Popular History Confronting the Professional Yes, Maybe, But ...

From time to time, especially towards the Thanksgiving season, I am asked to comment on drafts of books or articles about the Pilgrims. Usually, when alerted to problems of fact or interpretation, authors or editors modify passages, but not always. Some interpretive habits must be well-loved even without any historical basis. One example is the nineteenth-century romantic novelist's myth of Dorothy Bradford's supposed suicide. That continues to reappear because some people think nowadays that being depressed about arriving at Cape Cod in 1620 is an expectable and understandable reaction. Popular psychology thus invents a voice for the silence of the past. Considering the Pilgrims' strong religious beliefs, I think that it is unlikely that a suicide among the faithful would have been passed by without a word of interpretation. Another practically ineradicable myth is the idea that Myles Standish was a courageous, trusty outsider who remained aloof from the Pilgrims' religion. The journalist George Willison emphasized this notion in 1945, writing that, "Alone of the Pilgrim leaders, [Standish] never joined the church at Plymouth. His name is conspicuously absent from its records and rolls. Nowhere is he listed among the communicants." As I remark in my article, "Myles Standish, Born Where," a couple of reasons could account for the absence of Standish's name in the Plymouth church records. One is that there are no lists of communicants. Standish moved away from Plymouth about forty years before the Plymouth church records in fact begin. He died eleven years before the first entries. Furthermore, no one who was already a member in Leiden had to "join" the church at Plymouth. And there is no evidence that Standish was not a member in Leiden. Such a statement rests, however, on two negatives. Yet they do not form a positive to the effect that there is evidence that he was a member. Instead, there is just as much circumstantial indication of his having been a member as there is for most of the rest of the church. If there were lists, they may have been in the first pages of William Bradford's Letter Book, that after much destruction now begins on page 339.

Documentary evidence unfortunately fails to provide us with the wealth of insight into attitude, mood, and self-contemplation that we might prefer. Nonetheless, there is plenty of opportunity for fashionable explanations of the past by the application of popular psychological notions. The Pilgrims' experience as exiles in Leiden can be understood in terms of psychological or sociological truisms about the effects of displacement on identity. The social development of their colony is best understood through the concept of tribalism. King Philip's War is to be understood most deeply as an identity crisis rather than a response to loss and restriction of land use. So we may think.

Popular history takes many forms in attempting to connect the past with our own experiences. The Pilgrims are important because in some way or other their experiences were formative in the development of the modern American psyche. Last year, in The Times, a journalist announced that the Pilgrims were England's seventeenth-century terrorists, a group of Talibanish tyrants attempting to establish a fundamentalist theocracy. (For this article and my reaction:),,923-1740910_1,00.html

And costume drama puts on the appearance of the past while inevitably proceeding to act from a very modern conception of motivations and social interaction. Spurious dialogue emphasizes popular simplifications. The professional historian can be used as a stock figure — the expert who talks — but rarely has a chance to correct the preconceptions of the journalist or film producer, or to be understood as more expert than the random local amateur or self-proclaimed ethnic representative given equal presentation status in the final version.

The historian can refuse to participate — or can attempt to help edit away the most obvious inaccuracies. A footnote of thanks may represent hours of corrective work. It's all part of the public service one expects to perform. Not long ago, however, I provided detailed commentary to try to salvage an article that would appear in a major popular history magazine, and I allowed the editor to read some chapters of a book I'm writing about the Pilgrims, Leiden, and the early years of Plymouth Plantation. The editor wrote a letter thanking me extensively for help in revising the article but surprisingly stated that the magazine does not print acknowledgements. The resulting article may therefore be misleading as regards authorial competence.

I'm not sure what the best response is. But one possibility is simply to share the first two chapters of my book with a wider audience. I thank the Pennsylvania Society of Mayflower Descendants for the opportunity to publish these chapters on their website.

Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs
Leiden, The Netherlands

Chapter 1

Disordered and Unlawful Conventicles1

by Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs © 2006

The Deluge

On the clear morning of Tuesday, January 20, 1607, a huge wave backed up from the southwestern English coast, appeared to gather strength, then crashed in, breaking over the shores from Devon up the Bristol Channel and the Severn River, flooding inland as far as fourteen miles and submerging more than thirty villages in England and Wales from Cardiff to Gloucester.2 Four villages in Somerset were "swallowed up" by the waters, according to contemporary accounts. Coastal towns like Weston-super-Mare were hit first, but riverside villages inland, like Congresbury and Wrington, were flooded before alarms could be raised. Towns beyond the constricting narrows of the Bristol Channel were overcome by even higher waves at increasing speeds, as fast as thirty-eight miles an hour. The dead numbered over two thousand when terrified survivors started counting the corpses of lost family members, servants, neighbors, and friends.

A pamphlet of the time described "mighty hilles of water tombling over one another in such sort as if the greatest mountains in the world had overwhelmed the lowe villages or marshy grounds. Sometimes it dazzled many of the spectators that they imagined it had bin some fogge or mist coming with great swiftness towards them and with such a smoke as if mountains were all on fire, and to the view of some it seemed as if myriads of thousands of arrows had been shot forth all at one time." Professors Simon Haslett and Ted Bryant, in 2002, recognized this event would now be called a tsunami. Images of the Asian tsunami of 2004 astonish us with the staggering force of what we name "nature." In 1607, people who understood minor unexpected occurrences as unnatural events with portentous power were certain that this destructive wave was the punishing hand of God.

Scrooby, Parish Church

"God's warning to His people of England, by the great overflowing of the waters or floudes lately hapned in South-wales, and many other places," was how William Jones interpreted the event in his description published in London that year.3 "Lamentable newes out of Monmouthshire in VVales Contayning, the wonderfull and most fearefull accidents of the great ouerflowing of waters in the saide countye, drowning of infinite numbers of cattell of all kinds, as sheepe, oxen, kine and horses, with others: together with the losse of many men, women and children, and the subuersion of xxvi parishes in Ianuary last 1607" was the title of another, anonymous, pamphlet also issued in London, where news of the disaster had arrived by mid-February.4

Small signs of mercy were discovered in tales of miraculous survival. A baby placed high on a roof beam in an attempt to save it from the flooding filling the house survived the cold of the night because a chicken flew up to the same perch and provided warmth. A cat saved another infant by rocking the floating cradle they shared so that the waves did not swamp the little vessel. But others in the devastated region found only death — death of people, of livestock, of the idea that all was well with their part of the world.

Alexander Carpenter and his family left Wrington before the flooding, but as an exile he must have pondered the destruction of his former home when news reached the English community in Amsterdam.5 We meet the Carpenter family later in Leiden, as members of John Robinson's congregation that had tried to flee to the Low Countries in 1607 and succeeded by the summer of 1608. But in 1607 people had to attempt to understand why God had punished England.

John Foxe, in his Book of Martyrs (first published in 1559 in Latin and translated, emended, and reprinted continuously), succinctly stated the prevailing opinion of how such disasters were related to religious experience: "accordying to [th]e state of the Churche, the dispostition of the common wealthe commonly is guyded, either to be with aduersitie afflicted or elles in prosperitie to flourishe."6

Earlier warnings were recognized. 33,000 people had died of the plague in London in 1603.7 Villages near Scrooby in Nottinghamshire, where the Pilgrim movement was beginning, also recorded unusually high numbers of deaths at about the same time. At Sutton-cum-Lound, for example, thirty-one burials occurred in 1602, more than twice the number in the previous year, and more than three and a half times as many as two years earlier.8 Next to Scrooby at the tiny village of Mattersey, there were 14 deaths in 1603, preceded by three years with 2, 4, and 9, and followed by years with 5, 5, 4, 5, 6, 8, and then 14 burials in 1610. In the village of Everton, also adjacent to Scrooby, 29 people died in 1602, while in other years the number was no more than half that.9 At Blyth the year with the highest mortality at this time was 1607, when 47 people died. There had been 40 deaths in 1601, but in the other years from 1600 to 1610 the numbers were usually much lower.10 East Retford saw 31 people die in 1602, with far fewer in other years.11These are the villages in the area near Scrooby, where the Pilgrim congregation formed by covenant around 1605-1606. Unfortunately, records of burials in Scrooby itself are not preserved from this time.

Scrooby, the parish church where William Brewster preached in 1598

Repentance was required, and a renewed attempt to lead a godly life, but the signs of impending judgement did not cease. The summer of 1607 was unusually hot and dry, with resulting crop failures.12 Then, beginning in mid-September, a comet appeared in the western sky, seen in Germany, the Low Countries, and England. The tail pointed east, as the star appeared at midnight, bright at first but gradually diminishing until it faded away in October.13 Some important change was expected. (Comets had signalled the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and the Norman Conquest in 1066. Later it would be discovered that this was the same comet, now called Haley's Comet.) But in the early years of the seventeenth century, scientific analysis was absent and people thought that the signs of God's displeasure continued. The sickness that had returned to Blyth in 1607 was noticed again in London towards the end of the year, and people living in infected places were forbidden to come to the Court.14 By 1608, the plague returned to the capital city in epidemic strength. Theaters were closed to try to reduce contamination in crowds. In the summer, crops again failed.15


James I, painting attributed to John de Critz, c. 1620

Tribulations were the expression of God's testing of the faithful, according to the self-described godly. Their troubles had been increasing in the decades leading up to the death of Queen Elizabeth I on March 24, 1603. But it had been worse a generation earlier. Under Elizabeth's predecessor, her half-sister Mary Tudor, Protestants had had to flee the deadly persecutions that accompanied the re-imposition of Roman Catholicism. The religious tyranny was international and part of an attempt to suppress Protestantism throughout Europe. "Bloody Mary" had been married to the King of Spain, Philip II, the murderous oppressor of Protestants in the Low Countries. Among her victims, nearly three hundred Protestant martyrs, the most famous were Hugh Latimer (the Bishop of Worcester), Nicholas Ridley (the Bishop of Rochester), and Thomas Cranmer, (the Archbishop of Canterbury). Their deaths were not forgotten.

