The Mayflower and Her Log, v2
Azel Ames

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.]


July 15, 1620--May 6, 1621
Chiefly from Original Sources

Member of Pilgrim Society, etc.




The ship MAY-FLOWER was evidently chartered about the middle of June,
1620 at London, by Masters Thomas West Robert Cushman acting together in
behalf of the Merchant Adventurers (chiefly of London) and the English
congregation of "Separatists" (the "Pilgrims"), at Leyden in Holland who,
with certain of England associated, proposed to colony in America.

Professor Arber, when he says, in speaking of Cushman and Weston, "the
hiring of the MAY-FLOWER, when they did do it, was their act alone, and
the Leyden church nothing to do with it," seems to forget that Cushman
and his associate Carver had no other function or authority in their
conjunction with Weston and Martin, except to represent the Leyden
congregation. Furthermore, it was the avowed wish of Robinson (see his
letter dated June 14, 1620, to John Carver), that Weston "may [should]
presently succeed in hiring" [a ship], which was equivalent to hoping
that Carver and Cushman--Weston's associates representing Leyden--would
aid in so doing. Moreover, Bradford expressly states that: "Articles of
Agreement, drawn by themselves were, by their [the Leyden congregation's]
said messenger [Carver] sent into England, who together with Robert
Cushman were to receive moneys and make provisions, both for shipping,
and other things for the voyage."

Up to Saturday, June 10, nothing had been effected in the way of
providing shipping for the migrating planters though the undertaking had
been four months afoot--beyond the purchase and refitting, in Holland, by
the Leyden people themselves, of a pinnace of sixty tons (the SPEEDWELL)
intended as consort to a larger ship--and the hiring of a "pilott" to
refit her, as we have seen.

The Leyden leaders had apparently favored purchasing also the larger
vessel still needed for the voyage, hoping, perhaps, to interest therein
at least one of their friends, Master Edward Pickering, a merchant of
Holland, himself one of the Adventurers, while Master Weston had, as
appears, inclined to hire. From this disagreement and other causes,
perhaps certain sinister reasons, Weston had become disaffected, the
enterprise drooped, the outlook was dubious, and several formerly
interested drew back, until shipping should be provided and the good
faith of the enterprise be thus assured.

It transpires from Robinson's letter dated June 14., before quoted (in
which he says: "For shipping, Master Weston, it should seem is set upon
hiring"), that Robinson's own idea was to purchase, and he seems to have
dominated the rest. There is perhaps a hint of his reason for this in
the following clause of the same letter, where he writes: "I do not think
Master Pickering [the friend previously named] will ingage, except in the
course of buying ['ships?'--Arber interpolates] as in former letters
specified." If he had not then "ingaged" (as Robinson intimates), as an
Adventurer, he surely did later, contrary to the pastor's prediction, and
the above may have been a bit of special pleading. Robinson naturally
wished to keep their, affairs, so far as possible, in known and
supposedly friendly hands, and had possibly some assurances that, as a
merchant, Pickering would be willing to invest in a ship for which he
could get a good charter for an American voyage. He proved rather an
unstable friend.

Robinson is emphatic, in the letter cited, as to the imperative necessity
that shipping should be immediately provided if the enterprise was to be
held together and the funds subscribed were to be secured. He evidently
considered this the only guaranty of good faith and of an honest
intention to immediately transport the colony over sea, that would be
accepted. After saying, as already noted, that those behind-hand with
their payments refuse to pay in "till they see shipping provided or a
course taken for it," he adds, referring to Master Weston: "That he
should not have had either shipping ready before this time, or at least
certain [i.e. definite] means and course, and the same known to us, for
it; or have taken other order otherwise; cannot in [according to] my
conscience be excused."

Bradford also states that one Master Thomas Weston a merchant of London,
came to Leyden about the same time [apparently while negotiations for
emigration under their auspices were pending with the Dutch, in February
or March, 1620], who was "well acquainted with some of them and a
furtherer of them in their former proceedings.... and persuaded them....
not to meddle with the Dutch," etc. This Robinson confirms in his letter
to Carver before referred to, saying: "You know right well we depend on
Master Weston alone,.... and when we had in hand another course with the
Dutchman, broke it off at his motion."

On the morning of the 10th of June, 1620, Robert Cushman, one of the
Leyden agents at London, after writing to his associate, Master John
Carver, then at Southampton; and to the Leyden leaders--in reply to
certain censorious letters received by him from both these sources--
although disheartened by the difficulties and prospects before him,
sought Master Weston, and by an urgent appeal so effectively wrought upon
him, that, two hours later, coming to Cushman, he promised "he would not
yet give it [the undertaking] up." Cushman's patience and endurance were
evidently nearly "at the breaking point," for he says in his letter of
Sunday, June 11, when success had begun to crown his last grand effort:
"And, indeed, the many discouragements I find here [in London] together
with the demurs and retirings there [at Leyden] had made me to say, 'I
would give up my accounts to John Carver and at his coming from
Southampton acquaint him fully with all courses [proceedings] and so
leave it quite, with only the poor clothes on my back: But gathering up
myself by further consideration, I resolved yet to make one trial more,"
etc. It was this "one trial more" which meant so much to the Pilgrims;
to the cause of Religion; to America; and to Humanity. It will rank with
the last heroic and successful efforts of Robert the Bruce and others,
which have become historic. The effect of Cushman's appeal upon Weston
cannot be doubted. It not only apparently influenced him at the time,
but, after reflection and the lapse of hours, it brought him to his
associate to promise further loyalty, and, what was much better, to act.
The real animus of Weston's backwardness, it is quite probable, lay in
the designs of Gorges, which were probably not yet fully matured, or, if
so, involved delay as an essential part. "And so," Cushman states,
"advising together, we resolved to hire a ship." They evidently found one
that afternoon, "of sixty last" (120 tons) which was called "a fine
ship," and which they "took liking of [Old English for trial (Dryden),
equivalent to refusal] till Monday." The same afternoon they "hired
another pilot . . . one Master Clarke."--of whom further.

It seems certain that by the expression, "we have hired another pilot
here, one Master Clarke," etc.; that Cushman was reckoning the "pilott"
Reynolds whom he had hired and sent over to them in Holland, as shown--as
at the first, and now Clarke as "another." It nowhere appears that up to
this date, any other than these two had been hired, nor had there been
until then, any occasion for more than one.

If Cushman had been engaged in such important negotiations as these
before he wrote his letters to Carver and the Leyden friends, on Saturday
morning, he would certainly have mentioned them. As he named neither, it
is clear that they had not then occurred. It is equally certain that
Cushman's appeal to Weston was not made, and his renewed activity
aroused, until after these letters had been dispatched and nothing of the
kind could have been done without Weston.

His letter-writing of June 10 was obviously in the morning, as proven by
the great day's work Cushman performed subsequently. He must have
written his letters early and have taken them to such place as his
messenger had suggested (Who his messenger was does not appear, but it
was not John Turner, as suggested by Arber, for he did not arrive till
that night.) Cushman must then have looked up Weston and had an hour or
more of earnest argument with him, for he says: "at the last [as if some
time was occupied] he gathered himself up a little more" [i.e. yielded
somewhat.] Then came an interval of "two hours," at the end of which
Weston came to him,

[It would be highly interesting to know whether, in the two hours
which intervened between Cushman's call on Weston and the latter's
return call, Weston consulted Gorges and got his instructions. It
is certain that he came prepared to act, and that vigorously, which
he had not previously been.]

and they "advised together,"--which took time. It was by this evidently
somewhat past noon, a four or five hours having been consumed. They then
went to look for a ship and found one, which, from Cushman's remark, "but
a fine ship it is," they must (at least superficially) have examined.
While hunting for the ship they seem to have come across, and to have
hired, John Clarke the "pilot," with whom they necessarily, as with the
ship's people, spent some time. It is not improbable that the approach
of dusk cut short their examination of the ship, which they hence "took
liking of [refusal of] till Monday." It is therefore evident that the
"refusal" of the "sixty last" ship was taken, and the "pilot" Clarke was
"hired," on Saturday afternoon, June 10, as on Sunday, June 11, Cushman
informed the Leyden leaders of these facts by letter, as above indicated,
and gave instructions as to the SPEEDWELL'S "pilott," Master Reynolds.

We are therefore able to fix, nearly to an hour, the "turning of the
tide" in the affairs of the Pilgrim movement to America.

It is also altogether probable that the Pilgrims and humanity at large
are still further (indirectly) indebted to Cushman's "one more trial" and
resultant Saturday afternoon's work, for the MAY-FLOWER (though not found
that day), and her able commander Jones, who, whatever his faults, safely
brought the Pilgrims through stormy seas to their "promised land."

Obligations of considerable and rapidly cumulative cost had now been
incurred, making it imperative to go forward to embarkation with all
speed, and primarily, to secure the requisite larger ship. Evidently
Weston and Cushman believed they had found one that would serve, when on
Saturday, they "took liking," as we have seen, of the "fine ship" of 120
tons, "till Monday." No less able authorities than Charles Deane, Goodwin,
and Brown, with others, have mistakenly concluded that this ship was the
MAY-FLOWER, and have so stated in terms. As editor of Bradford's history
"Of Plimoth Plantation," Mr. Deane (in a footnote to the letter of
Cushman written Sunday, June 11), after quoting the remark, "But it is a
fine ship," mistakenly adds, "The renowned MAYFLOWER.--Ed.," thus
committing himself to the common error in this regard. John Brown, in
his "Pilgrim Fathers of New England," confuses the vessels, stating
that, "when all was ready for the start, a pilot came over to conduct the
emigrants to England, bringing also a letter from Cushman announcing that
the MAYFLOWER, a vessel of one hundred and eighty tons, Thomas Jones,
Master, would start from London to Southampton in a week or two," etc.
As we have seen, these statements are out of their relation. No pilot
went for that purpose and none carried such a letter (certainly none from
Cushman), as alleged. Cushman's letter, sent as we know by John Turner,
announced the finding of an entirely different vessel, which was neither
of 180 tons burden, nor had any relation to the MAY-FLOWER or her future
historic freight. Neither was there in his letter any time of starting
mentioned, or of the port of Southampton as the destination of any vessel
to go from London, or of Jones as captain. Such loose statements are the
bane of history. Goodwin, usually so accurate, stumbles unaccountably in
this matter--which has been so strangely misleading to other competent
men--and makes the sadly perverted statement that, "In June, John Turner
was sent, and he soon returned with a petulant (sic) letter from Cushman,
which, however, announced that the ship MAYFLOWER had been selected and
in two weeks would probably leave London for Southampton." He adds, with
inexcusable carelessness in the presence of the words "sixty last" (which
his dictionary would have told him, at a glance, was 120 tons), that:
"This vessel (Thomas Jones, master) was rated at a hundred and eighty
tons . . . . Yet she was called a fine ship," etc. It is evident
that, like Brown, he confused the two vessels, with Cushman's letter
before his eyes, from failure to compute the "sixty last." He moreover
quotes Cushman incorrectly. The great disparity in size, however, should
alone render this confusion impossible, and Cushman is clear as to the
tonnage ("sixty last"), regretting that the ship found is not larger,
while Bradford and all other chroniclers agree that the MAY-FLOWER was of
"9 score" tons burden.

