The romantic story of the Mayflower pilgrims, and its place in the life of to-day

Well worthy to be magnified are they/
 Who, with sad hearts, of friends and country took/
 A last farewell, their loved abodes forsook,/
 And hallowed ground in which their fathers lay./
The breaking waves dash'd high/
On a stern and rock-bound coast;/
 And the woods, against a stormy sky,
/ Their giant branches toss'd.
--Mrs. Hemans



High ideals in the conduct of life are what survive, and that is why the Pilgrim Narrative stands forth in the pages of every history as one of the great events of the time.Senator Lodge, at the dedication of the Pilgrim Memorial Monument at Provincetown, August 5th 1910.

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
From the Painting by W. F. Halsall
The Mayflower in Plymouth Harbour

title page






Publishers Logo: Gold with a blue horizontal stripe between three blue doves
 Motto: Spe Labor Levis







Chapter Page
I. Old World Homes and Pilgrim Shrines 1
II. The Arrest at Boston and Flight to Holland 27
III. Life in Leyden—Adieu to Plymouth—The Voyage to the West 47
IV. "Into a World Unknown"—Trials and Triumph 71
V. The Pilgrim Roll Call—Fate and Fortunes of the Fathers 123
VI. New World Pilgrims to Old World Shrines 159
  Index 189


The Mayflower in Plymouth Harbour Frontispiece
The Cells, Guildhall, Boston xi
A Bit of Old Gainsborough 5
The Old Manor House, Scrooby, where William Brewster was born.—Scrooby Church 9
The Cottage at Austerfield where William Bradford was born 13
The Old Hall, Gainsborough, in which the Separatist Church was founded in 1602 17
Guildhall and South Street, Boston 21
The Old Courtroom, Guildhall, Boston 25
The River Witham, Boston 29
The Pilgrim Cells, Guildhall, Boston, showing the Kitchen beyond 33
Old Town Gaol, Market-place, Boston 37
Trentside, Gainsborough 41
Elder William Brewster 45
John Robinson's House, Leyden, where the Pilgrim Fathers worshipped 49
St. Peter's Church, Leyden 53
Bust of Captain John Smith 57
The Embarkation of the Pilgrims 61
Model of the Mayflower 65
Plymouth Harbour, as seen from Cole's Hill 69
The Landing of the Pilgrims 73
The March of Miles Standish 77
The Canopy over Plymouth Rock 81
The Old Fort and First Meeting-House 85
Pilgrims going to Church 89
The Departure of the Mayflower 93
Captain Miles Standish 97
Governor William Bradford 101
The Pilgrim Memorial Monument at Provincetown 105[Pg vi]
Plymouth Rock 109
A Bit of Old Boston 113
The Site of the Old Fort, Burial Hill, Plymouth 117
First Church, Plymouth 121
The Pilgrim Fathers' Memorial, Plymouth 125
John Alden.—Priscilla Mullins 129
Governor Bradford's Monument, Burial Hill, Plymouth 133
Governor Carver's Chair and Ancient Spinning Wheel 137
Elder Brewster's Chair and the Cradle of Peregrine White 141
The Grave of John Howland 145
The Grave of Miles Standish, Duxbury 149
The Miles Standish Monument, Duxbury 153
Governor Edward Winslow 157
Mayflower Tablet on the Barbican, Plymouth, England 161
Scrooby Village 165
The Ancient Kitchen, Guildhall, Boston 169
Robinson Memorial Church, Gainsborough 173
Tablet in Vestibule of Robinson Memorial Church, Gainsborough.—Memorial Tablet on St. Peter's Church, Leyden 177
Design by R. M. Lucas for the Tercentenary Memorial at Southampton 181
The Font, Austerfield Church.—The Font, Primitive Methodist Chapel, Lound 185


By a strange yet happy coincidence, on the very day the writer of these lines sat silent in a Pilgrim cell at Boston—the Lincolnshire town where the Pilgrims were imprisoned in their first attempt to flee their native country—pondering on the past and inscribing his humble lines to the New World pioneers, the President of the American Republic was at Provincetown, Massachusetts, dedicating a giant monument to the planters of New Plymouth, the last of the many memorials erected to them. The date was the fifth of August, 1910. President Taft in his address at the commemoration ceremonies declared very truly that the purpose which prompted the Pilgrims' progress and the spirit which animated them furnish the United States to-day with the highest ideals of moral life and political citizenship. Three years before, another American President, Mr. Roosevelt, at the cornerstone laying of this monument, enlarged on the character of their achievement, and in ringing words proclaimed its immensity and world-wide significance.

Down through the years the leaders of men have borne burning witness to the wonderful work of the Pilgrim Fathers. Its influence is deep-rooted in the world's history to-day, and[Pg viii] in the life and the past of our race it stands its own enduring monument.

The object of the present narrative is to give to the reader an account of the Mayflower Pilgrims that is concise and yet sufficiently comprehensive to embrace all essentials respecting the personality and pilgrimage of the Forefathers, whom the poet Whittier pictures to us in vivid verse as:

those brave men who brought
To the ice and iron of our winter time
A will as firm, a creed as stern, and wrought
With one mailed hand and with the other fought.

In the pages which follow, the Old World homes and haunts of the Pilgrim Fathers are depicted and described. The story has the advantage of having been written on the scene of their early trials, concerted plans of escape, and stormy emigration, by one who, from long association, is familiar with the history and traditions of Boston and the quaint old sister port of Gainsborough, and perhaps imparts to the work some feeling of the life and local atmosphere of those places in the days that are dealt with, and before. The Pilgrims are followed into Holland and on their momentous journey across seas to the West. The story aims at being trustworthy and up-to-date as regards the later known facts of Pilgrim history and the developments which reflect it in our own time. It does what no other book on the subject has attempted:[Pg ix] it traces the individual lives and varying fortunes of the Pilgrims after their settlement in the New World; and it states the steps taken in recent years to perpetuate the memory of the heroic band. The tale that is told is one of abiding interest to the Anglo-Saxon race; and its attractiveness in these pages is enhanced by the series of illustrations which accompanies the printed record. Grateful acknowledgment is made of much kindly assistance rendered during the preparation of the work, especially by the Honourable William S. Kyle, Treasurer of the First (Pilgrim) Church at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

[Pg x]
Men they were who could not bend;
Blest Pilgrims, surely, as they took for guide
A will by sovereign Conscience sanctified.

From Rite and Ordinance abused they fled
To Wilds where both were utterly unknown.

Wordsworth, "Ecclesiastical Sonnets," Part III. Aspects of Christianity in America, I. The Pilgrim Fathers.

In romance of circumstance and the charm of personal heroism the story of the Pilgrim Fathers is pre-eminent.

J. A. Doyle's "English in America."

The coming hither of the Pilgrim three centuries ago ... shaped the destinies of this Continent, and therefore profoundly affected the destiny of the whole world.

President Roosevelt, at the laying of the corner-stone of the Pilgrim Memorial Monument at Provincetown, Massachusetts, August 20th, 1907.

[Pg xi/xii]

The Cells, Guildhall, Boston
With winding staircase to court-room above


The Pilgrims' Cells,
Guildhall, Boston, Lincolnshire.

This is written in a Pilgrim cell, one of those dark and narrow dungeons which the Pilgrim Fathers tenanted three hundred and four years ago, in the autumn of 1607, and behind the heavy iron bars of which men have for generations delighted to be locked in memory of their lives and deeds. The present-day gaoler, less terrible than his predecessor of Puritan times, has ushered me in and closed the rusty gate upon me, and left me alone, a willing prisoner for a space. I look around, but do not start and shrink in mortal dread as must once the hapless captives here immured.

'Tis a gloomy place as a rule; but just now some outer basement doors, flung open, admit the autumn sunlight, which floods the hall floor and penetrates to the cell where I am seated. To get here I have stooped and sidled through an opening a foot and a half wide and five feet deep, set in a whitewashed wall fourteen inches thick. I stand with arms outstretched, and find that the opposite walls may be pressed with the finger-tips of each hand. The cell extends back seven feet, and the height is the same between the bare stone floor and the roughly[Pg xiv] boarded roof. All is dingy, cobwebbed, musty, and silent as the grave. Like the neighbouring tenement it is cold, mean, melancholy, fit only to be shunned. Yet its associations are dear indeed. For this is holy ground, a hallowed spot, a Mecca of modern pilgrims. It has a history held sacred in two hemispheres, that of religious persecution, of loyal resolution, of physical fetters and spiritual freedom.

Such is the story inscribed upon these walls, a record which may be read in all their time-worn stones, on every inch of their rusted bolts and bars. For they are the cells of the Pilgrim Fathers. Here was the first rude break in their weary worldly progress, a journey which was to continue with affliction into Holland, thence back to Plymouth, and, after a last adieu there to English soil, on in the little Mayflower to New Plymouth and a New England.

Alone in a Pilgrim cell! What thoughts the situation kindles; how eagerly the imagination shapes and clothes them; what scenes this mouldy atmosphere unfolds. The very solitude is eloquent with pious reminiscence; the void is filled again, peopled with those spectres of an imperishable past; their prayers and praise fall on the listening ear, a soft appeal for grace and strength, the lulling notes of a rough psalmody; then answering dreams and visions of the night.



I[Pg 1/2]




View each well-known scene:
Think what is now and what hath been.Scott.

Lincolnshire stands pre-eminent among the English shires for inspiriting records of trials borne and conflicts waged for conscience' sake. The whole country, from the lazy Trent to the booming eastern sea, teems moreover with religious interest. To read what happened between the births of two famous Lincolnshire men—Archbishop Langton in the twelfth century; and Methodist John Wesley in the seventeenth—is like reading the history of English nonconformity. The age of miracles was long since past; yet Stephen Langton, Primate of England and Cardinal of Rome, was a champion of the national liberties. He aided, nay instigated, the wresting of Magna Charta from King John. That was not the result of his education; 'twas the Lincolnshire blood in his veins. For the outrage on the Romish traditions[Pg 4] the Archbishop was suspended by the Pope. Probably he would have been hanged if they could have got at him.

But we can go back farther even than Langton's time. Not many miles from Gainsborough is the Danish settlement of Torksey, rich in ecclesiastical lore. Here Paulinus baptised the Lindissians on the sandy shore of the Trent, in the presence of Edwin, King of Northumbria. Hereabout, they say, King Alfred the Great was married to the daughter of Etheldred, and the old wives of Gainsborough used to recite tales of Wickliffe hiding on the spot where once stood the dwelling-place of Sweyn and of Canute.

[Pg 5/6]

Photograph by Brocklehurst, Gainsborough
A Bit of Old Gainesborough

Lincolnshire has always had the courage to bear religious stress, and strange things are read of it. It was near Louth that the insurrection known as "The Pilgrimage of Grace" began. Eighty-five years before the sailing of the Mayflower, and thirty years before William Brewster was born, the ecclesiastical commissioners for the suppression of monasteries (which were plentiful in Lincolnshire) went down to hold a visitation at Louth. But the excursion was not to their pleasure. As one of them rode into the town he heard the alarm bell pealing from the tower, and then he saw people swarming into the streets carrying bills and staves, "the stir and noise arising hideous." He fled into the church for sanctuary, but they hauled him out, and with a sword at his breast bade him swear to be true to the Commonwealth.[Pg 7] He swore. That was the Examiner. When the Registrar came on the scene he was with scant ceremony dragged to the market cross, where his commission was read in derision and then torn up, and he barely escaped with his life. For the same cause there were risings at Caistor and Horncastle—two of the demurest of modern towns. The Bishop's Chancellor was murdered in the streets of Horncastle and the body stripped and the garments torn to rags; and at Lincoln the episcopal palace was plundered and partially demolished.

But Lincolnshire need rest no fame upon such merits as these. Greater honour belongs to the county, for it was Lincolnshire that made the most important of all contributions to the building of America when it sent forth the Pilgrim Fathers, and afterwards the Puritan leaders, who met for conference in the eventful days of the movement in Boston town, in Sempringham manor house, or in Tattershall Castle, to lay the foundations of the Massachusetts settlements. And, as Doyle in his "English in America," truly says, "In romance of circumstance and the charm of personal heroism the story of the Pilgrim Fathers is pre-eminent. They were the pioneers who made it easy for the rest of the host to follow." Their colony was the germ of the New England States.

Amid the quiet pastures threaded by the Ryton stream, where the counties of York and Lincoln and Nottingham meet, are two small[Pg 8] villages, the homes of the only Pilgrim Fathers satisfactorily traced to English birthplaces. A simple, pathetic interest clings to these secluded spots. At Scrooby is the manor house wherein William Brewster, the great heart of the pilgrimage and foremost planter of New Plymouth, was born. Archbishops of York had found a home here for centuries; Wolsey, at the close of his strangely checkered career, lodged there and planted a mulberry tree in the garden; Bishop Bonner dated a letter thence to Thomas Cromwell. And when William Brewster became Elder Brewster, pensive Puritans often gathered there to worship, "and with great love he entertained them when they came, making provision for them to his great charge." His condition was prosperous and he could well afford to do it. A Cambridge man, Brewster early took his degree at Peterhouse; he next saw service at Court, and accompanied Secretary Davison to the Netherlands; afterwards succeeding his father and grandfather as post on the great North Road at Scrooby, a responsible and well-paid office, which he filled for nearly twenty years.