After Mary Tudor died in 1558, with the Protestant Elizabeth as queen, around eight hundred Puritans came back to England from exile in Geneva, Frankfurt, Emden, and elsewhere, with excited hopes for a further reformation of the Anglican church according to Calvinist ideas of what the church's institutional structure should be. Elizabeth, instead, returned the Church of England to the earlier Protestant reforms instituted by her father Henry VIII and her half-brother Edward VI. Mary had revoked those changes to re-impose conformity with the Roman Catholic church and subordination to the Pope. In the decades just before her, Henry and Edward's advisors had rejected Roman control and had reconstituted the Church of England so that the monarch was its head, with supervisory authority over the bishops. Historians had proven that the situation in the early church under Constantine and later emperors had been like this, before the bishops of Rome had gathered political authority to themselves several hundred years later. Lorenzo Valla and other writers had demonstrated a century earlier that the "Donation of Constantine" — the document on which papal political power was based — was a forgery from a much later period, concocted to justify the popes' assumption of earthly authority. Martin Luther and all other Protestants were well aware that this proof of the deceit vitiated the popes' claim to be sovereign over all emperors, kings, and princes. King Henry VIII's advisors, English bishops, understood the implications of the deception. In his very widely read Book of Martyrs, John Foxe summarized the textual analysis that revealed the falsity of the documentary foundation of papal power; and he provided details of the historical evidence that, in the "primitive" church of the first several centuries, no pope was recognized as having superiority over other bishops, and certainly not over all Christendom. The Anglican reforms carried out by Henry VIII and his bishops represented very consciously a return to the recorded historical polity of the early church as it had been established and had developed through the time of the first eight church councils (i.e. until ca.870-80 A.D.).16 Elizabeth had no tolerance, however, for the Puritans desire to purify the national church by returning to their interpretation of its earliest form, in the time of the apostles, before Christianity had become an official religion coordinated by Roman political power. In that earliest period, the churches had been independent of government control.

Queen Elizabeth's policy was to require conformity to the English liturgy in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer and adherence to the Protestant doctrines expressed in the Church of England's Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, as well as to insist on subordination to the established hierarchy of bishops, inherited from the medieval church. What had originally been optional among lesser rules, such as that ministers should wear particular types of caps and over-robes (surplices) during communion services, became strict requirements. Obedience to authority was considered to be of over-riding importance, even when the particular rule (such as what hat to wear) had no intrinsic theological meaning. Clergy who refused these rules were called non-conformists, and those who opposed the role of bishops and the state religion were anti-establishment (a term that refers to the position of the church and its hierarchy as established legally by the state). Nearly a hundred of these dissenters were deprived of their positions as paid clergy. Many continued to preach anyway, unofficially, hoping for general reform soon to confirm the justice of their opinions. Not separating from the Church of England, they were called "puritans."

Moreover, beyond the aims of the Puritans within the Church of England (including those deprived of their positions who wanted to return to serve that church as soon as further reform came), a few small groups had separated and declared that the concept of a national church was itself not acceptable. These "Separatists" formed independent congregations whose leaders could be, and were, accused of sedition because they denied the authority of the monarch to be head of any church. One of the first ministers to spread these ideas in print was Robert Browne (who had studied at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge), from whom the Separatists got the name "Brownists."17 They felt compelled by the Word of God to speak out against what they identified as abuses within the church and the nation claiming divine authority to rebuke the monarch. Browne's "Treatise of Reformation without tarying for anie" was published in Middelburg (Zeeland, Netherlands) in 1582 or 1583.18 The Separatists were not going to wait.

In 1593, two leaders associated with the Separatist congregation in Southwark (now part of London south of the Thames River), Henry Barrowe and John Greenwood, were executed. A third escaped after five years' imprisonment — the pastor Francis Johnson, who joined many of the Southwark congregation who had fled before him to Amsterdam.

Henry Barrowe studied at Clare College, Cambridge, receiving a B.A. in 1569-1570. Ten years later he responded to a sermon he heard by becoming, first, an ardent Puritan, then a convinced Separatist. Visiting John Greenwood in prison, Barrowe was arrested in 1586. In the next five and a half years he produced several defenses and explanations of Separatism, that were published in Holland. Barrowe was judicially murdered together with John Greenwood on April 6, 1593.

John Greenwood took his B.A. at Cambridge's Corpus Christi College in 1581. He was ordained in the Church of England but renounced that ordination before becoming a leader of the Separatist congregation in Southwark. He was arrested and imprisoned in 1586. In 1592 came his election to be the Southwark congregation's "teacher" (assistant to the pastor, Francis Johnson), when Greenwood was briefly released from jail. Soon he was re-arrested and then killed by the government. Greenwood was a Cambridge contemporary of the future Pilgrim leader William Brewster, who entered Peterhouse College in 1580.

Another contemporary of Brewster's was John Penry, who matriculated at Peterhouse in December, 1580, and received his B.A. in 1584.19 Being together in the same college, the acquaintance of the two men is indisputable. Penry, from Wales, urged that measures be taken to provide preachers in that country. Not ordained, he nevertheless was licensed to preach at both Cambridge and, later, at Oxford, where he took the M.A. at St. Alban's Hall in 1586. In 1588-1589 he was accused of being instrumental in the production of the satirical anti-establishment Marprelate tracts, that were issued using a portable printing press set up at different places to avoid discovery. Penry's exact role remains unclear, as he denied the charge. Although the printing material was captured in August, 1589, Penry escaped to Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1592 he returned to London and preached in the Separatist congregation whose leaders, Johnson and Greenwood, had been arrested and imprisoned. Penry, too, was arrested, then executed on May 29, 1593, on charges of sedition. Penry's pursuers were the extremely anti-Puritan Richard Bancroft (then canon of Westminster Abbey and prebendary of St. Paul's Cathedral) and John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury, who signed Penry's death warrant. (Although Cambridge is accurately considered a center of Puritan thought, simplistic conclusions are discouraged by the realization that Cambridge was also where Bancroft and Whitgift studied. Evidently, some people in close contact with the Cambridge Puritans grew to dislike them intently.)20

The Act against Puritans, 1593

Whitgift inspired the government's passage of The Act Against Puritans of 1593.21This law made it a felony to be absent from or to refuse to attend established church services for more than a month, "without lawful cause," as well as to encourage anyone else to stay away, whether verbally or in writing. Also illegal was "to deny, withstand, and impugn her majesty's power and authority in causes ecclesiastical." Attendance was forbidden at "any such assemblies, conventicles, or meetings, under colour or pretence of any such exercise of religion, contrary to the laws and statutes of this realm," on pain of imprisonment without bail, until the prisoners "shall conform and yield themselves to come to some church, chapel, or usual place of common prayer, and hear divine service, according to her majesty's laws and statutes aforesaid, and to make such open submission and declaration of their said conformity, as hereafter in this Act is declared and appointed." Anyone convicted of the crime who refused to conform would, after three months' refusal, be banished out of England.

A form for confession, that could be made in any parish church and would serve to cancel the charges brought under the act, was provided for contrite offenders who agreed to conform. "'I, A. B., do humbly confess and acknowledge, that I have grievously offended God in condemning her majesty's godly and lawful government and authority, by absenting myself from church, and from hearing divine service, contrary to the godly laws and statutes of this realm, and in using and frequenting disordered and unlawful conventicles and assemblies, under pretence and colour of exercise of religion: and I am heartily sorry for the same, and do acknowledge and testify in my conscience that no other person has or ought to have any power or authority over her majesty: and I do promise and protest, without any dissimulation, or any colour or means of any dispensation, that from henceforth I will from time to time obey and perform her majesty's laws and statutes, in repairing to the church and hearing divine service, and do my uttermost endeavour to maintain and defend the same.'" Providing shelter to anyone who was an offender under this act was itself a crime, punishable with a heavy fine of ten pounds a month. Dissenting family members, however, were excluded from consideration, because of the common obligation to provide for ones relatives. Similarly, children did not lose their rights of inheritance, and a wife did not lose her dower rights, in the estate of anyone who was convicted of this crime, although the offender's property of all sorts was to be confiscated during his lifetime.

The act of 1593 was vigorously enforced, especially after Richard Bancroft became Bishop of London in 1597 and took on many of the administrative tasks of the Archbishop, whose ill health necessitated assistance. As Patrick Collinson observes, "For the remainder of the reign, puritanism was effectively outlawed by a government vigilant against the least overt demonstration of the old radical spirit. In Norwich in 1596, the bishop and his fellow ecclesiastical commissioners suspended a minister [...] and imposed on him a public penance for the offence of merely possessing a 'seditious' presbyterian sermon [...]"22 Collinson continues, "As Elizabeth's reign at last approached its conclusion, Josias Nichols described how the godly ministers, finding 'the mighty winds and strong stream' against them, had reserved themselves 'to a better time, when it should please his gracious wisdom to make his own truth to appear, and to move the minds of our superiors to be more favorable.'"23 The Puritans had reason to hope the better time would be brought in by Queen Elizabeth's successor, and they hoped that the new monarch would be James VI of Scotland, who had a legitimate claim to England's throne and who had been the king for thirty-six years, of a presbyterian country.

