Name: Giles Hopkins
Born: 1609, England
Died: 1690, Massachusetts
Related through: Lynn Crookston
Giles Hopkins was the eldest son of Stephen Hopkins of Plymouth. He was born in England, and came over with his father's family in the Mayflower in 1620. Along with the other members of his father's family, he survived the first winter's sickness, which swept off so many of that company. Of his boyhood days, but little appears.
He appeared to have been of a retiring disposition, only forward when duty compelled. In 1637, the Pequots, a tribe of brave Indians inhabiting the eastern part of Connecticut, commenced war with the English in that region.Plymouth Colony concluded to send a company to assist in the overthrow of the Indians, so Giles, with his [Hopkins-2|father]] and younger brother Caleb, volunteered to go out in the company in the defense of his Connecticut neighbors. Happily for the company, before they were ready to go forth, the troops, under Captain Mason, had 'vanquished' the enemy, and the company was not needed.
The next year, Stephen Hopkins was allowed by the Old Colony court 'to erect a house at Mattacheese,' now Yarmouth, 'to cut hay there' and 'to winter his cattle.' It is supposed his son, Giles, went down there and had charge of his cattle. The permission given to Stephen in 1638, however, to build a house on the Cape specified that he was not to permanently leave Plymouth. It was not until 1639 that the Plymouth Colony Court authorized a permanent settlement in Yarmouth. At any rate, Giles was in Yarmouth in 1639, and with Hugh Tilley and Nicholas Sympkins, 'deposed' to the last will and testament of Peter Warden, the elder, deceased.
Marriage and Adulthood
While in Yarmouth, Giles cultivated the acquaintance of a young lady by the name of Catherine Whelden, supposed daughter of Gabriel Wheldon, and was married to her, October 9, 1639. They soon became the occupants of the first house (as is supposed) "built by the English on the Cape below Sandwich." Its location, says Swift's History of Old Yarmough, "was in a field belonging to Capt. Charles Basset, about 75 yards northwesterly from the house of Mr. Joseph Hale."
The house he occupied while a resident of Yarmouth stood a little to the northwest on the declivity or knoll. It is believed by Mr.Amos Otis to have been the first house built below Sandwich, and certainly it must have been, if it were the one built by Stephen Hopkins by order of Plymouth court. Mr. Otis, in his account of Andrew Hallett, Jr., says it was sold by Giles Hopkins in 1642 to Mr. Hallett.
It would seem that Mr. Hopkins was not a resident of Yarmouth in 1643, as his name does not appear in the list of those able to bear arms that year in the township, but evidence is quite conclusive that he was a resident June 6, 1644. At that date his father made his will, and several times speaks of Giles being at Yarmouth in charge of the cattle. It is probable he was not enrolled on account of being physically unable to do military duty.
Later, the town of Nauset was founded just beyond Yarmouth. Among the founders was Giles Hopkins’ brother-in-law Nicholas Snow. By 1650, Giles had also settled in Nauset (which was to change its name the following year to Eastham). In what year he removed to Nausett, or Eastham, is not known. He was there in 1650, occupying the position of surveyor of highways, which he subsequently occupied several years. For some reason, now inexplicable, his father, by will, made Caleb, his younger son by Elizabeth Fisher Hopkins, the 'heir apparent,' and consequently the whole of the real estate, which was large, passed into the hands of Caleb upon Stephen's death. Caleb Hopkins, soon after his father's death in July, 1644, gave up a very large tract of land to Giles, his only surviving brother, located in what is now Brewster.
Upon the death of Caleb, who was a seaman, and who died single at Barbadoes before 1657, Giles came into possession of several large tracts of land. In 1659, Mr. Hopkins had land granted him in Eastham. In 1662, with Lieut. Joseph Rogers and Josiah Cooke, he had liberty allowed him by the Colony court to look out for land for his accommodation between Bridgewater and Bay Line. In 1672, with Jonathan Sparrow and Thomas Mayo of Eastham, he purchased Sampson's Neck in what is now Orleans, then called by the Indians 'Weesquamseutt.' The tract was a valuable one; it embraced the territory between Higgin's river on the north, and Potonumecot river on the south.
Giles seems to have been a very quiet man, caring but little for public positions. He was in 1654 drawn into a lawsuit by the noted William Leveridge, who had defamed him. Mr. Hopkins claimed damages to the amount of 50 pounds. Mr. Leveridge was ordered to pay 2 pounds and some shillings for the offense.
According to records, Mr. Hopkins had 10 children.
The following are the names of the children of Giles Hopkins with the dates of birth as they appear in the ancient book of records at Orleans:
1.Mary, born in November, 1640 (married Samuel Smith)
2.Stephen, born in September 1642
3.John, born in 1643 "and died being three months old."
4.Abigail, born in October, 1644
5.Deborah, born in June, 1648 (married Josiah Cooke, Jr.)
6.Caleb, born in January, 1650
7.Ruth, born in June, 1653
8.Joshua, born in June, 1657
9.William, born January 9, 1660
10.Elizabeth, born in November, 1664, died aged one month.
The latter years of Mr. Hopkins' life were of weakness, so much so that he was not able "to provide for" his and his wife's support, and he agreed with Stephen, his son, to take all of his "stock and moveable estate" to use for his and his wife's comfortable support. The exact date of Mr. Hopkins' death is not now known, but there is reason to believe it occurred the latter part of March or early part of April, 1690. The time of the death of his wife, Catherine, is also unknown. She was alive in March, 1689.
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