Dr George Cook of the St George’s Foundation speaks to the party of Stephen Hopkins descendants who visited Bermuda. *Photo supplied
Dr George Cook of the St George’s Foundation speaks to the party of Stephen Hopkins descendants who visited Bermuda. *Photo supplied

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13: Descendants of one of the original Sea Venture passengers have visited the spot where their ancestor Stephen Hopkins first set foot in Bermuda in 1609.

The party of around 40 American visitors descended on the ‘Olde Towne’ on Monday afternoon.

They were given a guided tour around the town and then visited Gates’ Bay where the Sea Venture ran aground.

Dr George Cook, from the St George’s Foundation, spoke to the group about the importance of the location in Bermuda’s history.

He said: “Stephen Hopkins is probably the only person from that era who visited all three colonies of Bermuda, Jamestown and later Plymouth.

“He was an intriguing character.

“My job was to show the group and speak to them about the location where the Sea Venture ran aground, where the crew first settled and also where Deliverance was later built.

“The visit of these descendants of Stephen Hopkins is a perfect example of cultural tourism.

“It promotes St George’s profound historical image and excites the interest of people from abroad.”

The descendants of Stephen Hopkins have arranged for a plaque to be installed in St Catherine’s Fort to commemorate their visit.

The plaque, which was made in New York, will read: “The Pilgrim Hopkins Heritage Society presents this plaque in recognition and with thanks to the island of Bermuda for providing the survivors of the Sea Venture, including Pilgrim Stephen Hopkins, refuge during their stay between July 28, 1609 and May 10 1610.”

Rick Denham began organizing the trip to Bermuda for his relatives aboard the Norwegian Dawn last October.

Mr Denham, who himself is descended from Stephen Hopkins, said: “It was a wonderful experience to visit St George’s and find out about the rich history that lies behind the Sea Venture landing.

“Dr Cook really helped us to understand this part of the island and its relevance to Stephen Hopkins.

“We have all enjoyed our visit to the island and will now look forward to the plaque being put in St Catherine’s Fort when it arrives from the US to mark our special visit.”