Babworth, Parish Church of All Saints

Not all, however, chose the wisdom of reticent patience. At Scrooby in Nottinghamshire, Cambridge-trained William Brewster, later to become famous as the leading layman in the Pilgrim congregation, began his preaching career by giving unauthorized sermon commentaries in the village church of St. Wilfrid. At Easter, 1598, in a required report to the archdeaconry about non-compliance with the new laws to suppress the Puritans, the Scrooby "churchwardens and swornmen" entered a complaint that their curate, Mr. Henrie Jones, was lax about wearing the surplice. More important was that William Brewster was "repeating sermons publicly in the church without authority." Brewster and his wife and family are named with several other people who were offending by attending other churches during the services and sermons at Scrooby. No doubt, Brewster and the others were going to Babworth and Bawtry, where Richard Clyfton could be heard preaching. Brewster's Scrooby friends were "Roland Stringer and his wife and family," as well as "Richard Jackson and his wife and family, Anthonie Bentam, Edward Bentam, William Bradley and John Bett." Stringer and his wife and John Bett were also noted for failure to take communion at Scrooby.24We may see here the names of the earliest members of the Scrooby Separatist congregation that was to meet a few years later in the manor house where the Brewster and Jackson families lived. But for the moment, in 1598, Brewster and his friends were evidently still working for reformation within the existing parish churches (although not just in their local parish).

This presentment is the first documentary reference to the independent preaching that would inspire the Pilgrim migration. The text in full can be given.

xxviie Aprilis 1598

{wm. Throope} } wm. Benson }
gard. } jurat
{Edward Sliued} } Raphe Chompney }
To the firste 2.3. theie haue nothinge to p[rese]nte
To the 4 theie p[rese]nte that theie lacke the paraphrases of
Erasmus & the table of the tenne commaundements [...?]
To the nynthe theire curat Mr Henrie Jones dothe not alwaies
weare the surplesse but for the moste p[ar]te & at the ministra
c[i]on of the sacramente he dothe use it.
To the 21 theie p[rese]nte will[ia]m Bruster for repeatinge of sermons
publiquelie in the churche w[it]hout authoritie for anie thinge
theie knowe
To the 31 theie p[rese]nte ["that" stricken out] Mr Rowland Stringer his wyfe & famelie
will[ia]m Bruster his wyfe & famelie Richard Jackson his wyfe
& famelie Anthonie Bentam & Edward Bentam & Wm. Bradley
for resortinge to other churches in service & sermon tyme
[inserted] & John Bett
To the 33 theie p[rese]nte Rowland Stringer and his wyfe for
Not receavinge the communion at Scroobie otherwise all is
well. But what is in question at yorke betweene Wm. Benson
& Elizabeth wrighte who hath defamed the said Wm. For
fornicac[i]on committed w[i]th her
[signed with marks and one signature:] R M
B X V [inverted]
Jo: Tibberde25

Bawtry, Church of St. Nicholas

In 1960, Ronald A. Marchant, a scholar with unsurpassed knowledge of the ecclesiastical court records from the diocese of York, discovered Brewster's defense in answer to the charges. Marchant considered it likely that the Puritans had been organized at Scrooby and Bawtry for some years before the 1598 presentment, "at least from the time that Brewster returned home" from his employment in London as a secretary to Sir William Davison.26 Brewster responded in court on June 17, 1598, "[...] as touchinge the repeatinge of sermons he with others doe note the sermons delivered by the preacher and in the afternoone they that have noted doe confer with one another what they have noted or lost [= left] unnoted and otherwyse they have no repetition, and to the rest of the presentment he sayeth that the two townes of Bawtree and Scroobie do maynteyne one preacher between them who preaches one sundaye at the one towne, and at the other towne on the next sundaye by a continuall course, so that yf their preacher preache at Bawtrie he with other of the parish of Scroobie goe thither to heare him, and otherwyse he doth not absent him selfe from his parish churche on the Sabothe daye." Brewster and Anthony and Edward Bentham, who had appeared with him in court, received only an admonition.27

King James and the Confrontation at Hampton Court

On hearing the news of Queen Elizabeth's death, James Stuart, King of Scotland, immediately travelled south to be acclaimed as England's new king. On his way to London from Scotland by the Great North Road, James was met on April 3 by a delegation of Puritans.28 They introduced themselves as "the ministers of the gospel in this land," who were appearing, "neither as factious men affecting a popular parity in the Church, nor as schismatics aiming at the dissolution of the State ecclesiastical, but as the faithful servants of Christ and loyal subjects to your majesty, [who were] desiring and longing for the redress of divers abuses of the Church. We," said they, "could do no less in our obedience to God, service to your majesty, [and] love to His Church, than acquaint your princely majesty with our particular griefs." Who were they? They said they represented "more than a thousand of your majesty's subjects and ministers, all groaning as under a common burden of human rites and ceremonies." The claim of representing more than a thousand voices gave rise to the name "Millenary Petition" by which this submission is now known. Their "griefs" they summarized in four numbered paragraphs.

The first lists practices in Church of England's services to which the Puritans objected: making the sign of the cross over infants being baptized, questions put to children too young to answer, confirmation — these were "superfluous." The petitioners disliked the practice that midwives could baptise when the newborn was in danger of dying. (As one of two recognized sacraments, baptism should be administered by an ordained minister, they thought. Allowing midwives to baptize implied a continuation of the Roman Catholic concept of limbo, an imaginative but non-biblical answer to the question of where the souls of unbaptized infants go after death.) The Puritan clergy objected to the pressure exerted on them to wear the "cap and surplice" (liturgical garments like Roman Catholic vestments). They wanted a sermon to be preached whenever communion was administered in the churches. Church music was to be improved for "better edification." The wanted an end to profanation of the Sabbath. Roman Catholic hold-overs, such as the use of a wedding ring in marriage ceremonies, and the habit of bowing when the name of Jesus was said, they wanted abolished. Finally, they wanted only the Old and New Testament to be read in churches, without including the Apocryphal books.

The second paragraph urges that no one be admitted to the ministry except "able and sufficient men" who would preach "diligently." Incompetent clergy already in place should be pensioned or, if rich enough, required to pay others to preach in their churches.29 Ministers should be allowed to marry, as they had been in the time of King Edward VI; and the clergy should not have to subscribe to anything beyond the [39] Articles of Religion and the "king's supremacy."

The third paragraph elaborates on the mixed topic of supporting preaching financially, and of breaking up the wealth of ecclesiastical officials who possessed the income from more than one church simultaneously. The consolidation in the hands of one person, of income that had been intended to support several ministers, irked Puritans.

Finally, the Puritans asked "that the discipline and excommunication may be administered according to Christ's own institution [...] not [...] under the name of lay persons, chancellors, officials, &c." Here the petitioners implicitly stated that discipline as administered in the Church of England was not according to Christ's own institution. Several other administrative reforms were proposed, including "that the oath Ex Officio, whereby men are forced to accuse themselves, be more sparingly used."

"These, with such other abuses yet remaining and practised in the Church of England, we are able to show not to be agreeable to the Scriptures, if it shall please your highness further to hear us, or more at large by writing to be informed, or by conference among the learned to be resolved."

James responded by calling a conference later in the year, where representatives of the Puritan faction within the Church of England could present their views. He was apparently willing to listen, but to listen only in the presence of a council of advisors including several bishops and other officials of the episcopal hierarchy who were antagonistic to their Puritan colleagues. Some of the Puritans, he knew, had published opinions in his favor, describing him as the best candidate for the succession that would come after Queen Elizabeth died.

Puritans hoped for royal support. In August, at Norwich, John Robinson (later the Pilgrim Separatists' pastor) preached on the text, "This is the day which the Lord hath made." He used the sermon to attack the continued presence in the Church of England of incompetent ministers, and to complain of other problems in church and state.30 Robinson called on the congregation to thank God "for sending hym [King James] to raigne over us, by whose raigne there is great hope of the contynuaunce of peace and the gospell to be preached." Someone who took notes about the sermon wrote that Robinson "shewed unto the people that for their synnes God would take a waie their prince and king from them if they did not tourne to the Lord and repent them and shewed examples out of the scriptures of God's punishment and judgment that waie, and then reckoned upp the synnes in this land and negligence of Magistrates not punishing the same as they ought to be, and so begann and cryed out against unlearned ministers calling them dombe dogges and their unlawfull calling: then against comon lawyers [...]" From these remarks we see that Robinson also expected good things to come from King James, and that he used the threat of God's wrath to inspire fear and repentance among his listeners.

Threatening God's vengeance was an aspect of a view of God as an external interferer in human affairs. Natural disasters were typically interpreted as evidence of God's punishing intervention, but the proper identification of what sins inspired the punishment was open to the speculation of ministers and common folk alike. The belief that all mankind was sinful since Adam's fall, and that God punished specific sins — with natural disasters for society's sins and illness or accidents for personal sins — and that fallen mankind could not avoid sinning, is the fundamental source of Puritans' anxiety about the need to accomplish reformation within the church, as well as personal moral improvement, to reach as closely as possible the ideal Christianity described as the life of the New Testament church. Robinson said nothing unheard of, although his vehemence may have been startling. That God might take away a monarch favoring reform as punishment for the people's indifference to the gospel had been the theme of a (published) sermon by John Bradford in 1553, after the death of King Edward VI. John Bradford recalled God's punishments meted out and recorded in the Old Testament, then informed his audience that "The sweating sickness of the other year, the storms the winter following, call upon us to weigh them in the same balances. The hanging and killing of men themselves, which are (alas!) too rife in all places, require us to register them in the same rolls. At the least in children, infants, and such like, which cannot yet utter sin by word or deed, we see God's anger against sin in punishing them by sickness, death, mishap, or otherwise, so plainly that we cannot but groan and lament again, in that we have gushed out this more abundantly in word and deed."

