This etext was produced by David Widger
[NOTE: There is a short list of bookmarks, or pointers, at the end of the
file for those who may wish to sample the author's ideas before making an
entire meal of them. D.W.]
THE MAY-FLOWER AND HER LOG
July 15, 1620--May 6, 1621
Chiefly from Original Sources
By AZEL AMES, M.D.
Member of Pilgrim Society, etc.
THE MAY-FLOWER'S PASSENGERS
The passenger list of the SPEEDWELL has given us the names of the Leyden
members of the company which, with the cooperation of the associated
Merchant Adventurers, was, in the summer of 1620, about to emigrate to
Though it is not possible, with present knowledge, positively to
determine every one of those who were passengers in the MAY-FLOWER from
London to Southampton, most of them can be named with certainty.
Arranged for convenience, so far as possible, by families, they were:--
Master Robert Cushman, the London agent of the Leyden company,
Mrs. Mary (Clarke)-Singleton Cushman, 2d wife,
Thomas Cushman, son (by 1st wife).
Master Christopher Martin, treasurer-agent of the colonists,
Mrs. Martin, wife,
Solomon Prower, "servant,"
John Langemore, "servant."
Master Richard Warren.
Master William Mullens,
Mrs. Alice Mullens, wife,
Joseph Mullens, 2d son,
Priscilla Mullens, 2d daughter,
Robert Carter, "servant."
Master Stephen Hopkins,
Mrs. Elizabeth (Fisher?) Hopkins, 2d wife,
Giles Hopkins, son (by former wife),
Constance Hopkins, daughter (by former wife),
Damaris Hopkins, daughter,
Edward Dotey, "servant,"
Edward Leister, "servant."
Mrs. Susanna (2) Chilton, wife,
Mary Chilton, daughter.
Mrs. Eleanor (or Helen) Billington, wife,
John Billington (Jr.), son,
Francis Billington, son.
William Latham, "servant-boy" to Deacon Carver.
Jasper More, "bound-boy" to Deacon Carver.
Ellen More, "little bound girl" to Master Edward Winslow.
Richard More, "bound-boy" to Elder Brewster.
------- More, "bound-boy" to Elder Brewster.
There is a possibility that Thomas Rogers and his son, Joseph, who are
usually accredited to the Leyden company, were of the London contingent,
and sailed from there, though this is contra-indicated by certain
It is possible, also, of course, that any one or more of the English
colonists (with a few exceptions--such as Cushman and family, Mullens and
family, the More children and others--known to have left London on the
MAY-FLOWER) might have joined her (as did Carver and Alden, perhaps
Martin and family) at Southampton, but the strong presumption is that
most of the English passengers joined the ship at London.
It is just possible, too, that the seamen, Alderton (or Allerton),
English, Trevore, and Ely, were hired in London and were on board the
MAY-FLOWER when she left that port, though they might have been employed
and joined the ship at either Southampton, Dartmouth, or Plymouth.
It is strongly probable, however, that they were part, if not all, hired
in Holland, and came over to Southampton in the pinnace.
Robert Cushman--the London agent (for more than three years) of the
Leyden congregation, and, in spite of the wickedly unjust criticism
of Robinson and others, incompetent to judge his acts, their brave,
sagacious, and faithful servant--properly heads the list.
Bradford says: "Where they find the bigger ship come from London,
Mr. Jones, Master, with the rest of the company who had been waiting
there with Mr. Cushman seven days." Deacon Carver, probably from
being on shore, was not here named. In a note appended to the
memoir of Robert Cushman (prefatory to his Discourse delivered at
Plymouth, New England, on "The Sin and Danger of Self-Love") it is
stated in terms as follows: "The fact is, that Mr. Cushman procured
the larger vessel, the MAY-FLOWER, and its pilot, at London, and
left in that vessel." The statement--though published long after the
events of which it treats and by other than Mr. Cushman--we know to
be substantially correct, and the presumption is that the writer,
whoever he may have been, knew also.
Sailing with his wife and son (it is not probable that he had any
other living child at the time), in full expectation that it was for
Virginia, he encountered so much of ungrateful and abusive
treatment, after the brethren met at Southampton,--especially at the
hands of the insufferable Martin, who, without merit and with a most
reprehensible record (as it proved), was chosen over him as
"governor" of the ship,--that he was doubtless glad to return from
Plymouth when the SPEEDWELL broke down. He and his family appear,
therefore, as "MAY-FLOWER passengers," only between London and
Plymouth during the vexatious attendance upon the scoundrelly Master
of the SPEEDWELL, in his "doublings" in the English Channel. His
Dartmouth letter to Edward Southworth, one of the most valuable
contributions to the early literature of the Pilgrims extant,
clearly demonstrates that he was suffering severely from dyspepsia
and deeply wounded feelings. The course of events was his complete
vindication, and impartial history to-day pronounces him second to
none in his service to the Pilgrims and their undertaking. His
first wife is shown by Leyden records to have been Sarah Reder, and
his second marriage to have occurred May 19/June 3, 1617, [sic]
about the time he first went to England in behalf of the Leyden
Mrs. Mary (Clarke)-Singleton Cushman appears only as a passenger of the
MAY-FLOWER on her channel voyage, as she returned with her husband
and son from Plymouth, England, in the SPEEDWELL.
Thomas Cushman, it is quite clear, must have been a son by a former wife,
as he would have been but a babe, if the son of the latest wife,
when he went to New England with his father, in the FORTUNE, to
remain. Goodwin and others give his age as fourteen at this time,
and his age at death is their warrant. Robert Cushman died in 1625,
but a "Mary, wife [widow?] of Robert Cushman, and their son,
Thomas," seem to have been remembered in the will of Ellen Bigge,
widow, of Cranbrooke, England, proved February 12, 1638
(Archdeaconry, Canterbury, vol. lxx. leaf 482). The will intimates
that the "Thomas" named was "under age" when the bequest was made.
If this is unmistakably so (though there is room for doubt), then
this was not the Thomas of the Pilgrims. Otherwise the evidence is
Master Christopher Martin, who was made, Bradford informs us, the
treasurer-agent of the Planter Company, Presumably about the time of
the original conclusions between the Adventurers and the Planters,
seems to have been appointed such, as Bradford states, not because
he was needed, but to give the English contingent of the Planter
body representation in the management, and to allay thereby any
suspicion or jealousy. He was, if we are to judge by the evidence
in hand concerning his contention and that of his family with the
Archdeacon, the strong testimony that Cushman bears against him in
his Dartmouth letter of August 17, and the fact that there seems to
have been early dissatisfaction with him as "governor" on the ship,
a very self-sufficient, somewhat arrogant, and decidedly contentious
individual. His selection as treasurer seems to have been very
unfortunate, as Bradford indicates that his accounts were in
unsatisfactory shape, and that he had no means of his own, while his
rather surprising selection for the office of "governor" of the
larger ship, after the unpleasant experience with him as treasurer-
agent, is difficult to account for, except that he was evidently an
active opponent of Cushman, and the latter was just then in disfavor
with the colonists. He was evidently a man in the prime of life, an
"Independent" who had the courage of his convictions if little
discretion, and much of that energy and self-reliance which,
properly restrained, are excellent elements for a colonist. Very
little beside the fact that he came from Essex is known of him, and
nothing of his wife. He has further mention hereafter.
Solomon Prower is clearly shown by the complaint made against him by the
Archdeacon of Chelmsford, the March before he sailed on the MAY-
FLOWER, to have been quite a youth, a firm "Separatist," and
something more than an ordinary "servant." He seems to have been
summoned before the Archdeacon at the same time with young Martin (a
son of Christopher), and this fact suggests some nearer relation
than that of "servant." He is sometimes spoken of as Martin's
"son," by what warrant does not appear, but the fact suggests that
he may have been a step-son. Bradford, in recording his death,
says: "Dec. 24, this day dies Solomon Martin." This could, of
course, have been none other than Solomon Prower. Dr. Young, in his
"Chronicles," speaking of Martin, says, "he brought his wife and two
children." If this means Martin's children, it is evidently an
error. It may refer to age only. His case is puzzling, for
Bradford makes him both "servant" and "son." If of sufficient age
and account to be cited before the Archdeacon for discipline, it
seems strange that he should not have signed the "Compact." Even if
a "servant" this would seem to have been no bar, as Dotey and
Leister were certainly such, yet signers. The indications are that
he was but a well-grown lad, and that his youth, or severe illness,
and not his station, accounts for the absence of his signature. If
a young foster-son or kinsman of Martin, as seems most likely, then
Martin's signature was sufficient, as in the cases of fathers for
their sons; if really a "ser vant" then too young (like Latham and
Hooke) to be called upon, as were Dotey and Leister.
