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  • ID: I60515
  • Name: William BRADFORD III Mayflower Pass
  • Surname: Bradford
  • Given Name: William
  • Suffix: III Mayflower Pass
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 19 Mar 1589 in Austerfield, Blyth, West Rideing, Yorkshire, England
  • Death: 9 May 1657 in Plymouth Colony, Mass
  • _UID: 6D0D624A0F10104C80A023551ED864F88BFC
  • Note:
    William Bradford was born in 1590 in the small farming community of Austerfield, Yorkshire . His father William died when young Bradford was just one year old. He lived with his gran dfather William, until his grandfather died when he was six. His mother Alice thendied whe n he was seven. Orphaned both from parents and grandparents, he and older sister Alice wer e raised by their uncle Robert Bradford. William was a sickly boy, and by the age of 12 had t aken to reading the Bible, and as he began tocome of age he became acquainted with the minist ry of Richard Clyfton and JohnSmith, around which the Separatist churches of the region woul d eventually form about 1606. His family was not supportive of his moves, and by 1607 the Ch urch of England were applying pressure to extinguish these religious sects. Bradford, at th e age of 18, joined with the group of Separatists that fled from England in fear of persecuti on, arriving in Amsterdam in 1608. A year later he migrated with the rest of the church to t he town of Leiden, Holland, where they remained for eleven years. Bradford returned to Amste rdam temporarily in 1613,to marry his 16-year old bride, Dorothy May. In Leiden, Bradford to ok up the trade of a silk weaver to make ends meet, and also was able to recover some of th e estate in England that he had been left by his father, to support himself and his new wif e in Leiden. They had a son, John, born about 1615-1617.

    By 1620, when a segment of the church had decided to set off for America on the Mayflower, Br adford (now 30 years old) sold off his house in Leiden, and he and his wife Dorothy joined; h owever, they left young son John behind, presumably so he would not have to endure the hardsh ips of colony-building. While the Mayflower was anchored off Provincetown Harbor at the ti p of Cape Cod, and while manyof the Pilgrim men were out exploring and looking for a place t o settle, Dorothy Bradford accidentally fell overboard, and drowned.

    John Carver was elected governor of Plymouth, and remained governor until his death a year la ter inApril 1621. Bradford was then elected governor, and was re-elected nearly every year th ereafter for 30 years. In 1623, he married to the widowed Alice (Carpenter) Southworth, and h ad a marriage feast very reminiscent of the "First" Thanksgiving, with Massasoit and a larg e number of Indians joining, and bringing turkeys and deer. Bradford was the head of the gov ernment of Plymouth, oversaw the courts, the colony's finances, corresponded with investors a nd neighbors, formulated policy with regards to foreigners, Indians, and law, and so had a ve ryactive role in the running of the entire Colony. With his second wife, he had three more c hildren, all of which survived to adulthood and married. Beginning in 1630, he started writi ng a history of the Plymouth Colony, which is now published under the title Of Plymouth Plant ation. A number of his letters, poems, conferences, and other writings have survived.

    William Bradford was generally sick all winter of 1656-1657; on May 8, Bradford predicted t o his friends and family that he would die, and he did the next day, 9 May 1657, at the age o f 68.

    ! Mayflower history/Passengers/WilliamBradford.php

    The Leiden Separatists bought a small ship, the Speedwell, in Holland. They embarked from Del ftshaven on July 22, 1620.
    They sailed to Southampton, England to meet the Mayflower, which had been chartered by thei r English investors. There, other Separatists and additional colonists joined them. On Augus t 15, the Mayflower and Speedwell set sail for America. The Speedwell leaked so badly that bo th ships turned back to England, putting in first at Dartmouth and then at Plymouth. Finally , on September 16, 1620, the Mayflower set sail, alone, for America.
    The Mayflower was a sizable cargo ship, around 100 feet in length. She had served many year s in the wine trade.. With the crowding of 102 passengers plus crew, each family was allotte d very little space. For a list of the Mayflower passengers, click HERE.
    The 66-day voyage was frequently stormy. At one point, a main beam cracked and had to be repa ired using a large iron screw. When the passengers sighted Cape Cod, they realized that the y had failed to reach Virginia, where they had permission to settle. The season was late, how ever, and supplies of food and water were low. They could go no further. Click HERE for a quote from the 17th-century journal of Pilgrim Governor William Bra dford