"And here with me a little look on God's anger yet so fresh, that we cannot but smell it, although we stop our noses never so much; I pray God we smell it not more fresh hereafter." Continuing, John Bradford makes his point about the death of King Edward VI. "You all know he was but a child in years; defiled he was not with notorious offences. [...] nay, rather adorned with so many goodly gifts and wonderful qualities, as never prince was from the beginning of the world. [...] This gift God gave unto us Englishmen before all nations under the sun, and that of his exceeding love towards us. But, alas, and well away, for our unthankfulness' sake, for our sin's sake, for our carnality, and profane living, God's anger has touched not only the body, but also the mind of our king by a long sickness, and at length has taken him away by death, death cruel death, fearful death." John Bradford himself was taken away in the return to Catholicism under Bloody Mary, first to prison, where he continued to preach, and in the end by burning at the stake on January 31, 1555.31

Because of the plague still endangering London in the last months of 1603, the conference to be held in November was rescheduled for three days in 1604 — January 14, 16, and 18; and it was held about fifteen miles outside London at Hampton Court. Four moderate Puritans were invited to present their requests for changes. John Reynolds (Dean of Lincoln Cathedral and president of Corpus Christi College, Oxford), Lawrence Chaderton (Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge), John Knewstub (Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge), and Thomas Sparke (Oxford-trained minister at Bletchley, Buckinghamshire). They were not, however, allowed to speak during the first day's session. Archbishop John Whitgift, with his assistant Richard Bancroft (who had become Bishop of London), and seven other bishops, as well as six deans and members of the Privy Council, stood with the king at the Hampton Court Conference, influencing the reception of the Puritans' pleas for reform, sometimes through sarcastic retorts. Their prejudice and that of the king himself against Puritans was strongly evident. Bancroft even attempted to silence the Puritans, because of an existing rule that schismatics were not to be given the chance to speak. The king, however, disallowed Bancroft's objection, having selected and invited the representatives of the Puritans who obviously were not schismatically inclined but, rather, wanted to stay within a church to be reformed according to their theological ideas. As for structural reform, the king repeated a slogan for which the conference is now remembered, "No bishop, no king."

Numerous people besides the participants were invited to hear the decisions proclaimed at the conference's conclusion. Minor changes in wording of the Book of Common Prayer were accepted. Puritan demands that the sign of the cross not be used at baptism, and that the surplice not be obligatory, were rejected. "If these be the greatest matters you be grieued with, I neede not haue bin troubled with such importunities and complaints," was the king's own complaint. Reynolds' suggestion that a new translation of the Bible be undertaken was accepted, and the result became known as the King James Version of the Bible (first published in 1611). Some enthusiastic Puritans were disappointed in the failure of their hopes that the new king, James I, would alter the Church of England in the direction of presbyterianism. He stated that presbyterianism "as well agreeth with a Monarchy as God and the Devill." (The evident transposition of the order of terms creates an ironic parallelism.) The related desire to impose a strictly Calvinistic interpretation on the formulation of the doctrine of predestination in the Thirty-Nine Articles, by adding the restrictive language of the Lambeth Articles (1595), was a point in which the Puritan spokesmen were supported by Archbishop Whitgift, who had been rebuffed by Queen Elizabeth in his earlier attempt to have the Lambeth Articles promulgated. The king, however, rejected the idea, never having heard of the Lambeth Articles. His answer was that "when such questions arise among scholars, the quietest proceeding were, to determine them in the universities, and not to stuff the book [of Common Prayer] with all conclusions theological."32

As an alternative, King James imposed an even-handed settlement of the question of predestination, suggested by John Overall, Bishop of Norwich: "although predestination and election depend not upon any qualities, actions, or works of man, which be mutable, but upon God his eternal and immutable decree and purpose; yet such is the necessity of repentance, after known sins committed, as that, without it, there could not be either reconciliation with God or remission of those sins." Salvation thus depended on "the necessary conjoining [of] repentance and holiness of life with true faith."33 This bland formulation was not, however, what Calvinists influenced by Calvin's Genevan successor Theodor Beza wanted to hear, whether of the Puritan or the episcopal party. The issue of predestination would return in louder arguments both in England and in Holland, as theologians tried to reconcile the concept of an interventionist God with the Greek definition of perfection that made it necessary to conceive God and his decrees to be eternal and immutable. More importantly in 1604, the structural reform of the episcopal hierarchy that Puritans wanted was anathematized by the king. As he left the conference, King James I, who had been the Puritans' hope, concluded, "if this bee al that they haue to say, I shall make them conform themselves, or I will harrie them out of the land, or else doe worse."

Conformity Enforced

In mid-July, the king announced in the House of Commons that no further alterations in religion would be countenanced. Clergy were required to subscribe to an oath of submission to a list of one hundred forty-one "canons" collected by Bancroft, approved by a Convocation of Bishops in the Province of Canterbury (roughly the southern half of England), and issued a few months after the conference at Hampton Court. Canons were rules that applied to the church and its officials, including several intended to suppress the Puritan tendencies towards structural reform. Although they did not have the force of law binding on non-clergy, the king's proclamation in mid-July, that he would enforce clergy to conform by the end of November, or lose their jobs, was a clear signal that Puritans' hopes for royal support had been vain.

Francis Johnson and Henry Ainsworth, independently of the Puritans, had come to London from Amsterdam with hopes of obtaining an audience with the king to present a justification of their Separatist congregation's views about the need to reform the Church of England, and to obtain permission to return to England with freedom to worship in their own way. After some meetings with lower officials and after submitting a summary of their views for discussion, Johnson and Ainsworth accomplished nothing and had to return to Amsterdam.34 Catholics had also hoped that the new king would, if not re-establish their church, at least enlarge the bounds of the very limited, suspicious toleration of Catholics that existed towards lay adherents of a religion whose priests were outlawed. Frustrated by their hopes' disappointment in the new ruler, some Catholics plotted to explode large barrels of gunpowder under the Parliament when it re-opened in the presence of the king, on November 5, 1605. Known now as the Guy Fawkes plot (after the name of one of the conspirators), or The Gunpowder Plot, this attempt to kill the Protestant monarch succeeded only in increasing suspicion that all Catholics' subordination to the rule of Rome made them potential enemies of the state of England. The Pope indisputably attempted to instigate murder of Europe's Protestant rulers and he supported military attempts to force re-Catholicization of Protestant countries. The assassination of Prince William of Orange in The Netherlands (1584) was carried out with the approval of the Pope and of the Hapsburg Holy Roman Emperor. Fear that some English Catholics supported the overthrow of the government was entirely legitimate. King James responded to the gunpowder plot, however, with vehemence towards both Catholics and Puritans. He considered them equally to be dangerous threats to political and religious stability. In his published explanation and defense of a newly imposed oath of loyalty that was supposed to identify disloyal Catholics, King James turned to the topic of Protestants favoring presbyteries (governing conferences of equal-status parish clergy) instead of supervision by bishops, "As I ever maintained the state of Bishops, and the Ecclesiasticall Hierarchie for order sake; so was I euer an enemy to the confused Anarchie or paritie of the Puritanes [...]"35

At the same time, Richard Bancroft succeeded John Whitgift as Archbishop of Canterbury, principal leader of the entire Church of England (including its structure of ecclesiastical courts) and personally subordinate only to the king. Faced with subversion from Roman Catholics and from Puritans, Bancroft vigorously pursued the enforcement of conformity. Churchwardens everywhere were compelled to make more frequent reports about the state of their congregations. The reports were recorded in "presentment" books that caught both Puritans and recusants (Catholics refusing to swear loyalty to the king and to abjure the pope). Those "presented" had to appear in the ecclesiastical courts to submit or be punished.36

Worksop Priory Church, where Richard Bernard preached

In 1605 and 1606, ministers refusing to sign the Act of Conformity were deprived of their pastoral duties and ejected from their livings. Attitudes towards the new strictness were shifting and various. The number ejected throughout England is estimated at around ninety, although initially another two hundred refused to subscribe before later changing their minds. One argument against conformity was that some of the requirements were not matters of great significance and that therefore they should be left to personal preference (such as wearing the surplice or the cap). Against this it was argued that, if these were truly matters of indifference, people who thought the topics insignificant had no reason in principle to refuse to go along with the rules.37 The discussion then shifted to the question of whether or not the church's bishops and their courts should properly be recognized as having authority to enforce conformity on such issues at all, and that led to the question whether the king as a civil ruler should have authority over the church. To answer either of those questions negatively was to take a step towards separation. Certainly among those deprived and ejected were Richard Clyfton, vicar of Babworth, Henry Gray, curate at Bawtry, John Smyth, formerly city preacher at Lincoln, Richard Bernard, vicar of Worksop, Robert Southworth, vicar of Headon and curate of Grove, John Robinson, city preacher at Norwich's St. Andrew's Church, and probably also Hugh Bromhead, vicar of North Wheatley.38 The deprived clergy continued to preach — now without authorization. Officially unemployed, they no longer had a claim to the salaries associated with their former parish appointments.