John Langemore; there is nothing (save the errors of Dr. Young) to
indicate that he was other than a "servant."
Richard Warren was probably from Kent or Essex. Surprisingly little is
known of his antecedents, former occupation, etc.
William Mullens and his family were, as shown, from Dorking in Surrey,
and their home was therefore close to London, whence they sailed,
beyond doubt, in the MAY-FLOWER. The discovery at Somerset House,
London, by Mr. Henry F. Waters, of Salem, Massachusetts; of what is
evidently the nuncupative will of William Mullens, proves an
important one in many particulars, only one of which need be
referred to in this connection, but all of which will receive due
consideration. It conclusively shows Mr. Mullens not to have been
of the Leyden congregation, as has sometimes been claimed, but that
he was a well-to-do tradesman of Dorking in Surrey, adjacent to
London. It renders it certain, too, that he had been some time
resident there, and had both a married daughter and a son (William),
doubtless living there, which effectually overthrows the "imaginary
history" of Baird, and of that pretty story, "Standish of Standish,"
whereby the Mullens (or Molines) family are given French (Huguenot)
antecedents and the daughter is endowed with numerous airs, graces,
and accomplishments, professedly French.
Dr. Griffis, in his delightful little narrative, "The Pilgrims in
their Three Homes, England, Holland, America," cites the name
"Mullins" as a Dutch distortion of Molines or Molineaux. Without
questioning that such it might be,--for the Dutch scribes were
gifted in remarkable distortions of simple names, even of their own
people,--they evidently had no hand in thus maltreating the patronym
of William Mullens (or Mullins) of the Pilgrims, for not only is
evidence entirely wanting to show that he was ever a Leyden citizen,
though made such by the fertile fiction of Mrs. Austin, but Governor
Carver, who knew him well, wrote it in his will "Mullens," while two
English probate functionaries of his own home-counties wrote it
respectively "Mullens" and "Mullins."
Dr. Grifs speaks of "the Mullens family" as evidently [sic] of
Huguenot or Walloon birth or descent, but in doing so probably knew
no other authority than Mrs. Austin's little novel, or (possibly)
Dr. Baird's misstatements.
A writer in the "New England Historic-Genealogical Register," vol.
xlvii, p. 90, states, that "Mrs. Jane G. Austin found her authority
for saying that Priscilla Mullens was of a Huguenot family, in Dr.
Baird's 'History of Huguenot Emigration to America,' vol. i.
p. 158," etc., referring to Rev. Charles W. Baird, D. D., New York.
The reference given is a notable specimen of very bad historical
work. Of Dr. Baird, one has a right to expect better things, and
the positiveness of his reckless assertion might well mislead those
not wholly familiar with the facts involved, as it evidently has
more than one. He states, without qualification or reservation,
that "among the passengers in the SPEEDWELL were several of the
French who had decided to cast in their lot with these English
brethren. William Molines and his daughter Priscilla, afterwards
the wife of John Alden and Philip Delanoy, born in Leyden of French
parents, were of the number." One stands confounded by such a
combination of unwarranted errors. Not only is it not true that
there "were several of the French among the passengers in the
SPEEDWELL," but there is no evidence whatever that there was even
one. Those specifically named as there, certainly were not, and
there is not the remotest proof or reason to believe, that William
Mullens (or Molines) and his daughter Priscilla (to say nothing of
the wife and son who accompanied him to America, whom Baird forgets)
ever even saw Leyden or Delfshaven. Their home had been at Dorking
in Surrey, just across the river from London, whence the MAY-FLOWER
sailed for New England, and nothing could be more absurd than to
assume that they were passengers on the SPEEDWELL from Delfshaven to
So far from Philip Delanoy (De La Noye or Delano) being a passenger
on the SPEEDWELL, he was not even one of the Pilgrim company, did
not go to New England till the following year (in the FORTUNE), and
of course had no relation to the SPEEDWELL. Neither does Edward
Winslow--the only authority for the parentage of "Delanoy"--state
that "he was born in Leyden," as Baird alleges, but only that "he
was born of French parents . . . and came to us from Leyden to
New Plymouth,"--an essential variance in several important
particulars. Scores and perhaps hundreds of people have been led to
believe Priscilla Mullens a French Protestant of the Leyden
congregation, and themselves--as her descendants--"of Huguenot
stock," because of these absolutely groundless assertions of Dr.
Baird. They lent themselves readily to Mrs. Austin's fertile
imagination and facile pen, and as "welcome lies" acquired a hold on
the public mind, from which even the demonstrated truth will never
wholly dislodge them. The comment of the intelligent writer in the
"Historic-Genealogical Register" referred to is proof of this. So
fast-rooted had these assertions become in her thought as the truth,
that, confronted with the evidence that Master Mullens and his
family were from Dorking in England, it does not occur to her to
doubt the correctness of the impression which the recklessness of
Baird had created,--that they were of Leyden,--and she hence
amusingly suggests that "they must have moved from Leyden to
Dorking." These careless utterances of one who is especially bound
by his position, both as a writer and as a teacher of morals, to be
jealous for the truth, might be partly condoned as attributable to
mistake or haste, except for the facts that they seem to have been
the fountain-head of an ever-widening stream of serious error, and
that they are preceded on the very page that bears them by others as
to the Pilgrim exodus equally unhappy. It seems proper to suggest
that it is high time that all lovers of reliable history should
stand firmly together against the flood of loose statement which is
deluging the public; brand the false wherever found; and call for
proof from of all new and important historical propositions put
Stephen Hopkins may possibly have had more than one wife before
Elizabeth, who accompanied him to New England and was mother of the
sea-born son Oceanus. Hopkins's will indicates his affection for
this latest wife, in unusual degree for wills of that day. With
singular carelessness, both of the writer and his proof-reader, Hon.
William T. Davis states that Damaris Hopkins was born "after the
arrival" in New England. The contrary is, of course, a well
established fact. Mr. Davis was probably led into this error by
following Bradford's "summary" as affecting the Hopkins family. He
states therein that Hopkins "had one son, who became a seaman and
died at Barbadoes probably Caleb, and four daugh ters born here."
To make up these "four" daughters "born here" Davis found it
necessary to include Damaris, unmindful that Bradford names her in
his list of MAY-FLOWER passengers. It is evident, either that
Bradford made a mistake in the number, or that there was some
daughter who died in infancy. It is evident that Dotey and Leister,
the "servants" of Hopkins, were of English origin and accompanied
their master from London.
Gilbert Winslow was a brother of Edward Winslow, a young man, said to
have been a carpenter, who returned to England after "divers years"
in New England. There is a possibility that he was at Leyden and
was a passenger on the SPEEDWELL. It has been suggested that he
spent the greater part of the time he was in New England, outside of
the Pilgrim Colony. He took no part in its affairs.
James Chilton and his family are but little known to Pilgrim writers,
except the daughter Mary, who came into notice principally through
her marriage with John Winslow, another brother of Governor Edward,
who came over later. Their name has assumed a singular prominence
in popular regard, altogether disproportionate to either their
personal characteristics, station, or the importance of their early
descendants. Some unaccountable glamour of romance, without any
substantial foundation, is probably responsible for it. They left a
married daughter behind them in England, which is the only hint we
have as to their home just prior to the embarkation. There has been
a disposition, not well grounded, to regard them as of Leyden.
Richard Gardiner, Goodwin unequivocally places with the English colonists
(but on what authority does not fully appear), and he has been
claimed, but without any better warrant, for the Leyden list.