The parish church, "not big, but very well builded," as Leland said; the quaint old vicarage; the parish pound, and all that remains of the parish stocks: these stand witness to the antiquity of Scrooby. A little railway station and rushing Northern expresses are almost the only signs of twentieth century activity.

[Pg 9/10]

Photograph by Welchman Bros., Retford
The Old Manor House, Scrooby, where William Brewster was Born

Photograph by Welchman Bros., Retford
Scrooby Church

[Pg 11]The Scrooby community was an off-shoot from that at Gainsborough, the first Separatist church formed in the North of England, of which the pastor was John Smyth, a graduate of Cambridge, an "eminent man in his time" and "well beloved of most men." Smyth preached at Gainsborough from 1602 to 1606, when he was driven into exile. The members of his church gathered from miles around to its services, crossing into Gainsborough by the ferry-boat on the Trent. This continued for two or three years, until at length "these people became two distinct bodies or churches, and in regard of distance did congregate severally; for they were of sundry towns and villages."

Richard Clyfton, once rector of Babworth near Retford—"a grave and reverend preacher"—was the first pastor at Scrooby; and with him as teacher was "that famous and worthy man Mr. John Robinson," another seceder from the English Church, who afterwards was pastor for many years "till the Lord took him away by death."

Next to Brewster, William Bradford was the most prominent of the lay preachers among the Scrooby fraternity. He became Governor Bradford of the Plymouth Colony—"the first American citizen of the English race who bore rule by the free choice of his brethren"—and the historian of the Plymouth Plantation. Bradford, a yeoman's son with comfortable home surroundings, lived at Austerfield, an ancient[Pg 12] agricultural village about three miles from Scrooby on the Yorkshire side. The pretty cottage of his birth is still shown by the roadside near the Norman church, and the parish register bears the record of his baptism, on March 19, 1589. A youth of seventeen years, he walked across the fields to join the Scrooby brethren in their meetings. He and Brewster, the two men who were to impress their individuality so powerfully upon the religious life of the American people, became firm friends, and, says their later historian,[1] that friendship, "formed amid the tranquil surroundings of the North Midlands of their native land, was to be deepened by common labours and aspirations, and by common hardships and sufferings endured side by side both in the Old World and the New."

[Pg 13/14]

Photograph by Welchman Bros., Retford
The Cottage at Austerfield where William Bradford was Born

But it was Robinson to whom they jointly owed much guidance. When, in Bradford's own words, "They could not long continue in any peaceable condition, but were hunted and persecuted on every side;" when "some were taken and clapt up in prison, and others had their houses beset and watched night and day, and hardly escaped their hands;" and when "the most were fain to fly and leave their homes and habitations and the means of their livelihood," it was John Robinson, the devout and learned pastor, who led them out of Nottinghamshire into Holland, and there inspired within[Pg 15] them the vision of complete earthly freedom in the new country across the Atlantic.

Robinson was a Lincolnshire man. Gainsborough claims him, and on Gainsborough his first solid memorial has been raised. Many are familiar with Gainsborough who have never seen the town. Up the Trent sailed Sweyn, the sanguinary Dane, to conquest; and his son Canute—he that ordered back the rising tide, and got a wetting for his pains—was at Gainsborough when he succeeded him as King of England.

Gainsborough is the St. Ogg's of "The Mill on the Floss," and the Trent is the Floss, along which Tom and Maggie Tulliver "wandered with a sense of travel, to see the rushing spring-tide, the awful Ægir, come up like a hungry monster"—the inrush of the first wave of the tide, a phenomenon peculiar at that time to both the Trent and the Witham.

What George Eliot wrote of St. Ogg's describes old Gainsborough to-day—"A town which carries the trace of its long growth and history like a millennial tree, and has sprung up and developed in the same spot between the river and the low hill from the time when the Roman legion turned their backs on it from the camp on the hillside, and the long-haired sea-kings came up the river and looked with fierce eyes at the fatness of the land."

And in sketching the history of St. Ogg's the novelist remembered that time of ecclesiastical[Pg 16] ferment now written about, when "Many honest citizens lost all their possessions for conscience' sake, and went forth beggared from their native town. Doubtless there are many houses standing now," she said, "on which those honest citizens turned their backs in sorrow, quaint gabled houses looking on the river, jammed between newer warehouses, and penetrated by surprising passages, which turn at sharp angles till they lead you out on a muddy strand over-flowed continually by the rushing tide." Did not Maggie Tulliver, in white muslin and simple, noble beauty, attend an "idiotic beggar" in the still existing Old Hall, where the Fathers worshipped and John Smyth taught—"a very quaint place, with broad, jaded stripes painted on the walls, and here and there a show of heraldic animals of a bristly, long-snouted character, the cherished emblems of a noble family once the seigniors of this now civic hall"?

In this Old Hall the Separatist church was founded in 1602, and here it had the friendly protection of the Hickman family, Protestants whose religious sympathies had brought them persecution and exile in the past.

[Pg 17/18]

Photograph by Welchman Bros., Retford
The Old Hall, Gainsborough, in which the Separatist Church was Founded in 1602

But the "foreign-looking town" which George Eliot endowed with romance had, like the neighbouring estuary town of Boston, which her language might have served almost as well to paint, been the abode of hard, historic fact. We can imagine the Scrooby brethren crossing the ancient ferry to bid their friends at Gainsborough[Pg 19] farewell. For in 1607 we read, this "groupe of earnest professors of religion and bold assertors of the principle of freedom and personal conviction in respect to the Christian faith and practice" had formed the resolution to seek in another country the liberty they found not at home.[2] But it was as unlawful to flee from their native land as to remain in it without conforming, for the statute of 13 Richard II, still in force, made emigrating without authority a penal crime.

Not Gainsborough alone in the North and East appeals to the never-ending stream of reverent New World pilgrims to Old World shrines. On an autumn day of the year above named came Elder Brewster to the famed new borough of Boston. There he cautiously looked about him, and made a bargain with the captain[Pg 20] of a Dutch vessel to receive his party on board "as privately as might be." But they were betrayed, arrested, stripped of their belongings and driven into the town, a spectacle for the gaping crowd, then haled before the justices at the Guildhall and "put into ward," there to await the pleasure of the Privy Council concerning them.

Boston is a unique old shrine—a place "familiar with forgotten years," as George Eliot says; a town, as already hinted, resembling Gainsborough in many outward features, but even wealthier in associations dear to the hearts of New World pilgrims. Boston and Gainsborough are regarded as the two most foreign-looking towns in England. Many of Boston's inhabitants still hold the brave spirit which enabled their ancestors to endure the religious stress of the seventeenth century. It has been a cradle of liberty since that idea first held men's thoughts and roused them to action.

The quaint buildings, the ancient towers of Hussey and of Kyme, the Guildhall, the Grammar School, the great church with its giant tower all crusted o'er with the dust of antiquity: these stood when Bradford and Brewster and their companions in search of freedom were arraigned before the magistrates for the high crime and misdemeanor of trying to leave their native land.

[Pg 21/22]

Photograph by Hackford, Boston
Guildhall and South Street, Boston

They must have had secret friends in the place;[Pg 23] for some time after their Boston adventure the Government sent down Commissioners to make serious inquiry as to who had cut off the crosses from the tops of the maces carried before the Mayor to church "on Sundays and Thursdays and solemn times." John Cotton, the Puritan vicar, openly condemned the act. Suspicion fell upon churchwarden Atherton Hough. But he denied it, though "he confessed he did before that year break off the hand and arm of a picture of a Pope (as it seemed) standing over a pillar of the outside of the steeple very high, which hand had the form of a church in it." The confession seems to have been safely made, and doubtless churchwarden Hough was proud of it. He might have been better employed at that moment; but if any be tempted to censure his Puritan zeal, let them remember the temper of the times in which he lived. There was something more than wanton mischief behind it all. It was not in fact a "picture" of a Pope, but an image much more innocent. But the resemblance was sufficient for Atherton Hough.

The venerable Guildhall, where Brewster and the rest faced the justices, stands in a street containing the queerest of riverside warehouses. One of them, old Gysors' Hall, was once the home of a family belonging to the merchant guilds of Boston, which gave to London two Mayors and a Constable of the Tower in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The Guildhall itself dates from the thirteenth century; the[Pg 24] image of St. Mary which once adorned its front shared the fate of the "picture" on the church tower, with the difference that the Virgin vanished more completely than the "Pope." The hall is regularly used by the public; and local authorities with long and honourable history still deliberate in the ancient court-room, with its wagon roof, its arch beams, its wainscoted walls, and the Boston coat-of-arms and the table of Boston Mayors since 1545 proudly displayed to view. Except for its fittings and furniture the chamber presents much the appearance now that it did when the Pilgrim Fathers, brought up from the cells which exist to-day just as when they tenanted them, stood pathetic figures on its floor and were interrogated by a body of justices, courteous and well-disposed, but powerless to give them back their liberty.

[Pg 25]

Photograph by Hackford, Boston
The Old Courtroom, Guildhall, Boston
Where the Pilgrims' Fathers faced the Justices. In the floor on the left is the trap door to the staircase leading down to the Cells. The Court ceased to be held here in 1843


[1] Dr. John Brown in "The Pilgrim Fathers of New England and their Puritan Successors."

[2] "Seeing themselves thus molested, and that there was no hope of their continuance there, they resolved to go into ye Low Countries, wher they heard was freedome of religion for all men; as also how Sundrie from London, and other parts of ye land had been exiled and persecuted for ye same cause, and were gone thither and lived at Amsterdam and in other places of ye land, so affter they had continued togeither about a year, and kept their meetings every Saboth, in one place or other, exercising the worship of God amongst themselves, notwithstanding all ye dilligence and malice of their adversaries, they seeing they could no longer continue in yt condition, they resolved to get over into Hollăd as they could which was in yy year 1607-1608."—Bradford's "History of Plymouth Plantation."

II[Pg 27]


[Pg 29/30]

Photograph by Hackford, Boston
The River Witham, Boston

II[Pg 31]


Well worthy to be magnified are they
Who, with sad hearts, of friends and country took
A last farewell, their loved abodes forsook,
And hallowed ground in which their fathers lay.

Great things were destined to result from that none too joyous jaunt of Elder Brewster's when, late in 1607, charged by the Scrooby community to find them a way out of England, he went down to Boston and chartered a ship. William Bradford was of the Boston party. Everything was quietly done. In all likelihood the intending emigrants never entered the town, but gathered at some convenient spot on the Witham tidal estuary where the rushing Ægir hissed.

Whether the Dutch skipper was dissatisfied with the fare promised him, or he feared detection and punishment, cannot be told. Yet, when the fugitives were all on board his vessel, and appeared about to sail, they were arrested by minions of the law. Bitter must have been their disappointment; stern, we may be sure, their remonstrance. But they could do nothing more than upbraid the treacherous Dutchman.[Pg 32] They were not kept long in doubt as to their fate. Put back into open boats, their captors "rifled and ransacked them, searching them to their shirts for money, yea, even the women further than became modesty, and then carried them back into the town, and made them a spectacle and wonder to the multitude who came flocking on all sides to behold them." A goodly sight for this curious Boston mob. "Being thus first by the catchpole officers rifled and stripped of their money, books, and much other goods," proceeds the account, with an honest contempt for the writings of the law, "they were presented to the magistrates, and messengers were sent to inform the Lords of the Council of them; and so they were committed to ward."

The basement cells in which the prisoners were placed had been in use at that time for about sixty years, for "in 1552 it was ordered that the kitchens under the Town Hall and the chambers over them should be prepared for a prison and a dwelling-house for one of the sergeants." There must have been more cells formerly. Two of them now remain. They are entered by a step some eighteen inches high; are about six feet broad by seven feet long; and in lieu of doors they are made secure by a barred iron gate.

[Pg 33/34]

Photograph by Hackford, Boston
The Pilgrim Cells, Guildhall, Boston, showing the Kitchen Beyond

Into these dens the captives were thrust. Short of a dungeon underground, no place of confinement could have been more depressing.[Pg 35] Only the heavy whitewashed gate, scarce wide enough to allow a man to enter, admits the light and air; and the interior of each cell is dark as night. We can imagine the misery of men fated to inhabit for long such abodes of gloom; it must have been extreme. They look as if they might have served as coal cellars for feeding the great open fireplaces which, with their spits and jacks and winding-chains, still stand there in the long open kitchen much as they did when they cooked the last mayoral banquet or May Day dinner for the old Bostonians.

A curious winding stair (partly left with its post), terminating at a trapdoor in the court-room floor, was the way by which prisoners ascended and descended on their passage to and from the Court above.

Now these justices who had the dealing with the Pilgrim Fathers were humane men, and were not without a feeling of sympathy for the unhappy captives. It is therefore reasonable to suppose that during some portion of this time, when their presence was not required by the Court, they may have found them better quarters than the Guildhall cells. There was a roomy ramshackle pile near the church in the market-place, half shop, half jail, of irregular shape, with long low roof, which in 1584 was "made strong" as regards the prison part, though in 1603—four years before the date under notice—it was so insecure that an individual detained there was "ordered to have irons[Pg 36] placed upon him for his more safe keeping," with a watchman to look after him! And thirty years later the jail, "and the prison therein called Little-Ease," were repaired.