    By 1606 the Separatist group in Scrooby (in the northeastern county of Nottingham) decided th at the situation in England had become so intolerable that they would have to leave England i n order to find religious freedom. At that time Holland was tolerant of varying religious bel iefs and the Scrooby Separatists decided that this might be an ideal place for their relocati on. Other religious groups from England were already establishing themselves in several Dutc h cities. One group of Separatists had already settled in Amsterdam, and the Scrooby Separati sts planned to join them.
    In 1607 the Scrooby Separatists made their first attempt to leave England bound for Amsterdam . However, their plan to leave England was discovered by the English authorities and they wer e arrested during their attempted departure. Many of the men were jailed for this action. Amo ng the group was William Brewster, who would become a leader of the Scrooby Separatists.
    In Amsterdam some disputes arose over church affairs and in 1609 a group of about one hundre d Separatists moved to Leiden, Holland, where they centered their activities around Leiden Un ivesity under the leadership of Pastor John Robinson. At that time, Leiden University was on e of the leading universities in Europe.
    [NOTE: Throughout this guide the name of the Dutch city will be spelled LEIDEN. It is pronoun ced with a long "i" as though it were spelled "Lieden." Many sources spell the name Leyden, b ut the Dutch spell it LEIDEN.]
    Their years in Leiden seem to have been peaceful for the most part until William Brewster (wh o had become a printer of sorts) began publishing books in opposition to the Church of Englan d and smuggling them back into England for distribution. This, of course, created tensions be tween the authorities in England and Holland.
    King James demanded the Dutch authorities to arrest Brewster and return him to England for pu nishment. There are many letters between the English and Dutch authorities (which have been p reserved) telling this intriguing part of the story.
    The religion of the Pilgrims had grown out of the Puritan movement in England. With the Engli sh translations of the Bible at their disposal, they had decided to return their form of wors hip to a New Testament form, rejecting all of the formal rituals of the Catholic Church and t he Church of England. During the later years in Leiden, their beliefs met some opposition an d even heated debates at the University of Leiden from other groups such as the one led by th e Arminians. By the last year there, the Pilgrims found themselves ridiculed and sometimes ph ysically assaulted by opponents. In fact, James Chilton was stoned by a group of youths and n early lost his life. The Pilgrim fathers "...therefore thought it better to dislodge betime s to some place of better advantage and less danger, if any such could be found." In the end , they concluded it was time to live as a distinct body by themselves under the Government o f Virginia. Pastor John Robinson and the elders began to seek a refuge for the entire congreg ation.
    Finally, the Leiden Separatists asked King James for a Royal Charter, which would allow the m to establish a colony in the New World. Although James refused to give them a Charter, he p romised that he would not try to stop them from settling abroad.
    After long delays and great expense the Leiden group succeeded in getting a Patent from the L ondon Virginia Company, which was a group of merchants who were investing their money in ne w settlements in America in hopes of financial gain. Because these merchants were investors l ooking for large gains, the Pilgrims were forced to agree to terms which indentured them fo r seven years before they would be free to take any profits for themselves.
    The Mayflower - along with its master and part-owner, Christopher Jones - was engaged in Lond on to carry the Leiden group to America. A smaller ship called the Speedwell was purchased an d outfitted in Holland to accompany the Mayflower. The Separatist group planned to use Speedw ell as a fishing boat in the New World. No one in their congregation knew much about fishing , but they thought it would help pay off their debts to the Merchant Adventurers.
    It was originally intended the entire Leiden congregation would move to America, but they dec ided to send only sixty or seventy of their most able members to establish the community -- t he others were to follow at a later date. When the time came for them to leave Holland, th e departing group was accompanied by the entire congregation as they traveled by barge from L eiden to Delfshaven where the Speedwell was waiting to take them to Southampton, England, whe re they were to meet the waiting mayflower
    Since there had not been enough volunteers to fill the two ships, a group of non-Separatist p eople was enlisted to fill out the required number of passengers for the voyage. Those additi onal passengers are many times referred to as the "strangers," since they were not all Separa tists. It must be noted that ALL of the passengers who came on the Mayflower in 1620 became k nown as Pilgrims, whether they were Leiden Separatists (sometimes referred to as the "saints" ) or "strangers."