John Billington and his family were unmistakably of the English
colonists. Mrs. Billington's name has been variously given,
e.g. Helen, Ellen, and Eleanor, and the same writer has used them
interchangeably. One writer has made the inexcusable error of
stating that "the younger son, Francis, was born after the arrival
at New Plymouth," but his own affidavit shows him to have been born
William Latham, a "servant-boy" of Deacon Carver, has always been of
doubtful relation, some circumstances indicating that he was of
Leyden and hence was a SPEEDWELL passenger, but others--and these
the more significant--rendering it probable that he was an English
boy, who was obtained in London (like the More children) and
apprenticed to Carver, in which case he probably came in the MAY-
FLOWER from London, though he may have awaited her coming with his
master at Southampton, in which case he probably originally embarked
there, with him, on the SPEEDWELL, and was transferred with him, at
Plymouth, to the MAY-FLOWER. There is, of course, also still the
possibility that he came with Carver's family from Leyden. Governor
Carver's early death necessarily changed his status somewhat, and
Plymouth early records do not give much beyond suggestion as to what
the change was; but all indications confirm the opinion that he was
a poor boy--very likely of London or vicinity--taken by Carver as
The More children, Jasper, Richard, their brother (whose given name has
never transpired), and Ellen, their sister, invite more than passing
mention. The belief has always been current and confident among
students of Pilgrim history that these More children, four in
number, "put" or "indentured" to three of the Leyden leaders, were
probably orphaned children of some family of the Leyden
congregation, and were so "bound" to give them a chance in the new
colony, in return for such services as they could render to those
they accompanied. If thus of the Leyden contingent they would,
of course, be enumerated as passengers in the SPEEDWELL from
Delfshaven, but if of the English contingent they should probably be
borne on the list of passengers sailing from London in the MAY-
FLOWER, certainly should be reckoned as part of the English
contingent on the MAY-FLOWER at Southampton. An affidavit of
Richard More, perhaps the eldest of these children, indentured to
Elder Brewster, dated in 1684., found in "Proceedings of the
Provincial Court, Maryland Archives, vol. xiv. ('New England
Historic-Genealogical Register,' vol 1. p. 203 )," affirms the
deponent to be then "seaventy years or thereabouts" of age, which
would have made him some six years of age, "or thereabouts," in
1620. He deposes "that being in London at the house of Mr. Thomas
Weston, Iron monger, in the year 1620, he was from there transported
to New Plymouth in New England," etc. This clearly identifies
Richard More of the MAY FLOWER, and renders it well-nigh certain
that he and his brothers and sister, "bound out" like himself to
Pilgrim leaders, were of the English company, were probably never in
Leyden or on the SPEEDWELL, and were very surely passengers on the
MAY-FLOWER from London, in charge of Mr. Cushman or others. The
fact that the lad was in London, and went from thence direct to New
England, is good evidence that he was not of the Leyden party. The
fair presump tion is that his brothers and sister were, like
himself, of English birth, and humble--perhaps deceased--parents,
taken because of their orphaned condition. It is highly improbable
that they would be taken from London to Southampton by land, at the
large expense of land travel in those days, when the MAY-FLOWER was
to sail from London. That they would accompany their respective
masters to their respectively assigned ships at Southampton is
altogether likely. The phraseology of his affidavit suggests the
probability that Richard More, his brothers, and sister were brought
to Mr. Weston's house, to be by him sent aboard the MAY-FLOWER,
about to sail. The affidavit is almost conclusive evidence as to
the fact that the More children were all of the English colonists'
party, though apprenticed to Leyden families, and belonged to the
London passenger list of the Pilgrim ship. The researches of Dr.
Neill among the MS. "minutes" and "transactions" of the (London)
Virginia Company show germanely that, on November 17, 1619, "the
treasurer, council, and company" of this Virginia Company addressed
Sir William Cockaine, Knight, Lord Mayor of the city of London, and
the right worthys the aldermen, his brethren, and the worthys the
common council of the city," and returning thanks for the benefits
conferred, in furnishing out one hundred children this last year
for "the plantation in Virginia" (from what Neill calls the
"homeless boys and girls of London"), states, that, "forasmuch as we
have now resolved to send this next spring  very large
supplies," etc., "we pray your Lordship and the rest . . . to
renew the like favors, and furnish us again with one hundred more
for the next spring. Our desire is that we may have them of twelve
years old and upward, with allowance of L3 apiece for their trans
portation, and 40s. apiece for their apparel, as was formerly
granted. They shall be apprenticed; the boys till they come to 21
years of age, the girls till like age or till they be married," etc.
A letter of Sir Edwin Sandys (dated January 28, 1620) to Sir Robert
Naunton shows that "The city of London have appointed one hundred
children from the superfluous multitude to be transported to
Virginia, there to be bound apprentices upon very beneficial
conditions." In view of the facts that these More children--and
perhaps others--were "apprenticed" or "bound" to the Pilgrims
(Carver, Winslow, Brewster, etc.), and that there must have been
some one to make the indentures, it seems strongly probable that
these four children of one family,--as Bradford shows, --very likely
orphaned, were among those designated by the city of London for the
benefit of the (London) Virginia Company in the spring of 1620.
They seem to have been waifs caught up in the westward-setting
current, but only Richard survived the first winter. Bradford,
writing in 1650, states of Richard More that his brothers and sister
died, "but he is married  and hath 4 or 5 children." William
T. Davis, in his "Ancient Landmarks of Plymouth" (p. 24), states,
and Arber copies him, that "he was afterwards called Mann; and died
at Scituate, New England, in 1656." The researches of Mr. George E.
Bowman, the able Secretary of the Massachusetts Society of MAY-
FLOWER Descendants, some time since disproved this error, but Mores
affidavit quoted conclusively determines the matter.
The possible accessions to the company, at London or Southampton, of
Henry Sampson and Humility Cooper, cousins of Edward Tilley and wife,
would be added to the passengers of the pinnace rather than to the MAY-
FLOWER'S, if, as seems probable, their relatives were of the SPEEDWELL.
If Edward Tilley and his wife were assigned to the MAY FLOWER, room would
doubtless also be found for these cousins on the ship. John Alden, the
only positively known addition (except Carver) made to the list at
Southampton, was, from the nature of his engagement as "cooper," quite
likely assigned to the larger ship. There are no known hints as to the
assignments of passengers to the respective vessels at Southampton--then
supposed to be final--beyond the remarks of Bradford that "the chief
[principal ones] of them that came from Leyden went on this ship [the
SPEEDWELL] to give the Master content," and his further minute, that
"Master Martin was governour in the biger ship and Master Cushman
assistante." It is very certain that Deacon Carver, one of the four
agents of the colonists, who had "fitted out" the voyage in England, was
a passenger in the SPEEDWELL from Southampton,--as the above mentioned
remark of Bradford would suggest,--and was made "governour" of her
passengers, as he later was of the whole company, on the MAY-FLOWER.
It has sometimes been queried whether, in the interim between the arrival
of the SPEEDWELL at Southampton and the assignment of the colonists to
their respective ships (especially as both vessels were taking in and
transferring cargo), the passengers remained on board or were quartered
on shore. The same query has arisen, with even better reason, as to the
passengers of the SPEEDWELL during the stay at Dartmouth, when the
consort was being carefully overhauled to find her leaks, the suggestion
being made that in this case some of them might have found accommodation
on board the larger ship. The question may be fairly considered as
settled negatively, from the facts that the colonists, with few
exceptions, were unable to bear such extra expense themselves; the funds
of the Adventurers--if any were on hand, which appears doubtful--were not
available for the purpose; while the evidence of some of the early
writers renders it very certain that the Leyden party were not released
from residence on shipboard from the time they embarked on the SPEEDWELL
at Delfshaven till the final landing in the harbor of New Plimoth. Just
who of the Leyden chiefs caused themselves to be assigned to the smaller
vessel, to encourage its cowardly Master, cannot be definitely known.
It may be confidently assumed, however, that Dr. Samuel Fuller, the
physician of the colonists, was transferred to the MAY-FLOWER, upon which
were embarked three fourths of the entire company, including most of the
women and children, with some of whom, it was evident, his services would
be certainly in demand. There is little doubt that the good Elder
(William Brewster) was also transferred to the larger ship at
Southampton, while it would not be a very wild guess--in the light of
Bradford's statement--to place Carver, Winslow, Bradford, Standish,
Cooke, Howland, and Edward Tilley, and their families, among the
passengers on the consort. Just how many passengers each vessel carried
when they sailed from Southampton will probably never be positively
known. Approximately, it may be said, on the authority of such
contemporaneous evidence as is available, and such calculations as are
possible from the data we have, that the SPEEDWELL had thirty (30), and
the MAY-FLOWER her proportionate number, ninety (90)--a total of one
hundred and twenty (120).
Captain John Smith says,
[Smith, New England's Trials, ed. 1622, London, p. 259. It is a
singular error of the celebrated navigator that he makes the ships
to have, in less than a day's sail, got outside of Plymouth, as he
indicates by his words, "the next day," and "forced their return to
Plymouth." He evidently intends to speak only in general terms, as
he entirely omits the (first) return to Dartmouth, and numbers the
passengers on the MAY-FLOWER, on her final departure, at but "one
hundred." He also says they "discharged twenty passengers."]
apparently without pretending to be exact, "They left the coast of
England the 23 of August, with about 120 persons, but the next day [sic]
the lesser ship sprung a leak that forced their return to Plymouth; where
discharging her [the ship] and twenty passengers, with the great ship and
a hundred persons, besides sailors, they set sail again on the 6th of
[Dr. Ames, so stringent in his requirements of other authors, for
example Jane Austin, has to this point been pathetically naive as to
the opinions of Captain John Smith. Captain Smith's self-serving
and very subjective narratives of his own voyages obtained for him
the very derogatory judgement by his contemporaries. One of the
best reviews of John Smith's life may be found in a small book on
this adventurer by Charles Dudley Warner. D.W.]
