Southampton's Mayflower 400 Memorial

Southampton's Mayflower 400 Memorial

Mayflower 400

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The 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from the UK to the New World takes place in 2020. The Mayflower and her sister ship, The Speedwell, set sail from Southampton, Hampshire on 15 August 1620 with 102 passengers. Forty were the Puritan Separatists who have become known as America’s Founding Fathers. Documents that they created on board the ship went on to provide the foundations of the American constitution.
Southampton was the original intended departure port for both the Mayflower and Speedwell.  However, problems with the Speedwell meant both ships had to call into Plymouth for repairs and ultimately only the Mayflower sailed from this port to cross the Atlantic.
Southampton is now a focus in 2020 for Mayflower 400 events and activities. The anniversary is a means to creatively explore this city’s wide and long marine history and gateway to the world with an exciting fusion of ideas, people, art, history, science, technology, food, faith and cultures.
See below for a list of Mayflower 400 events happening in the city of Southampton and across Hampshire.

Stephen Hopkins - The wider Hampshire connection

The Puritan Separatists were accompanied on the Mayflower by a group of Merchant Adventurers. One of these was Stephen Hopkins from Upper Clatford, near Andover, Hampshire. Their role was to collaborate with the Separatists and ensure that the investors funding the voyage were repaid.  Stephen was baptised in 1581 in All Saints’s Church, Upper Clatford and subsequently moved to Winchester and then Hursley, a village close-by, with his family. The pretty thatched cottages of Upper Clatford and the historic cathedral city of Winchester would still be familiar to Stephen if he were still alive.
Stephen had helped establish Jamestown in Virgina as the first permanent English settlement in North America.  After being shipwrecked off Bermuda, reprieved from a death sentence on Bermuda having been accused of mutiny, he returned to Hursley to find that his wife had died, and his children were presumed orphans. He left Hursley with his family and later remarried in London in 1618. The opportunity to start a new life in America was presented by the Virginia Company and in 1620, Stephen, with his second wife and children, left for America again, this time on board the Mayflower. Stephen’s experience of the Indians in Virginia proved invaluable and he was one of two men chosen to negotiate with the Indians for the first time, which proved successful. He became a member of the Governing Council of Plymouth. Since 2009, a few of the many thousands of his descendants have made a pilgrimage back to Upper Clatford.
Read more about Stephen Hopkins and his story

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