Gainsborough Old Hall

Richard Clyfton had been the vicar of Marnham in 1586 and rector of Babworth since 1586. Summoned before the ecclesiastical courts in 1591 and 1593 for not wearing the surplice, for not announcing holy days, and for refusing to use the cross in baptism, he was cited for non-conformity and then deprived of his position on March 15, 1605, in the same court actions that deprived Robert Southworth. On March 6, 1607, Clyfton was summoned as the "pretended minister or curate of Bawtry," but he did not respond and was excommunicated on April 24. He preached in early 1608 at Sutton-cum-Lound (James Brewster's church), before emigrating to Amsterdam as the pastor of William Brewster's congregation.

Henry Gray had studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (B.A., 1598, M.A., 1601). He was curate at Bawtry since 1604. On the same day as Clyfton and Southworth (March 15, 1605), Gray was cited, then deprived on April 9. He was excommunicated after acting as unlicensed curate at Headon in 1606. He eventually submitted, however, and like Richard Bernard became a conforming Puritan.

Gainsborough Old Hall, where John Smyth preached

John Smyth had studied under Francis Johnson at Christ's College, Cambridge (1586-1598; M.A., 1593; Fellow, ordained 1594).39 He was appointed City Preacher in Lincoln in 1600 but was dismissed in 1602 for offending upright citizens. That spring he was cited for preaching at West Burton.40 He also appears as a schoolteacher preaching in North Clifton, where he was cited in 1603, as was the vicar, John Nailer, who permitted it.41Smyth preached in Gainsborough, too, without a license, for which he was cited in 1604 and 1606. At Gainsborough it is most likely that he preached in Gainsborough Old Hall, the home of the Hickman family who strongly supported non-conformity.

Richard Bernard was deprived of his position as Vicar of Worksop on March 15, 1605. He was eventually reconciled to subscribe and conform, but still refused to use the sign of the cross in baptism. He was again summoned before the church courts for this in 1608 and 1611. Vicar at Worksop from 1601 to 1614, Bernard was Rector of Batcombe (Somerset) already in 1613, where he remained until he died in 1642. In addition to his parish duties at Batcombe, Bernard was a canon of Southwell (1620-1642). After his decision to conform, however lukewarmly, his pastoral duties included time for scholarship, allowing him time to write a series of books against Separation that put him in direct conflict with John Robinson, and, later, with the New England churches and their congregationalism.

Robert Southworth received his M.A. at Cambridge (St. John's College) in 1586. He was first cited in 1590 for not wearing the surplice and not following the Book of Common Prayer. He was pursued for similar reasons in 1591, 1592, 1593, 1595, 1601, 1602, 1605, and 1607. His marriage in 1592 took place without banns, and both he and his wife Jane Wastenes were therefore excommunicated but were comprehended in a general pardon.42 Southworth was curate at Headon since 1590, becoming its vicar in 1596. In 1602 he was curate of Grove, and in 1607 he appears as curate of Scrooby but was considered unlicensed, because he had been deprived of his position in 1605 for non-conformity. He had probably been invited to preach there by William Brewster. Southworth, Smyth, and Bernard were acquainted and discussed separation together while walking together near W[orksop].43

Sturton-le-Steeple, Church of SS. Peter and Paul, where John Robinson preached

John Robinson, dismissed as assistant pastor of St. Andrew's in Norwich, continued to live in that city until early 1607, at least. Michael Paulick discovered recently that Robinson's children were baptized in the Robinsons' parish church of St. Peter Hungate in Norwich — John in 1605 (without specific date) and Bridget on January 25, 1607.44 Robinson applied for a hospital chaplaincy but was rejected. Nonetheless, he enjoyed considerable support in the town, and Henry Ainsworth recalled in 1608 that numerous lay citizens were excommunicated "for resorting vnto and praying with Mr. Rob.[inson] a man worthily reverenced of all the city for the graces of God in him […] and to whom the cure and charge of their sowles was ere while committed."45 Among Robinson's friends was Thomas Lane, who had been Norwich's mayor in 1603. In his will Lane left two pounds each to Robinson and his colleague at St. Andrews, Thomas Newhouse. Lane died in January 1607.46 Robinson had preached in West Burton in 1603, and in his home-town of Sturton-le-Steeple in late May, on Pentacost Sunday,1605, attracting an audience from several parishes around.47Some of his audience were summoned before the ecclesiastical courts for listening to him. In 1607 he preached without license at South Leverton and Treswell (near Scrooby). Robinson must have returned to the area some time in 1607, to live near William Brewster and John Smyth at Scrooby and Gainsborough, shortly before the emigration to The Netherlands.

Hugh Bromhead also fled to Amsterdam, where he was an active member of John Smyth's congregation. Bromhead was apparently cited for non-conformity in 1608, when he was curate of North Wheatley.48

William Brewster's brother James Brewster was vicar of Sutton-cum-Lound from 1594 to 1614 and of Gringley-on-the-Hill from 1604 to 1617. Marchant provides considerable information about him. Although he was not deprived for non-conformity, James Brewster had a history of conflict with church authorities. He was prosecuted in 1595 for irregularities in acquiring the position of vicar at Sutton, succeeding his uncle Henry Brewster; and because his practice in administering communion did not follow the prescribed formula. He refused to bury a body in a shroud decorated with a cross, and he baptized infants without making the sign of the cross. He was excommunicated briefly in 1597, "for various offences" that were apparently connected with irregular financial administration of the hospital of St. Mary Magdalene in Bawtry, of which James Brewster was the "Master." (He had reported the property to crown officials, who appropriated it as having been surreptitiously withheld by diocesan agents. Brewster's actions may have been legally correct, although their result was that he could retain an annuity while having no duties. To this, church authorities objected. Additionally they attempted successfully to have confiscation of hospital property by the crown reversed.) William Brewster appeared in court on James' behalf at this time. In 1605, Edmund Thurland (himself presented for refusing to take communion) sued James Brewster for having called him "an atheiste, a knave and a whoremaster." Brewster admitted to the charge and was assigned penance.49 Marchant comments that "The relative immunity of [William] Brewster from ecclesiastical interference was no doubt partly explained by the fact that he was an archiepiscopal employee [managing Scrooby Manor for the archbishop], but also because the vicar of the parish (Sutton-cum-Lound) was his brother James. The latter […] in his own way was a favourer of Puritan practices, and a protector of the Separatists."50 As vicar of Sutton-cum-Lound, James Brewster was the immediate superior of the curate at Scrooby, and he was responsible for choosing the curate. From 1603 to 1607, the Scrooby curate was a Robert Markham, about whom little is known.51

Gainsborough Old Hall

The non-conformist clergy were well-educated, several having studied at Cambridge University. The laymen who provided protection and hospitality were similarly at the highest level of rural society. William Brewster had also studied at Cambridge. By the 1590's he had succeeded his father as the Archbishop of York's bailiff residing at Scrooby Manor, where he supervised the diocese's financial interests in seventeen surrounding villages, many of whose farmers had to pay rents and dues, as did some millers. This function brought him into personal contact with people from the entire region all around the village of Scrooby. Formerly settled in London as a wealthy merchant, William Hickman bought Gainsborough Old Hall in 1596, where he lived in relative magnificence. The manor house dominated an area just over the county border into Lincolnshire. As justice of the peace in Gainsborough, Hickman could powerfully protect the Separatists, without necessarily agreeing with them on all points. Thomas Helwys had studied law at London's inns of court. He lived in his family's smaller manor house, Broxtowe Hall, at Bilborough in Nottinghamshire. Richard Coggins emphasizes that the Separatist movement was not an uprising of poor and ignorant farmers only,52 contrary to the impression given by a superficial reading of William Bradford's memoires.

Scrooby, Gainsborough, and Broxtowe

Scrooby Manor House is located on the northeast edge of the village, next to the River Ryton. Formerly a moat surrounded the house on three sides, connecting to the river on the fourth boundary. There was a drawbridge and a gate house.53 One wing of the medieval house survives, marking the eastern front of a house that had two courtyards and thirty-nine main rooms, including a chapel. The remaining wing is brick, with stone-framed late-gothic windows, and a bricked-up archway that must have been a wagon entrance. The rest of the house was half-timbered. In magnificence it must have equalled Gainsborough Old Hall, which is intact and gives us some idea of what both houses must have been like. Cardinal Wolsey, Archbishop of York, stayed here. Henry VIII visited, with hundreds of retainers, having spent the previous night at Gainsborough. Three years later the king bought Scrooby Manor, but it was bought back by the Archbishop of York half a dozen years later. Parts were demolished in 1558, but enough remained to provide suitable housing for the archbishop whenever he wanted to visit. Besides the house, there were barns, sheds, and a dovecote. In addition, Scrooby Manor, lying next to the Great North Road from London to Edinburgh, served as an inn, where important travellers spent the night, conducted business, dispatched letters, refreshed their horses and themselves, then continued further. In 1575, William Brewster's father (also named William) was appointed the archbishop's "Receiver of our Lordship or Manor of Scrooby." In the 1580's, Queen Elizabeth tried to acquire the house, together with the manor of Southwell, but the archbishop demurred. King James passed by on his progress from Edinburgh to London, but he may have missed Scrooby by detouring to Worksop. He attempted to buy Scrooby Manor, but he, too, was rebuffed by the archbishop. William Brewster, Jr., succeeded his father as receiver of the Manor of Scrooby in the mid-1590's, his father having died in 1590. The son became officially also the government's post master. Among his duties was providing overnight lodging for royal messengers who stopped here for new horses and a rest.