If the number one hundred and twenty (120) is correct, and the
distribution suggested is also exact, viz. thirty (30) to the SPEEDWELL
and ninety (90) to the MAY-FLOWER, it is clear that there must have been
more than twelve (the number usually named) who went from the consort to
the larger ship, when the pinnace was abandoned. We know that at least
Robert Cushman and his family (wife and son), who were on the MAY-FLOWER,
were among the number who returned to London upon the SPEEDWELL (and the
language of Thomas Blossom in his letter to Governor Bradford, else where
quoted, indicates that he and his son were also there), so that if the
ship's number was ninety (90), and three or more were withdrawn, it would
require fifteen (15) or more to make the number up to one hundred and two
(102), the number of passengers we know the MAY-FLOWER had when she took
her final departure. It is not likely we shall ever be able to determine
exactly the names or number of those transferred to the MAY-FLOWER from
the consort, or the number or names of all those who went back to London
from either vessel. Several of the former and a few of the latter are
known, but we must (except for some fortunate discovery) rest content
with a very accurate knowledge of the passenger list of the MAY-FLOWER
when she left Plymouth (England), and of the changes which occurred in it
afterward; and a partial knowledge of the ship's own complement of
officers and men.
Goodwin says: "The returning ones were probably of those who joined in
England, and had not yet acquired the Pilgrim spirit." Unhappily this
view is not sustained by the relations of those of the number who are
known. Robert Cushman and his family (3 persons), Thomas Blossom and his
son (2 persons), and William Ring (1 person), a total of six, or just one
third of the putative eighteen who went back, all belonged to the Leyden
congregation, and were far from lacking "the Pilgrim spirit." Cushman
was both ill and heart-sore from fatigue, disappointment, and bad
treatment; Ring was very ill, according to Cushman's Dartmouth letter;
but the motives governing Blossom and his son do not appear, unless the
comparatively early death of the son--after which his father went to New
England--furnishes a clue thereto. Bradford says: "Those that went back
were, for the most part, such as were willing to do so, either out of
some discontent, or fear they conceived of the ill success of the Voyage,
seeing so many crosses befallen and the year time so far spent. But
others, in regard of their own weakness and the charge of many young
children, were thought [by the Managers] least useful and most unfit to
bear the brunt of this hard adventure." It is evident from the above
that, while the return of most was from choice, some were sent back by
those in authority, as unfit for the undertaking, and that of these some
had "many young chil dren." There are said to have been eighteen who
returned on the SPEEDWELL to London. We know who six of them were,
leaving twelve, or two thirds, unknown. Whether these twelve were in
part from Leyden, and were part English, we shall probably never know.
If any of them were from Holland, then the number of those who left
Delfshaven on the SPEEDWELL is increased by so many. If any were of the
English contingent, and probably the most were,--then the passenger list
of the MAY-FLOWER from London to Southampton was probably, by so many,
the larger. It is evident, from Bradford's remark, that, among the
twelve unknown, were some who, from "their own weakness and charge of
many young children, were thought least useful and most unfit," etc.
From this it is clear that at least one family was included which had a
number of young children, the parents' "own weakness" being recognized.
A father, mother, and four children (in view of the term "many") would
seem a reasonable surmise, and would make six, or another third of the
whole number. The probability that the unknown two thirds were chiefly
from England, rather than Holland, is increased by observation of the
evident care with which, as a rule, those from the Leyden congregation
were picked, as to strength and fitness, and also by the fact that their
Leyden homes were broken up. Winslow remarks, "the youngest and
strongest part were to go," and an analysis of the list shows that those
selected were mostly such. Bradford, in stating that Martin was "from
Billericay in Essex," says, "from which part came sundry others." It is
quite possible that some of the unknown twelve who returned were from
this locality, as none of those who went on the MAY-FLOWER are understood
to have hailed from there, beside the Martins.
All the colonists still intending to go to America were now gathered in
one vessel. Whatever previous disposition of them had been made, or
whatever relations they might have had in the disjointed record of the
exodus, were ephemeral, and are now lost sight of in the enduring
interest which attaches to their final and successful "going forth" as
Bradford informs us--as already noted--that, just before the departure
from Southampton, having "ordered and distributed their company for
either ship, as they conceived for the best," they "chose a Governor and
two or three assistants for each ship, to order the people by the way,
and see to the disposing of the provisions, and such like affairs. All
which was not only with the liking of the Masters of the ships, but
according to their desires." We have seen that under this arrangement--
the wisdom and necessity of which are obvious--Martin was made "Governor"
on the "biger ship" and Cushman his "assistante." Although we find no
mention of the fact, it is rendered certain by the record which Bradford
makes of the action of the Pilgrim company on December 11, 1620, at Cape
Cod,--when they "confirmed" Deacon John Carver as "Governor,"--that he
was and had been such, over the colonist passengers for the voyage (the
ecclesiastical authority only remaining to Elder Brewster), Martin
holding certainly no higher than the second place, made vacant by
Thus, hardly had the Pilgrims shaken the dust of their persecuting
mother-country from their feet before they set up, by popular voice
(above religious authority, and even that vested by maritime law in their
ships' officers), a government of themselves, by themselves, and for
themselves. It was a significant step, and the early revision they made
of their choice of "governors" certifies their purpose to have only
rulers who could command their confidence and respect. Dr. Young says:
"We know the age of but few of the Pilgrims," which has hitherto been
true; yet by careful examination of reliable data, now available, we are
able to deter mine very closely the ages of a considerable number, and
approximately the years of most of the others, at the time of the exodus.
No analysis, so far as known, has hitherto been made of the vocations
(trades, etc.) represented by the MAY-FLOWER company. They were, as
befitted those bent on founding a colony, of considerable variety, though
it should be understood that the vocations given were, so far as
ascertained, the callings the individuals who represented them had
followed before taking ship. Several are known to have been engaged
in other pursuits at some time, either before their residence in Holland,
or during their earlier years there. Bradford tells us that most of the
Leyden congregation (or that portion of it which came from England, in or
about 1608) were agricultural people. These were chiefly obliged to
acquire handicrafts or other occupations. A few, e.g. Allerton,
Brewster, Bradford, Carver, Cooke, and Winslow, had possessed some means,
while others had been bred to pursuits for which there was no demand in
the Low Countries. Standish, bred to arms, apparently followed his
profession nearly to the time of departure, and resumed it in the colony,
adding thereto the calling which, in all times and all lands, had been
held compatible in dignity with that of arms,--the pursuit of
agriculture. While always the "Sword of the White Men," he was the
pioneer "planter" in the first settlement begun (at Duxbury) beyond
Plymouth limits. Of the "arts, crafts or trades" of the colonists from
London and neighboring English localities, but little has been gleaned.
They were mostly people of some means, tradesmen rather than artisans,
and at least two (Martin and Mullens) were evidently also of the Merchant
Their social (conjugal) conditions--not previously analyzed, it is
thought--have been determined, it is believed, with approximate accuracy;
though it is of course possible that some were married, of whom that fact
does not appear, especially among the seamen.
The passengers of the MAY-FLOWER on her departure from Plymouth
(England), as arranged for convenience by families, were as appears by
the following lists.
While the ages given in these lists are the result of much careful study
of all the latest available data, and are believed, when not exact, to be
very close approximates; as it has been possible to arrive at results,
in several cases, only by considerable calculation, the bases of which
may not always have been entirely reliable, errors may have crept in.
Though the author is aware that, in a few instances, the age stated does
not agree with that assigned by other recognized authority, critical
re-analysis seems to warrant and confirm the figures given.
The actual and comparative youth of the majority of the colonist leaders
--the Pilgrim Fathers--is matter of comment, even of surprise, to most
students of Pilgrim history, especially in view of what the Leyden
congregation had experienced before embarking for America. Only two of
the leaders exceeded fifty years of age, and of these Governor Carver
died early. Of the principal men only nine could have been over forty,
and of these Carver, Chilton, Martin, Mullins, and Priest (more than half
died within a few months after landing), leaving Brewster, Warren (who
died early), Cooke, and Hopkins--neither of the latter hardly forty--the
seniors. One does not readily think of Alden as but twenty-one, Winslow
as only twenty-five, Dr. Fuller as about thirty, Bradford as only thirty-
one when chosen Governor, Allerton as thirty-two, and Captain Standish as
thirty-six. Verily they were "old heads on young shoulders." It is
interesting to note that the dominant influence at all times was that of
the Leyden contingent.
