Search This Blog

Wednesday, 20 April 2016


A group of independent English Christians from Nottinghamshire were being harassed by the authorities because of their religious beliefs. So they emigrated to Holland in The Netherlands where there was freedom of religion and set up a church there at Leiden.

The English separatists did not feel at home in Holland, so they borrowed £4,000 from a London company of investors. This was to subsidize a voyage across the Atlantic to take them to a plot of land they had obtained near the Hudson River in the New World.

The ship they hired for the voyage, The Mayflower, was tiny, with a deck just 90ft long. Even so, this small ship took 102 English Separatists to the New World, as well as its crew of 25-30.

Before being hired by the pilgrims for their journey to America, the Mayflower was a merchant ship that transported wine, cognac and vinegar between France and Spain

John Alden, a cooper from Harwich in Essex, was asked to join the Mayflower company for the important task of caring for the Pilgrims' beer casks while on their New World journey.

The Mayflower set sail from from Plymouth, England for North America on September 16, 1620.

Whilst sailing across the ocean on The Mayflower, the 78 men and 24 women occupied themselves by playing darts.The first baby born on the Mayflower during its voyage to the New World was named Oceanus Hopkins.

Cold food was the chief fare of the Mayflower passengers - hard biscuits, cheese, and salted beef or fish. An occasional hot dish could be cooked over an open charcoal fire in a box of sand. Without fresh provisions many passengers contracted scurvy in the 66-day voyage.

Because of bad weather and a shortage of beer, the Pilgrims were forced to land at Cape Cod on November 9, 1620, far away from the territory granted to them.

The Pilgrims decided to relocate after a difficult encounter with the local native, the Nausets, at First Encounter Beach. They landed in their final destination of Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts on December 21, 1620.

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall (1882)

The Mayflower lay in New Plymouth harbor through the winter of 1620–1. On April 5, 1621 with its empty hold ballasted with stones from the Plymouth Harbor shore, the ship set sail for its return.

By 1624, the Mayflower was no longer useful as a ship and although her subsequent fate is unknown, she was probably broken up about that time.

The Pilgrims established the second successful permanent English colony in the part of North America that later became the United States, after the Jamestown Colony.

Source Comptons Encyclopedia

No comments:

Post a Comment