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 America.
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 collateral data.
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 congregation.
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 convincing.
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 Southampton.
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 forth.
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 in 1606.
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 his “servant.”
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 September.”
[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 MAY-FLOWER Pilgrims.
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 Cushman’s departure.
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 Adventurers.
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 voyage.
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) parentage.
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 early.
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 similarly erred.
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- dyeing.”
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, 1699.
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 early.
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 age.
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 of going.
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 widow Billington.
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 soon after.
Edward Leister (the name is variously spelled) was a “servant,” by Bradford’s record. He was doubtless of age, as he signed the Compact.
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 was “six.”
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 Holland(?).
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 family.
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 “plantations.”
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 permitted.
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 year).
— 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 excepted):–
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):–
Carpenters………………………………………… 2 Cooper……………………………………………. 1 Fustian-worker and silk-dyer………………………… 1 Hatter……………………………………………. 1 Lay-reader………………………………………… 1 Lady’s-maid……………………………………….. 1 Merchants…………………………………………. 3 Physician…………………………………………. 1 Printers and publishers…………………………….. 2 Seamen……………………………………………. 4 Servants (adult)…………………………………… 10 Smith…………………………………………….. 1 Soldier…………………………………………… 1 Tailor……………………………………………. 1 Tradesmen…………………………………………. 2 Wool-carders………………………………………. 2
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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