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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.


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