ships, Deliverance and Patience using salvaged timbers of Sea Venture and some Bermuda cedar that they had cut down on the island. Much of the Sea Venture remains under the sea. Here is a photo of divers at the wreck.
Little Buc: There are Massachusetts Maritime Academy cadets studying in Bermuda right now. They are majoring in Marine Safety Science & Environmental Protection. Perhaps they’ll hear stories of Sea Venture and Stephen Hopkins.
Giles Hopkins: I am sure that the cadets will see the 57-foot full-size replica of Deliverance when they visit the town of St. George. Here is a photo of it.
Little Buc: Where did the Deliverance and Patience sail?
Giles Hopkins: I know that the two ships sailed to Jamestown, Virginia, their original destination. They were almost a year late, but they finally made it. No one knows exactly how long Stephen stayed in Jamestown.
Little Buc: His wife and children must have been so glad to see him when he stepped onto English soil!
Giles Hopkins: His children certainly were. Sadly, his wife had died while he was away, but Elizabeth, Constance, and my namesake, Giles, were waiting for him. In February 1618, Stephen married his second wife, Elizabeth. Their daughter Damaris, was born two years before they sailed on the Mayflower. Because Elizabeth was not a passenger on Mayflower, historians believe that she died.
Little Buc: Even during the darkest days during Mayflower’s voyage, Stephen was probably thinking, “Things could certainly be a whole lot worse!” After being involved in a shipwreck, he certainly knew that was to be true.
Giles Hopkins: While Stephen was part of the exploration team that searched for a place to settle, his wife Elizabeth gave birth to Oceanus during Mayflower’s voyage. Thankfully, Mrs. Hopkins was one of just four housewives who survived the first winter. Stephen and Elizabeth went on to have five more children; Caleb, Deborah, Ruth, Elizabeth, and a second Damaris.
Little Buc: Cadet Knowlton sure has some interesting ancestors! Thanks for all of the information! Let’s go see if we can track down Cadet Knowlton out on deck or on the Bridge and fill him in on Richard More, Stephen Hopkins, and Elizabeth Hopkins.
Work hard at school, Followers!
Giles Hopkins: Fare thee well, Followers!