It is also evident that for some reason this smaller ship (found on
Saturday afternoon) was not taken, probably because the larger one, the
MAY-FLOWER, was immediately offered to and secured by Masters Weston and
Cushman, and very probably with general approval. Just how the MAY-
FLOWER was obtained may never be certainly known. It was only on
Saturday, June 10, as we have seen, that Master Weston had seriously set
to work to look for a ship; and although the refusal of one--not wholly
satisfactory--had been prudently taken that day, it was both natural and
politic that as early as possible in the following week he should make
first inquiry of his fellow-merchants among the Adventurers, whether any
of them had available such a ship as was requisite, seeking to find, if
possible, one more nearly of the desired capacity than that of which he
had "taken the refusal" on Saturday. It appears altogether probable that,
in reply to this inquiry, Thomas Goffe, Esq., a fellow Adventurer and
shipping-merchant of London, offered the MAY-FLOWER, which, there is
ample reason to believe, then and for ten years thereafter, belonged to

It is quite likely that Clarke, the newly engaged "pilot," learning that
his employers required a competent commander for their ship, brought to
their notice the master of the ship (the FALCON) in which he had made his
recent voyage to Virginia, Captain Jones, who, having powerful friends at
his back in both Virginia Companies (as later appears), and large
experience, was able to approve himself to the Adventurers. It is also
probable that Thomas Weston engaged him himself, on the recommendation of
the Earl of Warwick, at the instance of Sir Ferdinando Gorges.

As several weeks would be required to fit the ship for her long voyage on
such service, and as she sailed from London July 15, her charter-party
must certainly have been signed by June 20, 1620. The SPEEDWELL, as
appears from various sources (Bradford, Winslow et al.), sailed from
Delfshaven, Saturday, July 22. She is said to have been four days on the
passage to Southampton, reaching there Wednesday, July 26. Cushman, in
his letter of Thursday, August 17, from Dartmouth to Edward Southworth,
says, "We lay at Southampton seven days waiting for her" (the SPEEDWELL),
from which it is evident, both that Cushman came on the MAY-FLOWER from
London, and that the MAY-FLOWER must have left London at least ten days
before the 26th of July, the date of the SPEEDWELL'S arrival. As given
traditionally, it was on the 15th, or eleven days before the SPEEDWELL'S
arrival at Southampton.

By whom the charter-party of the MAY-FLOWER was signed will probably
remain matter of conjecture, though we are not without intimations of
some value regarding it. Captain John Smith tells us that the Merchant
Adventurers (presumably one of the contracting parties) "were about
seventy, . . . not a Corporation, but knit together by a voluntary
combination in a Society without constraint or penalty. They have a
President and Treasurer every year newly chosen by the most voices, who
ordereth the affairs of their Courts and meetings; and with the assent of
most of them, undertaketh all the ordinary business, but in more weighty
affairs, the assent of the whole Company is required." It would seem
from the foregoing--which, from so intelligent a source at a date so
contemporaneous, ought to be reliable--that, not being an incorporated
body, it would be essential that all the Adventurers (which Smith
expressly states was their rule) should "assent" by their signatures,
which alone could bind them to so important a business document as this
charter-party. It was certainly one of their "more weighty affairs," and
it may well be doubted, also, if the owner of the vessel (even though one
of their number) would accept less than the signatures of all, when there
was no legal status by incorporation or co-partnership to hold them

If the facts were indeed as stated by Smith,--whose knowledge of what he
affirmed there is no reason to doubt,--there can be little question that
the contract for the service of the MAY-FLOWER was signed by the entire
number of the Adventurers on the one part. If so, its covenants would be
equally binding upon each of them except as otherwise therein stipulated,
or provided by the law of the realm. In such case, the charter-party of
the MAY-FLOWER, with the autograph of each Merchant Adventurer appended,
would constitute, if it could be found, one of the most interesting and
valuable of historical documents. That it was not signed by any of the
Leyden congregation--in any representative capacity--is well-nigh
certain. Their contracts were with the Adventurers alone, and hence they
were not directly concerned in the contracts of the latter, their
"agents" being but co-workers with the Adventurers (under their
partnership agreements), in finding shipping, collecting moneys,
purchasing supplies, and in generally promoting the enterprise. That
they were not signing-parties to this contract, in particular, is made
very certain by the suggestion of Cushman's letter of Sunday, June 11,
to the effect that he hoped that "our friends there [at Leyden] if they
be quitted of the ship-hire [as then seemed certain, as the Adventurers
would hire on general account] will be induced to venture [invest] the
more." There had evidently been a grave fear on the part of the Leyden
people that if they were ever to get away, they would have to hire the
necessary ship themselves.

There is just the shadow of a doubt thrown upon the accuracy of Smith's
statement as to the non-corporate status of the Adventurers, by the loose
and unwieldy features which must thereby attach to their business
transactions, to which it seems probable that merchants like Weston,
Andrews, Beauchamp, Shirley, Pickering, Goffe, and others would object,
unless the law at that time expressly limited and defined the rights and
liabilities of members in such voluntary associations. Neither evidences
of (primary) incorporation, or of such legal limitation, have, however,
rewarded diligent search. There was evidently some more definite and
corporate form of ownership in the properties and values of the
Adventurers, arrived at later. A considerable reduction in the number of
proprietors was effected before 1624--in most cases by the purchase of
the interests of certain ones by their associates--for we find their
holdings spoken of in that year as "sixteenths," and these shares to have
sometimes been attached for their owners' debts. A letter of Shirley,
Brewer et als., to Bradford, Allerton et als., dated London, April 7,
1624, says: "If it had not been apparently sold, Mr. Beauchamp, who is of
the company also, unto whom he [Weston] oweth a great deal more, had long
ago attached it (as he did other's 16ths)," etc. It is exceedingly
difficult to reconcile these unquestionable facts with the equal
certainty that, at the "Composition" of the Adventurers with the Planters
in 1626, there were forty-two who signed as of the Adventurers. The
weight, however, of evidence and of probability must be held to support
the conclusion that in June, 1620, the organization was voluntary, and
that the charter-party of the MAY-FLOWER was signed--" on the one part
"--by each of the enrolled Adventurers engaged in the Leyden
congregation's colonization scheme. Goodwin' alone pretends to any
certain knowledge of the matter, but although a veracious usually
reliable writer, he is not infallible, as already shown, and could hardly
have had access to the original documents,--which alone, in this case,
could be relied on to prove his assertion that "Shortly articles were
signed by both parties, Weston acting for the Adventurers." Not a
particle of confirmatory evidence has anywhere been found in Pilgrim or
contemporaneous literature to warrant this statement, after exhaustive
search, and it must hence, until sustained by proof, be regarded as a
personal inference rather than a verity. If the facts were as appears,
they permit the hope that a document of so much prima facie importance
may have escaped destruction, and will yet be found among the private
papers of some of the last survivors of the Adventurers, though with the
acquisition of all their interests by the Pilgrim leaders such documents
would seem, of right, to have become the property of the purchasers, and
to have been transferred to the Plymouth planters.

This all-important and historic body--the company of Merchant
Adventurers--is entitled to more than passing notice. Associated to
"finance" the projected transplantation of the Leyden congregation of
"Independents" to the "northern parts of Virginia," under such patronage
and protection of the English government and its chartered Companies as
they might be able to secure, they were no doubt primarily brought
together by the efforts of one of their number, Thomas Weston, Esq., the
London merchant previously named, though for some obscure reason Master
John Pierce (also one of them) was their "recognized" representative in
dealing with the (London) Virginia Company and the Council for the
Affairs of New England, in regard to their Patents.

Bradford states that Weston "was well acquainted with some of them the
Leyden leaders and a furtherer of them in their former proceedings,"
and this fact is more than once referred to as ground for their gratitude
and generosity toward him, though where, or in what way, his friendship
had been exercised, cannot be learned,--perhaps in the difficulties
attending their escape from "the north country" to Holland. It was
doubtless largely on this account, that his confident assurances of all
needed aid in their plans for America were so relied upon; that he was so
long and so fully trusted; and that his abominable treachery and later
abuse were so patiently borne.

We are indebted to the celebrated navigator, Captain John Smith, of
Virginia fame, always the friend of the New England colonists, for most
of what we know of the organization and purposes of this Company. His
ample statement, worthy of repetition here, recites, that
"the Adventurers which raised the stock to begin and supply this
Plantation, were about seventy: some, Gentlemen; some, Merchants; some,
handicraftsmen; some adventuring great sums, some, small; as their
estates and affections served . . . . These dwell most about London.
They are not a corporation but knit together, by a voluntary combination,
in a Society, with out constraint or penalty; aiming to do good and to
plant Religion." Their organization, officers, and rules of conduct, as
given by Smith, have already been quoted. It is to be feared from the
conduct of such men as Weston, Pierce, Andrews, Shirley, Thornell,
Greene, Pickering, Alden, and others, that profitable investment, rather
than desire "to do good and to plant Religion," was their chief interest.
That the higher motives mentioned by Smith governed such tried and
steadfast souls as Bass, Brewer, Collier, Fletcher, Goffe, Hatherly,
Ling, Mullens, Pocock, Thomas, and a few others, there can be no doubt.

[Weston wrote Bradford, April 10, 1622, "I perceive and know as well
as another ye disposition of your adventurers, whom ye hope of gaine
hath drawne on to this they have done; and yet I fear ye hope will
not draw them much further." While Weston's character was utterly
bad, and he had then alienated his interest in both Pilgrims and
Adventurers, his judgment of men was evidently good.]

No complete list of the original "seventy" has ever been found, and we
are indebted for the names of forty-two, of the fifty who are now known,
to the final "Composition" made with the Pilgrim colonists, through the
latter's representatives, November 15/25, 1626, as given by Bradford,
and to private research for the rest. The list of original members of the
company of Merchant Adventurers, as ascertained to date, is as follows.
More extended mention of them appears in the notes appended to this list.

