Hampton is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 14,976 at the 2010 census. On the Atlantic Ocean coast, Hampton is home to Hampton Beach, a summer tourist destination.
The densely populated central part of the town, where 9,656 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the Hampton census-designated place (CDP) and centers on the intersection of U.S. 1 and NH 27.
First called the "Plantation of Winnacunnet", Hampton was one of four original New Hampshire townships chartered by the General Court of Massachusetts, which then held authority over the colony. Winnacunnet is an Algonquian Abenaki word meaning "pleasant pines" and is the name of the town's high school, serving students from Hampton and the surrounding towns of Seabrook, North Hampton, and Hampton Falls.
In March 1635, Richard Dummer and John Spencer of the Byfield section of Newbury, came round in their shallop, coming ashore at the landing, and were much impressed by the location. Dummer, who was a member of the General Court, got that body to lay its claim to the section and plan a plantation here. The Massachusetts General Court of March 3, 1636, ordered that Dummer and Spencer be given power to "To presse men to build there a Bound house."
The town was settled in 1638 by a group of parishioners led by Oxford University graduate Reverend Stephen Bachiler, who had formerly preached at the settlement's namesake: Hampton, England. The town, incorporated in 1639, once included Seabrook, Kensington, Danville, Kingston, East Kingston, Sandown, North Hampton and Hampton Falls.