We know what "Little-Ease" means well enough; and so did many a wretched occupant of these barbarous places. The Bishop of Lincoln, in the old persecuting days, had at his palace at Woburn "a cell in his prison called Little-Ease," so named because it was so small that those confined in it could neither stand upright nor lie at length. Other bishops possessed similar means of bodily correction and spiritual persuasion.

This was worse than the Guildhall cells, with all their gloomy horror; and if the magistrates entertained their unwilling guests at the town jail, we may rest satisfied they did not eat the bread of adversity and drink the water of affliction in Little-Ease, but in some more spacious apartment. We have no evidence that they did so entertain them, and the traditional lodging-place of these intercepted Pilgrims is the Guildhall and nowhere else. It is probable, all the same, that a good part of their captivity was spent in the town prison.

[Pg 37/38]

From a Drawing by the late William Brand, F. S. A.
Old Town Gaol, Market-place, Boston

Although the magistrates, from Mayor John Mayson downward, felt for the sufferers and doubtless ameliorated their condition as far as they could, it was not until after a month's imprisonment that the greater part were dismissed and sent back, baffled, plundered, and[Pg 39] heart-broken, to the places they had so lately left, there to endure the scoffs of their neighbours and the rigours of ecclesiastical discipline.

Seven of the principal men, treated as ring-leaders, were kept in prison and bound over to the assizes. Apparently nothing further was done with them. Brewster is said to have been the chief sufferer both in person and pocket. He had eluded a warrant by leaving for Boston, and we know this was in September, because on the fifteenth of that month the messenger charged to apprehend Brewster and another man, one Richard Jackson of Scrooby, certified to the Ecclesiastical Court at York "that he cannot find them, nor understand where they are." On the thirtieth of September also the first payment is recorded to Brewster's successor as postmaster at Scrooby.

How the imprisoned Separatists fared, there is nothing to show. No assize record exists. The Privy Council Register, which could have thrown light on the matter, was destroyed in the Whitehall fire of 1618; and the Boston Corporation records, which doubtless contained some entry on the subject that would have been of the greatest interest now, are also disappointing, as the leaves for the period, the first of a volume, have disappeared.

Eventually the prisoners were all liberated. That dreary wait of many weeks was a weariness of the spirit and of the flesh. Patiently they bore the separation, and by and by they[Pg 40] met to make more plans. Next spring they agreed with another Dutchman to take them on board at a lonely point on the northern coast of Lincolnshire, between Grimsby and Hull, "where was a large common, a good way distant from any town." This spot has been located as Immingham, the site of the new Grimsby docks.

The women, with the children and their goods, came to the Humber by boat down the Trent from Gainsborough; the men travelled forty miles across country from Scrooby. Both parties got to the rendezvous before the ship, and the boat was run into a creek. This was unfortunate, as when the captain came on the scene next morning the boat was high and dry, left on the mud by the fallen tide, and there was nothing for it but to wait for high water at midday.

[Pg 41/42]

Photograph by Bocklehurst, Gainsborough
Trentside, Gainsborough

Meanwhile the Dutchman set about taking the men on board in the ship's skiff, but when one boatload had been embarked he saw to his dismay, out on the hills in hot pursuit, "a great company, both horse and foot, with bills and guns and other weapons," for "the country was raised to take them." So the laconic historian says, "he swore his country's oath—Sacramente," and heaving up his anchor sailed straight away with the people he had got. Their feelings may be imagined; and their plight was aggravated by a violent storm, which drove them out of their course and tossed them about for a fortnight, until even the sailors gave up hope[Pg 43] and abandoned themselves to despair. But the ship reached port, at last, and all were saved.

The scene ashore meantime had been scarcely less distressing than that at sea. Some of the men left behind made good their escape; the rest tarried with the forsaken portion of the party. The women were broken-hearted. Some wept and cried for their husbands, carried away in the unkindly prudent Dutchman's ship. Some were distracted with apprehension; and others looked with tearful eyes into the faces of the helpless little ones that clung about them, crying with fear and quaking with cold.

The men with the bills and guns arrested them; but, though they hurried their prisoners from place to place, no Justice could be found to send women to gaol for no other crime than wanting to go with their husbands. We know not what befell them. The most likely suggestion is that "they took divers ways, and were received into various houses by kind-hearted country folk." Yet this we do know. They rallied somewhere at a later day, and John Robinson and William Brewster, and other principal members of the devoted sect, including Richard Clyfton, "were of the last, and stayed to help the weakest over before them;" and Bradford tells us with a sigh of satisfaction that "notwithstanding all these storms of opposition, they all gatt over at length, some at one time and some at another, and some in one place and some in another, and mette[Pg 44] togeather againe according to their desires, with no small rejoycing"—to take part in the wonderful movement, begun by the Pilgrims and continued by the Puritans, that gave to a new land a new nation. Thus, wrote Richard Monckton Milnes, in some verses dated "The Hall, Bawtry, May 30th, 1854"—

Thus, to men cast in that heroic mould
Came Empire, such as Spaniard never knew—
Such Empire as beseems the just and true;
And at the last, almost unsought, came gold.

[Pg 45/46]

Copyright, 1904, by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
Elder William Brewster

[Pg 47]III


[Pg 49/50]

Photograph by W. P. Demmenie, Leyden
John Robinson's House, Leyden, where the Pilgrim Fathers Worshipped

[Pg 51]III


Then to the new-found World explored their way,
That so a Church, unforced, uncalled to brook
Ritual restraints, within some sheltering nook
Her Lord might worship and His Word obey
In Freedom.Wordsworth.

The first stage of the pilgrimage from the Old England to the New was now accomplished. Before the end of 1608 the whole body of the fugitives had assembled at Amsterdam. Two Separatist communities were already there, one from London, of which Francis Johnson was pastor and Henry Ainsworth teacher, and the other from Gainsborough under John Smyth. But these brethren were torn with dissensions, and the Scrooby Pilgrims, seeking peace, moved on to Leyden, where, by permission of the authorities, they settled early in 1609. Here they embarked upon a prosperous period of church life, and after awhile purchased a large dwelling, standing near the belfry tower of St. Peter's Church, which in 1611 served as pastor's residence and meeting-house, while in the rear of it were built a score of cottages for the use of their poor.

Eleven quiet years were spent in Holland.[Pg 52] Governor Bradford says they continued "in a comfortable condition, enjoying much sweet and delightful society and spiritual comfort," and that they "lived together in love and peace all their days," without any difference or disturbance "but such as was easily healed in love."

The conditions of life were stern and hard, but they bore all cheerfully. With patient industry they worked at various handicrafts, fighting poverty and gaining friends. William Bradford was a fustian worker when, in 1613, at the age of twenty-three, he married Dorothy May of Wisbech; the marriage register which thus describes him is preserved in the Puiboeken at Amsterdam. Brewster, who was chief elder to John Robinson, now sole pastor of the congregation since Richard Clyfton had remained behind at Amsterdam, at first earned a livelihood by giving lessons in English to the students at the University. Then, in conjunction with Thomas Brewer, a Puritan from Kent, he set up a printing press, and they produced books in defence of their principles, such as were banned in England. Similar literature, emanating from the Netherlands, had excited the wrath of King James, who still possessed sufficient influence with the States of Holland to enable him to reach offending authors there. This James attempted to do in the case of Elder Brewster through Sir Dudley Carleton, then English ambassador at the Hague. The result was ludicrous failure.

[Pg 53/54]

St. Peter's Church, Leyden

[Pg 55]

Brewster quitted Leyden for a time and went to London, not as was thought to elude the vigilance of the Ambassador, but to arrange with shipmasters for a voyage to the West, which the Pilgrims had begun to think about. While Brewster was being sought by the Bishop of London's pursuivants, Sir Dudley Carleton, unaware of the hunt proceeding in London, was actively searching for him at Leyden, and at last triumphantly informed Secretary Naunton that he had caught his man. But as it turned out, the bailiff charged with the arrest, "being a dull, drunken fellow," had seized Brewer instead of Brewster! The prisoner was nevertheless detained, and after some ado consented to submit himself for examination in England, on conditions which were observed. Nothing came of it however. Brewster returned free and unmolested and Brewer remained in Leyden for some years, when, venturing back to England, he was thrown into prison and kept there until released by the Long Parliament fourteen years later.

Events were meanwhile shaping the destiny of the little Pilgrim community. Holland, though a welcome temporary asylum, was no permanent place for these English exiles, and their thoughts turned before long towards a settlement in North America. By good fortune this was a country then being opened up, and it appeared as a veritable Land of Promise to these refugees in search of a new home.[Pg 56]

The first attempt to found an English colony on the mainland of North America was made in 1584, when Sir Walter Raleigh took possession of the country and named it Virginia in honour of his Queen. Nothing came of this venture, but in 1607 a company of one hundred and five men from England, sailing in three small ships, had landed on the peninsula of Jamestown in Chesapeake Bay, and the first permanent settlement was established.

The chief of this Virginian enterprise was the redoubtable John Smith, a Lincolnshire man, the first of those sons of empire to go out from the East to the West. Strange that this pioneer in the wilderness, who gave to New England its name, should have come from a country which was to contribute so much to the peopling of the New England States. It is upon record that in 1619 Smith, who was then unemployed at home, volunteered to lead out the Pilgrims to North Virginia, but nothing came of the offer.

[Pg 57/58]

Photograph by James, Louth
Bust of Captain John Smith
Presented by General Baden-Powell to the Louth Grammar School

The Leyden brethren in their hour of need turned to the Virginia Company, and the negotiations for a settlement in the chartered territory were not altogether unsatisfactory. The obstacle was their religion. On the Council of the Company they had good friends; but its charter not only enforced conformity, but provided stringent measures of church government. Yet, though the Pilgrims could obtain no formal grant of freedom of worship, the presumption that they would not be disturbed was so strong[Pg 59] that they accepted the conditions and were about to embark when the Merchant Adventurers in London with whom they were associated secured powers from the Plymouth Company, and they decided to sail for New England instead of for Virginia.

Arrangements were not completed without "many quirimonies and complaints;" but the exiles were saddled with such substantial difficulties as want of capital and means of transport, and the bargaining was all in favour of the merchants who were to finance and equip the expedition. At length the compact was made and preparations for the voyage were pushed forward, and the eventful day arrived when the Pilgrims were to make the long, lone journey across the seas.

Pastor Robinson and a portion of his flock were to stay behind at Leyden until the first detachment had secured a lodgment on the American continent; and those about to sail, the majority of the little community, went on board the Speedwell, a vessel of sixty tons. The Pilgrims embarked included such stout-hearted pioneers as Brewster and Bradford, John Carver, Edward Winslow, Isaac Allerton, Samuel Fuller, and John Howland, all "pious and godly men;" also Captain Miles Standish, who, though not a member of the congregation then or afterwards, was a valiant soldier whose military experience and well-tried sword would, it was suspected, prove of service in a country[Pg 60] where "salvages" were known to exist in large numbers and might have to be encountered with the arm of flesh.

That was a touching scene and one which stands out boldly in the history of the movement when, on a bright sunny morning in July, 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers knelt on the seashore at Delfshaven and Mr. Robinson, his hands uplifted and his voice broken with emotion, gave them his blessing. Affecting also was the parting of the emigrants with those they were leaving behind. They had need of all their courage and patience.

They sailed with British cheers and a sounding volley fired as salute, and made a brave enough show on quitting land; but troubles dogged them on the waters. Delays and disappointments soon set in. The Speedwell brought them to Southampton, where, anchored off the West Key, they found the Mayflower of London, a bark of one hundred and eighty tons burden, Captain Thomas Jones, and several passengers, some of them merchants' craftsmen.

Here some anxious days were spent in patching up the compact with the Adventurers, and while the vessels lay detained letters written by Robinson arrived from Leyden, one for John Carver conveying the pastoral promise—never, alas! redeemed—to join them later, and the other, full of wise counsel and encouragement, addressed to the whole company, to whom it was read aloud and "had good acceptance with all and after-fruit with many."

[Pg 61/62]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
From the Painting by Weir
The Embarkation of the Pilgrims

[Pg 63]With ninety people in the Mayflower and thirty in the Speedwell, and a governor and assistants appointed for each company, the two vessels dropped down Southampton water on August 15[3]; but they were scarcely in the Channel when the smaller craft began to leak, and they had to run into Dartmouth and overhaul her. The repairs occupied eight days. At the end of that time the ships again stood out to sea; but, when nearly three hundred miles past the Land's End, Reynolds, master of the Speedwell, reported that the pinnace was still leaking badly, and could only be kept afloat by the aid of the pumps. So there was nothing for it but to turn back a second time, and the vessels now put into Plymouth, the Pilgrims landing at the Old Barbican.