Robert Allden, Thomas Fletcher, Emanuel Altham, Thomas Goffe, Richard
Andrews, Peter Gudburn, Thomas Andrews, William Greene, Lawrence Anthony,
Timothy Hatherly, Edward Bass, Thomas Heath, John Beauchamp, William
Hobson, Thomas Brewer, Robert Holland, Henry Browning, Thomas Hudson,
William Collier, Robert Keayne, Thomas Coventry, Eliza Knight,
John Knight, John Revell, Miles Knowles, Newman Rookes, John Ling, Samuel
Sharpe, Christopher Martin(Treasurer pro tem.), James Shirley
(Treasurer), Thomas Millsop, William Thomas, Thomas Mott, John Thornell
William Mullens, Fria Newbald, Matthew Thornell William Pennington,
William Penrin. Joseph Tilden, Edward Pickering, Thomas Ward, John
Pierce, John White, John Pocock, John Wincob, Daniel Poynton, Thomas
Weston, William Quarles, Richard Wright.

Shirley, in a letter to Governor Bradford, mentions a Mr. Fogge and a Mr.
Coalson, in a way to indicate that they might have been, like himself,
Collier, Thomas, Hatherly, Beauchamp, and Andrews, also of the original
Merchant Adventurers, but no proof that they were such has yet been
discovered. It has been suggested that Sir Edwin Sandys was one of the
number, at the inception of the enterprise, but--though there is evidence
to indicate that he stood the friend of the Pilgrims in many ways,
possibly lending them money, etc.--there is no proof that he was ever
one of the Adventurers. It is more probable that certain promoters of
Higginson's and Winthrop's companies, some ten years later, were early
financial sponsers of the MAY-FLOWER Pilgrims. Some of them were
certainly so, and it is likely that others not known as such, in reality,
were. Bradford suggests, in a connection to indicate the possibility of
his having been an "Adventurer," the name of a "Mr. Denison," of whom
nothing more is known. George Morton of London, merchant, and friend of
the leaders from the inception, and later a colonist, is sometimes
mentioned as probably of the list, but no evidence of the fact as yet
appears. Sir George Farrer and his brother were among the first of the
Adventurers, but withdrew themselves and their subscriptions very early,
on account of some dissatisfaction.

It is impossible, in the space at command, to give more than briefest
mention of each of these individual Adventurers.

Allden. Was at one time unfriendly to the Pilgrims,--Bradford calls him
"one of our powerfullest opposers,"--but later their ally. Little
is known of him. He appears to have been of London.

Altham. Was Master of the pinnace LITTLE JAMES, belonging chiefly to
Fletcher, and apparently expected to command her on her voyage to
New Plymouth in 1623, as consort of the ANNE, but for some reason
did not go, and William Bridge went as her Master, in his stead.

Andrews (Richard). Was one of the wealthiest and most liberal of the
Adventurers. He was a haberdasher of Cheapside, London, and an
Alderman of the city. He became an early proprietor and liberal
benefactor of the Massachusetts Bay Company, but most illogically
gave the debt due him from Plymouth Colony (L540) to the stronger
and richer Bay Colony. He had been, however, unjustly prejudiced
against the Pilgrims, probably through the deceit of Pierce, Weston,
Shirley, and Allerton.

Andrews (Thomas). A Lord Mayor of London, reputed a brother of the last-
named. Never very active in the Adventurers' affairs, but friendly,
so far as appears.

Anthony. Little or nothing is known concerning him.

Bass. Was one of the enduring friends of the struggling Colony and
loaned them money when they were in dire straits and the prospect of
recovery was not good. He was of London, and considerable is known
concerning him.

Beauchamp. Was one of the most active of the Company for many years.
Generally to be relied upon as the Colony's friend, but not without
some sordid self seeking. Apparently a wealthy citizen and "salter"
of London.

Brewer. Is too well-known as long the partner of Brewster in the conduct
of the "hidden press" at Leyden, and as a sufferer for conscience'
sake, to require identification. He was a wealthy man, a scholar,
writer, printer, and publisher. Was of the University of Leyden,
but removed to London after the departure of the chief of the
Pilgrims. Was their stanch friend, a loyal defender of the faith,
and spent most of his later life in prison, under persecution of the

Browning. Does not appear to have been active, and little is known of

Collier. Was a stanch and steadfast friend. Finally cast in his lot
with the Pilgrims at New Plymouth and be came a leading man in the
government there. His life is well known. He was a "brewer."

Coventry. Appears only as a signer, and nothing is known of him.

Fletcher. Was a well-to-do merchant of London, a warm friend and a
reliance of the Pilgrims. The loss of the LITTLE JAMES was a severe
blow to him financially.

Greene. Appears to have been a merchant and a partner in Holland (and
perhaps at London) of Edward Pickering. They were well acquainted
personally with the Pilgrims, and should have been among their most
liberal and surest friends. Facts indicate, however, that they were
sordid in their interest and not entirely just.

Goffe. Was a London merchant and ship-owner, as else where appears. He
was not only a Merchant Adventurer, but a patentee and deputy-
governor of the Massachusetts Company, and an intimate friend of
Winthrop. He lost heavily by his New England ventures. There is,
as shown elsewhere, good reason to believe that he was the owner of
the MAY-FLOWER on her historic voyage, as also when she came over in
Higginson's and Winthrop's fleets, ten years later.

Gudburn. Appears only as a signer, so far as known.

Hatherly. Was a well-to-do friend of the Pilgrims, and after many
complaints had been made against them among the "Purchasers"--
arising out of the rascality of Shirley and Allerton--went to New
England on a mission of inquiry. He was perfectly convinced of the
Pilgrims' integrity and charmed with the country. He made another
visit, and removed thither in 1633, to remain. He became at once
prominent in the government of New Plimoth Colony.

Heath. Does not appear to have been active, and naught is known of him.

Hobson. Is known only as a signer of the "Composition."

Holland. Was a friend and ally of the Pilgrims, and one of their
correspondents. He is supposed to have been of the ancient house of
that name and to have lived in London.

Hudson. Was not active, and appears as a signer only.

Keayne. Was a well-to-do citizen of the vicinity of London, a friend, in
a general way, of the Pilgrims. He came to Boston with Winthrop.
Was prominent in the Massachusetts Colony. Was the founder and
first commander of the early Artillery Company of Boston, the oldest
military organization of the United States, and died at Boston,
leaving a large estate and a very remarkable will, of which he made
Governor Winslow an "overseer." He was an erratic,--but valuable,

Knight (Eliza). Seems to have been the only woman of the Adventurers, so
far as they are known, but no thing is known of her. It has been
suggested that the given name has been wrongly spelled and should be
"Eleazar,"--a man's name,--but the "Composition" gives the signature
as Eliza, clearly, as published.

Knight (John). Finds no especial mention. He was probably a relative of

Knowles. Appears only as a signer of the "Composition."

Ling. Was a wealthy friend of the colonists and always true to them. He
lost his property and was in poverty when the Pilgrims (though not
yet well on their feet), in grateful remembrance of his fidelity,
sent him a generous gift.

Martin. Was the first treasurer of the colonists and also a MAY-FLOWER
Pilgrim. Mention of him appears later. He was no credit to the
Company, and his early death probably prevented much vexation.

Millsop. Appears only as a signer of the "Composition."

Mott. Has no especial mention, but is believed to have sent some of his
people to Plymouth Colony at an early day.

Mullens. Was, as appears elsewhere, a well-conditioned tradesman of
Surrey, England, who was both an Adventurer and a MAY-FLOWER
Pilgrim, and Martin and himself appear to have been the only ones
who enjoyed that distinction. He died, however, soon after the
arrival at Plymouth. That he was an Adventurer is but recently
discovered by the author, but there appears no room for doubt as to
the fact. His record was brief, but satisfactory, in its relation to
the Pilgrims.

Newbald. Finds no especial mention.

Pennington. Appears only as a signer. It is a London name.

Penrin. Appears only as a signer of the "Composition."

Pickering. Is introduced to us first as a Leyden merchant, through John
Robinson's letters. He appears to have been a shrewd, cold-blooded
calculator, like his partner-Adventurer, Greene, not interested
especially in the Pilgrims, except for gain, and soon deserting the
Adventurers. His family seem to have been in favor with Charles II.
(See Pepys' "Diary.")

Pierce (John). Although recognized by the Virginia Companies and Council
for New England, as the representative of the Adventurers, he has
only been recently generally reckoned a chief man of the
Adventurers. A Protean friend of the Pilgrims, never reliable, ever
pretentious, always self-seeking, and of no help. He was finally
ruined by the disasters to his ship, the PARAGON, which cost him all
his interests. Having attempted treacherously to secure to himself
the Patent granted in the Colony's interest, he was compelled by the
Council to surrender its advantages to the Adventurers and

Pocock. Was a stanch and firm supporter of the Pilgrims and their
interests, at all times, and to the end. He was also a financial
supporter and deputy-governor the Massachusetts Company, under
Winthrop. A correspondent of Bradford. A good man.

Poyton. Finds no especial mention. He appears as a signer only.

Quarles. Appears only as a signer of the "Composition."

Revell. Was a very wealthy citizen, merchant, and ship owner of London,
and a good man. He became also ardently interested in Winthrop's
Company. Was an "assistant" and one of the five "undertakers"
chosen to go to New England to reside. He went to New England on
the JEWELL of Winthrop's fleet, and was part owner of the LADY
ARBELLA. He evidently, however, did not like the life, and returned
after a few weeks' stay.

Rookes. Appears only as a signer.

Sharpe. Was also a friend of both Pilgrim and Puritan. He came to New
England in 1629, and settled first at Salem, in the Massachusetts
Company. He died in 1658, having long been a ruling elder of the
church there. He met with many enemies, but was a valuable man and
an able one. He was Governor Cradock's New England agent.

Shirley. Requires little mention here. The perfidious friend of the
Pilgrims,--perhaps originally true to them,--he sunk everything for
hope of gain. He was treasurer of the Adventurers, one of their
most active and intelligent men, but proved a rascal and a canting
hypocrite. He was a "citizen and gold-smith" of London.

Thomas. Has nowhere been enumerated in any list of the Adventurers
(though occasionally mentioned as such by recent writers), which is
strange, as repeated letters of his to Bradford, and other data,
show him to have been one of the best and truest of them all. He
sold his interests before the "Composition" and became a colonist
after 1630. He was the fifth of the Adventurers to come to New
England to remain, and cast in his lot with the Pilgrims at New
Plimoth--Martin, Mullens, Collier, and Hatherly preceding him. A
wealthy and well-informed man, he became a power in the government.
Probably Welsh by birth, he was a London merchant when the
Adventurers were organized. His home at Marshfield, Massachusetts,
has since become additionally famous as the home of Daniel Webster.

Thornell (John). Is sometimes confounded with another Adventurer,
Matthew Thornhill, as his name is some times so spelled. There is
reason to believe they were related. He was not a friend to the

Thornhill (or Thornell), (Matthew). Little is known concerning him.

Tilden. Was of an old family in Kent, "a citizen and girdler of London,"
as his will declares, his brother (Nathaniel) later coming to New
England and settling near Hatherly at Scituate. Nathaniel's son
Joseph--named for his uncle--was made his executor and heir. The
uncle was always a firm friend of the Pilgrims. Mr. Tilden's will
is given by Waters ("Genealogical Gleanings," vol. i. p. 71), and
is of much interest.

