Thomas Hopkins (settler)
|Born||baptized 7 April 1616
Yeovilton, Somerset, England
Oyster Bay, New York
|Education||signed name with a mark|
|Children||William, Thomas, unknown son who married and had two children|
|Parent(s)||William Hopkins and Joane Arnold|
|Relatives||Nephew of William Arnold
First cousin of Governor Benedict Arnold
Great grandfather of Governor Stephen Hopkins
Thomas Hopkins (1616–1684), was an early settler of Providence, Rhode Island, and the great grandfather of Stephen Hopkins who was many times colonial governor of Rhode Island and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Hopkins was baptized in Yeovilton, county Somerset on 7 April 1616, the son of William Hopkins and Joane Arnold. His mother was the sister of early Providence settler William Arnold, and the daughter of Nicholas and Alice (Gully) Arnold of Northover and Ilchester in Somerset. Hopkins' mother died when he was five years old, after which he and his sister Frances were likely taken into the family of their Uncle William Arnold, and most writers on his early history agree that he, aged 19, sailed to New England with his uncle's family in 1635. Also on the same ship was his first cousin, Benedict Arnold, also aged 19, the future governor of the Rhode Island colony.
The Arnolds first settled in Hingham in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but in less than a year, in April 1636, they joined Roger Williams, and were among the first settlers of Providence. Soon thereafter they were the first English settlers on the Pawtuxet River, the southern edge of Williams's Providence purchase. Hopkins was not yet of age when they settled here, but soon reached his majority, and in 1640 he was one of 39 signers of an agreement to form a government in Providence, he signing his name with a mark.
From 1652 to 1672 Hopkins served in a number of civic positions in Providence, including Commissioner, Deputy, and member of the Town Council. In 1676 King Philip's War raged in Rhode Island, and all of the Pawtuxet settlement, and most of Providence was destroyed. While Hopkin's two oldest sons, William and Thomas, either remained in Providence or returned there shortly after the war, Hopkins and his youngest son (whose name has not been discovered) moved to Oyster Bay, on Long Island in the Province of New York, and remained there. Hopkins' son predeceased him, and his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, then married Richard Kirby. It was in the home of Kirby that Hopkins was living when he died in 1684.
- Anderson, Robert Charles; Sanborn, George F. Jr.; Sanborn, Melinde L. (1999). The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England 1634–1635. Vol. I A–B. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society. ISBN 0-88082-110-8.
- Arnold, Elisha Stephen (1935). The Arnold Memorial: William Arnold of Providence and Pawtuxet, 1587–1675, and a genealogy of his descendants. Rutland, VT: Tuttle Publishing Company. OCLC 6882845.
- Austin, John Osborne (1887). Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island. Albany, New York: J. Munsell's Sons. ISBN 978-0-8063-0006-1.
- Bicknell, Thomas Williams (1920). The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Vol. 1. New York: The American Historical Society. pp. 143, 158.
- Moriarty, G. Andrews (April 1944). "Additions and Corrections to Austin's Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island". The American Genealogist 20: 224.
- Rhode Island History from the State of Rhode Island General Assembly website. See Chapter 2, Colonial Era.