At Plymouth the Speedwell was abandoned and sent back to London to the Merchant Adventurers, and with her went eighteen persons who had turned faint-hearted, among them Robert Cushman, a chief promoter of the emigration, and his family. Finally, after much kindness and hospitality extended to them by the Plymouth people, of whom they carried a grateful remembrance across the Atlantic, the Pilgrim Fathers said adieu, and all crowded on board the Mayflower, which, with its load of passengers, numbering one hundred and two souls, followed by many a cheering shout and[Pg 64] fervent "God-speed" from the shore, set sail alone on September 16 on its dreary voyage to the West. The weighing of the anchor of that little ship changed the ultimate destiny of half the English-speaking race!

We have to remember that a trip like this in such a vessel as the Mayflower, crowded for the most part with helpless people, was a hazardous undertaking. The dangers of the deep were dreaded in those days for all-sufficient reasons, and here was a tiny craft, heavily submerged, making a winter voyage on a stormy ocean to a destination almost unknown. It must have required the strongest resolution, both of passengers and crew, to face the perils of the venture; the step was a desperate one, but, urged on by circumstances and an indomitable spirit, they took it unfalteringly, having first done what they could to make the lumbering little ship seaworthy.

[Pg 65/66]

Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution
Model of the Mayflower

The weather was cold and tempestuous, and the passage unexpectedly long. Half way across the Atlantic the voyagers incurred the penalty of those early delays, which now left them still at sea in the bad season. Caught by the equinoctial gales, they were sadly buffeted about, driven hither and thither by boisterous winds, tossed like a toy on the face of great rolling, breaking billows, the decks swept, masts and timbers creaking, the rigging rattling in the hard northern blast. One of the violent seas which struck them, unshipped a large beam in the body[Pg 67] of the vessel, but by strenuous labour it was got into position again, and the carpenters caulked the seams which the pitching had opened in the sides and deck. Once that sturdy colonist of later years, John Howland, venturing above the gratings, was washed overboard, but by a lucky chance he caught a coil of rope trailing over the bulwark in the sea, and was hauled back into the ship. A birth and a death at intervals were also events of the passage. It was not until two whole months had been spent on the troubled ocean that glad cries at last welcomed the sight of land, and very soon after, on November 21, sixty-seven days out from Plymouth, the Mayflower rounded Cape Cod and dropped anchor in the placid waters of what came to be Provincetown Harbour.

[Pg 68/69]

Copyright, 1890, by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
Plymouth Harbour, as seen from Cole's Hill

[Pg 70]


[3] New style, which is that adopted for the dates of sailing, and arrival and landing in North American.

[Pg 71/72]IV

[Pg 73/74]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
From a Painting
The Landing of the Pilgrims

[Pg 75]IV


The breaking waves dash'd high
On a stern and rock-bound coast;
And the woods, against a stormy sky,
Their giant branches toss'd.Mrs. Hemans.

We can imagine with what wondering awe and mingled hopes and fears the Pilgrims looked out over the sea upon that strange New World, with its great stretch of wild, wooded coast and panorama of rock and dune and scrub, wintry bay and frowning head-land, to which destiny and the worn white wings of the Mayflower together had brought them. With thankful hearts for safe deliverance from the perils of the sea, mindful of the past and not despairing for the future, they turned trustfully and bravely to meet the dangers which they knew awaited them in the unknown wilderness ashore.

The point reached by the voyagers was considerably north of the intended place of settlement, the vicinity of the Hudson River; but whether accidental or designed—and some evidence there certainly was which seemed to show that the master of the Mayflower had been[Pg 76] bribed by the Dutch[4] to keep away from Manhattan, which they wanted for themselves—the variation was a happy one for the colonists, inasmuch as it saved them from the savages, who were warlike and numerous near the Hudson, while in this district they had been decimated and scattered by disease.

[Pg 77/78]

Copyright, 1906, by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
From a Painting
The March of Miles Standish

Now the Pilgrims were a prudent as well as a pious and plucky people, and while yet upon the water they set about providing themselves with a system of civil government. Placed as they were by this time outside the pale of recognized authority, some fitting substitute for it must be established if order was to be maintained. The necessity for this was the more imperative as there were some on board—the hired labourers, probably—who were not, it was feared, "well affected to peace and concord." Assembled in the cabin of the Mayflower, we accordingly have the leaders of the expedition, preparing that other historical incident of the pilgrimage. There they drew up the document forming a body politic and promising obedience to laws framed for the common good. This was the first American charter of self-government. It was subscribed by all the male emigrants on board, numbering forty-one. Under the constitution[Pg 79] adopted, John Carver was elected Governor for one year.

The Mayflower rode at anchor while three explorations were made to discover a suitable place of settlement, one of them on shore under Captain Miles Standish, and two by water in the ship's shallop, which had been stowed away in pieces 'tween decks on the voyage. On December 21st an inlet of the bay was sounded and pronounced "fit for shipping," and the explorers on going inland found "divers cornfields and little running brooks," and other promising sources of supply. They accordingly decided that this was a place "fit for situation," and on December 26th the Mayflower's passengers, cramped and emaciated by long confinement on board, leaped joyfully ashore. Appropriately the spot was named New Plymouth, after the last port of call in Old England.

The Pilgrims landed on a huge boulder of granite, the Pilgrim Stone, still reverently preserved by their descendants: a rock which was

to their feet as a doorstep
Into a world unknown—the cornerstone of a nation![5]

The early struggles of the Plymouth planters and the hardships they endured form a story of terrible privation and suffering on the one hand and heroic endurance and self-sacrifice on the other. They were late in arriving, and the season, midwinter, was unpropitious. The[Pg 80] weather was unusually severe, even for that rigorous climate, and the Pilgrims found themselves in sorry plight on that bleak New England shore. Cold and famine had doggedly to be fought, and the contest was an unequal one. Cooped up for so long in the Mayflower, and badly fed and sheltered on the voyage, the settlers were ill-fitted to withstand the stress of the new conditions. For a time it was a struggle for bare existence, and the little colony was brought very near to extinction.

The first care was to provide accommodation ashore, and for economy of building the community was divided into nineteen households, and the single men assigned to the different families, each of whom was to erect its own habitation and to have a plot of land. These rude homesteads of wood and thatch, and other buildings, eventually formed a single street beside the stream running down to the beach from the hill beyond. The soil of the chosen settlement appeared to be good, and abounded with "delicate springs" of water; the land yielded plentifully in season, and life teemed upon the coast and in the sea.

[Pg 81/82]

Copyright, 1906, by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
The Canopy over Plymouth Rock

But many of the Pilgrims never lived to enjoy this provision of a bountiful Providence. Worn out, enfeebled in health, insufficiently housed ashore, they were a prey to sickness. Death reaped a rich harvest in their midst. Every second day a grave had to be dug for one or other of them in the frozen ground. Sometimes,[Pg 83] during January and February, two or three died in a single day. So rapid was the mortality that at last only a mere handful remained who were able to look after the sick. William Bradford was at this time prostrated, and it is pathetic to note the expression of his gratitude to his friend William Brewster and Miles Standish and others who ministered to his needs and those of the fellow-sufferers around him. One house, the first finished, was set apart as a hospital. The hill above the beach was converted into a burial-ground,[6] and one is touched to the quick to read of the graves having to be levelled and grassed over for fear the prowling Indians should discover how few and weak the strangers were becoming!

With March came better weather, and for the first time "the birds sang pleasantly in the woods," and brought hope and gladness to the hearts of the struggling colonists. But, by that time, of the hundred or more who had landed three short months before, one-half had perished miserably. John Carver succumbed in April, and his wife quickly followed him to[Pg 84] the grave. Bradford, by the suffrages of his brethren, was made Governor for the first time in Carver's place. He had himself sustained a heavy bereavement, for, while he was away in the shallop with the exploring party, Dorothy May, the wife he had married at Amsterdam, fell overboard and was drowned. Many men of the Mayflower also died that dreadful winter as the ship lay at anchor in the bay, including the boatswain, the gunner, and the cook, three quartermasters and several seamen.

[Pg 85/86]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
From a Painting
The Old Fort and First Meeting House

To other troubles were allied the ever menacing peril of the Indians, which resulted in the famous challenge of the bundle of arrows wrapped in a rattlesnake's skin, and Bradford's effective reply to it with a serpent's skin stuffed with powder and shot; also, less happily, that return of Miles Standish and his men bearing in triumph a sagamore's head; and the building of the hill-fort, with cannon brought ashore from the Mayflower mounted on its roof, where also they worshipped till the first church was built at the hill fort in 1648. Here it was that the Pilgrims perpetuated the church founded at Scrooby in England. A building erected for storage and public worship in the first days of the colony took fire soon after its completion and was burnt to the ground. Of the refuge on the hill Bradford writes: "They builte a fort with good timber, both strong and comly, which was of good defence, made with a flatte rofe and batilments, on which their ordnance was mounted,[Pg 87] and where they kepte constante watch, especially in time of danger. It served them also for a meeting-house, and was fitted accordingly for that use." The fort was large and square, and a work of such pretentions as to be regarded by some of the Pilgrims as vainglorious. Its provision was fully justified by the dangers which threatened the settlers, and it became the center of both the civic and religious life of the little colony.

An excellent idea of the scene at Sunday church parade is given in a letter[7] written by Isaac de Rassières, secretary to the Dutch colony established at Manhattan, the modern New York, in 1623, describing a visit he paid to the Plymouth Plantation in the autumn of 1627. After speaking of the flat-roofed fort with its "six cannon, which shoot iron balls of four and five pounds and command the surrounding country," the writer says of the Pilgrims meeting in the lower part: "They assemble by beat of drum, each with his musket or firelock, in front of the captain's door; they have their cloaks on, and place themselves in order three abreast, and are led by a sergeant without beat of drum. Behind comes the Governor in a long robe; beside him, on the right hand, comes the Preacher with his cloak on, and on the left the Captain[Pg 88] with his sidearms and cloak on, and with a small cane in his hand; and so they march in good order, and each sets his arms down near him. Thus they are constantly on their guard, night and day."

The spectacle may not have been strictly that witnessed at every service on "Sundays and the usual holidays," for this was a state visit to the Colony, with solemn entry and heralding by trumpeters, and the Pilgrims probably treated the occasion with more form than was their wont. Still it is an instructive picture, full of romantic suggestion.

[Pg 89/90]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
From the Painting by G. H. Boughton
Pilgrims going to Church

And then the service itself. For some notion of this we must turn to a visit paid to the Plantation five years later, in the autumn of 1632, when we are introduced to another scene in the fortified church. From the "Life and Letters" of John Winthrop, Governor of the neighbouring Colony of Massachusetts Bay, we gather that, at the time stated, Winthrop and his pastor, John Wilson, came over to Plymouth, walking the twenty-five miles. "On the Lord's Day," we read, "there was a sacrament, which they did partake in." Roger Williams was there as assistant to Ralph Smith, the first minister of Plymouth church, and in the afternoon Williams, according to custom, "propounded a question," to which Mr. Smith "spake briefly." Then Mr. Williams "prophesied," that is he preached, "and after, the Governor of Plymouth spake to the question; after him, Elder Brewster; then[Pg 91] some two or three men of the congregation. Then Elder Brewster desired the Governor of Massachusetts and Mr. Wilson to speak to it, which they did. When this was ended the deacon, Mr. Fuller, put the congregation in mind of their duty of contribution; whereupon the Governor and all the rest went down to the deacon's seat, and put into the box, and then returned."

There is nothing here about the music of the services, such as it was, vocal only, rugged, but not without melody. We know, however, that the Pilgrims used that psalter, brought over by them to New England, with its tunes printed above each psalm in lozenge-shaped Elizabethan notes, which Longfellow so grandly describes in "The Courtship of Miles Standish" as

the well-worn psalm-book of Ainsworth,
Printed in Amsterdam, the words and the music together,
Rough-hewn, angular notes, like stones in the walls of a churchyard,
Darkened and overhung by the running vine of the verses.

The duty of "tuning the Psalm," as they designated the performance, in the young colonial days, before choirs or precentors were dreamt of, was delegated to some lusty-lunged brother present, and, judged by the testimony which has come down to us, it was an onerous one, trying to his patience and his vocal power when, as sometimes happened, the congregation carried another tune against him. They were called to Sabbath worship in the earlier times by[Pg 92] sound of horn or beat of drum or the blowing of a large conch-shell. At Plymouth we have seen it was by drum beat, probably from the roof, that the people were assembled at the meeting-house.

When the Mayflower left them to return home in the spring, the settlers must have felt they were desolate indeed, for their nearest civilised neighbours were five hundred miles to the north and south of them, the French at Nova Scotia and the English in Virginia. Seven months later, in November, came the Fortune, bringing thirty-five new emigrants, including William Brewster's eldest son; John Winslow, a brother of Edward; and Robert Cushman, who had turned back the year before at Old Plymouth. In addition to her passengers, the Fortune brought out to the colonists, from the Council of New England, a patent[8] of their land, drawn up in the name of John Pierce and his associate Merchant Adventurers in the same way as the charter granted them by the Plymouth Company on February 21, 1620, authorising the planters to establish their colony near the mouth of the Hudson river.