Ward. Appears only as a signer.

White. Probably the Rev. John White, a stanch friend of the Pilgrims,
although not a "Separatist," and intimately connected with the
upbuilding of New England. His record was a broad and noble one.
Goodwin says: "Haven thinks White was that Dorchester clergyman
reputed to be the author of the Planters' Plea." Probably, but
not certainly, William White of the Pilgrims was also an Adventurer.

Wincob (?). Was a gentleman of the family of the Countess of Lincoln,
and the one in whose name the first patent in behalf of the
Adventurers and Pilgrims (which, however, was never used) was taken.
It is only recently that evidences which, though not conclusive, are
yet quite indicative, have caused his name to be added to the list,
though there is still a measure of doubt whether it belongs there.

Weston. Requires little mention here. Once a friend of the Pilgrims and
unmistakably the organizer of the Adventurers, he became a graceless
ingrate and rascal. An instrument of good at first, he became a
heartless and designing enemy of the Planters. He was a "citizen
and merchant [ironmonger] of London." It is altogether probable
that he was originally a tool of Sir Ferdinando Gorges and was led
by him to influence the Leyden brethren to break off negotiations
with the Dutch. He died poor, at Bristol, England.

Wright. Perhaps came to New Plimoth and married a daughter of the MAY-
FLOWER Pilgrim, Francis Cooke. If so, he settled at Rehoboth and
became its leading citizen. He may possibly have been the settler
of that name in the Bay-Colony, and the weight of evidence rather
favors the latter supposition.

Of the Adventurers, Collier, Hatherly, Keayne, Mullens, Revell, Pierce,
Sharpe, Thomas, and Weston, probably Wright and White, possibly others,
came to America for longer or shorter periods. Several of them were back
and forth more than once. The records show that Andrews, Goffe, Pocock,
Revell, Sharpe, and White were subsequently members of the Massachusetts
(Winthrop's) Company.

Professor Arberl finds but six of the Pilgrim Merchant Adventurers who
later were among the Adventurers with Winthrop's Company of Massachusetts
Bay, viz.:--Thomas Andrews, John Pocock, Samuel Sharpe, Thomas Goffe,
John Revell, John White.

He should have added at least, the names of Richard Andrews and Robert
Keayne, and probably that of Richard Wright.

Of their number, Collier, Hatherly, Martin, Mullens, Thomas, and
(possibly) Wright were Plymouth colonists Martin and Mullens, as noted,
being MAY-FLOWER Pilgrims. Nathaniel Tilden, a brother of Joseph Tilden
of the Adventurers, came, as previously mentioned, to the Colony from
Kent, settling at Scituate. Joseph, being apparently unmarried, made his
nephew, Joseph of Scituate, his residuary legatee, and his property
mostly came over to the Colony.

Collier, Hatherly, and Thomas all located within a few miles of one
another, were all wealthy and prominent men in the government of the
Colony, were intimate friends,--the first and last especially,--and lent
not a little dignity and character to this new dependency of King James
the First. The remaining twenty or thereabouts whose names are not
surely known--though a few of them are pretty safely conjectured, some
being presumably of the Holland Pilgrims and their friends--were probably
chiefly small contributors, whose rights were acquired from time to time
by others of larger faith in the enterprise, or greater sympathy or
means. Not all, however, who had ceased to hold their interests when the
"Composition" was made with Allerton in behalf of the colonists, in 1626,
were of these small holders. Weston was forced out by stress of
circumstances; Thomas moved to New England; Pierce was ruined by his
ventures by sea; Martin and Mullens died in 1621; Pickering and Greene
got out early, from distrust as to profits; Wincob alone, of this class,
was a small investor, if he was one at all.

By far the greater portion of the sums invested by the Adventurers in
behalf of the Colony is represented by those whose names are known, those
still unknown representing, doubtless, numbers rather than amounts. It
is, however, interesting to note, that more than four sevenths of the
original number, as given by Captain John Smith, continued to retain
their interests till the "Composition" of 1626. It is to be hoped that
it may yet be possible to increase considerably, if not to perfect, the
list of these coadjutors of the Pilgrims--the Merchant Adventurers--the
contracting "party of the second part," to the charter-party of the MAY-

Who the Owner of the MAY-FLOWER was, or who his representative, the
"party of the first part," to the charter party of the Pilgrim ship,
cannot be declared with absolute certainty, though naturally a matter of
absorbing interest. There is, however, the strongest probability, as
before intimated, that Thomas Goffe, Esq., one of the Merchant
Adventurers, and always a stanch friend of the Pilgrims, was the owner of
the historic vessel,--and as such has interwoven his name and hers with
the histories of both the Pilgrim and Puritan hegiras from Old to New
England. He was, as previously stated, a wealthy "merchant and ship
owner of London," and not only an Adventurer with the Leyden Pilgrims,
but--nearly ten years later--a patentee of the Massachusetts Company and
one of its charter officers.

We are told in the journal of Governor Winthrop of that Company--then on
board the LADY ARBELLA, the, "Admiral" or flagship of his fleet, riding
at Cowes, ready to set sail for New England--that on "Easter Monday
(March 29), 1630, the CHARLES, the MAY-FLOWER, the WILLIAM AND FRANCIS,
the HOPEWELL, the WHALE, the SUCCESS, and the TRIAL," of his fleet, were
"still at Hampton [Southampton] and are not ready." Of these seven ships
it is certain that Mr. Goffe owned at least two, as Governor Winthrop--in
writing, some days later, of the detention of his son Henry and his
friend Mr. Pelham, who, going ashore, failed to return to the governor's
ship before she sailed from Cowes, and so went to the fleet at
Southampton for passage--says: "So we have left them behind and suppose
they will come after in one of Mr. Goffe's ships." It is clear,
therefore, that Mr. Goffe, who was an intimate friend and business
associate of Governor Winthrop, as the latter's correspondence amply
attests, and was a charter deputy-governor of the Massachusetts Company,
and at this time "an assistant," was the owner of at least two (probably
not more) of these seven belated ships of the governor's fleet, riding at
Southampton. Bearing in mind that the MAY-FLOWER and the WHALE were two
of those ships, it becomes of much importance to find that these two
ships, evidently sailing in company (as if of one owner), arrived
together in the harbor of Charlestown, New England, on Thursday, July 1,
having on board one of them the governor's missing son, Henry Winthrop.
If he came--as his father expected and as appears certain--"in one of Mr.
Goffe's ships," then evidently, either the MAY-FLOWER or the WHALE, or
both, belonged to Mr. Goffe. That both were Goffe's is rendered probable
by the fact that Governor Winthrop--writing of the vessels as if
associated and a single interest--states that "most of their cattle [on
these ships] were dead, whereof a mare and horse of mine." This
probability is increased, too, by the facts that the ships evidently kept
close company across the Atlantic (as if under orders of a common owner,
and as was the custom, for mutual defence and assistance, if occasion
required), and that Winthrop who, as we above noted, had large dealings
with Goffe, seems to have practically freighted both these ships for
himself and friends, as his freight bills attest. They would hence, so
far as possible, naturally keep together and would discharge their
cargoes and have their accountings to a single consignee, taken as nearly
together as practicable. Both these ships came to Charlestown,--as only
one other did,--and both were freighted, as noted, by one party.

Sadly enough, the young man, Henry Winthrop, was drowned at Salem the
very day after his arrival, and before that of either of the other
vessels: the HOPEWELL, or WILLIAM AND FRANCIS (which arrived at Salem the
3d); or the TRIAL or CHARLES (which arrived--the first at Charlestown, of
the last at Salem--the 5th); or the SUCCESS (which arrived the 6th);
making it certain that he must have come in either the MAY-FLOWER or the
WHALE. If, as appears, Goffe owned them both, then his ownership of the
MAY-FLOWER in 1630 is assured, while all authorities agree without cavil
that the MAY-FLOWER of Winthrop's fleet in that year (1630) and the MAY-
FLOWER of the Pilgrims were the same. In the second "General Letter of
Instructions" from the Massachusetts Company in England--dated London,
May 28, 1629--to Governor Endicott and his Council, a duplicate of which
is preserved in the First Book of the Suffolk Registry of Deeds at
Boston, the historic vessel is described as "The MAY-FLOWER, of Yarmouth-
--William Pierse, Master," and Higginson, in his "Journal of a Voyage to
New England," says, "The fifth ship is called the MAY-FLOWER carrying
passengers and provisions." Yarmouth was hence undoubtedly the place of
register, and the hailing port of the MAY-FLOWER,--she was very likely
built there,--and this would remain the same, except by legal change of
register, wherever she was owned, or from what ever port she might sail.
Weston and Cushman, according to Bradford, found and hired her at London,
and her probable owner, Thomas Goffe, Esq., was a merchant of that city.
Dr. Young remarks: "The MAYFLOWER Of Higginson's fleet is the renowned
vessel that brought the Pilgrim Fathers to Plymouth in 1620." Hon.
James Savage says "The MAYFLOWER had been a name of renown without
forming part of this fleet [Winthrop's, 1630], because in her came the
devoted planters of Plimouth [1620] and she had also brought in the year
preceding [1629] some of Higginson's company to Salem." Goodwin' says:
"In 1629 she [the Pilgrim MAY-FLOWER] came to Salem with a company of the
Leyden people for Plymouth, and in 1630 was one of the large fleet that
attended John Winthrop, discharging her passengers at Charlestown." Dr.
Young remarks in a footnote: "Thirty-five of the Leyden congregation with
their families came over to Plymouth via Salem, in the MAY-FLOWER and

In view of such positive statements as these, from such eminent
authorities and others, and of the collateral facts as to the probable
ownership of the MAY-FLOWER in 1630, and on her earlier voyages herein
presented, the doubt expressed by the Rev. Mr. Blaxland in his "Mayflower
Essays," whether the ship bearing her name was the same, on these three
several voyages, certainly does not seem justified.