Of these, all except William Butten, who died upon the voyage, reached
Cape Cod in safety, though some of them had become seriously ill from the
hardships encountered, and Howland had narrowly escaped drowning. Two
were added to the number en voyage,--Oceanus Hopkins, born upon the sea,
and Peregrine White, born soon after the arrival in Cape Cod harbor.
This made the total of the passenger list 103, before further depletion
by death occurred, though several deaths again reduced it before the MAY-
FLOWER cast anchor in Plymouth harbor, her final haven on the outward
Deacon John Carver's place of birth or early life is not known, but he
was an Essex County man, and was probably not, until in middle life,
a member of Robinson's congregation of "Independents." His age is
determined by collateral evidence.
Mrs. Katherine Carver, it has been supposed by some, was a sister of
Pastor Robinson. This supposition rests, apparently, upon the
expression of Robinson in his parting letter to Carver, where he
says: "What shall I say or write unto you and your good wife, my
loving sister?" Neither the place of Mrs. Carver's nativity nor her
age is known.
Desire Minter was evidently a young girl of the Leyden congregation,
between the ages of fourteen and seventeen, who in some way (perhaps
through kinship) had been taken into Carver's family. She returned
to England early. See ante, for account of her (probable)
John Howland was possibly of kin to Carver and had been apparently some
years in his family. Bradford calls him a "man-servant," but it is
evident that "employee" would be the more correct term, and that he
was much more than a "servant." It is observable that Howland
signed the Compact (by Morton's List) before such men as Hopkins,
the Tilleys, Cooke, Rogers, and Priest, which does not indicate much
of the "servant" relation. His antecedents are not certainly known,
but that he was of the Essex family of the name seems probable.
Much effort has been made in recent years to trace his ancestry,
but without any considerable result. His age at death (1673)
determines his age in 1620. He was older than generally supposed,
being born about 1593.
Roger Wilder is also called a "man-servant" by Bradford, and hardly more
than this is known of him, his death occurring early. There is no
clue to his age except that his being called a "man-servant" would
seem to suggest that he was of age; but the fact that he did not
sign the Compact would indicate that he was younger, or he may have
been extremely ill, as he died very soon after arrival.
William Latham is called a "boy" by Bradford, though a lad of 18. It is
quite possible he was one of those "indentured" by the corporation
of London, but there is no direct intimation of this.
"Mrs. Carver's maid," it is fair to presume, from her position as lady's-
maid and its requirements in those days, was a young woman of
eighteen or twenty years, and this is confirmed by her early
marriage. Nothing is known of her before the embarkation. She died
Jasper More, Bradford says, "was a child yt was put to him." Further
information concerning him is given in connection with his brother
Richard, "indentured" to Elder Brewster. He is erroneously called
by Justin Winsor in his "History of Duxbury" (Massachusetts) a child
of Carver's, as Elizabeth Tilley is "his daughter." Others have
Elder William Brewster's known age at his death determines his age in
1620. He was born in 1566-67. His early life was full of interest
and activity, and his life in Holland and America no less so. In
early life he filled important stations. Steele's "Chief of the
Pilgrims" is a most engaging biography of him, and there are others
hardly less so, Bradford's sketch being one of the best.
Mrs. Mary Brewster's age at her death determines it at the embarkation,
and is matter of computation.
Love Brewster was the second son of his parents, his elder brother
Jonathan coming over afterwards.
Wrestling Brewster was but a "lad," and his father's third son.
Richard More and his brother, Bradford states, "were put to him" (Elder
Brewster) as bound-boys. For a full account of their English
origin, Richard's affidavit, etc., see ante. This makes him but
about six, but he was perhaps older.
Governor Edward Winslow's known age at his death fixes his age at the
time of the exodus, and his birth is duly recorded at Droitwich, in
Worcester, England. (See "Winslow Memorial," David Parsons Holton,
vol. i. p. 16.)
Mrs. Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow, the first wife of the Governor, appears
by the data supplied by the record of her marriage in Holland, May
27, 1618, to have been a maiden of comporting years to her
husband's, he being then twenty-three. Tradition makes her slightly
younger than her husband.
George Soule, it is evident,--like Howland,--though denominated a
"servant" by Bradford, was more than this, and should rather have
been styled, as Goodwin points out, "an employee" of Edward Winslow.
His age is approximated by collateral evidence, his marriage, etc.
Elias Story is called "man-servant" by Bradford, and his age is unknown.
The fact that he did not sign the Compact indicates that he was
under age, but extreme illness may have prevented, as he died early.
Ellen More, "a little girl that was put to him" (Winslow), died early.
She was sister of the other More children, "bound out" to Carver and
Brewster, of whom extended mention has been made.
Governor William Bradford's date of birth fixes his age in 1620. His
early home was at Austerfield, in Yorkshire. Belknap (" American
Biography," vol. ii. p. 218) says: "He learned the art of silk-
Mrs. Dorothy (May) Bradford's age (the first wife of the Governor) is
fixed at twenty-three by collateral data, but she may have been
older. She was probably from Wisbeach, England. The manner of her
tragic death (by drowning, having fallen overboard from the ship in
Cape Cod harbor), the first violent death in the colony, was
especially sad, her husband being absent for a week afterward. It
is not known that her body was recovered.
Dr. Samuel Fuller, from his marriage record at Leyden, made in 1613, when
he was a widower, it is fair to assume was about thirty, perhaps
older, in 1620, as he could, when married, have hardly been under
twenty-one. His (third) wife and child were left in Holland.
William Butten (who died at sea, November 6/16), Bradford calls
"a youth." He was undoubtedly a "servant"-assistant to the doctor.
Isaac Allerton, it is a fair assumption, was about thirty-four in 1620,
from the fact that he married his first wife October 4, 1611, as he
was called "a young man" in the Leyden marriage record. He is
called "of London, England," by Bradford and on the Leyden records.
He was made a "freeman" of Leyden, February 7, 1614. Arber and
others state that his early occupation was that of "tailor," but he
was later a tradesman and merchant.
Mary (Norris) Allerton is called a "maid of Newbury in England," in the
Leyden record of her marriage, in October, 1611, and it is the only
hint as to her age we have. She was presumably a young woman. Her
death followed (a month later) the birth of her still-born son, on
board the MAY-FLOWER in Plymouth harbor, February 25/March 7, 1621.
Bartholomew Allerton, born probably in 1612/13 (his parents married
October, 1611), was hence, as stated, about seven or eight years old
at the embarkation. He has been represented as older, but this was
clearly impossible. He was doubtless born in Holland.
Remember Allerton, apparently Allerton's second child, has (with a
novelist's license) been represented by Mrs. Austin as considerably
older than six, in fact nearer sixteen (Goodwin, p. 183, says,
"over 13"), but the known years of her mother's marriage and her
brother's birth make this improbable. She was, no doubt, born in
Holland about 1614--She married Moses Maverick by 1635, and Thomas
Weston's only child, Elizabeth, was married from her house at
Marblehead to Roger Conant, son of the first "governor" of a
Massachusetts Bay "plantation."
Mary Allerton, apparently the third child, could hardly have been much
more than four years old in 1620, though Goodwin ("Pilgrim
Republic," p. 184) calls her eleven, which is an error. She was
probably born in Holland about 1616. She was the last survivor of
the passengers of the MAY-FLOWER, dying at Plymouth, New England,
John Hooke, described by Bradford as a "servant-boy," was probably but a
youth. He did not sign the Compact. Nothing further is known of him
except that he died early. It is quite possible that he may have
been of London and have been "indentured" by the municipality to
Allerton, but the presumption has been that he came, as body-servant
of Allerton, with him from Leyden.
Captain Standish's years in 1620 are conjectural (from fixed data), as is
his age at death. His early home was at Duxborough Hall, in
Lancashire. His commission as Captain, from Queen Elizabeth, would
make his birth about 1584. Rose Standish, his wife, is said by
tradition to have been from the Isle of Man, but nothing is known of
her age or antecedents, except that she was younger than the
Captain. She died during the "general sickness," early in 1621.
Master Christopher Martin, as previously noted, was from Billerica, in
Essex. From collateral data it appears that he must have been
"about forty" years old when he joined the Pilgrims. He appears to
have been a staunch "Independent" and to have drawn upon himself the
ire of the Archdeacon of Chelmsford, (probably) by his loud-mouthed
expression of his views, as only "a month before the MAY-FLOWER
sailed" he, with his son and Solomon Prower of his household
(probably a relative), were cited before the archdeacon to answer
for their shortcomings, especially in reverence for this church
dignitary. He seems to have been at all times a self-conceited,
arrogant, and unsatisfactory man. That he was elected treasurer
and ship's "governor" and permitted so much unbridled liberty as
appears, is incomprehensible. It was probably fortunate that he
died early, as he did, evidently in utter poverty. He had a son,
in 1620, apparently quite a grown youth, from which it is fair to
infer that the father was at that time "about forty." Of his wife
nothing is known. She also died early.