    After many frustrating delays in leaving Southampton, and problems with the Speedwell which p roved unseaworthy, the Mayflower was forced to make the voyage to America without the compan y of the Speedwell.
    Because so many problems had developed, many of the Leiden members decided that they did no t wish to make the voyage and returned to Holland.
    After delays in Dartmouth and Plymouth while the Speedwell was examined, repaired and finall y declared unseaworthy, the voyage finally got underway.
    [NOTE: For greater detail from the original accounts of these events, see Pilgrim Courage, ed ited by E. Brooks Smith and Robert Meredith.]
    The Mayflower made her final departure from Plymouth, England, on September 6/16, 1620, wit h 102 passengers aboard. Of this number only 41 were members of the Leiden church. The remain der of the passengers were hired men, paid servants, or "strangers"
    We are told the Mayflower was a ship of 180 tuns. But what does that mean? We are accustome d to thinking in terms of a 2,000 lb. measure of weight when we read the word. However, tha t is not what the tun of measure meant in the early 17th Century. A tun - spelled T-U-N - wa s a large barrel or cask for wine equal to double hogsheads (or 265 gallons). An illustratio n from the period shows four men carrying an empty tun barrel on their shoulders as they wor k at a shipping dock.
    Click here for illustration of sailors carrying a tun barrel in 1597
    The size of a merchant vessel such as the Mayflower was measured in terms of how many of thes e barrels could safely be carried in the hold. The Mayflower was capable of carrying 180 of t hese large barrels fully loaded. So this was not a tiny ship as some authors in the past hav e indicated. In fact, she would have been one of the larger merchant vessels of her day.
    Some authors have indicated the Mayflower was a dull sailer and made very slow progress in he r voyage. But this again is a misconception. She made the crossing in 66 days, which would av erage out to about 2 miles per hour. It must also be remembered that in coming from England t o Cape Cod the Mayflower was sailing against the strong currents of the Gulf Sream as well a s the stormy winds of the North Atlantic.
    As the fishermen of the day knew all too well, September was the time to seek safe harbors fo r winter. Undoubtedly, the Pilgrims had been warned of the dangers which they would face in t he North Atlantic if they insisted on beginning their voyage at that time of year. However, t heir money was at an end - not to mention the fact the English authorities were still searchi ng for William Brewster, who was concealed on the ship. They had no choice but to continue. M aster Christopher Jones, the skipper, had sailed the waters of the North Sea during stormy se asons, and he knew how to handle Mayflower under such stressful weather conditions.
    The fastest clipper ships a century or more later were only making a speed of about 3 miles p er hour on this same route. On her return trip to England in the spring of 1621, Mayflower ma de the voyage in 31 days, which would have been an average speed of about 3 3/4 miles per hou r. So she was not a dull sailer for her time.
    We must also remember that on her return trip, Mayflower was sailing with the currents of th e Gulf Stream in fair weather - not to mention a lighter burden of cargo, which allowed her t o ride higher in the water.
    Some authors also suggest Mayflower was a creaking, old ship (based on the fact that a main b eam cracked during a terrible storm at sea). We need to remember the Pilgrims were land-lubbe rs who did not understand the ship as well as did its part-owner and master.
    It is a puzzle how Mayflower managed to accommodate 102 passengers and a crew of about 30. Sh e was a merchant ship, not a passenger ship [there was no such thing as a passenger ship in t hose times]. Therefore, she was not equipped to take many passengers. Some passengers, we kno w, slept in the shallop, a large ship's boat which was stowed on the gun deck.
    The passengers would have paid the ship's carpenter to build cabins or bunks in the 'tween de cks. Double or triple tier bunks must have been built, or hammocks slung on the gun deck. Her e they had their beds or hammocks, cooking pots, clothing and items they would need during th e crossing. Their other goods were stored in the hold. There could have been little privacy.
    A family's cabin on the Mayflower was very small and simple, often no more than canvas partit ions around a set of bunk beds, depending upon how much the family could afford to pay the sh ip's carpenter.
    There were 32 children or young people on the Mayflower. Of all the passengers, they were pro bably the most bored. They could play games or listen to someone read to them. When the weath er was good, the sailors probably allowed them to go up on deck. In stormy weather they proba bly spent their time praying, being seasick, and trying to keep from being bruised and batter ed against the beams and walls of the ship, a common injury of passengers during a storm.
    William Butten, the apprentice to Dr. Samuel Fuller, died two days before arriving at Cape Co d, and two babies were born: Oceanus Hopkins was born during the voyage between 16 Sept and 1 1 Nov 1620; and Peregrine White was born on Mayflower before the end of Nov 1620 while it wa s anchored on Cape Cod ."

