Provincetown History Snippets: Shakespeare and the Mayflower
Stephen Hopkins was one of the Mayflower “Strangers,” and later settled both Plymouth and Jamestown. It’s believed that Shakespeare based a character on him! Though he wasn’t among the first Jamestown settlers, he did arrive within the first three years. He might have gotten there sooner but for a shipwreck – a shipwreck that probably inspired Shakespeare to write The Tempest. Shakespeare portrayed Hopkins as a drunken clown with ambitions of grandeur. In real life, he narrowly avoided execution for mutiny and later ran into trouble with the Plymouth authorities for overserving the patrons of his tavern.