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Commemorative Mayflower plate goes on display at Harwich Heritage Centre

14 Jan Commemorative Mayflower plate goes on display at Harwich Heritage Centre

A silver commemorative Mayflower plate will be displayed in the new Harwich Heritage Centre after it was donated by an American descendant of the famous voyage.

The Mayflower ship, from Harwich and captained by Harwich resident Christopher Jones, took the first settlers to America in 1620 in a voyage marked annually by Thanksgiving in the USA.

A whole programme of events is being planned across 11 UK destinations, including Harwich, for 2020 to mark the 400th anniversary.

In the week after Thanksgiving last year Susan Hopkins, from New York state, got in contact with the Historic Harwich website offering the pristine condition sterling silver commemorative plate, with the Mayflower logo in the centre – one of only a few manufactured in 1978.

Susan is a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants as a direct descendant of Stephen Hopkins and William Brewster, two of those who voyaged to America on the Mayflower. She offered the plate to go on permanent display in Harwich.

Her grandfather Wallace Hopkins attended the 350th anniversary festivities in 1970 in Leiden and Plymouth as a member of the Mayflower Society, while her father Richard Gilpin Hopkins, a retired naval officer, had a plaque made for the Mayflower Monument in Southampton in 1977 in honour of Stephen Hopkins and his family.