    The Mayflower was anchored in safe harbor at the tip of Cape Cod, near the Indian site of Pao met (the present-day location of Provincetown). After signing the Mayflower Compact, fiftee n or sixteen of the colonists went ashore in the long-boat. The ship was out of wood for cook ing, and the Pilgrims were eager to see the land which would be their new home. They were gre eted by sandy beaches with wild grasses and shrubs that ran all the way to the water-line i n places. The exploring party returned to the ship at nightfall, reporting that they had see n neither person nor habitation. They had seen only sandy dunes with pale grasses, marshy pon ds and low trees. On the sandy hills they had seen thousands of birds.
    On Wednesday, they sighted a few Indians on the shore; but, as the exploring party approached , the Indians and their dog ran away and vanished into the woods. The men camped on the beac h overnight.
    The next morning at about ten o'clock the men were marching through the woods again when the y came into a deep valley full of brush, wood gaille and long grass. They moved down into th e clearing and at the bottom of the hill they found a fresh water spring. At the spring, th e exploring party sat down to rest. Here they drank their first New England water. Edward Win slow wrote later, "with as much delight as ever we drunk drink in all our lives." This is on e of the few spots along the Pilgrim route of exploration which still remains in an unaltere d state. After more than 350 years, Pilgrim Spring still flows in its natural state.
    The "Great Sickness" was beginning to take its toll among the Pilgrim families; but, when wea ther permitted, as many as could went ashore to fell and carry timber for building material . It was agreed that each man should build his own house, but they would cooperate in buildin g the common-house where their supplies would be stored.
    Click here for Home Building at Plymouth
    By mid-January the common-house was completed, and the little village began to take shape. Th e "Great Sickness" raged through the winter months. Half of the colonists would soon be dead . Even the crew of the Mayflower was not spared. Nearly half of her crew would not survive t o make the return trip to England in the spring.
    Click here for student work on Deaths the First Winter
    THE SPRING OF 1621
    In mid-March the weather began to clear. The "Great Sickness" began to subside, and the colon ists busied themselves about the tasks of digging up the ground in their family garden plots , where they planted some of the seed which they had brought with them from England. One day , while the men were meeting in the common house, an Indian named Samoset came down the hil l and walked into the village. He was able to speak in broken English. Through this first mee ting, the colonists were brought into friendly relations with Squanto, the Massasoit and th e other Wampanoag [Wam'pa'no'ag] Indians of the area.
    It was not until March 16/26, some three months after the Pilgrims arrived, that a tall India n walked boldly into the plantation crying out, "Welcome! Welcome, Englishmen!" The Pilgrim s were startled when the Indian named Samoset introduced himself to the Pilgrims in English . Samoset, an Abnaki Indian from Maine, had been kidnapped by explorers and taken to England .
    Although it was a relatively cold and windy day, he wore only moccasins and a fringed loin sk in. Over his shoulders were a bow and empty quiver, while in his right hand he carried two ar rows, one with a stone point, the other with no tip, probably to signify that he and his peop le were prepared for either war or peace. In broken English, he told the Pilgrims that he wa s Samoset, Sachem of a tribe in Mohegan Island, Maine, where he had learned to speak a littl e English from his contact with the fishermen and traders who visited his island each year. H e had been visiting the Wampanoags for the past eight months, but he intended to return to hi s own people within a short time. [He had sailed with Capt. Dermer from Monhegan to Cape Co d some six months before the arrival of the Mayflower, and spending the winter with the Nause t Indians, reached the Plymouth settlement on that Spring day in 1621.]
    Since he was the first Indian with whom the Pilgrims had spoken since they arrived in New Eng land, they questioned him for some time, learning from him that the Patuxets, who formerly ow ned the land on which they had built their settlement, had all died four years before [1617 ] from the plague, and that their nearest neighbors were the Nemaskets, a tribe of about 30 0 people. [This information is in agreement with the account of Capt. Thomas Dermer.]
    He told them that the Massasoit, Great Sachem of the Wampanoags, was then staying at Nemasket , attended by a number of his Councilors.
    After tossing a coat over his shoulders to ward off the chill winds, the Pilgrims fed him, th en continued to question him. Samoset told the Pilgrims of the seizure by Capt. Thomas Hunt o f twenty Indians from the tribe which lived there at Patuxet, of seven Indians from the Nause t tribe, whom he had enticed on board his ship under the pretense of trading with them, the n carried them off to be sold into slavery. The Spanish monks proved to be less cruel than th e English captain. Through the efforts of the monks, the Indian survivors were rescued and gi ven their liberty.
    When it became evident that Samoset did not intend to leave, the Pilgrim leaders decided to l et him sleep on the Mayflower since it would be almost impossible for him to commit any treac hery out in the harbor. However, the water was too rough for them to launch the shallop wit h any degree of safety and it was decided to allow him to sleep at the house of Stephen Hopki ns, who would keep watch over him throughout the night. Samoset left after breakfast the nex t morning, but came back on the following Sunday with five more Indians who not only returne d some of the Pilgrims' tools they had found in the woods, but brought some furs to trade. Af ter the Pilgrims fed them, they explained that they could not conduct any business on the Sab bath, asking the Indians to return at another time with more furs. Samoset, who complained th at he felt ill, did not leave with the others but remained in Plymouth until Wednesday mornin g.