Captain William Pierce, who commanded the MAY-FLOWER in 1629, when she
brought over part of the Leyden company, was the very early and intimate
friend of the Pilgrims--having brought over the ANNE with Leyden
passengers in 1623--and sailed exclusively in the employ of the Merchant
Adventurers, or some of their number, for many years, which is of itself

To accept, as beyond serious doubt, Mr. Goffe's ownership of the MAY-
FLOWER, when she made her memorable voyage to New Plimoth, one need only
to compare, and to interpret logically, the significant facts;--that he
was a ship-owner of London and one of the body of Merchant Adventurers
who set her forth on her Pilgrim voyage in 1620; and that he stood, as
her evident owner, in similar relation to the Puritan company which
chartered her for New England, similarly carrying colonists, self-exiled
for religion's sake, in 1629 and again in 1630. This conviction is
greatly strengthened by the fact that Mr. Goffe continued one of the
Pilgrim Merchant Adventurers, until their interests were transferred to
the colonists by the "Composition" of 1626, and three years later (1629)
sent by the MAY-FLOWER, on her second New England voyage, although under
a Puritan charter, another company from the Leyden congregation. The
(cipher) letter of the "Governor and deputies of the New-England Company
for a plantation in Massachusetts Bay" to Captain John Endicott, written
at Gravesend, England, the 17th of April, 1629, says: "If you want any
Swyne wee have agreed with those of Ne[w] Plimouth that they deliver you
six Sowes with pigg for which they a[re] to bee allowed 9 lb. in accompt
of what they the Plymouth people owe unto Mr. Goffe [our] deputie
[Governor]." It appears from the foregoing that the Pilgrims at New
Plymouth were in debt to Mr. Goffe in 1629, presumably for advances and
passage money on account of the contingent of the Leyden congregation,
brought over with Higginson's company to Salem, on the second trip of the
MAY-FLOWER. Mr. Goffe's intimate connection with the Pilgrims was
certainly unbroken from the organization of their Merchant Adventurers in
1619/20, through the entire period of ten years, to 1630. There is every
reason to believe, and none to doubt, that his ownership of the MAY-
FLOWER of imperishable renown remained equally unbroken throughout these
years, and that his signature as her owner was appended to her Pilgrim
charter-party in 1620. Whoever the signatories of her charter-party may
have been, there can be no doubt that the good ship MAY-FLOWER, in charge
of her competent, if treacherous, Master, Captain Thomas Jones, and her
first "pilot," John Clarke, lay in the Thames near London through the
latter part of June and the early part of July, in the summer of 1620,
undergoing a thorough overhauling, under contract as a colonist-
transport, for a voyage to the far-off shores of "the northern parts of

In whatever of old English verbiage, with quaint terms and cumbersome
repetition, the stipulations of this contract of were concealed, there
can be no doubt that they purported and designed to "ingage" that "the
Good ship MAY-FLOWER of Yarmouth, of 9 score tuns burthen, whereof for
the present viage Thomas Joanes is Master," should make the "viage" as a
colonist-transport, "from the city of London in His Majesty's Kingdom of
Great Britain," etc., "to the neighborhood of the mouth of Hudson's
River, in the northern parts of Virginia and return, calling at the Port
of Southampton, outward bound, to complete her lading, the same of all
kinds, to convey to, and well and safely deliver at, such port or place,
at or about the mouth of Hudson's River, so-called, in Virginia
aforesaid, as those in authority of her passengers shall direct," etc.,
with provision as to her return lading, through her supercargo, etc.

It is probable that the exact stipulations of the contract will never
transpire, and we can only roughly guess at them, by somewhat difficult
comparison with the terms on which the LADY ARBELLA, the "Admiral," or
flagship, of Winthrop's fleet, was chartered in 1630, for substantially
the like voyage (of course, without expectation or probability, of so
long a stay on the New England coast), though the latter was much the
larger ship. The contract probably named an "upset" or total sum for the
"round voyage," as was the of the case with the LADY ARBELLA, though it
is to be hoped there was no "demurrage" clause, exacting damage, as is
usual, for each day of detention beyond the "lay days" allowed, for the
long and unexpected tarries in Cape Cod and Plymouth harbors must have
rolled up an appalling "demurrage" claim. Winthrop enters among his
memoranda, "The agreement for the ARBELLA L750, whereof is to be paid in
hand [i e. cash down] the rest upon certificate of our safe arrival."
The sum was doubtless considerably in excess of that paid for the MAY-
FLOWER, both because she was a much larger, heavier-armed, and better-
manned ship, of finer accommodations, and because ships were, in 1630, in
far greater demand for the New England trade than in 1620, Winthrop's own
fleet including no less than ten. The adjustments of freight and passage
moneys between the Adventurers and colonists are matter of much doubt and
perplexity, and are not likely to be fully ascertained. The only light
thrown upon them is by the tariffs for such service on Winthrop's fleet,
and for passage, etc., on different ships, at a little later day. It is
altogether probable that transportation of all those accepted as
colonists, by the agents of the Adventurers and "Planters," was without
direct charge to any individual, but was debited against the whole. But
as some had better quarters than others, some much more and heavier
furniture, etc., while some had bulky and heavy goods for their personal
benefit (such as William Mullen's cases of "boots and shoes," etc.), it
is fair to assume that some schedule of rates for "tonnage," if not for
individuals, became necessary, to prevent complaints and to facilitate
accounts. Winthrop credits Mr. Goffe--owner of two of the ships in 1630
--as follows:--

"For ninety-six passengers at L4, L384.
For thirty-two tons of goods at L3 (per ton).
For passage for a man, his wife and servant, (3 persons)
L16/10, L5/10 each."

Goodwin shows the cost of transportation at different times and under
varying conditions. "The expense of securing and shipping Thos. Morton
of 'Merry Mount' to England, was L12 7 0," but just what proportion the
passage money bore to the rest of the account, cannot now be told. The
expense of Mr. Rogers, the young insane clergyman brought over by Isaac
Allerton, without authority, was, for the voyage out: "For passage L1 0
0. For diet for eleven weeks at 4s. 8d. per week, total L3 11 4" [A
rather longer passage than usual.] Constant Southworth came in the same
ship and paid the same, L3 11 4, which may hence be assumed as the
average charge, at that date, for a first-class passage. This does not
vary greatly from the tariff of to-day, (1900) as, reduced to United
States currency, it would be about $18; and allowing the value of
sterling to be about four times this, in purchase ratio, it would mean
about $73. The expenses of the thirty-five of the Leyden congregation
who came over in the MAY-FLOWER in 1620, and of the others brought in the
LION in 1630, were slightly higher than these figures, but the cost of
the trip from Leyden to England was included, with that of some clothing.
In 1650, Judge Sewall, who as a wealthy man would be likely to indulge in
some luxury, gives his outlay one way, as, "Fare, L2 3 0; cabin expenses,
L4 11 4; total, L6 14 4."



Unhappily the early chroniclers familiar with the MAY-FLOWER have left us
neither representation nor general description of her, and but few data
from which we may reconstruct her outlines and details for ourselves.
Tradition chiefly determines her place in one of the few classes into
which the merchant craft of her day were divided, her tonnage and service
being almost the only other authentic indices to this class.

Bradford helps us to little more than the statement, that a vessel, which
could have been no other, "was hired at London, being of burden about 9
score" [tons], while the same extraordinary silence, which we have
noticed as to her name, exists as to her description, with Smith,
Bradford, Winslow, Morton, and the other contemporaneous or early writers
of Pilgrim history. Her hundred and eighty tons register indicates in
general her size, and to some extent her probable model and rig.

Long search for a reliable, coetaneous picture of one of the larger ships
of the merchant service of England, in the Pilgrim period, has been
rewarded by the discovery of the excel lent "cut" of such a craft, taken
from M. Blundeville's "New and Necessarie Treatise of Navigation,"
published early in the seventeenth century. Appearing in a work of so
high character, published by so competent a navigator and critic, and
(approximately) in the very time of the Pilgrim "exodus," there can be no
doubt that it quite correctly, if roughly and insufficiently, depicts the
outlines, rig, and general cast of a vessel of the MAY-FLOWER type and
time, as she appeared to those of that day, familiar therewith.

It gives us a ship corresponding, in the chief essentials, to that which
careful study of the detail and minutiae of the meagre MAY-FLOWER history
and its collaterals had already permitted the author and others to
construct mentally, and one which confirms in general the conceptions
wrought out by the best artists and students who have attempted to
portray the historic ship herself.

Captain J. W. Collins, whose experience and labors in this relation are
further alluded to, and whose opinion is entitled to respect, writes the
author in this connection, as follows "The cut from Blundeville's
treatise, which was published more or less contemporaneously with the
MAYFLOWER, is, in my judgment, misleading, since it doubtless represents
a ship of an earlier date, and is evidently [sic] reproduced from a
representation on tapestry, of which examples are still to be seen (with
similar ships) in England. The actual builder's plans, reproduced by
Admiral Paris, from drawings still preserved, of ships of the MAYFLOWER'S
time, seem to me to offer more correct and conclusive data for accurately
determining what the famous ship of the Pilgrim Fathers was like."

Decidedly one of the larger and better vessels of the merchant class of
her day, she presumably followed the prevalent lines of that class, no
doubt correctly represented, in the main, by the few coeval pictures of
such craft which have come down to us. No one can state with absolute
authority, her exact rig, model, or dimensions; but there can be no
question that all these are very closely determined from even the meagre
data and the prints we possess, so nearly did the ships of each class
correspond in their respective features in those days. There is a
notable similarity in certain points of the MAY-FLOWER, as she has been
represented by these different artists, which is evidence upon two
points: first, that all delineators have been obliged to study the type
of vessel to which she belonged from such representations of it as each
could find, as neither picture nor description of the vessel herself was
to be had; and second, that as the result of such independent study
nearly all are substantially agreed as to what the salient features of
her type and class were. A model of a ship [3 masts] of the MAY-FLOWER
type, and called in the Society's catalogue "A Model of the MAY FLOWER,
after De Bry," but itself labelled "Model of one of Sir Walter Raleigh's
Ships," is (mistakenly) exhibited by the Pilgrim Society at Plymouth.
It is by no means to be taken as a correct representation of the Pilgrim
bark. Few of the putative pictures of the MAY-FLOWER herself are at all
satisfactory,--apart from the environment or relation in which she is
usually depicted,--whether considered from an historical, a nautical,
or an artistic point of view. The only one of these found by the author
which has commanded (general, if qualified) approval is that entitled
"The MAY-FLOWER at Sea," a reproduction of which, by permission, is the
frontispiece of this volume. It is from an engraving by the master hand
of W. J. Linton, from a drawing by Granville Perkins, and appeared in the
"New England Magazine" for April, 1898, as it has elsewhere. Its
comparative fidelity to fact, and its spirited treatment, alike commend
it to those familiar with the subject, as par excellence the modern
artistic picture of the MAY-FLOWER, although somewhat fanciful, and its
rig, as Captain Collies observes, "is that of a ship a century later than
the MAY-FLOWER; a square topsail on the mizzen," he notes, "being unknown
in the early part of the seventeenth century, and a jib on a ship equally
rare." Halsall's picture of "The Arrival of the MAY-FLOWER in Plymouth
Harbor," owned by the Pilgrim Society, of Plymouth, and hung in the
Society's Hall, while presenting several historical inaccuracies,
undoubtedly more correctly portrays the ship herself, in model, rig,
etc., than do most of the well-known paintings which represent her.
It is much to be regretted that the artist, in woeful ignorance, or
disregard, of the recorded fact that the ship was not troubled with
either ice or snow on her entrance (at her successful second attempt) to
Plymouth harbor, should have covered and environed her with both.

