Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Deliverance of Bermuda

The Deliverance replica as seen from the top deck of our cruise ship, in port at St. George, Bermuda
This beloved ship has been recreated and on display at St. George, Bermuda. We took a cruise from Boston to Bermuda several years ago, and our cruise ship moored right next door to the Deliverance replica. In 1609 the Sea Venture set sail from Plymouth, England as the flagship of a seven ship fleet destined as the Third Supply to Jamestown, Virginia. The fleet ran into a hurricane and the ships were separated. The Admiral Sir George Somers ran the ship into the reefs of Bermuda which allowed 150 people to get safely ashore.
Not only was this the story of the founding of Bermuda by English settlers, it was also the story William Shakespeare used when writing his play “The Tempest”. Two new ships, Deliverance and Patience, were built out of the wreck of the Sea Venture and local Bermuda cedar. Some of the settlers died on Bermuda before the company set sail for Jamestown again, including the wife and infant of John Rolfe, who would find a new wife, Pocahontas, in Virginia. Also in this company was Stephen Hopkins, who survived this wreck, survived Jamestown, went back to England, survived passage again on the Mayflower and its first infamous winter in New England with his family. Three men stayed behind in Bermuda, as its only inhabitants until the Plough arrived in 1612.
There was an abundance of food and wild pigs on Bermuda, and the Jamestown settlers were dying of starvation. An expedition to collect food in Bermuda for Jamestown was made in 1610. Admiral Sir George Somers (1554 -1610) died on this voyage, and had his heart buried in Bermuda. The rest of his body was buried in his hometown of Lyme Regis, England
A memorial to Admiral Sir George Sommers in St. George, Bermuda
click to enlarge

For more information:

Here I Shall Die Ashore: Stephen Hopkins, Bermuda Castaway, Jamestown Survivor, and Mayflower Pilgrim, by Caleb Johnson, Xlibris Corp., 2007.

Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival, and the Salvation of the First English Colony in the New World, by Kieran Doherty, St. Martin’s Press, 2008. the story of the wreck of the Sea Venture and Admiral Sir George Somers, by The Royal Gazette, Bermuda’s only newspaper.

UPDATE 13 May 2013

I had originally called the replica ship in the photo The Sea Venture, but thanks to a message on Facebook I received from Rick Denham, who had been to Bermuda with the "Hopkins' Cruisin' Cousins" he identified the ship as the Deliverance.  I just confirmed this with the official Bermuda tourism website, too.  Rick Denham invites everyone who is interested in the story of Stephen Hopkins to visit the Pigrim Hopkins Heritage Society at   Thanks, Rick!

Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. I'm one of Stephen Hopkins' descendants and I have to admit he's my favorite Mayflower ancestor!

  2. Heather, I see it's been too long since I caught up with your blog! This post was very interesting to me, of course, being a Hopkins descendant... but now I wannna go to Bermuda! Thanks for sharing the pix!