Scrooby Manor House

About a quarter of a mile from the manor at Scrooby is the parish church of St. Wilfrid, a late medieval building with a choir (chancel), a nave and one aisle (south), a porch, and a tower with a spire. The graveyard outside included space for the village's pound, where stray animals were penned for their owners to collect them. For general edification, the stocks were also here, where offending scolds could be confined for their improvement. Inside the church today, the furnishings of the middle ages and of the seventeenth-century are mostly gone. One can still see the remnants of medieval benches, decorated with meandering grape vines carved crudely. Finer carving in stone is seen on a few corbels. It is in this church that William Brewster preached in 1598 by way of commenting in the afternoon on what had been said by the minister in the morning sermon.

A few houses and a mill on the river completed the town. The Great North Road used to pass through the village to the east of the parish church, continuing along and around the east front of the manor house to cross a bridge over the stream called the River Ryton.54 A cross street on the north side of the church took one up a little incline and into farmland. Fields stretch away from the village still, on all sides. One ancient house remains, the "Old Vicarage." Two stories tall, the upper is half-timbered. The lower story is now brick, but probably the brick hides an original framing of timber. The framing is rudimentary and constructed of beams with thick cross-sections. Roof tiles have long since replaced thatch. The sounds of farm animals still mix with that of the birds, even in the center of the little town.

Babworth, Bawtry, and Austerfield are in walking distance, as are Mattersey, Sutton, and Lound. Blyth is next to Scrooby. Worksop is next to Babworth. Sturton is a couple of miles southeast from Scrooby, and Gainsborough is just to the east from there, across the Trent river. Between the villages are gentle rolling fields, with tree-lined streams. The country, not quite flat, has such little variation that a village on a prominence is given the name Gringley-on-the-Hill, and, indeed, it is the only hill for miles around. Yet the countryside is not flat. The people from the Scrooby region would not know what "flat" really meant until they moved to Holland.

Gainsborough Old Hall is built on a plan with a long half-timbered great hall, open to its framed rafters, having a stone bay window on one side, separated from a massive tall kitchen by a through-passage with doors on each side. Forming a U-plan, newer wings of the house were built of brick in the later sixteenth century. This mansion also attracted royal attention, with Queen Elizabeth's attempt to buy it.

Broxtowe Hall was severely damaged during the Civil War (ca. 1643). Because of rebuilding and alterations, the remains do not give a clear idea of what kind of house there was to shelter John Smyth.55

Larger houses of yeoman farmers no longer exist unchanged from the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries. Everywhere the houses are brick, built slightly later, or having original timber framing covered over. The Austerfield house traditionally identified as the Bradford house probably is indeed what tradition says. Bradford's grandfather was Austerfield's richest farmer, and William's uncle Robert succeeded him. The "Bradford" house shows signs of having been a half-timbered house (a corner post is still visible, but the places where one should expect daub-and-wattle panelling, as in Scrooby's Old Vicarage, are now bricked. The L-shaped two-storied house is large and I suppose that it has been expanded with passing years. Parts of it, if not all, date from the time that William Bradford was living as a boy in Austerfield.

The leaders were relatively wealthy, but many of the followers were not. One house in Rempstone, Nottinghamshire — "The Cottage" — remains practically unaltered, to represent the typical housing of the poor. The half-timbered house consists of a single large room (about twelve feet by eighteen feet), besides the fireplace bay. Upright posts divide the walls into two bays, with an additional half-bay for the hearth and chimney. The fireplace at one end has a baffle wall on one side, helping to support a timber-framed chimney with daub-and-wattle infill. The door opens onto this sidewall of the fireplace, creating what is known as a baffle entry. The framing in the roof timbers, under the thatched roof, showed (as recently as 1987) that the planks extended across two beams from the far end, leaving a small space from floor to roof, between the loft and the chimney, where a ladder could give access.56 The house space is very small, like what was available to the poor in Leiden, and like what was built in New England in the early years of colonization. But such impoverished housing as this has almost all disappeared. The cottage at Rempstone is a survival whose value as a witness to past conditions has increased when houses like it were destroyed. In similar cottages lived many of the Pilgrims, and in comparable spaces, many of the poor farmers throughout England.57

Godly and Zealous Preachers

John Robinson, in 1603, had hoped to remain in the Church of England, and he had hoped that the new king would reform that church. Disappointed by the realities of 1604, his conversion from a puritan to a separatist position grew as the government's insistence on conformity steadily increased. He had discussed separation, sometimes favorably, before espousing it. Retrospectively, in 1615 he described his sudden change of mind. He was listening to a sermon in Cambridge, delivered by the Puritan theologian Paul Baynes.

"Comeing to Cambridge (as to other places where I hoped most to fynde satisfaction to my troubled heart) I went the fore-noon to Mr [Lawrence] Cha:[derton] his exercise: who vppon the relation which Mary made to the disciples on the resurrection of Christ, delivered, in effect, this doctrine, that the things which concerned the whole church were to be declared publiquely to the whole Church, & not to some parte only: bringing for instance, & proefe the wordes of Christ, Mat: 18[:]17.58 Tell it to the Church: confirming therein one mayn ground of our difference from the Ch:[urch] of Engl:[and] which is that Christ hath given his power for excommunication to the whole church gathered together in his name as I Cor: 5:59 the officers as the governers, & the people as the governed in the vse thereof; vnto which Church his servants are comaunded to bring theyr necessary complaynts." Robinson challenged his opponents to demonstrate where in England the parish congregations had this power. Instead, in the episcopal structure, church court officials pronounced excommunications. Show me, said Robinson, "by what warrant of Gods word I (knowing what Christ the Lord co[m]maunded herein) may with good conscience remayn a member of a Ch:[urch] without this power (much lesse where the contrary is advanced) & so go on in the known transgession of that his co[m]maundement, Tell the churche." As Chaderton put it, "Tell it to the whole church" was Christ's command regarding all differences among Christians. To stay in the Church of England, so constituted that differences of opinion were settled in church courts and consequent excommunications were pronounced by court officials and not by congregations, was logically to break Christ's commandment, and, therefore, a sin.

"In the afternoon I went to hear Mr [Paul] B:[aynes] the successour of Mr. [William] Perkins, who from Eph: 5. & v: 7. or 11.60 shewed the vnlawfulnes of familiar conversation between the servants of God, & the wicked, vpon these grounds, or the most of them. 1. that the former are light, & the other darknes, between which God hath separated. 2. that the godly hereby are endaungered to be levened with the others wickednes. 3. that the wicked are hereby hardened in receaving such approbation from the godly. 4 that others are thereby offended, & occasioned to think them all alike, & as birdes of a fether, which so flock together, Whom afterwardes privately I desyred, as I do also others, to consider, whether these very Reasons make not as effectually & much more agaynst the spirituall communion of Gods people, (especially vvhere there wants the means of reformatio[n]) with the apparently wicked, to whom they are as light to darknes."61

So the godly were to withdraw from mixing with the unconverted. Rather than feeling his heart strangely warmed, Robinson's mind was gripped by the cold clarity of Calvinist logic. He saw metaphor asserted to be an unavoidable and necessary analogy (or, rather, he was carried along by two analogies mixed — light and leaven); and then, like birds of a feather, a flock of consequences was released.

In 1606, deposed clergy met at the house of Lady Isobel Bowes at Coventry to discuss their reaction to the requirement of subscribing to Archbishop Bancroft's newly imposed legal canons and to talk about their choices in the future.62 Among those attending were John Dod and Arthur Hildersam, besides Clyfton, Smyth, Robinson, and Bernard. (Dod wrote a popular exposition of the Ten Commandments, later re-issued by William Brewster in Leiden, both in English and in Dutch. Hildersam, one of the organizers of the Millenary Petition in 1603, is now remembered for his book, Dealing with Sin in our Children, but in 1595 his moderate position appeared with and against that of Francis Johnson in "A treatise of the ministery of the Church of England, Wherein is handled this question, whether it be to be separated from, or joyned vnto. Which is discussed in two letters, the one written for it, the other against it. […]")

Differences between Clyfton, Smyth, Robinson, and Bernard were apparent, with Smyth arguing already for definite separation, and Robinson convinced that separation was the only choice available without breaking Christ's commandment, while Clyfton and Bernard may have favored a final attempt to reform local congregations by means of a covenant within them. In 1606 Clyfton became the leader of a gathered, separated congregation that met at Scrooby Manor, William Brewster's house, and elsewhere. Bernard gathered a covenanted congregation at Worksop, but it was not identical with the full membership of his parish, and it included members from outside the parish. It might be considered a fore-runner of later pietist ideas of the little church of Christian Christians within the larger congregation.