Answering, as the MAY-FLOWER doubtless did, to her type, she was
certainly of rather "blocky," though not unshapely, build, with high poop
and forecastle, broad of beam, short in the waist, low "between decks,"
and modelled far more upon the lines of the great nautical prototype, the
water-fowl, than the requirements of speed have permitted in the carrying
trade of more recent years. That she was of the "square rig" of her
time--when apparently no use was made of the "fore-and-aft" sails which
have so wholly banished the former from all vessels of her size--goes
without saying. She was too large for the lateen rig, so prevalent in
the Mediterranean, except upon her mizzenmast, where it was no doubt

The chief differences which appear in the several "counterfeit
presentments" of the historic ship are in the number of her masts and
the height of her poop and her forecastle. A few make her a brig or
"snow" of the oldest pattern, while others depict her as a full-rigged
ship, sometimes having the auxiliary rig of a small "jigger" or "dandy-
mast," with square or lateen sail, on peak of stern, or on the bow sprit,
or both, though usually her mizzenmast is set well aft upon the poop.
There is no reason for thinking that the former of these auxiliaries
existed upon the MAY-FLOWER, though quite possible. Her 180 tons
measurement indicates, by the general rule of the nautical construction
of that period, a length of from 90 to 100 feet, "from taffrail to
knighthead," with about 24 feet beam, and with such a hull as this, three
masts would be far more likely than two. The fact that she is always
called a "ship"--to which name, as indicating a class, three masts
technically attach--is also somewhat significant, though the term is
often generically used. Mrs. Jane G. Austin calls the MAY-FLOWER a
"brig," but there does not appear anywhere any warrant for so doing.

At the Smithsonian Institution (National Museum) at Washington, D. C.,
there is exhibited a model of the MAY-FLOWER, constructed from the ratio
of measurements given in connection with the sketch and working plans of
a British ship of the merchant MAY-FLOWER class of the seventeenth
century, as laid down by Admiral Francois Edmond Paris, of France, in his
"Souvenirs de Marine." The hull and rigging of this model were carefully
worked out by, and under the supervision of Captain Joseph W. Collins
(long in the service of the Smithsonian Institution, in nautical and
kindred matters, and now a member of the Massachusetts Commission of
Inland Fisheries and Game), but were calculated on the erroneous basis of
a ship of 120 instead of 180 tons measurement. This model, which is upon
a scale of 1/2 inch to 1 foot, bears a label designating it as "The
'MAYFLOWER' of the Puritans" [sic], and giving the following description
(written by Captain Collins) of such a vessel as the Pilgrim ship, if of
120 tons burthen, as figured from such data as that given by Admiral
Paris, must, approximately, have been. (See photographs of the model
presented herewith.) "A wooden, carvel-built, keel vessel, with full
bluff bow, strongly raking below water line; raking curved stem; large
open head; long round (nearly log-shaped) bottom; tumble in top side;
short run; very large and high square stern; quarter galleries; high
forecastle, square on forward end, with open rails on each side; open
bulwarks to main [spar] and quarter-decks; a succession of three quarter-
decks or poops, the after one being nearly 9 feet above main [spar] deck;
two boats stowed on deck; ship-rigged, with pole masts [i. e. masts in
one piece]; without jibs; square sprit sail (or water sail under
bowsprit); two square sails on fore and main masts, and lateen sail on

Dimensions of Vessel. Length, over all, knightheads to taffrail, 82
feet; beam, 22 feet; depth, 14 feet; tonnage, 120; bowsprit, outboard, 40
feet 6 inches; spritsail yard, 34 feet 6 inches; foremast, main deck to
top, 39 feet; total length, main [spar] deck to truck, 67 feet 6 inches;
fore-yard, 47 feet 6 inches; foretopsail yard, 34 feet 1 2 inches;
mainmast, deck to top, 46 feet; total, deck to truck, 81 feet; main yard,
53 feet; maintopsail yard, 38 feet 6 inches; mizzen mast, deck to top, 34
feet; total, deck to truck, 60 feet 6 inches; spanker yard, 54 feet 6
inches; boats, one on port side of deck, 17 feet long by 5 feet 2 inches
wide; one on starboard side, 13 feet 6 inches long by 4 feet 9 inches
wide. The above description "worked out" by Captain Collins, and in
conformity to which his putative model of the "MAY FLOWER" was
constructed, rests, of course, for its correctness, primarily, upon the
assumptions (which there is no reason to question) that the "plates" of
Admiral Paris, his sketches, working plans, dimensions, etc., are
reliable, and that Captain Collins's mathematics are correct, in reducing
and applying the Admiral's data to a ship of 120 tons. That there would
be some considerable variance from the description given, in applying
these data to a ship of 60 tons greater measurement (i.e. of 180 tons),
goes without saying, though the changes would appear more largely in the
hull dimensions than in the rigging. That the description given, and its
expression in the model depicted, present, with considerable fidelity, a
ship of the MAY-FLOWER'S class arid type, in her day,--though of sixty
tons less register, and amenable to changes otherwise,--is altogether
probable, and taken together, they afford a fairly accurate idea of the
general appearance of such a craft.

In addition to mention of the enlargements which the increased tonnage
certainly entails, the following features of the description seem to call
for remark.

It is doubtful whether the vessels of this class had "open bulwarks to
the main [spar] deck," or "a succession of three quarter-decks or poops."
Many models and prints of ships of that period and class show but two.
It is probable that if the jib was absent, as Captain Collins believes
(though it was evidently in use upon some of the pinnaces and shallops of
the time, and its utility therefore appreciated), there was a small
squaresail on a "dandy" mast on the bowsprit, and very possibly the
"sprit" or "water-sail" he describes. The length of the vessel as given
by Captain Collins, as well as her beam, being based on a measurement of
but 120 tons, are both doubtless less than they should be, the depth
probably also varying slightly, though there would very likely be but few
and slight departures otherwise from his proximate figures. The long-
boat would be more likely to be lashed across the hatch amidships than
stowed on the port side of the deck, unless in use for stowage purposes,
as previously suggested. Captain Collins very interestingly notes in a
letter to the author, concerning the measurements indicated by his model:
"Here we meet with a difficulty, even if it is not insurmountable. This
is found in the discrepancy which exists between the dimensions--length,
breadth, and depth--requisite to produce a certain tonnage, as given by
Admiral Paris and the British Admiralty. Whether this is due to a
difference in estimating tonnage between France (or other countries) and
Great Britain, I am unable to say, but it is a somewhat remarkable fact
that the National Museum model, which was made for a vessel of 120 tons,
as given by Admiral Paris who was a Frenchman, has almost exactly the
proportions of length, depth, and breadth that an English ship of 180
tons would have, if we can accept as correct the lists of measurements
from the Admiralty records published by Charnock . . . . In the third
volume of Charnock's 'History of Marine Architecture,' p. 274., I find
that a supply transport of 175 tons, built in 1759, and evidently a
merchant ship originally, or at least a vessel of that class, was 79.4
feet long (tonnage measure), 22.6 feet beam, and 11.61 feet deep." The
correspondence is noticeable and of much interest, but as the writer
comments, all depends upon whether or not "the measurement of the middle
of the eighteenth century materially differed in Great Britain from what
it was in the early part of the previous century."

Like all vessels having high stems and sterns, she was unquestionably "a
wet ship,"--upon this voyage especially so, as Bradford shows, from being
overloaded, and hence lower than usual in the water. Captain John Smith
says: "But being pestered [vexed] nine weeks in this leaking,
unwholesome ship, lying wet in their cabins; most of them grew very weak
and weary of the sea." Bradford says, quoting the master of the MAY-
FLOWER and others: "As for the decks and upper works they would caulk
them as well as they could, . . . though with the working of the ship,
they would not long keep staunch." She was probably not an old craft, as
her captain and others declared they "knew her to be strong and firm
under water;" and the weakness of her upper works was doubtless due to
the strain of her overload, in the heavy weather of the autumnal gales.
Bradford says: "They met with many contrary winds and fierce storms with
which their ship was shrewdly shaken and her upper works made very
leaky." That the confidence of her master in her soundness below the
water-line was well placed, is additionally proven by her excellent
voyages to America, already noted, in 1629, and 1630, when she was ten
years older.

That she was somewhat "blocky" above water was doubtless true of her, as
of most of her class; but that she was not unshapely below the water-line
is quite certain, for the re markable return passage she made to England
(in ballast) shows that her lower lines must have been good. She made
the run from Plymouth to London on her return voyage in just thirty-one
days, a passage that even with the "clipper ships" of later days would
have been respectable, and for a vessel of her model and rig was
exceptionally good. She was "light" (in ballast), as we know from the
correspondence of Weston and Bradford, the letter of the former to
Governor Carver--who died before it was received--upbraiding him for
sending her home "empty." The terrible sickness and mortality of the
whole company, afloat and ashore, had, of course, made it impossible to
freight her as intended with "clapboards" [stave-stock], sassafras roots,
peltry, etc. No vessels of her class of that day were without the high
poop and its cabin possibilities,--admirably adapting them to passenger
service,--and the larger had the high and roomy topgallant forecastles so
necessary for their larger crews. The breadth of beam was always
considerably greater in that day than earlier, or until much later,
necessitated by the proportionately greater height ("topsides"), above
water, at stem and stern. The encroachments of her high poop and
forecastle left but short waist-room; her waist-ribs limited the height
of her "between decks;" while the "perked up" lines of her bow and stern
produced the resemblance noted, to the croup and neck of the wild duck.
That she was low "between decks" is demonstrated by the fact that it was
necessary to "cut down" the Pilgrims' shallop--an open sloop, of
certainly not over 30 feet in length, some 10 tons burden, and not very
high "freeboard"--"to stow" her under the MAY-FLOWER'S spar deck. That
she was "square-rigged" follows, as noted, from the fact that it was the
only rig in use for ships of her class and size, and that she had
"topsails" is shown by the fact that the "top-saile halliards" were
pitched over board with John Howland, and saved his life. Bradford says:
"A lustie yonge man (called John Howland) coming upon some occasion above
ye grattings, was with a seele of ye shipe throwne into ye sea: but it
pleased God yt he caught hould of ye top-saile halliards which hunge over
board & rane out at length yet he held his hould . . . till he was
haled up," etc. Howland had evidently just come from below upon the poop-
deck (as there would be no "grattings" open in the waist to receive the
heavy seas shipped). The ship was clearly experiencing "heavy weather"
and a great lurch ("seele") which at the stern, and on the high,
swinging, tilting poop-deck would be most severely felt, undoubtedly
tossed him over the rail. The topsail halliards were probably trailing
alongside and saved him, as they have others under like circumstances.