Solomon Prower, who is called by Bradford both "son" and "servant" of
Martin, seems from the fact of his "citation" before the Archdeacon
of Chelmsford, etc., to have been something more than a "servant,"
possibly a kinsman, or foster-son, and probably would more properly
have been termed an "employee." He was from Billerica, in Essex,
and was, from the fact that he did not sign the Compact, probably
under twenty-one or very ill at the time. He died early. Of John
Langemore, his fellow "servant," nothing is known, except that he is
spoken of by Young as one of two "children" brought over by Martin
(but on no apparent authority), and he did not sign the Compact,
though this might have been from extreme illness, as he too died
William White was of the Leyden congregation. He is wrongly called by
Davis a son of Bishop John White, as the only English Bishop of that
name and time died a bachelor. At White's marriage, recorded at the
Stadthaus at Leyden, January 27/February 1, 1612, to Anna [Susanna]
Fuller, he is called "a young man of England." As he presumably was
of age at that time, he must have been at least some twenty-nine or
thirty years old at the embarkation, eight years later. His son
Peregrine was born in Cape Cod harbor. Mr. White died very early.
Susanna (Fuller) White, wife of William, and sister of Dr. Fuller (?),
was apparently somewhat younger than her first husband and perhaps
older than her second. She must, in all probability (having been
married in Leyden in 1612), have been at least twenty-five at the
embarkation eight years later. Her second husband, Governor
Winslow, was but twenty-five in 1620, and the presumption is that
she was slightly his senior. There appears no good reason for
ascribing to her the austere and rather unlovable characteristics
which the pen of Mrs. Austin has given her.
Resolved White, the son of William and Susanna White, could not have been
more than six or seven years old, and is set down by Goodwin and
others--on what seems inconclusive evidence--at five. He was
doubtless born at Leyden.
William Holbeck is simply named as "a servant" of White, by Bradford.
His age does not appear, but as he did not sign the Compact he was
probably "under age." From the fact that he died early, it is
possible that he was too ill to sign.
Edward Thompson is named by Bradford as a second "servant" of Master
White, but nothing more is known of him, except that he did not sign
the Compact, and was therefore probably in his nonage, unless
prevented by severe sickness. He died very early.
Master William Mullens (or Molines, as Bradford some times calls him) is
elsewhere shown to have been a tradesman of some means, of Dorking,
in Surrey, one of the Merchant Adventurers, and a man of ability.
From the fact that he left a married daughter (Mrs. Sarah Blunden)
and a son (William) a young man grown, in England, it is evident
that he must have been forty years old or more when he sailed for
New England, only to die aboard the ship in New Plymouth harbor.
That he was not a French Huguenot of the Leyden contingent, as
pictured by Rev. Dr. Baird and Mrs. Austin, is certain.
Mrs. Alice Mullens, whose given name we know only from her husband's
will, filed in London, we know little about. Her age was (if she
was his first wife) presumably about that of her husband, whom she
survived but a short time.
Joseph Mullens was perhaps older than his sister Priscilla, and the third
child of his parents; but the impression prevails that he was
slightly her junior,--on what evidence it is hard to say. That he
was sixteen is rendered certain by the fact that he is reckoned by
his father, in his will, as representing a share in the planter's
half-interest in the colony, and to do so must have been of that
Priscilla Mullens, whom the glamour of unfounded romance and the pen of
the poet Longfellow have made one of the best known and best beloved
of the Pilgrim band, was either a little older, or younger, than her
brother Joseph, it is not certain which. But that she was over
sixteen is made certain by the same evidence as that named
concerning her brother.
Robert Carter is named by Bradford as a "man-servant," and Mrs. Austin,
in her imaginative "Standish of Standish," which is never to be
taken too literally, has made him (see p. 181 of that book) "a dear
old servant," whom Priscilla Mullens credits with carrying her in
his arms when a small child, etc. Both Bradford's mention and Mr.
Mullens's will indicate that he was yet a young man and "needed
looking after." He did not sign the Compact, which of itself
indicates nonage, unless illness was the cause, of which, in his
case, there is no evidence, until later.
Richard Warren, as he had a wife and five pretty well grown daughters,
must have been forty-five or more when he came over. He is
suggested to have been from Essex.
Stephen Hopkins is believed to have been a "lay-reader" with Mr. Buck,
chaplain to Governor Gates, of the Bermuda expedition of 1609 (see
Purchas, vol. iv. p. 174). As he could hardly have had this
appointment, or have taken the political stand he did, until of
age, he must have been at least twenty-one at that time. If so, he
would have been not less than thirty two years old in 1620, and was
probably considerably older, as his son Giles is represented by
Goodwin ("Pilgrim Republic," p. 184) as being "about 15." If the
father was but twenty-one when the son was born, he must have been
at least thirty-seven when he became a MAY-FLOWER Pilgrim. The
probabilities are that he was considerably older. His English home
is not known. Professor Arber makes an error (The Story of the
Pilgrim Fathers," p. 261) in regard to Hopkins which, unless noted,
might lead to other and more serious mistakes. Noting the
differences between John Pierce and a Master Hopkins, heard before
the Council for New England, May 5/15, 1623, Arber designates Master
Hopkins as "Stephen" (on what authority does not appear), and leaves
us to infer that it was the Pilgrim Hopkins. On further inquiry it
transpires that the person who was at variance with Master John
Pierce over the matter of passage and freight money, on account of
the unfortunate PARAGON, was a Rev. Master Hopkins (not Stephen of
the MAY-FLOWER), who, we learn from Neill's "History of the Virginia
Company," was "recommended July 3, 1622, by the Court of the Company
to the Governor of Virginia, . . . being desirous to go over at
his own charge. He was evidently a passenger on both of the
disastrous attempts of the PARAGON under Captain William Pierce, and
being forced back the second time, apparently gave up the intention
Mrs. Elizabeth Hopkins, nothing is known concerning, except that she was
not her husband's first wife. Sometime apparently elapsed between
her husband's marriages.
Giles Hopkins we only know was the son of his father's first wife, and
"about 15." An error (of the types presumably) makes Griffis ("The
Pilgrims in their Three Homes," p. 176) give the name of Oceanus
Hopkins's father as Giles, instead of Stephen. Constance (or
Constantia) Hopkins was apparently about eleven years old in 1620,
as she married in 1627, and probably was then not far from eighteen
years old. Damaris Hopkins, the younger daughter of Master Hopkins,
was probably a very young child when she came in the MAY-FLOWER, but
her exact age has not been as certained. Davis, as elsewhere noted,
makes the singular mistake of saying she was born after her parents
arrived in New England. She married Jacob Cooke, and the ante-
nuptial agreement of his parents is believed to be the earliest of
record in America, except that between Gregory Armstrong and the
Edward Dotey is called by Bradford "a servant," but nothing is known of
his age or antecedents. It is very certain from the fact that he
signed the Compact that he was twenty-one. He was a very energetic
man. He seems to have been married before coming to New England, or
Edward Leister (the name is variously spelled) was a "servant," by
Bradford's record. He was doubtless of age, as he signed the
Master John Crackstone, being (apparently) a widower with a son, a child
well grown, was evidently about thirty five years old when he
embarked for New England. He left a daughter behind. He died early.
John Crackstone, Jr., was but a lad, and died early.
Master Edward Tilley (sometimes spelled Tillie) and his wife Ann seem to
have been without children of their own, and as they took with them
to New England two children who were their kindred, it may be
inferred that they had been married some little time. It is hence
probable that Mr. Tilley was in the neighborhood of thirty. His
wife's age is purely conjectural. They were, Bradford states, "of
the Leyden congregation."
Henry Sampson was apparently but a young English lad when he came over in
the MAY-FLOWER with his cousins the Tilleys. As he married in 1636,
he was probably then about twenty-one, which would make him five or
six when he came over. Goodwin ("Pilgrim Republic," p. 184) says he
Humility Cooper is said by Bradford to have been a "cosen" of the
Tilleys, but no light is given as to her age or antecedents. She
was but a child, apparently. She returned to England very soon
after the death of Mr. and Mrs. Tilley, and "died young."
Master John Tilley, having twice married, and having a daughter some
fourteen years old, must have been over thirty-five years old when
he sailed on the Pilgrim ship. His birthplace and antecedents are
not known, but he was "of the Leyden congregation."
Mrs. Bridget (Van der Velde) Tilley was just possibly a second wife.
Nothing is known concerning her except that she was of Holland, and
that she had, apparently, no child.
