• Jane Dexter

The Mayflower Sets Sail – 15th September 1620...


On this day the famous Mayflower departs from Plymouth, England transporting 102 English Puritans (Pilgrims) to the New World, namely America.

It’s not known when and where the Mayflower was built, but it is likely that she was launched at Harwich in the county of Essex, England. She was designated as "of Harwich" in the Port Books of 1609–11, although later known as "of London".

On November 9, 1620, they sighted present-day Cape Cod. They spent several days trying to sail south to their planned destination of the Colony of Virginia, however, strong winter seas forced them to return to the harbour at Cape Cod hook, well north of the intended area, where they anchored on November 11. The settlers wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact after the ship dropped anchor at Cape Cod, in what is now Provincetown Harbour, in order to establish legal order and to quell increasing strife within the ranks.

According to the Mayflower passenger list, just over a third of the passengers were Puritan Separatists who sought to break away from the established Church of England and create a society along the lines of their religious ideals. Others were hired hands, servants, or farmers recruited by London merchants, all originally destined for the Colony of Virginia. Four of this latter group of passengers were small children given into the care of Mayflower pilgrims as indentured servants.

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