Hopkins, Edward (DNB00)

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HOPKINS, EDWARD (1600–1657), governor of Connecticut, born at Shrewsbury in 1600, seems to have been the son of Edward or Edmund Hopkins; his mother was Katherine, sister of Sir Henry Lello, knight, of Ashdon, Essex. He became a Turkey merchant in London, ‘of good credit and esteem’ (Hutchinson, Hist. of Massachusetts, i. 82). In 1637 he emigrated to New England, and after making a short stay at Boston, removed to Hartford, Connecticut, where he was chosen assistant in 1639, and governor of the colony the following year, and thereafter in alternate years with John Haynes [q. v.], until he returned to England in 1652. In the expectation of his coming back he was again chosen governor in 1654. He assisted in forming the union of the colonies of New England in 1643. Cromwell appointed him a navy commissioner in December 1652, and an admiralty commissioner on 7 Nov. 1655. His brother, Henry Hopkins, left him, by will dated 30 Dec. 1654 (P. C. C. 41, Aylett), his office of warden of the Fleet and keeper of the palace of Westminster. He represented Dartmouth, Devonshire, in the parliament which assembled on 17 Sept. 1656. He died in March 1657, in the parish of St. Olave, Hart Street, London (Probate Act Book, P. C. C.). By his will, dated 17 March 1657 (P. C. C. 141, Ruthen), he founded three schools in Connecticut, one of which, the Hopkins Grammar School in Newhaven, has had an uninterrupted existence from that time; and he gave 500l. for ‘public ends,’ which was paid to Harvard College, under a decree in chancery, in 1710. With it a township of land was bought from the ‘praying Indians,’ which was called Hopkinton in memory of the donor. What is known as Governor Eaton's ‘Code of Laws’ was printed at London in 1656 under Hopkins's supervision. His widow, Ann, daughter of David or Thomas Yale, died on 17 Dec. 1698, having been insane for more than fifty years (cf. Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1656–7 p. 327, 1657–8 p. 457). Probably she had no children.

[Savage's Genealogical Dict. ii. 461; Winthrop's Hist. of New England (Savage), 1st and 2nd edits.; H. F. Waters's Genealogical Gleanings in England, vol. i. pt. i.; J. H. Trumbull's Public Records of Connecticut, i. 374, 578.]

G. G.