[Pg 93/94]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
From the Painting by A. W. Bayes
The Departure of the Mayflower

[Pg 95]

When the Fortune sailed back to England, she carried a cargo of merchandise valued at five hundred pounds. This was intended for the Adventurers, but they never received it, for when nearing port, the vessel was captured by the French and the cargo seized. The ship was allowed to proceed, and Cushman, who returned in her, secured the papers on board, among them Bradford and Winslow's Journal, known as Mourt's Relation, and a letter from Edward Winslow to his "loving and old friend" George Morton, who was about to come out, giving seasonable advice as to what he and his companions should bring with them—good store of clothes and bedding, and each man a musket and fowling-piece; paper and linseed oil for the making of their windows (glass being then too great a luxury for a New England home), and much store of powder and shot.

Soon arrived further parties from Leyden and stores from the Adventurers in London in the Anne and the Little James pinnace, the people including such welcome additions as Brewster's two daughters, Fear and Patience; George Morton and his household; Mrs. Samuel Fuller; Alice Carpenter, widow of Edward Southworth, afterwards the second wife of Governor Bradford; and Barbara, who married Miles Standish. Then from the Leyden pastor came letters for Bradford and Brewster. The writer was dead—had been dead a year—when those letters reached their destination, but this they only[Pg 96] knew when Standish gave them the tidings on his return from a voyage to England. John Robinson passed away at the age of forty-nine on March 1, 1622, in the old meeting-house at Leyden, and they buried him under the pavement of St. Peter's Church. Brewster lost his wife about the time the sad news was known, and the messenger who brought it had further to tell of the death of Robert Cushman. Truly the tale of affliction was a sore one.

By the July of 1623 a total of about two hundred and thirty-three persons had been brought out, including the children and servants, of whom one hundred and two, composed of seventy-three males and twenty-nine females, eighteen of the latter wives, were landed from the Mayflower. At the close of that year not more than one hundred and eighty-three were living. The survivors bravely persevered. Gradually the Pilgrim Colony took deep root. The New Plymouth men were a steady, plodding set, and the soil, if hard, was tenacious. They got a firm foothold. They suffered much, for their trials by no means ended with the first winter; but their cheerful trust in Providence and in their own final triumph never wavered. By 1628 their position was secure beyond all doubt or question. The way was now prepared; the tide of emigration set in; and the main body of the Puritans began to follow in the track of their courageous and devoted advance-guard.

[Pg 97/98]

Copyright, 1904, by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
Captain Miles Standish

Out there in the West these Pilgrims, or first-comers,[Pg 99] settled themselves resolutely to the task which lay before them. They were no idle dreamers, though their idealism was intense, and they were united by the bonds of sympathy and helpfulness, one towards another. Their works were humble, their lives simple and obscure, their worldly success but small, their fears many and pressing, and their vision of the future restricted and dim. But they consistently put into practise the conceptions and ideals which dominated them and were to be the inheritance of the great Republic they unconsciously initiated and helped to build up. They established a community and a government solidly founded on love of freedom and belief in progress, on civil liberty and religious toleration, on industrial cooperation and individual honesty and industry, on even-handed justice and a real equality before the laws, on peace and goodwill supported by protective force. They were more liberal and tolerant in religion than the Puritan colonists of Massachusetts Bay, and more merciful in their punishments; they perpetrated no atrocities against inferior peoples, and cherished the love of peace and of political justice.

Although at first the relations of the Pilgrims with their Puritan neighbours were none of the best, a better state of feeling before long prevailed. We have seen how John Winthrop and his pastor plodded over to Plymouth to attend its Sunday worship. Three years earlier, in[Pg 100] 1629, Bradford and some of his brethren went by sea to Salem to an ordination service there, and, says Morton in his "Memorial," "gave them the right hand of fellowship." There were other visits, letters of friendship, and reciprocal acts of kindness. We read of Samuel Fuller, physician and deacon, going to Salem to tend the sick, and of Governor Winthrop lending Plymouth in its need twenty-eight pounds of gunpowder.

This good feeling strengthened as time went on, and drew together the Plantations of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Connecticut for mutual support and protection; and in May, 1643, the deputies of these Colonies, meeting at Boston, subscribed the Articles of Confederation which created the first Federal Union in America. This league prospered well until 1684, when the Colonial charter was annulled and a Crown Colony was established under an English governor. Less than a decade later Massachusetts became a Royal province, and that period in American history was entered upon which ended with the Declaration of Independence and the creation of the United States.

[Pg 101/102]

Copyright, 1904, by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
Governor William Bradford

While the federation of 1643 did much for the United Colonies, it overshadowed, but could not obscure, Plymouth and the unique annals and traditions which have preserved for it a foremost place in all American history. With the order of things inaugurated in 1692 the body politic framed by the men of the Mayflower ceased to[Pg 103] have separate existence, but it remains deep in the foundations of the nation which absorbed it. In the modest language of William Bradford used in his day, "As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone to many, yea, in some sort to our whole nation," a truth which has a far wider application now than it had in Bradford's time.

Such is the story of the Mayflower Pilgrims, romantic, heroic, idyllic, based also upon the principles which have molded and maintained a mighty free nation. Its place in the life of to-day is honoured and conspicuous, and rests upon the rock of a people's gratitude.

During the nineteenth century it was proclaimed by many orators, among them John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Edward Everett, Robert Charles Winthrop, and George Frisbie Hoar—to name only the century's dead—who as New Englanders and lovers of liberty were well fitted to voice the virtues of the Pilgrim Fathers, the hardships they endured, their high merits as colonists compared with other colonists of ancient and modern times, and the immense issues springing from their devout, laborious, and self-sacrificing lives.

Passing on to the twentieth century we have the story taken up by one American President and continued by another at the cornerstone laying and dedication of a combined tribute of State and Nation to the lives and work of the[Pg 104] Forefathers. This was the Pilgrim Memorial Monument, erected at Provincetown on a commanding site above the harbour in whose waters the Mayflower dropped her anchor nearly three centuries ago.

The gatherings there of 1907 and 1910 stand out prominently in Pilgrim history, especially so that of August 5 of the latter year, which was grandly impressive alike in its magnitude and its purpose and character. President Taft, the successor of President Roosevelt, arrived in his yacht Mayflower with imposing naval display amid rejoicing and the booming of guns. He was greeted by Governor of the State Eben S. Draper, Captain J. H. Sears, president of the Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association, and members of the local committee. Accompanying him were Secretary of the Navy George von L. Meyer, United States Senators Henry Cabot Lodge and George Peabody Wetmore, and Justice White of the United States Supreme Court. The scene and the ceremonies, soul-stirring and significant, are worthy of permanent record.

Escorted by a company of bluejackets, of whom two thousand, with marines from the warships, lined the street from the wharf, President Taft and the other guests were driven up the hill to the Monument, where, from the grandstand at its base, Captain Sears reviewed the plans which resulted in its erection.

[Pg 105/106]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
The Pilgrim Memorial Monument at Provincetown

President Charles W. Eliot of Harvard University[Pg 107] gave an historical address. In graphic language he contrasted the desolate prospect confronting the Pilgrims at Cape Cod with the picture upon which the present concourse gazed, a happy and prosperous population filling the smiling land and in the harbour traversed by the Mayflower a varied throng of ships, "with them numerous representatives of a strong naval force maintained by the eighty million free people who in nine generations from the Pilgrims have explored, subdued, and occupied that mysterious wilderness so formidable to the imagination of the early European settlers on the Atlantic coast of the American continent."

With force and pathos Dr. Eliot spoke of the debt they all owed to the Pilgrim Fathers. "We are to hear the voices of the Chief Magistrate of this multitudinous people and of the Governor of the Commonwealth acknowledging the immeasurable indebtedness of the United States and of the Colony, Province, and State of Massachusetts to the adult men and the eighteen adult women who were the substance or seed-bearing core of the Pilgrim company; and we, the thousands brought hither peacefully in a few summer hours by vehicles and forces unimagined in 1620 from the wide circuit of Cape Cod—which it took the armed parties from the Mayflower a full month to explore in the wintry weather they encountered—salute tenderly and reverently the Pilgrims of the Mayflower, and, recalling their fewness and their sufferings,[Pg 108] anxieties and labours, felicitate them and ourselves on the wonderful issues in human Joy, strength, and freedom of their faith, endurance, and dauntless resolution."

Dr. Eliot was followed by M. Van Weede, chargé d'affaires of the Netherlands Legation at Washington, whose Government was represented on this occasion because the Pilgrims sailed from Holland. (The cornerstone laying three years before was attended by the British Ambassador.)

Formal transfer of the Monument from the National Commission, which directed its construction, to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Pilgrim Memorial Association, was made on behalf of the United States Government by Senator Lodge, who enlarged upon the two great political principles embodied in the Mayflower compact, the conception of an organic law and of a representative democracy, and on the noble purpose—that of securing freedom of worship and the preservation of their nationality and native language—of the little band of exiles who signed the document and settled there.

William B. Lawrence of Medford accepted the Monument on behalf of the Memorial Association, and a quartet sang "The Landing of the Pilgrims," by Mrs. Felicia Hemans.

Congressman James T. McCleary of Minnesota, who supported the bill in Congress for a Government appropriation to assist in the building of the Monument, also spoke.

[Pg 109/110]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
Plymouth Rock

[Pg 111]

Governor Draper then introduced the President. "This Monument," he said, "shows that our people and our State and National Government honour and revere the Pilgrims and the great principles of government they enunciated," and for that reason, he added, "It is most fitting that this Monument, whose cornerstone was laid by one President, should be dedicated by another."

President Taft declared that the spirit which animated the Pilgrim Fathers had made the history of the United States what it was by furnishing it with the highest ideals of moral life and political citizenship. "It is meet therefore," said he, "that the United States, as well as the State of Massachusetts, should unite in placing here a Memorial to the Pilgrims. The warships that are here with their cannon to testify to its national character typify the strength of that Government whose people have derived much from the spirit and example of the heroic band. Governor Bradford, Elder Brewster, Captain Miles Standish are the types of men in whom as ancestors, either by blood, or by education and example as citizens, the American people may well take pride."

The ceremonies were brought to a close by Miss Barbara Hoyt, a descendant of Elder Brewster, unveiling a bronze tablet over the door of the Monument facing the harbour which bears an appropriate inscription written by Dr. Eliot.[Pg 112]

And so this magnificent Monument stands as a landmark which, seen from afar across the ocean, will remind the traveller of the small beginnings of New England when, in the words of Dr. Eliot, fired and led by the love of liberty, the Mayflower Pilgrims here "founded and maintained a State without a king or a noble, and a Church without a bishop or a priest."

It is upon record that in the early days of the Plymouth Plantation an expedition was made in the Mayflower's shallop, a big boat of about fourteen tons, to a point lower down on the coast, where the party made friends with the Shawmut Indians and found a fine place for shipping, and forty-seven beautiful islands, which they greatly admired as they sailed in and out amongst them. This was the future Boston Harbour.

It is interesting to reflect that when, a decade and more after the Pilgrim Fathers had landed in America, some hundreds of Puritan colonists embarked for Massachusetts, many of the leading burgesses of the then only Boston—that Old Boston, scene of the Pilgrims' detention and suffering—were of the number. The town cannot claim a contribution to the Mayflower, but it has a boast as proud, for it was because the ancient seaport sent so large a contingent of Puritans to America that it was ordered "that Trimountain," the site overlooking the sheltered waters and the island group which delighted Pilgrim eyes, "shall be called Boston."

[Pg 113/114]

Photograph by Hackford, Boston
A Bit of Old Boston

[Pg 115]

It was in the spring of 1630 that the main body of Puritan emigrants, John Winthrop's party, sailed from Southampton. A year before that the Massachusetts Bay Company dispatched to the West an expedition of five ships, and one of them was our old friend the wonderful little Mayflower, of immortal memory, which nine years earlier had carried out the Plymouth Pilgrims and was now assisting in the settlement of Massachusetts!

Among the Bostonians and their friends who sailed with or in the wake of Winthrop were Richard Bellingham, Recorder of the town (Nathaniel Hawthorne in "The Scarlet Letter" draws Governor Bellingham of the New Boston); bold Atherton Hough aforementioned, Mayor of the borough in 1628; Thomas Leverett, an alderman, "a plain man, yet piously subtle"; Thomas Dudley and young John Leverett, who became Governors of Massachusetts; William Coddington, father and governor of Rhode Island; and John Cotton, the far-famed Puritan preacher of Boston church, who became one of the leading religious forces of New England life.

And Old Boston, we have seen, is still much as it was outwardly over three hundred years ago, when the Pilgrim Fathers gazed upon it, and later Cotton preached long but edifying sermons in the vast church, and the Puritan warden struck the Romish symbol from the hand of a carven image on the noble tower.

The first days of the Trimountain Colony[Pg 116] resembled in some of their features those of the planting of New Plymouth. Although their shelter was of the scantiest, the settlers had not, like the settlers of Plymouth, to face at the outset the rigors of a Western winter. The Pilgrims arrived in December, on the shortest day of the year, whereas the day of the Puritans' landing was the very longest. Sickness and famine had nevertheless to be fought. Disease quickly carried off twenty per cent. of the people. About a hundred others returned home discouraged. The rest persevered, and proved themselves worthy followers of the New Plymouth Pilgrims. The Colony was, moreover, recruited by fresh comers from the old country; and through many vicissitudes, dissensions, and set-backs, much that was blasting to the spiritual and moral life and development of the Colony, it prospered materially and gathered strength. And there grew up the New England States.