Elizabeth Tilley is said by Goodwin (op. cit. p. 298) and others to have
been fourteen years old at her parents' death in 1621, soon after
the arrival in New England. She was the child of her father's first
wife. She married John Howland before 1624. Historians for many
years called her the "daughter of Governor Carver," but the recovery
of Bradford's MS. "historie" corrected this, with many other
misconceptions, though to some the error had become apparent before.
Her will also suggests her age.
Francis Cooke's age in 1620 is fixed by his known age at his death
("about 81") in 1663. He was from the north of England, and long a
member of Robinson's congregation, both in England and in
John Cooke, son of Francis, is known to have been about ten years old
when he sailed with his father for America, as his parents did not
marry before 1609. He was undoubtedly born at Leyden. He was long
supposed to have been the last male survivor of the original
passengers (dying at Dartmouth in 1695.)
James Chilton's antecedents and his age are quite unknown. He must have
been at least fifty, as he had a married daughter in Leyden,
according to Bradford. He died among the first, and there is
nothing of record to inform us concerning him, except Bradford's
meagre mention. He may have lived at Leyden.
Mrs. Chilton's given name is declared by one writer to have been Susanna,
but it is not clearly proven. Whence she came, her ancestry, and
her age, are alike unknown.
Mary Chilton was but a young girl in 1620. She married, before 1627,
John Winslow, and was probably not then over twenty, nor over
fourteen when she came with her parents in the MAY-FLOWER.
Thomas Rogers appears, from the fact that he had a son, a lad well-grown,
to have been thirty or more in 1620. His birthplace, antecedents,
and history are unknown, but he appears to have been "of the Leyden
congregation." His wife arid children came later.
Joseph Rogers was only a "lad" aboard the MAY-FLOWER, but he left a
considerable posterity. Nothing is surely known of him, except that
he was Thomas's son.
Degory Priest had the distinction of being "freeman" of Leyden, having
been admitted such, November 16, 1615. He was by occupation a
"hatter," a man of some means, who left a wife and at least two
children in Holland when he embarked for America. His known age at
death gives his age at sailing but a few months previous. At his
marriage in Leyden, October 4, 1611, he was called "of London." He
was about thirty-two when he married. His wife (a widow Vincent)
was a sister of Isaac Allerton, who also was married at the same
time that he was. Goodwin ("Pilgrim Republic," p. 183) also gives
his age as "forty-one." His widow remarried and came over later.
Dexter ("Mourt's Relation," p. 69, note) states, quoting from Leyden
MS. records, that "Degory Priest in April, 1619, calling himself a
'hatter,' deposes that he 'is forty years of age.'" He must,
therefore, have been about forty-one when he sailed on the MAY-
FLOWER, and forty-two years old at his death.
John Rigdale and his wife Alice afford no data. They both died early,
and there is no record concerning either of them beyond the fact
that they were passengers.
Edward Fuller and his wife have left us little record of themselves save
that they were of Leyden, that he is reputed a brother of Dr. Samuel
Fuller (for whom they seem to have named the boy they brought over
with them,--leaving apparently another son, Matthew, behind), and
that both died the first winter. He must have been at least twenty-
five, judging from the fact that he was married and had two
children, and was perhaps somewhat older (though traditionally
represented as younger) than his brother. Neither his occupation
nor antecedents are surely known.
Samuel Fuller--the son of Edward Fuller and his wife--is called by
Bradford "a young child." He must have been some five or six years
of age, as he married in 1635, fifteen years later, and would
presumably have been of age, or nearly so.
Thomas Tinker's name, the mention of his "wife" and "son," the tradition
that they were "of the Leyden congregation" (which is not sure), the
certainty that they were MAY-FLOWER passengers,--on Brad ford's
list,--and that all died early, are all we know of the Tinker
John Turner and his two sons we know little about. He seems to have been
a widower, as no mention is found of his wife, though this is not
certain. He was of the Leyden congregation, and evidently a man of
some standing with the leaders, as he was made their messenger to
Carver and Cushman in London, in June, 1620, and was apparently
accustomed to travel. He appears to have had business of his own in
England at the time, and was apparently a man of sober age. As he
had three children,--a daughter who came later to New England, and
two sons, as stated by Bradford,--it is probable that he was thirty
or over. He and both his sons died in the spring of 1621.
Francis Eaton was of Leyden, a carpenter, and, having a wife and child,
was probably a young man about twenty five, perhaps a little
younger. He married three times.
Mrs. Sarah Eaton, wife of Francis, was evidently a young woman, with an
infant, at the date of embarkation. Nothing more is known of her,
except that she died the spring following the arrival at Plymouth.
Samuel Eaton, the son of Francis and his wife, Sarah, Bradford calls "a
sucking child:" He lived to marry.
Gilbert Window was the third younger brother of Governor Edward Winslow,
and is reputed to have been a carpenter. He was born on Wednesday,
October 26, 1600, at Droitwitch, in Worcester, England. ("Winslow
Memorial," vol. i. p. 23.) He apparently did not remain long in
the colony, as he does not appear in either the "land division" of
1623 or the "cattle division" of 1627; and hence was probably not
then in the "settlement," though land was later allowed his heirs,
he having been an "original" voyager of the Plymouth colony. He was
but twenty years and fifteen days old when he signed the Compact,
but probably was--from his brother's prominence and his nearness to
his majority--counted as eligible. Bradford states that he returned
to England after "divers years" in New England, and died there. It
has been suggested that he went very early to some of the other
John Alden was of Southampton, England, was hired as "a cooper," was
twenty-one years old in 1620, as determined by the year of his
birth, 1599 ("Alden Memorial," p. 1), and became the most prominent
and useful of any of the English contingent of the MAY FLOWER
company. Longfellow's delightful poem, "The Courtship of Miles
Standish," has given him and his bride, Priscilla Mullens, world-
wide celebrity, though it is to be feared that its historical
accuracy would hardly stand criticism. Why young Alden should have
been "hired for a cooper at Southampton," with liberty to "go or
stay" in the colony, as Bradford says he was (clearly indicating
that he went to perform some specific work and return, if he liked,
with the ship), has mystified many. The matter is clear, however,
when it is known, as Griffis shows, that part of a Parliamentary Act
of 1543 reads: "Whosoever shall carry Beer beyond Sea, shall find
Sureties to the Customers (?) of that Port, to bring in Clapboard
[staves] meet [sufficient] to make so much Vessel [barrel or
"kilderkin"] as he shall carry forth." As a considerable quantity of
beer was part of the MAY-FLOWER'S lading, and her consignors stood
bound to make good in quantity the stave-stock she carried away,
it was essential, in going to a wild country where it could not be
bought, but must be "got out" from the growing timber, to take along
a "cooper and cleaver" for that purpose. Moreover, the great demand
for beer-barrel stock made "clapboard" good and profitable return
lading. It constituted a large part of the FORTUNE'S return freight
(doubtless "gotten out" by Alden), as it would have undoubtedly of
the MAY-FLOWER'S, had the hardship of the colony's condition
Peter Browne we know little concerning. That he was a man of early
middle age is inferable from the fact that he married the widow
Martha Ford, who came in the FORTUNE in 1621. As she then was the
mother of three children, it is improbable that she would have
married a very young man. He appears, from certain collateral
evidence, to have been a mechanic of some kind, but it is not clear
what his handicraft was or whence he came.
John Billington (Bradford sometimes spells it Billinton) and his family,
Bradford tells us, "were from London." They were evidently an ill-
conditioned lot, and unfit for the company of the planters, and
Bradford says, "I know not by what friend shuffled into their
Company." As he had a wife and two children, the elder of whom must
have been about sixteen years old, he was apparently over thirty-
five years of age. There is a tradition that he was a countryman
bred, which certain facts seem to confirm. (See land allotments for
data as to age of boys, 1632.) He was the only one of the original
colonists to suffer the "death penalty" for crime.
Mrs. Ellen (or "Elen") Billington, as Bradford spells the name, was
evidently of comporting age to her husband's, perhaps a little
younger. Their two sons, John and Francis, were lively urchins who
frequently made matters interesting for the colonists, afloat and
ashore. The family was radically bad throughout, but they have had
not a few worthy descendants. Mrs. Billington married Gregory
Armstrong, and their antenuptial agreement is the first of record
known in America.