    Allerton, Isaac - tailor
    Bradford, William - fustian maker
    Chilton, James - tailor
    Cooke, Francis - wool-comber
    Goodman, John - linen weaver
    Holbeck, William - bondman to William White, carder
    Hooke, John - servant to Isaac Allerton, tailor
    Priest, Digory - hatter in London
    Rogers, Thomas - camlet merchant
    Tomson, Edward - servant to William White, carder
    Tilley, Edward - cloth maker
    Tilley, John - wool carder
    Carver, John - merchant from Doncaster
    Mullins, William - shoemaker/merchant
    Turner, John - merchant
    Warren, Richard - merchant from London
  • Change Date: 26 Feb 2009 at 15:52:42

    Father: William BRADFORD II b: ABT 1559 in Austerfield, Blyth, West Rideing, Yorkshire, England
    Mother: Alice HANSON b: 18 Dec 1562 in Austerfield, Yorkshire, England

    Marriage 1 Alice CARPENTER b: 3 Aug 1590 in Wrington, Somerset, England
    • Note: _STATMARRIED
    1. Has Children William BRADFORD IV b: 17 Jun 1624 in Plymouth Colony, Mass
    2. Has No Children Mercy BRADFORD b: May 1627 in Plymouth Colony, Mass
    3. Has No Children Joseph BRADFORD b: 1630 in Plymouth Colony, Mass

    Marriage 2 Dorothea MAY Mayflower Pass b: ABT 1597 in Wisbeach, Cambridgeshire, England
    • Married: 10 Dec 1613 in Amsterdam, Holland
    • Note: _STATMARRIED
    1. Has No Children John BRADFORD b: ABT 1618 in Leiden, Holland

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