[Pg 117/118]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
The Site of the Old Fort, Burial Hill, Plymouth

On the slope of Burial Hill,[9] surrounded by memorials of the Pilgrim Fathers and with the graves of their dead in the background; facing down that stream-skirted street of the Pilgrims once bordered by their humble dwellings and echoing to the tread of their weary feet; looking out upon the waters which bore to this haven, long years ago, the storm-tossed Mayflower and[Pg 119] her eager human freight, there stands to-day a church which through the centuries has preserved unbroken records and maintained a continuous ministry. This is the First Church in Plymouth and the first church in America, the church of Scrooby, Leyden, and the Mayflower company, the church of Brewster and Bradford, of Winslow and Carver, whose first covenant, signed in the cabin of the little emigrant ship, is still the basis of its fellowship. Here Roger Williams, the banished of Boston and missionary of Rhode Island—a man according to Bradford of "many precious parts, but very unsettled in Judgment"—ministered for a time under Ralph Smith in the early stormy days of the sister colony; and here John Cotton, son of the famous Boston teacher and preacher—"a man of scholarly tastes and habits, somewhat decided in his convictions, diligent and faithful in his pastoral duties"[10]—was pastor for nearly thirty years from 1669.

As the First Church in Boston is the fifth of its line, so is the First Church in Plymouth the fifth meeting-house used by the Pilgrim community. Its predecessor, a shrine of Pilgrim history around which precious associations clustered, was destroyed by fire in 1892; from the[Pg 120] burning ruins was rescued the town bell cast by Paul Revere in 1801, and this sacred relic hangs and tolls again in the tower of the present edifice.

Amid such scenes as these well may we of to-day pause and reflect. For on this hallowed spot, with its historic environment and its striking reminders of a great and honoured past, was rocked the cradle of a nation of whose civil and religious liberty it was the first rude home.[Pg 121/122]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
First Church, Plymouth
The entrance to Burial Hill is shown on the Right


[4] Morton in his "New England's Memorial," declares that the Dutch fraudulently hired the captain of the Mayflower to steer to the north of what is now New York, and adds: "Of this plot between the Dutch and Mr. Jones I have had late and certain information."

[5] Longfellow, "The Courtship of Miles Standish."

[6] This is the Cole's Hill of the present day, the spot where half the Mayflower Pilgrims found their rest during the first winter. Five of their graves were discovered in 1855, while pipes for the town's waterworks were being laid, and two more (now marked with a granite slab), in 1883. The bones of the first five are deposited in a compartment of the granite canopy which covers the "Forefathers' Rock" on which the Pilgrim Fathers landed.

[7] The letter was addressed by De Rassières to Herr Blommaert, a director of his company, after his return to Holland, where the Royal Library became possessed of it in 1847.

[8] This document, preserved still in the Pilgrim Hall at Plymouth, is dated June 1, 1621, and bears the signatures and seals of the Duke of Lenox, the Marquis of Hamilton, the Earl of Warwick, and Sir Ferdinando Gorges, a name for many years prominent in American history. The patent only remained in force a year. That issued by the Council eight years later was transferred by Governor Bradford to the General Court in 1640.

[9] Burial Hill was the site of the embattled church erected in 1622, and contains many ancient tombstones and the foundations of a watchtower (1643), now covered with sod.

[10] John Cuckson, "History of the First Church in Plymouth." Dying in 1699, two years after his resignation at Charleston, South Carolina, Cotton was "buried with respect and honour by his old parishioners, who erected a monument over his grave."

[Pg 123/124]


[Pg 125/126]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
The Pilgrim Fathers' Memorial, Plymouth

[Pg 127]



On Fame's eternall beadroll worthie to be fyled.
Edmund Spenser.
There were men with hoary hair
Amidst that pilgrim band:
Why had they come to wither there,
Away from their childhood's land?
There was woman's fearless eye,
Lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow serenely high,
And the fiery heart of youth.

So sings Mrs. Hemans in her famous poem "The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in New England." That devoted little Pilgrim band comprised, indeed, the Fathers and their families together, members of both sexes of all ages. When the compact was signed in the Mayflowers cabin on November 21, 1620, while the vessel lay off Cape Cod, each man subscribing to it indicated those who accompanied him. There were forty-one signatories, and the total number of passengers was shown to be one hundred and two. What became of them? What was their individual lot and fate subsequent to the landing on Plymouth Rock on December 26? For[Pg 128] long, long years the record as regards the majority of them was lost to the world. Now, after much painstaking search, it has been found, bit by bit, and pieced together. And we have it here. It is a document full of human interest.

John Alden, the youngest man of the party, was hired as a cooper at Southampton, with right to return to England or stay in New Plymouth. He preferred to stay, and married, in 1623, Priscilla Mullins, the "May-flower of Plymouth," the maiden who, as the legend goes, when he first went to plead Miles Standish's suit, witchingly asked, "Prithee, why don't you speak for yourself, John?" Alden was chosen as assistant in 1633, and served from 1634 to 1639 and from 1650 to 1686. He was treasurer of the Colony from 1656 to 1659; was Deputy from Duxbury in 1641-42, and from 1645 to 1649; a member of the Council of War from 1653 to 1660 and 1675-76; a soldier in Captain Miles Standish's company 1643. He was the last survivor of the signers of the compact of November, 1620, dying September 12, 1687, aged eighty-four years.

Bartholomew Allerton, born in Holland in 1612, was in Plymouth in 1627, when he returned to England. He was son of Isaac Allerton.

[Pg 129/130]

Copyright, 1904, by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
John Alden

Copyright, 1904, by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
Priscilla Mullins

Isaac Allerton, a tailor of London, married at Leyden, November 4, 1611, Mary Norris from Newbury, Berkshire, England. He was a freeman of Leyden. His wife died February[Pg 131] 25, 1621, at Plymouth. Allerton married Fear Brewster (his second wife), who died at Plymouth, December 12, 1634. In 1644 he had married Joanna (his third wife). He was an assistant in 1621 and 1634, and Deputy Governor. He was living in New Haven in 1642, later in New York, then returned to New Haven. He died in 1659.

John Allerton, a sailor, died before the Mayflower made her return voyage. Mary Allerton, a daughter of Isaac, was born in 1616. She married Elder Thomas Cushman. She died in 1699, the last survivor of the Mayflower passengers. Remember Allerton was another daughter living in Plymouth in 1627. Sarah Allerton, yet another daughter, married Moses Maverick of Salem.

Francis Billington, son of John and Eleanor, went out in 1620 with his parents. In 1634 he married widow Christian (Penn) Eaton, by whom he had children. He removed before 1648 to Yarmouth. He was a member of the Plymouth military company in 1643. He died in Yarmouth after 1650.

John Billington was hanged[11] in 1630 for the[Pg 132] murder of John Newcomen. His widow, Eleanor, who went over with him, married in 1638 Gregory Armstrong, who died in 1650, leaving no children by her. John Billington, a son of John and Eleanor, born in England, died at Plymouth soon after 1627.

[Pg 133/134]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
Governor Bradford's Monument, Burial Hill, Plymouth

William Bradford, baptised in 1589 at Austerfield, Yorkshire, was a leading spirit in the Pilgrim movement from its inception to its absorption in the Union of the New England Colonies. We have seen how, on the death of John Carver, he became the second Governor of Plymouth Colony, and he five times filled that office, in 1621-33, 1635, 1637, 1639-44, and 1645-47, as well as serving several times as Deputy Governor and assistant. A patent was granted to him in[Pg 135] 1629 by the Council of New England vesting the Colony in trust to him, his heirs, associates and assigns, confirming their title to a tract of land and conferring the power to frame a constitution and laws; but eleven years later he transferred this patent to the General Court, reserving only to himself the allotment conceded to him in the original division of land. Bradford's rule as chief magistrate was marked by honesty and fair dealing, alike in his relations with the Indian tribes and his treatment of recalcitrant colonists. His word was respected and caused him to be trusted; his will was resolute in every emergency, and yet all knew that his clemency and charity might be counted on whenever it could be safely exercised. The Church was always dear to him: he enjoyed its faith and respected its institutions, and up to the hour of his death, on May 9, 1657, he confessed his delight in its teachings and simple services. Governor Bradford was twice married, first, as we know, at Leyden in 1613 to Dorothy May, who was accidentally drowned in Cape Cod harbour on December 7, 1620; and again on August 14, 1623, to Alice Carpenter, widow of Edward Southworth. By his first wife he had one son, and by his second, two sons and a daughter. Jointly with Edward Winslow, Bradford wrote "A Diary of Occurences during the First Year of the Colony," and this was published in England in 1622. He left many manuscripts, letters and chronicles, verses and[Pg 136] dialogues, which are the principal authorities for the early history of the Colony; but the work by which he is best remembered is his manuscript "History of Plymouth Plantation," now happily, after being carried to England and lost to sight for years in the Fulham Palace Library, restored to the safe custody of the State of Massachusetts.

[Pg 137/138]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
Governor Carver's Chair and Ancient Spinning Wheel

William Brewster more than any man was entitled to be called the Founder of the Pilgrim Church. It originated in his house at Scrooby, where he was born in 1566, and he sacrificed everything for it. He was elder of the church at Leyden and Plymouth, and served it also as minister for some time after going out. Through troubles, trials, and adversity, he stood by the Plymouth flocks, and when his followers were in peril and perplexity, worn and almost hopeless through fear and suffering, he kept a stout heart and bade them be of good cheer. Bradford has borne touching testimony to the personal attributes of his friend, who, he tells us, was "qualified above many," and of whom he writes that "he was wise and discrete, and well-spoken, having a grave and deliberate utterance, of a very cheerful spirite, very sociable and pleasante among his friends, of an humble and modest mind, of a peaceable disposition, under-valewing himself and his own abilities and sometimes over-vallewing others, inoffensive and innocent in his life and conversation, which gained him ye love of those without, as well as those within."[Pg 139] Of William Brewster it has been truly said that until his death, on April 16, 1644, his hand was never lifted from Pilgrim history. He shaped the counsels of his colleagues, helped to mould their policy, safeguarded their liberties, and kept in check tendencies towards religious bigotry and oppression. He tolerated differences, but put down wrangling and dissension, and promoted to the best of his power the strength and purity of public and private life. Mary Brewster, wife of William, who went out with him, died before 1627.

Love Brewster, son of Elder William, born in England, married (1634) Sarah, daughter of William Collier. He was a member of the Duxbury company in 1643, and died at Duxbury in 1650.

Wrestling Brewster, son of Elder William, emigrated at the same time; he died a young man, unmarried.

Richard Britteridge died December 21, 1620, his being the first death after landing.

Peter Brown probably married the widow Martha Ford; he died in 1633.

William Button, a servant of Samuel Fuller, died on the voyage.

John Carver, first Governor of the Plymouth Colony, landed from the Mayflower with his wife, Catherine, and both died the following spring or summer. Carver was deacon in Holland. He left no descendants.

Robert Carter was a servant of William Mullins, and died during the first winter.[Pg 140]

James Chilton died December 8, 1620, before the landing at Plymouth, and his wife succumbed shortly after. Their daughter Mary, tradition states, romantically if not truthfully, was the first to leap on shore. She married John Winslow, and had ten children.

Richard Clarke died soon after arrival.

Francis Cook died at Plymouth in 1663.

John Cook, son of Francis Cook by his wife, Esther, shipped in the Mayflower with his father. He married Sarah, daughter of Richard Warren. On account of religious differences he removed to Dartmouth, of which he was one of the first purchasers. He became a Baptist minister there. He was also Deputy in 1666-68, 1673, and 1681-83-86. The father and son were both members of the Plymouth military company in 1643.

John Cook died at Dartmouth after 1694.

Humility Cooper returned to England, and died there.

John Crackston died in 1621; his son, John, who went out with him, died in 1628.

Edward Dotey married Faith Clark, probably as second wife, and had nine children, some of whom moved to New Jersey, Long Island, and elsewhere. He was a purchaser of Dartmouth, but moved to Yarmouth, where he died August 23, 1655. He made the passage out as a servant to Stephen Hopkins, and was wild and headstrong in his youth, being a party to the first duel fought in New England.[Pg 141/142]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
Elder Brewster's Chair and the Cradle of Peregrine White

[Pg 143]

Francis Eaton went over with his first wife, Sarah, and their son, Samuel. He married a second wife, and a third, Christian Penn, before 1627. He died in 1633.

Samuel Eaton married, in 1661, Martha Billington. In 1643 he was in the Plymouth military company, and was living at Duxbury in 1663. He removed to Middleboro, where he died about 1684.

Thomas English died the first winter.

One Ely, a hired man, served his time and returned to England.

Moses Fletcher married at Leyden, in 1613, widow Sarah Dingby. He died during the first winter.

Edward Fuller shipped with his wife, Ann, and son, Samuel. The parents died the first season.

Samuel Fuller, the son, married in 1635 Jane, daughter of the Reverend John Lothrop; he removed to Barnstable, where he died October 31, 1683, having many descendants.

Dr. Samuel Fuller, brother of Edward, was the first physician; he married (1) Elsie Glascock, (2) Agnes Carpenter, (3) Bridget Lee; he died in 1633. His descendants of the name are through a son, Samuel, who settled in Middleboro.