The manor house of Broxtowe Hall was also opened to their meetings by Thomas Helwys (also called Mr. Elvishe or Elwayes) of Bilborough and Basford, who later was a leader in the Amsterdam Anabaptist congregation of pastor John Smyth. Helwys became a Baptist preacher. When Smyth changed his mind about some points of doctrine, Helwys kept to the previous opinions. Helwys eventually returned to England, where, with John Murton, he founded the first English Baptist congregation. Helwys and his wife Joan Ashmore married irregularly (without all the Church of England formalities) and were therefore accused as fornicators in 1596 and 1598, with their irregular marriage still mentioned in as late as 1613.63 In 1607 at Bilborough, Thomas and Joan Helwys were cited for not taking communion, together with Henry Gibson and Francis Hill, a local churchwarden. At Basford, 11 April 1608, Helwys was cited with his wife on April 11, 1608, for not attending church. In the same list of presentments several of their circle were also cited: "Mother Cooke" and Thomas Bates, both described as "sojourners" with Helwys, and Helwys' servant whose last name was Pigot. Also cited for not receiving communion then were John Gabitus, Alice Cunnie, and Alice Hacke.64 The Helwyses were imprisoned then allowed to go into exile.

These are the "godly and zealous preachers" William Bradford memorialized years later when he began his history of the colony, Plymouth Plantation.

"But that I may come more near my intendmente; when as by the travell [travail] & diligence of some godly & zealous preachers, & Gods blessing on their labours, as in other places of ye land, so in ye North parts, many became inlightened by ye word of God, and had their ignorance & sins discovered unto them, and begane by his grace to reforme their lives, and make conscience of their wayes, the worke of God was no sooner manifest in them, but presently they were both scoffed and scorned by ye prophane multitude, and ye ministers urged with ye yoak of subscription, or els must be silenced; and ye poore people were so vexed with apparators, & persuants, & ye commissarie courts, as truly their affliction was not smale; which, notwithstanding, they bore sundrie years with much patience, till they were occasioned (by ye continuance & encrease of these troubls, and other means which ye Lord raised up in those days) to see further into things by the light of ye word of God. How not only these base and beggerly ceremonies were unlawfull, but also that ye lordly & tiranous power of ye prelats ought not to be submitted unto; which thus, contrary to the freedome of the gospell, would load & burden mens consciences, and by their compulsive power make a prophane mixture of persons & things in ye worship of God. And that their offices & calings, courts & cannons, &c. were unlawfull and antichristian; being such as have no warrante in ye word of God; but the same yt were used in poperie, & still retained. Of which a famous author thus writing in his Dutch com[men]taries.* {[marginal note:]*Em: meter: lib: 25. col. 119.65} At ye coming of king James into England; The new king (saith he) found their established ye reformed religion, according to ye reformed religion of king Edward ye 6. Retaining, or keeping still ye spirituall state of ye Bishops, &c. after ye ould maner, much varying & differing from ye reformed churches in Scotland, France & ye Neatherlands, Embden, Geneva, &c. whose reformation is cut, or shapen much nerer ye first Christian churches, as it was used in ye Apostles times.* {[marginal note:]*The reformed churches shapen much neerer ye primitive patterne then England, for they cashered ye Bishops with al their courts, cannons, and ceremonies, at the first; and left them amongst ye people tr. . to ch [ligature] wch they pertained. {The last word in the note is uncertain in the MS.}}

"So many therfore of these proffessors as saw ye evill of these things, in thes parts, and whose harts ye Lord had touched wth heavenly zeale for his trueth, they shooke of this yoake of antichristian bondage, and as ye Lords free people, joyned them selves (by a covenant of the Lord) into a church estate, in ye felowship of ye gospell, to walke in all his wayes, made known, or to be made known unto them, according to their best endeavours, whatsoever it should cost them, the Lord assisting them. And that it cost them something this ensewing historie will declare.

"These people became 2. distincte bodys or churches, & in regarde of distance of place did congregate severally; for they were of sundrie towns & vilages, some in Notinhamshire, some of Lincollinshire, and some of Yorkshire, wher they border nearest togeather. In one of these churches (besids others of note) was Mr John Smith, a man of able gifts, & a good preacher, who afterwards was chosen their pastor. But these afterwards falling into some errours in ye Low Countries, ther (for ye most part) buried them selves, & their names.

"But in this other church (wch must be ye subjecte of our discourse) besids other worthy men, was Mr. Richard Clifton, a grave & revere[n]d preacher, who by his paines and dilligens had done much good, and under God had ben a means of ye conversion of many. And also that famous and worthy man Mr. John Robinson, who afterwards was their pastor for many years, till ye Lord tooke him away by death. Also Mr. William Brewster a reverent man, who afterwards was chosen an elder of ye church and lived with them till old age.

"But after these things they could not long continue in any peaceable condition, but were hunted & persecuted on every side, so as their former afflictions were but as flea-bitings in comparison of these which now came upon them. For some were taken & clapt up in prison, others had their houses besett & watcht night and day, & hardly escaped their hands; and ye most were faine to flie & leave their howses & habitations, and the means of their livelehood. Yet these & many other sharper things which affterward befell them, were no other then they looked for, and therfore were ye better prepared to bear them by ye assistance of Gods grace & spirite. Yet seeing them selves thus molested, and that ther was no hope of their continuance ther, by a joynte consente they resolved to goe into ye Low-Countries, wher they heard was freeedome of Religion for all men; as also how sundrie from London, & other parts of ye land, had been exiled and persecuted for ye same cause, & were gone thither, and lived at Amsterdam, & in other places of ye land. So affter they had continued togeither aboute a year, and kept their meetings every Saboth in one place or other, exercising the worship of God amongst them selves, notwithstanding all ye dilligence & malice of their adverssaries, they seeing they could no longer continue in yt condition, they resolved to get over into Holla[n]d as they could; which was in the ye year 1607. & 1608."66

Hunted and Persecuted on Every Side

"Apparitors" and "persuants" (or persuivants) had the job of gathering information for charges used in enforcing obedience to the laws against dissent. They were subordinates of the official of the archdeaconry (in this example, located at Retford). To learn about problems at the local, parish level, the apparitors used frequent visitations and questionnaires that local churchwardens had to answer and return. For the Scrooby region, the answers are preserved (the "presentment bills"). They show who exactly was reported for such infractions as preaching without a license, clergy not wearing the surplice, laymen refusing to take communion, causing disturbance in church (such as insolently sitting through the service without removing one's hat) or, alternatively, absenting themselves from church, besides sexual misconduct. (The interest in sexual misconduct had a justification beyond ordinary prurience, in the idea that God rather indiscriminately punished whole societies for the private sins of a few. Generally related to this concern that individuals behave themselves with respect to society were the inquiries by the apparitors to find out if charity was being provided by the wealthy in times of food scarcity.) Less common than sexual offences was a broad category of complaint that included witchcraft, sorcery, sooth-saying, or mere superstition. This appears once in the area during this period — William Hydes of Scrooby was cited in 1607, although it is unclear what the exact charge was.67

Reliance on reports by local church wardens meant that unrelated feuding might be expressed in presentments. On the other hand, sympathy might have resulted in refusal to cooperate fully. Marchant points out that there may have been more than neutral reporting when William Throope, churchwarden at Scrooby, cited William Brewster in 1598. In 1591, when Throope said that "one of his horses could preach as well as the curate," Thomas Hancock, Scrooby's first Puritan curate, sued him.68 Marchant thinks that "The presentment of the nonconformity of various curates was probably due to the antagonism of the non-Puritan sections of the congregation." Another Scrooby churchwarden, however, was Anthony Bentham, about whom Throope also complained in 1598.69 Sorting out local feuds is impossible with scant information. In contrast, William Pontus was a churchwarden at Mattersey (bordering Scrooby on the east and Lound on the south). Pontus and fellow churchwarden Edward Whitton in 1603 cited Thomas Hammond of Mattersey for doing other things than going to church on Sundays. (It would be nice to know what the other things were that caught the churchwarden's attention beyond mere absence from church.) In the same year, Pontus was one of the churchwardens charging Thomas Jessop with lay non-conformity. Thomas Jessop was cited again for this in 1607, but Pontus was not then a churchwarden. In early 1608, Pontus himself was presented, together with Barbara Jessop, for failure to take communion.70 Wiliam Pontus soon left for The Netherlands, where he was a member of John Robinson's congregation before emigrating to Plymouth Colony in New England. Thomas Hammond could be related to Dorothy Hammond, a member of John Smyth's Amsterdam congregation. Thomas and Barbara Jessop are likely to have been relatives of Edmond Jessop, a member of the Leiden congregation who is identified as from Ackworth (Yorkshire) or of Francis Jessop, who is identified also as from Yorkshire but who was living in Hayton next to Lound in 1608. At Austerfield, William Bradford's uncle, Robert Bradford, was churchwarden in 1601, 1602, and 1608.71 In this period there were no presentments for issues related to non-conformity. Robert Bradford, Austerfield's wealthiest farmer, must have protected his nephew William from scrutiny.

Other future members of Robinson's Leiden congregation were not so lucky. Henry Cullens (or Cullandt) of Sutton-cum-Lound, and Anne Peck of Lound were cited in 1603 for not attending church, along with John Clifton and his wife Anne, and Alexander Sharpe and his wife.72 Cullandt and Peck were later members of the Leiden congregation, while Alexander Sharp might be a relative of Andrew Sharp of the Leiden group. Anne Peck was, no doubt, related to John Peck, who was among six offenders cited for not attending church at Sutton-cum-Lound in 1598.73 Rosamund Horsefield, who married William Jepson at Amsterdam in 1609 then moved with him to Leiden, was charged with failure to attend church in 1608, at Hayton (next to Sutton and Lound).74 The others charged similarly then were Mr. and Mrs. Francis Jessop and William Pilkington. A Francis Jessop said to be from Rotherham and Sheffield in Yorkshire is documented in the Leiden congregation; he had married his wife (Frances White) in Worksop in 1605. He returned to England in the 1630's, moving to Suffolk. Presumably the Jessops living in Hayton in 1608 were these people.

