Monday, November 19, 2007

The Mayflower and the Speedwell

For ten years the Separatists lived in Leydon, Holland. They had moved there from Scrooby, England because of persecution. They were called Separatists because they had separated from the Church of England.

They decided to go to the New World, where they would be free to worship God in the manner they chose. They sailed from Holland to England on a ship named the Speedwell, on July 22, 1620. The docked in Southhampton, England next to a ship named the Mayflower. This ships' passengers were 60-70 others who were recruited in England to give the colony a larger population. Some were others who desired religious freedom, but most were more interested in finding success and fortune in the new land. Also on board were hired helpers, such as Captain Miles Standish.

Both the Speedwell and the Mayflower set sail on August 5, 1620. This was late in the summer to leave port as even with good weather they would not arrive until October. This is late in the year to be setting up a settlement from scratch. The winds were unfavorable and the ships could not make it out of the English Channel. The rough waters caused the passengers to become seasick. The Speedwell began to leak. Both ships were forced to head back to port, this time Dartmouth. After the repairs to the Speedwell, both ships again sailed west. After sailing about 300 miles the Speedwell began to leak again. The ships returned to port again, this time to Plymouth.

After many tests the Speedwell was determined to be unseaworthy. The Mayflower was not large enough to hold all the passengers from both ships, so 20 volunteers has to stay behind. Volunteers were not difficult to come by as they had spent nearly a month on board ship and in being seasick.

On September 6, 1620 the Mayflower again left England with 102 passengers including 33 children.


1 comment:

  1. For all who read this; Mrs. Rabe suggested to me years ago to read the Winslow Series books by Gilbert Morris. They cover all these exciting events in our history and it is where I fell in love with history!! I would recommend them as I am sure she would...

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