Richard Gardiner, mariner, was at Plymouth in 1624, but soon disappeared.

John Goodman, unmarried, died the first winter.[Pg 144]

John Hooke died the first winter, as did also William Holbeck.

Giles Hopkins, son of Stephen, married in 1639 Catherine Wheldon; he moved to Yarmouth and afterwards to Eastham, and died about 1690.

Stephen Hopkins went out with his second wife, Elizabeth, and Giles and Constance, children by a first wife. On the voyage a child was born to them, which they named Oceanus, but it died in 1621. He was an assistant, 1634-35, and died in 1644. His wife died between 1640 and 1644. Constance, daughter of Stephen, married Nicholas Snow. They settled at Eastham, from which he was a Deputy in 1648, and he died November 15, 1676; she died in October, 1677, having had twelve children. Damaris, a daughter, was born after their arrival and married Jacob Cooke.

John Howland married Elizabeth, daughter of John Tilley. He was a Deputy in 1641, 1645 to 1658, 1661, 1663, 1666-67, and 1670; assistant in 1634 and 1635; also a soldier in the Plymouth military company in 1643. He died February 23, 1673, aged more than eighty years, and his widow died December 21, 1687, aged eighty years.

John Langemore died during the first winter.

William Latham about 1640 left for England, and afterwards went to the Bahamas, where he probably died.

Edward Leister went to Virginia.

[Pg 145/146]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
The Grave of John Howland

[Pg 147]

Edmund Margeson, unmarried, died in 1621.

Christopher Martin and wife both died early; his death took place January 8, 1621.

Desire Minter returned to England, and there died.

Ellen More perished the first winter.

Jasper More removed to Scituate, and his name is said to have become Mann. He died in Scituate in 1656; his brother died the first winter.

William Mullins shipped with his wife, son Joseph, and daughter Priscilla, who married John Alden. The father died February 21, 1621, and his wife during the same winter, as did also the son.

Solomon Power died December 24, 1620.

Degory Priest married in 1611, at Leyden, widow Sarah Vincent, a sister of Isaac Allerton; he died January 1, 1621.

John Rigdale went out with his wife, Alice, both dying the first winter.

Joseph Rogers went with his father, Thomas Rogers, who died in 1621. The son married, and lived at Eastham in 1655, dwelling first at Duxbury and Sandwich. He was a lieutenant, and died in 1678 at Eastham.

Harry Sampson settled at Duxbury, and married Ann Plummer in 1636. He was of the Duxbury military company in 1643, and died there in 1684.

George Soule was married to Mary Becket. He was in the military company of Duxbury,[Pg 148] where he resided, and was the Deputy in 1645-46, and 1650-54. He was an original proprietor of Bridgewater and owner of land in Dartmouth and Middleboro; he died 1680, his wife in 1677.

Ellen Story died the first winter.

[Pg 149/150]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
The Grave of Miles Standish, Duxbury

Miles Standish, that romantic figure in the Pilgrim history, did good service for the Colony, and practically settled the question whether the Anglo-Saxon or the native Indian was to predominate in New England. Born in Lancashire about 1584, and belonging to the Duxbury branch of the Standish family, he obtained a lieutenant's commission in the English army and fought in the wars against The Netherlands and Spain. His taste for military adventure led to his joining the Pilgrims at Leyden, and when the Mayflower reached Cape Cod, he led the land exploring parties. Soon he was elected military captain of the Colony, and with a small force he protected the settlers against Indian incursions until the danger from that quarter was past. When they were made peaceably secure in their rights and possessions, and warlike exploits and adventures were at an end, Standish retired to his estate at Duxbury, on the north side of Plymouth Bay: but in peace, as in war, he was still devoted to the interests of the Colony, frequently acting as Governor's assistant from 1632 onward, becoming Deputy in 1644, and serving as treasurer between that year and 1649. His wife Rose,[Pg 151] who sailed with him in the Mayflower, died January 29, 1621, but he married again, and had four sons and a daughter. He died on October 3, 1656, honoured by all the community among whom he dwelt, and his name and fame are perpetuated in history, in the poetry of Longfellow and Lowell, and by the monument which stands upon what was his estate at Duxbury, the lofty column on Captain's Hill, seen for miles both from sea and land.

Edward Thompson died December 4, 1620.

Edward Tilley and his wife Ann both died the first winter.

John Tilley accompanied his wife and daughter Elizabeth; the parents died the first winter, but the daughter survived and married John Howland.

Thomas Tinker, with his wife and son, died the first winter.

John Turner had with him two sons, but the party succumbed to the hardships of the first season.

William Trevore entered as a sailor on the Mayflower, and returned to England on the Fortune in 1621.

William White went out with his wife Susanna, and son Resolved. A son, Peregrine, was born to them in Provincetown Harbour, who has been distinguished as being the first child of the Pilgrims born after the arrival in the New World. This is his strongest claim, as his early life was rather disreputable, though his obituary, in[Pg 152] 1704, allowed "he was much reformed in his last years." William, the father, died on February 21, 1621; his widow married, in the May following, Edward Winslow, who had recently lost his wife.

Resolved White married (1) Judith, daughter of William Vassall; he lived at Scituate, Marshfield, and lastly Salem, where he married, (2) October 5, 1674, widow Abigail Lord, and died after 1680. He was a member of the Scituate military company in 1643.

Roger Wilder died the first winter, and Thomas Williams also died the first season.

[Pg 153/154]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
The Miles Standish Monument, Duxbury

Edward Winslow, an educated young English gentleman from Droitwich, joined the brethren at Leyden in 1617, and accompanying them to New England, was the third to sign the compact on board the Mayflower, Carver and Bradford signing before, and Brewster after him, then Isaac Allerton and Miles Standish. Winslow was one of the party sent to prospect along the coast. Before leaving Holland, he married at Leyden, in 1618, Elizabeth Barker, who went out with him, but died March 24, 1621, and as we have seen, he shortly afterwards married widow Susanna (Fuller) White. Winslow proved himself a man of exceptional ability and character, and gave the best years of his life to the service of the Colony. While on a mission to England in its interests in 1623, he published an account of the settlement and struggles of the Mayflower Pilgrims, under the title "Good[Pg 155] News for New England, or a relation of things remarkable in that Plantation." Later he wrote (and published in 1646). "Hypocrisie Unmasked; by a true relation of the proceedings of the Governor of Massachusetts against Samuel Groton, a notorious Disturber of the Peace," which is chiefly remarkable for an appendix giving an account of the preparations in Leyden for removal to America, and the substance of John Robinson's address to the Pilgrims on their departure from Holland. Winslow was Governor of the Colony in 1633, 1636, and 1644, and at other times assistant. In 1634 he went to England again on colonial business, and before sailing accepted a commission for the Bay Colony which required him to appear before the King's Commissioners for Plantations. Here he was brought face to face with Archbishop Laud, who could not resist the opportunity of venting his wrath upon the representative of the Plymouth settlement, about whose sayings and doings he had been duly informed. Winslow was accused of taking part in Sunday services and of conducting civil marriages. He admitted the charges, and pleaded extenuating circumstances; but Laud was not to be appeased and committed the bold Separatist to the Fleet Prison, where he remained for seventeen weeks, when he was released and permitted to return to America, wounded in his conscience by the cruel wrong done him and impoverished by legal expenses. In October, 1646, against the advice of his compatriots,[Pg 156] Winslow undertook another mission to the old country, this time in connection with the federation of the New England Colonies, and, accepting service under Cromwell, sailed on an expedition to the West Indies, caught a fever, and died, and was buried at sea on May 8, 1655.

Gilbert Winslow, another subscriber to the compact in the Mayflower's cabin, returned subsequently to England and died in 1650.

Apart from the events of their after lives, the spirit which possessed the Mayflower Pilgrims and guided their leaders in exile is well expressed by Mrs. Hemans when she says, in her stirring lines—

They sought a faith's pure shrine!
Ay, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod;
They have left unstained what there they found—
Freedom to worship God.

[Pg 157/158]

Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth
Governor Edward Winslow
The only authentic Portrait of a Mayflower Pilgrim


[11] The murderer Billington, sad to relate, was one of those who signed the historic compact on board the Mayflower. He was tried, condemned to death, and executed by his brethren in accordance with their primitive criminal procedure. At first, trials in the little colony were conducted by the whole body of the townsmen, the Governor presiding. In 1623 trial by Jury was established, and subsequently a regular code of laws was adopted. The capital offences were treason, murder, diabolical conversation, arson, rape, and unnatural crimes. Plymouth had only six sorts of capital crime, against thirty-one in England at the accession of James I, and of these six it actually punished only two, Billington's belonging to one of them. The Pilgrims used no barbarous punishments. Like all their contemporaries they used the stocks and the whipping-post, without perceiving that those punishments in public were barbarizing. They inflicted fines and forfeitures freely without regard to the station or quality of the offenders. They never punished, or even committed any person as a witch. Restrictive laws were early adopted as to spirituous drinks, and in 1667 cider was included. In 1638 the smoking of tobacco was forbidden out-of-doors within a mile of a dwelling-house or while at work in the fields; but unlike England and Massachusetts, Plymouth never had a law regulating apparel.

[Pg 159/160]



[Pg 161/162]

Photograph by Battershill, Plymouth
Mayflower Tablet on the Barbican, Plymouth, England

[Pg 163]



pilgrim shrines,
Shrines to no code or creed confined.—Longfellow.

Memories of the Mayflower and the Pilgrim Fathers were actively revived when, in July, 1891, during the Mayoralty of Mr. J. T. Bond, a number of the Pilgrims' descendants and their representatives from the New World visited Old World Plymouth, and with an interest whole-hearted and profound inspected the scene, famous in the annals and traditions of our race, which witnessed their forbears' last brief sojourn on English soil—a place where the Fathers, as they never tired of testifying, in the days when Thomas Townes was Mayor, were "kindly entertained and courteously used by divers friends there dwelling," and whence the sturdy little Mayflower sailed to the West with its precious human freight, to lay the foundation of the New England States.

To commemorate this visit, and the sailing of the Pilgrim Fathers two hundred and seventy years before, the site of the historic embarkation was marked by the Mayflower Stone and Tablet placed on the Barbican at Plymouth, the stone[Pg 164] in the pavement of the pier adjacent to the ancient causey trod by the Pilgrims' departing feet and destroyed a few years later, and the tablet on the wall of the Barbican facing it.

The memorial and the circumstances of its erection formed a fitting tribute to the New England pioneers; and the story told by these stones should serve to remind all who behold them of the devoted lives, the splendid achievement, and the romantic history of the Mayflower Pilgrims. They are at once a landmark and a shrine honoured by the English and American peoples.

In June, 1896, another company of New World pilgrims landed at Plymouth, and proceeded to worship in spirit at Old World shrines. During two weeks they wandered about the dear old country—"Our Old Home," as Nathaniel Hawthorne calls it in his book of English reminiscences—lingering on the scenes associated with the lives of their forefathers: quiet villages wherein they were born; quaint, half-forgotten boroughs in which they lived; the metropolis in which they taught; the sombre East Anglia, where many of them died "for the testimony." But chief of all were the places where these sojourners could look on the homes of the grave, brave men who gathered together the people who sailed in the Mayflower, and led the way to the New World.

[Pg 165/166]

Photograph by Welchman Bros., Retford
Scrooby Village

We still call them "the Pilgrim Fathers," in spite of what the Reverend Joseph Hunter, an esteemed native of South Yorkshire, wrote in[Pg 167] his book.[12] "There is something of affectation in this term," he finds, "which is always displeasing to me." "It appears to me," says he, "to be philologically improper." And then he explains. "An American who visits the place from which the founders of his country emigrated is a pilgrim in the proper sense of the word, whether he finds an altar, a shrine, or a stone of memorial, or not. But these founders, when they found the shores of America, were proceeding to no object of this kind, and even leaving it to the winds and the waves to drive them to any point on an unknown and unmarked shore."

Perhaps Mr. Hunter is right, philologically; but apart from his history (which may be challenged, because the master of the Mayflower knew where he was going if the Pilgrims did not,[Pg 168] and a map and description of the region had been published by Captain John Smith, the name-giver of New England), the designation stands, and will ever be cherished by those familiar with the spots these faithful Fathers left when, pilgrims and wanderers, they set forth they scarcely knew whither, and finally crossed the little-known sea. And the most historic of such shrines are in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

When the New World pilgrims arrived at Plymouth for the journey through the old country, by a curious arrangement they travelled backwards; for Plymouth was the last place the Pilgrim Fathers touched, and the haunts they took in turn were those which saw the rise and earlier efforts of those grave and reverend seekers for religious freedom. Soon they reached Boston—dreamy, old-world, tide-washed, fenland-locked Boston—scene of deep interest to them all, filled with hallowed memories of the Pilgrim Fathers and founders of the Western States.

The party numbered nearly fifty, a dozen at least of whom could lay claim to be lineal descendants of the Mayflower Pilgrims. Their leader was the Reverend Dr. Dunning of Boston, Massachusetts, and among them were representatives of the National Council of American Congregational churches.