Whether or not the MAY-FLOWER had the "round house" under her poop-deck,
---a sort of circular-end deck-house, more especially the quarters, by
day, of the officers and favored passengers; common, but apparently not
universal, in vessels of her class,--we have no positive knowledge, but
the presumption is that she had, as passenger ships like the PARAGON (of
only 140 tons), and others of less tonnage, seem to have been so fitted!

It is plain that, in addition to the larger cabin space and the smaller
cabins,--"staterooms," nowadays,--common to ships of the MAY-FLOWER'S
size and class, the large number of her passengers, and especially of
women and children, made it necessary to construct other cabins between
decks. Whether these were put up at London, or Southampton, or after the
SPEEDWELL'S additional passengers were taken aboard at Plymouth, does not
appear. The great majority of the men and boys were doubtless provided
with bunks only, "between decks," but it seems that John Billington had a
cabin there. Bradford narrates of the gunpowder escapade of young
Francis Billington, that, "there being a fowling-piece, charged in his
father's cabin [though why so inferior a person as Billington should have
a cabin when there could not have been enough for better men, is a query],
shot her off in the cabin, there being a little barrel of powder half-
full scattered in and about the cabin, the fire being within four feet of
the bed, between the decks, . . . and many people gathered about the
fire," etc.

Whatever other deductions may be drawn from this very badly constructed
and ambiguous paragraph of Bradford, two things appear certain,--one,
that Billington had a "cabin" of his own "between decks;" and the other,
that there was a "fire between decks," which "many people" were gathered
"about." We can quite forgive the young scamp for the jeopardy in which
he placed the ship and her company, since it resulted in giving us so
much data concerning the MAY-FLOWER'S "interior." Captain John Smith's
remark, already quoted, as to the MAY-FLOWER'S people "lying wet in their
cabins," is a hint of much value from an experienced navigator of that
time, as to the "interior" construction of ships and the bestowal of
passengers in them, in that day, doubtless applicable to the MAY-FLOWER.

While it was feasible, when lying quietly at anchor in a land-locked
harbor, with abundance of fire-wood at hand, to have a fire, about which
they could gather, even if only upon the "sand-hearth" of the early
navigators, when upon boisterous seas, in mid-ocean, "lying . . . in
their cabins" was the only means of keeping warm possible to voyagers.
In "Good Newes from New England," we find the lines:--

"Close cabins being now prepared,
With bred, bief, beire, and fish,
The passengers prepare themselves,
That they might have their wish."

Her magazine, carpenter's and sailmaker's lockers, etc., were doubtless
well forward under her forecastle, easily accessible from the spar-deck,
as was common to merchant vessels of her class and size. Dr. Young, in
his "Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers" (p. 86, note), says: "This vessel
was less than the average size of the fishing-smacks that go to the Grand
Banks. This seems a frail bark in which to cross a stormy ocean of three
thousand miles in extent. Yet it should be remembered that two of the
ships of Columbus on his first daring and perilous voyage of discovery,
were light vessels, without decks, little superior to the small craft
that ply on our rivers and along our coasts . . . . Frobisher's fleet
consisted of two barks of twenty-five tons each and a pinnace of ten
tons, when he sailed in 1576 to discover a north-west passage to the
Indies. Sir Francis Drake, too, embarked on his voyage for
circumnavigating the globe, in 1577, with five vessels, of which the
largest was of one hundred, and the smallest fifteen tons. The bark in
which Sir Humphrey Gilbert perished was of ten tons only." The LITTLE
JAMES, which the Company sent to Plymouth in July, 1623, was "a pinnace
of only forty-four tons," and in a vessel of fifty tons (the SPEEDWELL),
Martin Pring, in 1603, coasted along the shores of New England. Goodwin
says: "In 1587 there were not in all England's fleet more than five
merchant vessels exceeding two hundred tons." The SPARROW-HAWK wrecked
on Cape Cod in 1626 was only 40 feet "over all." The Dutch seem to have
built larger vessels. Winthrop records that as they came down the
Channel, on their way to New England (1630), they passed the wreck of
"a great Dutch merchantman of a thousand tons."

The MAY-FLOWER'S galley, with its primitive conditions for cooking,
existed rather as a place for the preparation of food and the keeping of
utensils, than for the use of fire. The arrangements for the latter were
exceedingly crude, and were limited to the open "hearth-box" filled with
sand, the chief cooking appliance being the tripod-kettle of the early
navigators: This might indeed be set up in any part of the ship where the
"sand-hearth" could also go, and the smoke be cared for. It not
infrequently found space in the fore castle, between decks, and, when
fine weather prevailed, upon the open deck, as in the open caravels of
Columbus, a hundred years before. The bake-kettle and the frying-pan
held only less important places than the kettle for boiling. It must have
been rather a burst of the imagination that led Mrs. Austin, in "Standish
of Standish," to make Peter Browne remind poor half-frozen Goodman--whom
he is urging to make an effort to reach home, when they had been lost,
but had got in sight of the MAY-FLOWER In the harbor--of "the good fires
aboard of her." Moreover, on January 22, when Goodman was lost, the
company had occupied their "common-house" on shore. Her ordnance
doubtless comprised several heavy guns (as such were then reckoned),
mounted on the spar-deck amid ships, with lighter guns astern and on.
the rail, and a piece of longer range and larger calibre upon the
forecastle. Such was the general disposal of ordnance upon merchant
vessels of her size in that day, when an armament was a 'sine qua non'.
Governor Winslow in his "Hypocrisie Unmasked," 1646 (p. 91), says, in
writing of the departure of the Pilgrims from Delfshaven, upon the
SPEEDWELL: "The wind being fair we gave them a volley of small shot and
three pieces of ordnance," by which it seems that the SPEEDWELL, of only
sixty tons, mounted at least "three pieces of ordnance" as, from the form
of expression, there seem to have been "three pieces," rather than three
discharges of the same piece.

The inference is warranted that the MAY-FLOWER, being three times as
large, would carry a considerably heavier and proportionate armament.
The LADY ARBELLA, Winthrop's ship, a vessel of 350 tons, carried "twenty-
eight pieces of ordnance;" but as "Admiral" of the fleet, at a time when
there was a state of war with others, and much piracy, she would
presumably mount more than a proportionate weight of metal, especially as
she convoyed smaller and lightly armed vessels, and carried much value.
There is no reason to suppose that the MAY-FLOWER, in her excessively
crowded condition, mounted more than eight or ten guns, and these chiefly
of small calibre. Her boats included her "long-boat," with which the
experience of her company in "Cape Cod harbor" have made us familiar, and
perhaps other smaller boats,--besides the Master's "skiff" or "gig," of
whose existence and necessity there are numerous proofs. "Monday the
27," Bradford and Winslow state, "it proved rough weather and cross
winds, so as we were constrained, some in the shallop and others in the
long-boat," etc. Bradford states, in regard to the repeated springings-
a-leak of the SPEEDWELL: "So the Master of the bigger ship, called Master
Jones, being consulted with;" and again, "The Master of the small ship
complained his ship was so leaky . . . so they [Masters Jones and
Reynolds] came to consultation, again," etc. It is evident that Jones
was obliged to visit the SPEEDWELL to inspect her and to consult with the
leaders, who were aboard her. For this purpose, as for others, a smaller
boat than the "long-boat" would often serve, while the number of
passengers and crew aboard would seem to demand still other boats.
Winthrop notices that their Captain (Melborne) frequently "had his skiff
heaved out," in the course of their voyage. The Master's small boat,
called the "skiff" or "gig," was, no doubt, stowed (lashed) in the waist
of the ship, while the "long-boat" was probably lashed on deck forward,
being hoisted out and in, as the practice of those days was, by "whips,"
from the yardarms. It was early the habit to keep certain of the live-
stock, poultry, rabbits, etc., in the unused boats upon deck, and it is
possible that in the crowded state of the MAY-FLOWER this custom was
followed. Bradford remarks that their "goods or common store . . .
were long in unlading [at New Plimoth] for want of boats." It seems
hardly possible that the Admiralty authorities,--though navigation laws
were then few, crude, and poorly enforced,--or that the Adventurers and
Pilgrim chiefs themselves, would permit a ship carrying some 130 souls to
cross the Atlantic in the stormy season, without a reasonable boat
provision. The capacity of the "long-boat" we know to have been about
twenty persons, as nearly that number is shown by Bradford and Winslow
to have gone in her on the early expeditions from the ship, at Cape Cod.
She would therefore accommodate only about one sixth of the ship's
company. As the "gig" would carry only five or six persons,--while the
shallop was stowed between decks and could be of no service in case of
need upon the voyage,--the inference is warranted that other boats were
carried, which fail of specific mention, or that she was wofully lacking.
The want of boats for unlading, mentioned by Bradford, suggests the
possibility that some of the ship's quota may have been lost or destroyed
on her boisterous voyage, though no such event appears of record, or is
suggested by any one. In the event of wreck, the Pilgrims must have
trusted, like the Apostle Paul and his associates when cast away on the
island of Melita, to get to shore, "some on boards and some on broken
pieces of the ship." Her steering-gear, rigging, and the mechanism for
"getting her anchors," "slinging," "squaring," and "cockbilling" her
yards; for "making" and "shortening" sail; "heaving out" her boats and
"handling" her cargo, were of course all of the crude and simple patterns
and construction of the time, usually so well illustrating the ancient
axiom in physics, that "what is lost [spent] in power is gained in time."

The compass-box and hanging-compass, invented by the English cleric,
William Barlow, but twelve years before the Pilgrim voyage, was almost
the only nautical appliance possessed by Captain Jones, of the MAY-
FLOWER, in which no radical improvement has since been made. Few charts
of much value--especially of western waters--had yet been drafted, but
the rough maps and diagrams of Cabot, Smith, Gosnold, Pring, Champlain
and Dermer, Jones was too good a navigator not to have had. In speaking
of the landing at Cape Cod, the expression is used by Bradford in
"Mourt's Relation," "We went round all points of the compass," proving
that already the mariner's compass had become familiar to the speech even
of those not using it professionally.

That the ship was "well-found" in anchors (with solid stocks), hemp
cables, "spare" spars, "boat-tackling" and the heavy "hoisting-gear" of
those days, we have the evidence of recorded use. "The MAY-FLOWER,"
writes Captain Collins, would have had a hemp cable about 9 inches in
circumference. Her anchors would probably weigh as follows: sheet anchor
(or best bower) 500 to 600 lbs.; stream anchor 350 to 400 lbs.; the spare
anchors same as the stream anchor.