John Billington, Jr., is always first named of his father's two sons, and
hence the impression prevails that he was the elder, and Bradford so
designates him. The affidavit of Francis Billington (Plymouth
County, Mass., Deeds, vol. i. p. 81), dated 1674, in which he
declares himself sixty-eight years old, would indicate that he was
born in 1606, and hence must have been about fourteen years of age
when he came on the MAY-FLOWER to New Plymouth. If John, his
brother, was older than he, he must have been born about 1604, and
so was about sixteen when, he came to New England. The indications
are that it was Francis, the younger son, who got hold of the
gunpowder in his father's cabin in Cape Cod harbor, and narrowly
missed blowing up the ship. John died before 1630. Francis lived,
as appears, to good age, and had a family.
Moses Fletcher was of the Leyden company, a "smith," and at the time of
his second marriage at Leyden, November 30/December 21, 1613, was
called a "widower" and "of England." As he was probably of age at
the time of his first marriage,--presumably two years or more before
his last,--he must have been over thirty in 1620. He was perhaps
again a widower when he came over, as no mention is made of his
having wife or family. He was possibly of the Amsterdam family of
that name. His early death was a great loss to the colony.
A Thomas Williams is mentioned by Hon. Henry C Murphy ("Historical
Magazine," vol. iii. pp. 358, 359), in a list of some of Robinson's
congregation who did not go to New England in either the MAY-FLOWER,
FORTUNE, ANNE, Or LITTLE JAMES. He either overlooked the fact that
Williams was one of the MAY-FLOWER passengers, or else there were
two of the name, one of whom did not go. Nothing is known of the
age or former history of the Pilgrim of that name. He died in the
spring of 1621 (before the end of March). As he signed the Compact,
he must have been over twenty-one. He may have left a wife, Sarah.
John Goodman we know little more about than that he and Peter Browne seem
to have been "lost" together, on one occasion (when he was badly
frozen), and to have had, with his little spaniel dog, a rencontre
with "two great wolves," on another. He was twice married, the last
time at Leyden in 1619. He died before the end of March, 1621.
As he signed the Compact, he must have been over twenty-one.
Edward Margeson we know nothing about. As he signed the Compact, he was
presumably of age.
Richard Britteridge affords little data. His age, birthplace, or
occupation do not transpire, but he was, it seems, according to
Bradford, the first of the company to die on board the ship after
she had cast anchor in the harbor of New Plymouth. This fact
negatives the pleasant fiction of Mrs. Austin's "Standish of
Standish" (p. 104), that Britteridge was one of those employed in
cutting sedge on shore on Friday, January 12. Poor Britteridge died
December 21, three weeks earlier. He signed the Compact, and hence
may be accounted of age at the landing at Cape Cod.
Richard Clarke appears only as one of the passengers and as dying before
the end of March. He signed the Compact, and hence was doubtless
twenty-one or over.
Richard Gardiner, we know from Bradford, "became a seaman and died in
England or at sea." He was evidently a young man, but of his age or
antecedents nothing appears. He signed the Compact, and hence was
at least twenty-one years old.
John Alderton (sometimes spelled Allerton), we are told by Bradford,--as
elsewhere noted,--"was hired, but was reputed one of the company,
but was to go back, being a seaman and so, presumably, unmindful of
the voyages, for the help of others." Whether Bradford intended by
the latter clause to indicate that he had left his family behind,
and came "to spy out the land," and, if satisfied, to return for
them, or was to return for the counsel and assistance of Robinson
and the rest, who were to follow, is not clear, but the latter view
has most to support it. We learn his occupation, but can only infer
that he was a young man over twenty-one from the above and the fact
that he signed the Compact. It has been suggested that he was a
relative of Isaac Allerton, but this is nowhere shown and is
improbable. He died before the MAY-FLOWER returned to England.
Thomas English (or Enlish), Bradford tells us ("Historie," Mass. ed.
p. 533), "was hired to goe Master of a [the] shallop here." He,
however, "died here before the ship returned." It is altogether
probable that he was the savior of the colony on that stormy night
when the shallop made Plymouth harbor the first time, and, narrowly
escaping destruction, took shelter under Clarke's Island. The first
three governors of the colony, its chief founders,--Carver,
Bradford, and Winslow,--with Standish, Warren, Hopkins, Howland,
Dotey, and others, were on board, and but for the heroism and prompt
action of "the lusty sea man which steered," who was--beyond
reasonable doubt--English, as Bradford's narrative ("Morton's
Memorial") shows, the lives of the entire party must, apparently,
have been lost. That English was, if on board--Bradford shows in
the "Memorial" that he was--as Master of the shallop, properly her
helmsman in so critical a time, goes without saying, especially as
the "rudder was broken" and an oar substituted; that the ship's
"mates," Clarke and Coppin, were not in charge (although on board)
fully appears by Bradford's account; and as it must have taken all
of the other (four) seamen on board to pull the shallop, bereft of
her sail, in the heavy breakers into which she had been run by
Coppin's blunder, there would be no seaman but English for the
steering-oar, which was his by right. Had these leaders been lost
at this critical time,--before a settlement had been made, --it is
certain that the colony must have been abandoned, and the Pilgrim
impress upon America must have been lost. English's name should, by
virtue of his great service, be ever held in high honor by all of
Pilgrim stock. His early death was a grave loss. Bradford spells
the name once Enlish, but presumably by error. He signed the
Compact as Thomas English.
William Trevore was, according to Bradford, one of "two seamen hired to
stay a year in the countrie." He went back when his time expired,
but later returned to New England. Cushman (Bradford, "Historie,"
p. 122) suggests that he was telling "sailors' yarns." He says:
"For William Trevore hath lavishly told but what he knew or imagined
of Capewock Martha's Vineyard, Monhiggon, and ye Narragansetts." In
1629 he was at Massachusetts Bay in command of the HANDMAID
(Goodwin, p. 320), and in February, 1633 (Winthrop, vol. i. p. 100),
he seems to have been in command of the ship WILLIAM at Plymouth,
with passengers for Massachusetts Bay. Captain Standish testified
in regard to Thompson's Island in Boston harbor, that about 1620 he
"was on that Island with Trevore," and called it "Island Trevore."
(Bradford, "Historie," Deane's ed. p. 209.) He did not sign the
Compact, perhaps because of the limitations of his contract (one
--- Ely (not Ellis, as Arber miscalls him, "The Story of the Pilgrim
Fathers," p. 377) was the other of the "two seamen hired to stay a
year," etc. He also returned when his time expired. (Bradford,
Hist. Mass. ed. p. 534.) He did not sign the Compact, probably for
the reason operative in .Trevore's case. A digest of the foregoing
data gives the following interesting, if incomplete, data (errors
Adult males (hired seamen and servants of age included)... 44
Adult females (including Mrs. Carver's maid).............. 19
Youths, male children, and male servants, minors.......... 29
Maidens, female children.................................. 10
Married males............................................. 26
Married females........................................... 18
Single (adult) males (and young men)...................... 25
Single (adult) females (Mrs. Carver's maid)............... 1
Vocations of adults so far as known (except wives, who are presumed
housekeepers for their husbands):--
Fustian-worker and silk-dyer.............................. 1
Printers and publishers................................... 2
Servants (adult).......................................... 10
Allowing for the addition of Wilder and the two sailors, Trevore and Ely,
who did not sign it, the number of those who signed the Compact tallies
exactly with the adult males. Besides these occupations, it is known
that several of the individuals representing them were skilled in other
callings, and were at some time teachers, accountants, linguists,
writers, etc., while some had formerly practised certain handicrafts;
Dr. Fuller, e.g. having formerly been a "silk-worker," Brad ford (on the
authority of Belknap), a "silk-dyer," and others "fustian-workers."
Hopkins had apparently sometime before dropped his character of "lay-
reader," and was a pretty efficient man of affairs, but his vocation at
the time of the exodus is not known.
The former occupations of fourteen of the adult colonists, Browne,
Billington, Britteridge, Cooke, Chilton, Clarke, Crackstone, Goodman,
Gardiner, Rogers, Rigdale, Turner, Warren, and Williams are not certainly
known. There is evidence suggesting that Browne was a mechanic;
Billington and Cooke had been trained to husbandry; that Chilton had been
a small tradesman; that Edward Tilley had been, like his brother, a silk-
worker; that Turner was a tradesman, and Warren a farmer; while it is
certain that Cooke, Rogers, and Warren had been men of some means.
Of the above list of fourteen men whose last occupations before joining
the colonists are unknown, only five, viz. Browne, Billington, Cooke,
Gardiner, and Warren lived beyond the spring of 1621. Of these, Warren
died early, Gardiner left the colony and "became a seaman;" the other
three, Billington, Browne, and Cooke, became "planters." Thomas Morton,
of "Merry Mount," in his "New Eng land's Canaan" (p. 217), gives
Billington the sobriquet "Ould Woodman."
The early deaths of the others make their former handicrafts--except as
so much data pertaining to the composi tion and history of the colony--
matters of only ephemeral interest.
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