The Many Names of Dover

skip to main navigation
skip to main content

Dover Library Home

Dover Public Library Logo

QuickButton.gif

 

Disclaimer

The Dover Public Library website offers public access to a wide range of information, including historical materials that are products of their particular times, and may contain values, language or stereotypes that would now be deemed insensitive, inappropriate or factually inaccurate. However, these records reflect the shared attitudes and values of the community from which they were collected and thus constitute an important social record.

The materials contained in the collection do not represent the opinions of the City of Dover, or the Dover Public Library.

 

The Many Names of Dover


 
Dover was originally called Hilton’s Point after William and Edward Hilton who founded the settlement at Dover Point in 1623. While the settlement was under Edward Hilton’s management it was called Pascataqua or Pascataway.  The Indians called it Newichwannock which means “place of wigwams” and Cochecho which means "rapid foaming water".  Some of Captain Thomas Wiggin’s colonists came from  Bristol, England in 1633  They renamed the settlement Bristol and it retained that name while Captain Wiggin was governor. In 1637 Reverend George Burdett became governor and he changed the name to Dover. The town was renamed Northam in 1639, after  minister Thomas Larkham’s hometown Northam, England.

In 1641 the town was formally incorporated as Dover. The name seems to have been taken from Robert Dover, an English foot soldier and lawyer who founded the “Cotswold Games” in protest of the growing severity of Puritanism.

 

This historical essay is provided free to all readers as an educational service. It may not be reproduced on any website, list, bulletin board, or in print without the permission of the Dover Public Library. Links to the Dover Public Library homepage or a specific article's URL are permissible.