"Charnock's Illustrations" show that the anchors used in the MAY-FLOWER
period were shaped very much like the so called Cape Ann anchor now made
for our deep-sea fishing vessels. They had the conventional shaped
flukes, with broad pointed palms, and a long shank, the upper end passing
through a wooden stock. [Tory shows in his diagrams some of the anchors
of that period with the space between the shank and flukes nearly filled
up in the lower part with metal.] Such an anchor has the maximum of
holding powers, and bearing in mind the elasticity of the hemp cables
then used, would enable a vessel to ride safely even when exposed to
heavy winds and a racing sea: There is no doubt, according to the
British Admiralty Office,--which should be authority upon the matter,--
that the flag under which the MAY-FLOWER, and all other vessels of the
merchant marine of Great Britain, sailed, at the time she left England
(as noted concerning the SPEEDWELL), was what became known as the "Union
Jack," as decreed by James the First, in 1606, supplanting the English
ensign, which had been the red cross of St. George upon a white field.
The new flag resulted from the "union" of the crowns and kingdoms of
England and Scotland, upon the accession of James VI. of Scotland to the
English throne, as James I. of England, upon the death of queen
Elizabeth. Its design was formed by superimposing the red cross of St.
George upon the white cross of St. Andrew, on a dark blue field; in other
words, by imposing the cross of St. George, taken from the English
ensign, upon the Scotch flag, and creating there by the new flag of Great

In a little monograph on "The British Flag--Its Origin and History," a
paper read by its author, Jona. F. Morris, Esq., before the Connecticut
Historical Society, June 7, 1881, and reprinted at Hartford (1889), Mr.
Morris, who has made much study of the matter, states (p. 4): "In 1603,
James VI. of Scotland was crowned James I. of England. The Scots, in
their pride that they had given a king to England, soon began to contend
that the cross of St. Andrew should take precedence of the cross of St.
George, that ships bearing the flag of the latter should salute that of
St. Andrew. To allay the contention, the King, on the 12th of April,
1606, ordered that all subjects of Great Britain travelling by sea shall
bear at the maintop the red cross of St. George and the white cross,
commonly called the cross of St. Andrew, joined together according to a
form made by his heralds besides this all vessels belonging to South
Britain or England might wear the cross of St. George at the peak or
fore, as they were wont, and all vessels belonging to North Britain or
Scotland might wear the cross of St. Andrew at the fore top, as they had
been accustomed; and all vessels were for bidden to wear any other flag
at their peril. The new flag thus designed by the heralds and proclaimed
by this order was called the 'King's Colors.' For a long period the red
cross had been the colors of English navigators, as well as the badge of
English soldiery . . . . No permanent English settlement in America
was made until after the adoption of the 'King's Colors.' Jamestown,
Plymouth, Salem, and Boston were settled under the new flag, though the
ships bringing over settlers, being English vessels, also carried the red
cross as permitted." Mr. Barlow Cumberland, of Toronto, Canada, has also
given, in a little monograph entitled "The Union Jack" (published by
William Briggs of that city, 1898), an admirable account of the history
of the British jack, which confirms the foregoing conclusions. The early
English jack was later restored. Such, roughly sketched, was the Pilgrim
ship, the renowned MAY-FLOWER, as, drafted from the meagre but fairly
trustworthy and suggestive data available, she appears to us of to-day.


In even the little we know of the later history of the ship, one cannot
always be quite sure of her identity in the records of vessels of her
name, of which there have been many. Dr. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, of
Boston, says that "a vessel bearing this name was owned in England about
fifteen years or more before the voyage of our forefathers, but it would
be impossible to prove or disprove its identity with the renowned MAY-
FLOWER, however great such a probability might be. It is known,
nevertheless, that--the identical famous vessel afterwards hailed from
various English ports, such as London, Yarmouth, and Southampton, and
that it was much used in transporting immigrants to this country. What
eventually became of it and what was the end of its career, are equally
unknown to history." Goodwin says: "It does not appear that the MAY-
FLOWER ever revisited Plymouth, but in 1629 she came to Salem," with a
company of the Leyden people for Plymouth, under command of Captain
William Peirce, the warm friend of the Pilgrims, and in 1630 was one of
the large fleet that attended John Winthrop, under a different master,
discharging her passengers at Charlestown. Nothing is certainly known of
her after that time. In 1648 a ship [hereinafter mentioned by Hunter]
named the MAY-FLOWER was engaged in the slave trade, and the ill-informed
as well as the ill-disposed have sometimes sneeringly alleged that this
was our historic ship; but it is ascertained that the slaver was a vessel
of three hundred and fifty tons,--nearly twice the size of our ship of
happy memory. In 1588 the officials of Lynn (England) offered the "MAY-
FLOWER" (150 tons) to join the fleet against the dreaded Spanish Armada.
In 1657, Samuel Vassall, of London, complained that the government had
twice impressed his ship, MAY-FLOWER, which he had "fitted out with sixty
men, for the Straits." Rev. Joseph Hunter, author of "The Founders of
New Plymouth," one of the most eminent antiquarians in England, and an
indefatigable student of Pilgrim history among British archives, says:
"I have not observed the name of MAY FLOWER [in which style he always
writes it] before the year 1583 . . . . But the name soon became
exceedingly popular among those to whom belonged the giving of the names
to vessels in the merchant-service. Before the close of that century
[the sixteenth] we have a MAY-FLOWER of Hastings; a MAY-FLOWER of Rie;
a MAY-FLOWER of Newcastle: a MAY FLOWER of Lynn; and a MAY-FLOWER Of
Yarmouth: both in 1589. Also a MAY-FLOWER of Hull, 1599; a MAY FLOWER of
London of eighty tons burden, 1587, and 1594, Of which Richard Ireland
was the master, and another MAY-FLOWER of the same port, of ninety tons
burthen, of which Robert White was the master in 1594, and a third MAY-
FLOWER of London, unless it is the same vessel with one of the two just
spoken of, only with a different master, William Morecock. In 1587 there
was a MAY-FLOWER Of Dover, of which John Tooke was the master. In 1593
there was a MAY-FLOWER of Yarmouth of 120 tons, of which William Musgrove
was the master. In 1608 there was a MAY-FLOWER of Dartmouth, of which
Nicholas Waterdonne was the master; and in 1609 a MAY-FLOWER of
Middleburgh entered an English port."

Later in the century we find a MAY-FLOWER of Ipswich, and another of
Newcastle in 1618; a MAY-FLOWER of York in 1621; a MAY-FLOWER of
Scarborough in 1630, Robert Hadock the master; a MAY-FLOWER of Sandwich
the same year, John Oliver the master; a MAY-FLOWER of Dover, 1633,
Walter Finnis, master, in which two sons of the Earl of Berkshire crossed
to Calais. "Which of these was the vessell which carried over the
precious [Pilgrim] freight cannot perhaps be told [apparently neither,
unless perhaps the MAY-FLOWER of Yarmouth of 1593, in which case her
tonnage is incorrectly given], but we learn from Mr. Sherley's letter to
Governor Bradford' that the same vessel was employed in 1629 in passing
between the two countries, a company of the church at Leyden, who had
joined in the first emigration, intending to pass in it to America; and
in the same author we find that the vessel arrived in the harbour of
Charlestown [N. E.] on July 1, 1630. There was a MAY-FLOWER which, in
1648, gained an unenviable notoriety as a slaver. But this was not the
MAY-FLOWER which had carried over the first settlers, it being a vessel
Of 350 tons, while the genuine MAY-FLOWER was of only 180 tons." Of the
first of her two known visits, after her voyage with the Pilgrim company
from Leyden, Goodwin says: "In August, 1629, the renowned MAY-FLOWER came
from England to Salem under Plymouth's old friend [William] Peirce, and
in her came thirty-five Leyden people, on their way to Plymouth." The
number has been in dispute, but the large cost of bringing them, over
L500, would suggest that their families must have also come, as has been
alleged, but for the following from Governor Bradford's Letter Book:
"These persons," he says, "were in all thirty-five, which came at this
time unto us from Leyden, whose charge out of Holland into England, and
in England till the ship was ready, and then their transportation hither,
came to a great deal of money, for besides victuals and other expenses,
they were all newly apparelled." Shirley, one of the Adventurers,
writing to Governor Bradford in 1629, says: "Here are now many of your
friends from Leyden coming over. With them also we have sent some
servants, or in the ship that went lately (I think called the TALBOT),
and this that these come in is the MAY-FLOWER." All that Higginson's
journal tells of her, as noted, is, that "she was of Yarmouth;" was
commanded by William Peirce, and carried provisions and passengers, but
the fact that she was under command of Captain Peirce of itself tells
much. On her next trip the MAY-FLOWER sailed from Southampton, in May,
1630, as part of Winthrop's fleet, and arrived at Charlestown July 1.
She was, on this voyage, under command of a new master (perhaps a Captain
Weatherby), Captain Peirce having, at this time, command of the ship
LYON, apparently in the service of Plymouth Colony. A vessel of this
name [MAY-FLOWER] was sailing between England and Boston in 1656. Young
says: "The MAY-FLOWER is a ship of renown in the history of the
colonization of New England. She was one of the five vessels which, in
1629, conveyed Higginson's company to Salem, and also one of the fleet
which, in 1630, brought over his colony to Massachusetts Bay."

October 6, 1652, "Thomas Webber, Mr. of the good shipp called the
MAYFLOWER of the burden of Two hundred Tuns or there abouts . . . .
Rideing at Ancor in the Harber of Boston," sold one-sixteenth of the ship
"for good & valluable Consideracons to Mr. John Pinchon of Springfield
Mrchant." The next day, October 7, 1652, the same "Thomas Webber, Mr, of
the good Shipp called the MAY FLOWER of Boston in New England now bound
for the barbadoes and thence to London," acknowledges an indebtedness to
Theodore Atkinson, a wealthy "hatter, felt-maker," and merchant of
Boston, and the same day (October 7, 1652), the said "Thomas Webber, Mr.
of the good shipp called the MAY FLOWER of the burthen of Two hundred
tuns or thereabouts," sold "unto Theodore Atkinson felt-maker one-
sixteenth part as well of said Shipp as of all & singular her masts Sails
Sail-yards Ancors Cables Ropes Cords Gunns Gunpowder Shott Artillery
Tackle Munition apparrell boate skiffe and furniture to the same
belonging." It is of course possible that this was the historic ship,
though, if so, reappearing twenty two years after her last known voyage
to New England. If the same, she was apparently under both new master
and owner. From the facts that she is called "of Boston in New England"
and was trading between that port, "the Barbadoes" and London, it is not
impossible that she may have been built at Boston--a sort of namesake
descendant of the historic ship--and was that MAY-FLOWER mentioned as
belonging, in 1657, to Mr. Samuel Vassall; as he had large interests
alike in Boston, Barbadoes, and London. Masters of vessels were often
empowered to sell their ships or shares in them. Although we know not
where her keel was laid, by what master she was built, or where she laid
her timbers when her work was done, by virtue of her grand service to
humanity, her fame is secure, and her name written among the few, the
immortal names that were not born to die.


Personal inference rather than a verity
Transplantation to the "northern parts of Virginia"


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