[Pg 169/170]

Photograph by Hackford, Boston
The Ancient Kitchen, Guildhall, Boston

Boston, like Plymouth, gave them a warm welcome. The cordiality of their reception to[Pg 171] the old town was acknowledged on behalf of the pilgrims by Dr. Dunning. "Our fathers found it difficult to get away from Boston," said he, "and from the kindness you have shown us we are much afraid that you are planning to detain us also." The character of the "detention" was very different with nearly three centuries intervening, and this Dr. Dunning and his friends abundantly realised.

The visitors were taken over the old parish church, and were duly impressed by its size and grandeur as a whole; and the scene was most striking and memorable when, gathered within its beautiful chancel, these representative New World men, many of them with the blood of the Pilgrim Fathers in their veins, joined in singing together the noble hymn, "O God, our help in ages past." Next the Guildhall was visited. Here the disused sessions-court, where the fugitives were arraigned in 1607, and other upper rooms were scrutinised.

But most attractive were the kitchen and prison beneath. The cells must in fact have had more "prisoners" in them that day than they had held for a long time, for there was scarcely a member of the company who was not shut up in at least one of them during the inspection. They thus realised something of what their forefathers actually endured; the taste of the bitterness was slight, and wanting in the old-time flavour which the prisoners' treatment imparted, but it was sufficient to call forth expressions of[Pg 172] abhorrence at the thought of continued confinement in such a place.

At last the pilgrims said farewell to a town crowded with precious memories and entrained for Lincoln, where their welcome by the Free Churches and Cathedral authorities was in keeping with that extended to them everywhere on their route. At Lincoln they received an address. "We feel," said the Nonconformists there, "that in welcoming you to this county of ours, we are welcoming you back to your ancestral home, for Lincolnshire people never forget that their county is inseparably associated with the history of the Pilgrim Church. We claim the great John Robinson, the pastor of the Pilgrim church, as our own, and the neighbouring town of Gainsborough boasts of having been for some time the church's home. We are proud of the men, of the testimony they bore, of the work they did. All England is debtor to the men of the Pilgrim Church for their heroic witness in behalf of a pure and Scriptural faith and freedom of conscience worship."

And "the neighbouring town of Gainsborough," home of the Pilgrim Church, gave itself up at this time to a ceremonial stone-laying of the Robinson Memorial Church, a function which the American pilgrims attended, together with the Honourable T. F. Bayard, the United States Ambassador, who made a journey into Lincolnshire to lay this stone, and Congregationalists gathered from all parts.

[Pg 173/174]

Photograph by Welchman Bros., Retford
Robinson Memorial Church, Gainsborough
The corner-stone of the church was laid by Mr. Bayard in June, 1896

[Pg 175]

First the pilgrims drove to Scrooby, Bawtry, and Austerfield, where they inspected Brewster's house and Bradford's cottage and other objects of absorbing interest linked with the lives of the exiled Separatists. They then entered Gainsborough—that "foreign-looking town," subject of George Eliot's romantic pen, birthplace of John Robinson—where an address was presented to Mr. Bayard at the Town Hall, and luncheon was partaken of at the Old Hall, one of Gainsborough's most cherished antiquities, where John Smyth and his brethren held services and John Wesley many times preached. A move was next made to the site of the future Robinson Memorial Hall, a building at once a tribute to a worthy Englishman and an agency for the development of Christian work in the home of the Pilgrim Fathers. The proceedings were under the presidency of the Reverend J. M. Jones, chairman of the Congregational Union of England and Wales. To Mr. Bayard was handed a silver trowel, the gift of the congregation of the Gainsborough church, bearing an inscription and engravings of the Mayflower and of Delfshaven, on whose beach Robinson knelt in prayer with the Pilgrim band ere they set out on their long and checkered voyage. Having laid the cornerstone, Mr. Bayard sketched the early life of John Robinson, on from his Cambridge career to his harassed ministry at Norwich, his withdrawal to Lincolnshire in 1604 and the inception of the Scrooby congregation,[Pg 176] whose faith found cause for hope and cheerful courage in the dark hours of their persecution, adversity, and affliction. He went on to picture the blessings of civil and religious liberty which we are apt to accept and enjoy without giving much heed to the generations that in bygone years toiled and suffered to secure them for us. How small, said he, the measure of our gratitude and infrequent our recognition of those who

Beyond their dark age led the van of thought.

Well, reasoned Mr. Bayard, on such a scene and such an occasion as this, might the words of Whittier be repeated—

Our hearts grow cold,
We lightly hold
A right which brave men died to gain;
The stake, the cord,
The axe, the sword,
Grim nurses at its birth of pain.

It was the momentous issues raised by the invasion of liberty of conscience that drove John Robinson and his associates forth. As William Bradford has recorded, "Being thus molested and with no hope of their continuance there, by a joynte consent they resolved to go into ye low countries, where they heard was freedom of religion for all men." Then it was that they made the attempted passage from Boston to The Netherlands.

[Pg 177/178]

Tablet in Vestibule of Robinson Memorial Church, Gainsborough

Memorial Tablet on St. Peter's Church, Leyden

Glancing at the history of the arbitrary and cruel measures taken to prevent the departure[Pg 179] of the congregation, which finally, in broken detachments, distressed, despoiled, imperilled by land and sea, assembled at Amsterdam, moving thence to Leyden, Mr. Bayard paid grateful recognition to the country which, in their hour of sore need, extended to exiles welcome protection and generous toleration in an age of intolerance, and recited the familiar incidents connected with their sailing for America. "It is clear and plain to us now that the departure from England of this small body of humble men was a great step in the march of Christian civilisation. It contained the seed of Christian liberty, freedom of enquiry, freedom of man's conscience." As for John Robinson, between whose grave and the colony he was the means of planting, washes the wide ocean he never crossed. His memory is a tie of kindred—a recognition of the common trust committed to both nations to sustain the principles of civil and religious liberty of which he was a fearless champion, and under which he has so marvellously fulfilled the prophesy "A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a great nation." And the seed of Christian liberty, sown in adversity but on good soil, has become a wide-spreading tree in whose sheltering branches all who will may lodge.

Six years after this stone-laying, in June, 1902, the tercentenary of the founding of the Gainsborough church, a tablet was unveiled in the vestibule of the new building to commemorate the world-wide co-operation in honouring[Pg 180] one "the thought of whom stirs equal reverence in English and American hearts."

What the American Ambassador so well said at Gainsborough was a fitting prelude to the excursion which his countrymen, continuing their itinerary, made to the Pilgrim scenes in Holland where, in 1891, the English Plymouth memorial year, they had erected on St. Peter's Cathedral at Leyden, under which lie his bones, a tablet to John Robinson, pastor of the English church worshipping "over against this spot," whence at his prompting went forth the Pilgrim Fathers to settle New England.

[Pg 181/182]

Design by R. M. Lucas for the Tercentenary Memorial at Southampton, to be unveiled on August 15th, 1912

The Gainsborough ceremony and the visits to Plymouth and Boston forged further links in the chain of sympathy and brotherhood between England and America. Fresh evidence has since been forthcoming that the religious zeal and love of manly independence which induced the Mayflower Pilgrims to expatriate themselves and found a mighty empire across the Atlantic have their abiding influence to-day. We have seen how these New World pilgrimages to Old World shrines rekindled dormant affections on both sides.[13] No doubt the journeys[Pg 183] will be renewed again and again over much the same ground in the days to come.

It was about this time that Mr. Bayard was instrumental in restoring to the State of Massachusetts William Bradford's manuscript "History of Plymouth Plantation." About the middle of the eighteenth century this valuable record was deposited in the New England Library, in the tower of the Old South Church in Boston, but it disappeared, and found its way to England. By some it was thought that Governor Hutchinson carried it off; others believed that it was looted by British soldiers when Boston was evacuated. Anyhow it vanished, and was given up for lost. But by a lucky chance it was discovered. It was not until 1855 that certain passages in Wilberforce's "History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America," printed in 1846, professing to quote from "a manuscript History of Plymouth in the Fulham Library," revealed the whereabouts of the priceless folios. These quotations were identified as being similar to extracts from Bradford's History made by earlier annalists—Nathaniel Morton, who used it freely in his "New England's Memorial," published 1669; Thomas Prince, in his "Annals" printed in 1736; and Governor Hutchinson, the last man known to have seen the manuscript, who used it in the preparation of his "History of Massachusetts" (second volume), in 1767. The story of the return of the manuscript has been told by the Honourable George F. Hoar,[Pg 184] the venerable Senator of Massachusetts who, during a visit to England, interviewed the Bishop of London on the subject, and, when the History had been recovered through the good offices of Mr. Bayard, had the satisfaction of handing it over to Governor Wolcott on May 24, 1897. Ten years subsequently, after Mr. Bayard's death, another Bishop of London, engaged on a mission to America, presented to President Roosevelt the original deed appointing Colonel Coddington first Governor of Rhode Island. This document was found in the muniment room at Fulham Palace; it bears the seal of the Cromwellian Government and the signature of Bradshaw.

[Pg 185/186]

Photograph by Welchman Bros, Retford
The Font, Austerfield Church
For a long time it was believed that this font was used at the baptism of William Bradford

The Font, Primitive Methodist Chapel, Lound
The font that was probably used at the baptism of William Bradford

Those Americans who visited the district of Bawtry for the purpose of seeing the Pilgrim village of Austerfield would be surprised ten years later, in August, 1906, to hear that the font in the old parish church, which had so often been pointed to as that at which William Bradford was baptised, was not in reality what it had been represented to be. For some time there was a heated controversy in the district, and this revealed certain strange facts concerning the font which go to prove that the Norman font used at Bradford's baptism is at the present time in a small Primitive Methodist chapel at Lound near Retford, Nottinghamshire. It seems that about fifty years ago the sexton, one Milner, was ordered to clear certain rubbish out of the church at Austerfield, and sell it. Among the[Pg 187] objects thus disposed of was the font. A farmer, John Jackson, became the purchaser, and a few years later the font passed to his son, who for some time kept it in his garden as an ornament. In 1895 the farm changed hands, the new tenant being a Mr. Fielding, and included in the fixtures he took over was the font, described in the auctioneers' valuation award, dated April 15, 1895, as "Garden—Stone baptismal font (formerly in Austerfield Parish Church)." Having no wish to keep the font Mr. Fielding gave it to his mother, a native of Austerfield, and she in turn handed it over to the trustees of the chapel at Lound, where it still remains, jealously guarded in the incongruous surroundings of its alien home. It is noted that when, years ago, the clergyman at Austerfield discovered what sexton Milner had done, he sent for him and told him of the great loss the church had sustained. It was little use locking the stable door when the steed had gone, but the sexton, being a man of resource, thought he saw a way out of the difficulty. So to avoid further trouble he brought a trough from his own farmyard and substituted it for the lost font! That was a very impious kind of fraud indeed, but it seems quite clear that it was perpetrated. The church authorities, it must be admitted, have done their best to atone for the faults of the past in the direction of trying to restore the ancient font to its original place. Unfortunately they have not succeeded, for though good offers were made to Mrs.[Pg 188] Fielding and the chapel trustees, they resolutely refused to part with the precious relic. The fear was then entertained that a wealthy American would some day buy the font, and thus deprive the district of one of its most historic possessions. It is questionable, however, if that fate would be worse than the one that has already overtaken the font. Should the failure to restore it to its rightful place unhappily continue, the more satisfactory alternative would appear to be its purchase and presentation, say, to the Pilgrim Church at New Plymouth.


[12] "Collections Concerning the Early History of the Founders of New Plymouth." Mr. Hunter was assistant-keeper of H.M. Records, and after the village had remained for more than two centuries in oblivion, located Scrooby as the birthplace of the Pilgrim Church. His sole guide in the search were the brief statements in Bradford's History that the members of the church "were of several towns and villages, some in Nottinghamshire, some in Lincolnshire, and some in Yorkshire, where they bordered nearest together," and that "they ordinarily met at William Brewster's house on the Lord's day, which was a manor of the bishop's." The inquiry which led to this important discovery was instigated by the Honourable James Savage while on a visit to England. The key was supplied by Governor Bradford, Mr. Savage detected it; Mr. Hunter unlocked the hidden and forgotten door.

[13] In another part of England, in 1910-11, Americans were joining hands with the people of Southampton in raising on the old West Quay of that port a Pilgrim shrine to the men of New Plymouth who, as we know, sailed thence in the Mayflower on their interrupted voyage to the West, on August 5 (O.S.), 1620. It was proposed to unveil this memorial on August 15, 1912.


[Pg 189]


Well worthy to be magnified are they
 /Who, with sad hearts, of friends and country took
 /A last farewell, their loved abodes forsook,
 /And hallowed ground in which their fathers lay. /Wordsworth
The breaking waves dash'd high
/On a stern and rock-bound coast;
/And the woods, against a stormy sky,
/Their giant branches toss'd. /Mrs. Hemans

Transcriber's Notes:

Images were moved to a convenient paragraph break.

Footnotes were renumbered sequentially and moved to the end of the chapter.

The opening and closing illustrations are the same.

Old spellings in quoted text and poetry are retained from the original.

The following words are used interchangeably throughout this book:

Page 117

(Photograph by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth). Changed from 'Photgraph' of the original.


(Naughton, 55). This is most likely Naunton, referred to on Page 55.