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William Brewster, of the "Mayflower"[1]

Male Abt 1566 - 1644  (~ 78 years)


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  • Name William Brewster  [2
    Suffix of the "Mayflower" 
    Born Abt 1566  Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Immigrated 1608  Leiden, Holland Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Immigrated 21 Nov 1620  Provincetown, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    on the "Mayflower" 
    FamilySearch LH2V-RD6 
    Died 10 Apr 1644  Duxbury, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 4
    Buried Burial Hill Cemetery, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Person ID I4315  Main
    Last Modified 23 Jul 2017 

    Family Mary, of the Mayflower,   b. 1569, England, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Apr 1627, Plymouth, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years) 
    Married 1583  Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Children 
     1. Jonathan Brewster,   b. 12 Aug 1593,   d. Yes, date unknown
    +2. Patience Brewster, of the "Anne",   b. 1603,   d. 12 Dec 1634  (Age 31 years)
    +3. Fear Brewster, of the "Anne",   b. Est 1605, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 12 Dec 1634, Plymouth, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 29 years)
     4. Love Brewster, of the Mayflower,   b. Est 1607,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. Child Brewster,   bur. 20 Jun 1609, St. Pancras, Leiden, Holland Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Wrestling Brewster,   b. Est 1611,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 15 Jul 2017 
    Family ID F1720  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Abt 1566 - Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1583 - Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigrated - 1608 - Leiden, Holland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 10 Apr 1644 - Duxbury, MA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    William Brewster
    William Brewster
    (source unknown)

  • Notes 
    • From: "Plymouth, Its History and People"

      "The Pilgrims were English Separatists who founded (1620) Plymouth Colony in New England. In the first years of the 17th century, small numbers of English Puritans broke away from the Church of England because they felt that it had not completed the work of the Reformation. They committed themselves to a life based on the Bible. Most of these Separatists were farmers, poorly educated and without social or political standing. One of the Separatist congregations was led by William Brewster and the Rev. Richard Clifton in the village of Scrooby in Nottinghamshire. The Scrooby group emigrated to Amsterdam in 1608 to escape harassment and religious persecution. The next year they moved to Leiden, where, enjoying full religious freedom, they remained for almost 12 years. In 1617, discouraged by economic difficulties, the pervasive Dutch influence on their children, and their inability to secure civil autonomy, the congregation voted to emigrate to America. Through the Brewster family's friendship with Sir Edwin Sandys, treasurer of the London Company, the congregation secured two patents authorizing them to settle in the northern part of the company's jurisdiction. Unable to finance the costs of the emigration with their own meager resources, they negotiated a financial agreement with Thomas Weston, a prominent London iron merchant. Fewer than half of the group's members elected to leave Leiden. A small ship, the Speedwell, carried them to Southampton, England, where they were to join another group of Separatists and pick up a second ship. After some delays and disputes, the voyagers regrouped at Plymouth aboard the 180-ton Mayflower. It began its historic voyage on Sept. 16, 1620, with about 102 passengers--fewer than half of them from Leiden. After a 65-day journey, the Pilgrims sighted Cape Cod on November 19. Unable to reach the land they had contracted for, they anchored (November 21) at the site of Provincetown. Because they had no legal right to settle in the region, they drew up the Mayflower Compact, creating their own government. The settlers soon discovered Plymouth Harbor, on the western side of Cape Cod Bay and made their historic landing on December 21; the main body of settlers followed on December 26. The term Pilgrim was first used by William Bradford to describe the Leiden Separatists who were leaving Holland. The Mayflower's passengers were first described as the Pilgrim Fathers in 1799. "

      From: "Plymouth, Its History and People"

      "William Brewster, b. 1567, d. Apr. 10, 1644, was a leader of the Pilgrims, who established Plymouth Colony. In England he studied briefly at Cambridge, the only Pilgrim Father to have some university training. A member of the local gentry in Scrooby, Yorkshire, he helped organize a separatist religious congregation in 1606 and financed its move to Holland in 1608. His influence was instrumental in winning the approval of the Virginia Company for the proposal to resettle the congregation in America, and he was one of the few original Scrooby separatists who sailed on the Mayflower in 1620. As the church's ruling elder in Leyden and then in Plymouth, Brewster shared with William Bradford and Edward Winslow in the leadership of the Pilgrim enterprise. "

      From "The Great Migration Begins"

      ORIGIN: Leiden, Holland

      MIGRATION: 1620 on Mayflower

      FIRST RESIDENCE: Plymouth

      REMOVES: Duxbury

      OCCUPATION: Printer (in Leiden). (George Ernest Bowman summarized what was known in 1921 about the books printed by Brewster at Leiden [ MD 23:97-105]. See also R. Breugelmans, "The Pilgrim Press and How Its Books Were Sold," in The Pilgrims in The Netherlands: Recent Research, ed. Jeremy D. Bangs [Leiden 1984], pp. 25-28.)

      CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Morison summarized Brewster's church activities prior to 1620: "One of the original members of the separatist congregation at Scrooby which became the nucleus of the Pilgrim church, he emigrated with them to Holland in 1608, and became elder and teacher of their church at Leyden" [ Morison (p4080,160,192); 368]. With no minister at the Plymouth church for most of the years before Brewster's death, he was the lay leader and preached to the congregation regularly, and continued in this manner after his move to Duxbury. In the course of relating the controversy surrounding John Lyford, Bradford recounts how "our reverend Elder hath labored diligently in dispensing the Word of God to us, before he came: and since, hath taken equal pains with himself, in preaching the same" [ Bradford (p4081,120,144); 162]. Included in the inventory of his library were "7 sermons by W B," which may have been his notes for some of his own sermons.

      FREEMAN: In "1633" Plymouth list of freemen, prior to those admitted on 1 January 1632/3 [ PCR (p4082,140,168); 1:3].

      EDUCATION: Entered Peterhouse, Cambridge, 3 December 1580, but did not graduate [ Venn (p4083,140,168); 1:213; Morison (p4084,160,192); 368]. Within the inventory of William Brewster separate listings were made of his Latin and English books, with nearly four hundred titles included; "the total of both Latin & English books amounts to the sum of 42 19s. 11d." [ MD (p4079,100,120); 3:27]. [3, 6]

  • Sources 
    1. [SAuth] John Spencer Howell, Jr., John Spencer Howell, Jr., (http://www.jhowell.com/ jhowell@jhowell.com).

    2. [S946] The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Robert Charles Anderson, (New England Historic Genealogical Society), http://www.newenglandancestors.org/research/database/great_migration/B.asp#WILLIAM_BREWSTER (Reliability: 0).

    3. [S946] The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Robert Charles Anderson, (New England Historic Genealogical Society).

    4. [S992] Mayflower Descendant - Vol 1, (Volume 1 through present (1899-1937, 1985)), 1:7 (Reliability: 0).

    5. [S1701] FamilySearch Family Tree (http://www.familysearch.org), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ((http://www.familysearch.org)), accessed 23 Jul 2017), entry for William Brewster, person ID LH2V-RD6. (Reliability: 3).

    6. [S1031] Plymouth, Its History and People, (http://pilgrims.net/plymouth/history/), http://pilgrims.net/plymouth/history/ (Reliability: 0).