Are you related to Stephen Hopkins, baptised 1581?
If you are, you will be very welcome to Upper Clatford and All Saints’ Church.
Stephen Hopkins was baptised at All Saints’ church on 30 April 1581 and moved to Winchester as a young child. His family farmed on land in this part of the village.
What was the church like in the 1580s?
Stephen would have seen the bell tower. The present main part of the nave and the present chancel would have been in place, but the rather unusual double Norman chancel arch would have been on the north side of the nave. The church would have extended as far as the present communion rail.
A different font would have been used for his baptism as the present font was given to the church in the 17th century.
The present north aisle was built in the late 19th century so the church would have been quite small.
What was the village like?
It is likely that there would have been timber framed houses along the village street. Many of the current cottages were built in the late 16th – 18th century. The village pub, the Crook and Shears, had an innkeeper whose name was Hopkins at the beginning of the 20th century.
How did we find out about Stephen Hopkins?
We only found out about our famous village hero about ten years’ ago when the churchwarden at the time, Jane Kennedy, happened to attend a concert in Stephen’s other village, Hursley, and read about him in the church guidebook. Stephen was living in Hursley before he went to Jamestown.
Since then, several of Stephen’s descendants have visited All Saints’ church each year.
In November 2015, an American film company came to the village to make a documentary about Stephen Hopkins. Caleb Johnson, biographer of Stephen Hopkins, also came with the film crew.
In June 2016, we held a flower festival in the church to celebrate the quartercentenary of Shakespeare’s death. We had a display on the pulpit on the theme of The Tempest.(see below) We explained the link between Stephen Hopkins, the shipwreck of the Sea Venture and the text by William Strachey which Shakespeare probably read, in the festival catalogue.
We would be delighted to make contact with any descendants of Stephen Hopkins.
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