The Hampton River is a 3.2-mile-long (5.1 km) tidal estuary which empties into Hampton Roads near its mouth. Hampton Roads in turn empties into the southern end of Chesapeake Bay in southeast Virginia in the United States. The Hampton River is located entirely in the city of Hampton.
Much like several other minor rivers of the area, the Hampton River has also been referred to as Hampton Creek.
The Hampton River was named for Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, an important leader of the Virginia Company of London, for whom the town and later city of Hampton, Virginia, Hampton Roads, Southampton County and Northampton County were also named.
During the late 1600s and early 1700s the Hampton River was well traveled by sloops bringing goods to and from the colony of Virginia. In 1719 a victorious Lt. Robert Maynard of the British Navy returned to Hampton with the head of the pirate Blackbeard hanging from his ship. Having killed Blackbeard in battle in November of 1718, he brought back the head as proof. The head was then placed at the mouth of the river, also known as Teach's Point, on a stake as a warning to other pirates.
- U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 1, 2011
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Hampton River