Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: Change of Name

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Here let us pause to enquire the reason of the change of name, from Winnacunnet to Hampton. The following extract from a letter, written by Hon. Charles E. Batchelder of Portsmouth, is of much interest in this connection, and affords, at least, circumstantial evidence. [Editor's note: It should read Charles H. Batchelder] Under date, January 27, 1890, he writes:
"Why was the name Hampton given to the new settlement north of the Merrimac? The record says the name was given at the request of Rev. Stephen Bachiler. I have often wondered what connection there was between the new Hampton and old Hampton in England. I think I discovered the reason in my trip to England this last summer. The last settlement of Rev. Stephen Bachiler in England was at South Stoneham, at St. Mary's Church. This church is a dependency of St. Mary's Church, Southampton, and the latter church presents the living of the South Stoneham church to such incumbent as they choose.

The common name of Southampton in 1630 was Hampton, as can be seen by Gov. Winthrop commonly calling it Hampton in his History of New England. The "South" is said to have been added at a comparatively late day to distinguish this Hampton from Hampton in Middlesex. The name is said to be derived from Hantstone, that is the stone of the county Hants or Hampshire.

South Stoneham was practically a suburb of the City of Southampton, being situated just outside the city limits on the north.

This close connection between South Stoneham and Southampton and the settlement of Rev. Stephen Bachiler at the former place evidently accounts for the name of our Hampton; and there may have been a real or fancied resemblance to Southampton Water as the first settlers of our Hampton sailed up Hampton River in a shallop when they made their settlement there in 1638."

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