Some names in the Nottinghamshire presentments are ambiguous. In 1607, George Hanson is listed as a former churchwarden at Austerfield (he had been churchwarden about twenty years earlier). He (or another with the same name) was also a churchwarden at Scrooby in 1603.75 Perhaps he was the father (or other relative) of Wybra Hanson, who married William Pontus in Leiden in 1610. A Henry Sampson was churchwarden at South Leverton from 1598 to 1609.76 Perhaps this Henry Sampson was a relative of young Henry Sampson, who with Humility Cooper emigrated to Plymouth Colony in the care of their cousins, the Edward Tillie family from Leiden.77 Someone named William Palmer was a churchwarden at Warsop in 1596.78 "William Palmer" signed a presentment at Elkesley in 1596.79 Another one, or perhaps the same William Palmer was a churchwarden at Carburton (bordering Worksop) in 1602, 1603 and 1609.80 But there was also a William Palmer listed in 1601 as a "swornman" (person whose honest word was given under oath and who was one of the leaders of village society, sworn to uphold the truth) at Langar in southern Nottinghamshire. Again, a William Palmer became a churchwarden at Rempstone, about ten miles away from Langar, in 1609.81 One or another of these William Palmers may have been the man of that name who emigrated to Plymouth Colony in 1621. Finally, there is a George Morton in Leiden who is mentioned beginning in 1612 and was identified as coming from York. Morton Dexter states that he was probably born at Harworth in Nottinghamshire. Anthony Morton and his son George were cited for not taking communion in 1596 and 1601. George, however, was charged with (unspecified) sexual immorality in 1610.82 Perhaps Morton Dexter's identification is correct.

Presentments and reprimands, ex-communications and re-instatements, these were just the beginnings of increasing penalties that included severe fines, imprisonment, and, in cases of intransigence, automatic sentence of confiscation of property and banishment out of the country. A new archbishop of York, Toby Matthew, took office in 1606. Tolerant of conforming Puritans, he pursued Separatists with a new severity. Gervase Neville of Scrooby, later a member of John Smyth's Amsterdam congregation, was arrested for "disobedience and schismaticall obstinacie" and tried as a Brownist before the Archbishop and the High Commission at York on November 10, 1607.83 He was jailed in York Castle as a "very daingerous schismaticall separatist Brownist and irreligious subiect." Joan Helwys, John Drewe, and Thomas Jessop were imprisoned there at the same time. Neville responded in court to interrogatories on March 22, 1608, and was evidently banished, for he next appears as a refugee in 1609.84 Joan Helwys and her husband Thomas, Thomas Jessop, and Gervase Neville were members of John Smyth's congregation in Amsterdam.

After the arrest of Neville, orders were given in December, 1607, to arrest William Brewster, Richard Jackson, and Robert Rochester, also of Scrooby, but they were not apprehended, probably having bribed the pursuivant. The charge was "disobedience in matters of religion" and Brownism. When officers came for them, they could not be found. Marchant points out that "the Commissioners' principal pursuivant was Thomas Southworth," remarking further that "It would be stretching the long arm of coincidence too far to suppose that he was related to Robert, the deprived Vicar of Headon."85 Whatever the relation to Robert Southworth, more interesting is that Thomas Southworth (perhaps the very same or perhaps a son of the same name) was a member of John Robinson's Leiden congregation, as was his brother Edward whose widow Alice became William Bradfords second wife. Could Brewster have converted the man who came to arrest him? Whatever the circumstances, Richard Jackson fled to the village of Tickhill (where he was eventually discovered). Brewster escaped to The Netherlands. Failing to appear in court at Southwell Minster, as they had promised to do (but not under oath), heavy fines of £20 each were levied on Brewster, Jackson, and Rochester, and the money was eventually collected, although after Brewster's flight.86 To emphasize the full authority of the legal pursuit of separatists, Archbishop Matthew delivered a sermon in the parish church at Bawtry, in May, 1608, against Brownists.

Marchant may be correct to think that the Puritans and Separatists in the Scrooby area were treated rather leniently, but that assessment seems to be the product of too much detachment and of a lack of sympathy for the urgency with which the persecuted held their vision of God's plan for salvation. In their own understanding, to conform was to go to hell. They were not eccentric in their seriousness — not fanatics to act on the consequences of their understanding of the Bible. The Master of St. John's College, Cambridge, William Whitaker, in a book about Holy Scripture that had been read and approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury before its publication, reminded his readers that "we have to treat not of the opinions of philosophers, which one may either be ignorant of, or refute with commendation, — not of the forms of the lawyers, in which one may err without damage, — not of the institutions of physicians, of the nature and cure of diseases, wherein only our bodily health is concerned — not of any slight or trivial matters, — but here the matter of our dispute is certain controversies of religion, and those of the last importance, in which whosoever errs is deceived to the eternal destruction of his soul."87

But as Marchant sees it, "the Separation of 1606 was due neither to an actual enforcement of conformity, nor, as has been shown, to the persecution of non-subscribers and their followers, despite Bradford's insinuations to the contrary."88 "Hunted and persecuted on every side," as Bradford remembered, the Separatists in the areas around Scrooby and Gainsborough were not alone. Other non-conformists were hunted down "in other places of ye land." Those of London had been spied on and arrested, with their leaders executed or imprisoned in the 1590's, before many went into exile in The Netherlands. In East Anglia, at Norfolk, anyone who went to listen to John Robinson preach could expect fines or imprisonment. In Canterbury, Robert Cushman, the non-conformist layman who later became a leader in organizing the migration to New England from Leiden, was imprisoned "for certain reasons."89 Also in Kent, the non-conformists of Sandwich included Moses Fletcher and Richard Masterson, who soon became members of the Leiden congregation of John Robinson. As Michael Paulick has discovered in his thorough study of the Sandwich separatists, from which I have learned the following, Richard Masterson's brother-in-law John Ellis, who vouched for Masterson's character in Leiden, was ex-communicated in Sandwich twice (evidently having been re-instated once),90 Also from Sandwich were Mary Clarke and her husband Thomas Shingleton, who emigrated to Leiden. When widowed, Mary re-married with Robert Cushman in Leiden. As Paulick indicates, between May, 1609, and February, 1610, Mary Chilton (with her husband James, future "Mayflower" passengers from Leiden) and Moses Fletcher (another Leiden "Mayflower" passenger) were ex-communicated in Sandwich, together with six other women who are not known from Leiden records. Moses Fletcher had been elected sexton by the parishioners of St. Peter's Church in Sandwich, contradicting an appointment that their vicar had made without consultation.91 Richard Masterson was ex-communicated on January 1614, but this was reduced to an admonition. Whether this was Richard Masterson, Sr., or Richard Masterson, Jr., (who soon moved to Leiden and eventually to Plymouth Colony) is unclear.92 Both were named in October, 1614, with others including John Ellis as among the "chiefest sowers of these sectes" who had failed to "suppress the sayd hereticall practise," but instead "have underhand may[n]teyned and protected the offenders." Richard Masterson (junior) was ex-communicated as a Brownist or Separatist finally in July, 1616. As if that were not enough, he was again ex-communicated in December for slander. As Paulick shows, Masterson must have been travelling back and forth between Sandwich and Leiden, where he is recorded as early as 1611. (Such travel will be discussed further in a later chapter.) Paulick has demonstrated that the separatist activity in Sandwich was simultaneous with that in the Scrooby area and that it provided as many as thirty or forty members of the Leiden congregation, including the "Chilton, Fletcher, Masterson, Ellis, Munck, Bartlett, Shingleton, Basset, Wilson, Cricket," and other families.93 To consider the ferment around Clyfton, Brewster, Smyth, and Robinson as an isolated origin of the Pilgrim movement is, therefore, an inaccurate simplification. The changing form of the movement, arising from different separatist impulses, coalesced in Leiden, but the Pilgrims never were a static and defined group that can be described in generalities and then as a tidy concept contrasted with outsiders. Constant change, growth, and modification characterized the Pilgrims throughout.

What united them in their decision to leave England for a place where they could worship God the way they thought most consistent with scriptural revelation, was the conviction that to fail to act on what they knew to be the truth was to invite God's punishment for conscious sin. For their salvation and that of their children they were compelled to act. That God was testing their faith and punishing England for the nation's failures was evident all around them in the persecutions visited on the faithful; in the hardening of the king's heart; in the explosive Roman Catholic danger to the Protestant state that was still, in their opinion, insufficiently Reformed; in the plagues that were on the increase; in the utterly unexpected flood that killed thousands in January, 1607; and in the comet that portentously and terrifyingly lit the skies later in the year. When they were still listening to the Book of Common Prayer, they had all frequently heard the command, "Amend your liues: for the kingdome of God is at hand." They understood the signs. Like Lot they must leave, must seek a place where they might walk in God's laws, which had been appointed for them. By 1607 they were trying to leave. They had reached a point of no return. By 1608 they succeeded, with police in close pursuit. William Bradford remembered:

"Ther was a large companie of them purposed to get passage at Boston in Lincoln-shire, and for that end had hired a shipe wholy to them selves, & made agreement with the maister to be ready at a certaine day, and take them and their goods in, at a conveniente place, wher they accordingly would all attende in readiness.94 So after long waiting, & large expences, though he kepte not day with them, yet he came at length & tooke them in, in ye night. But when he had them & their goods abord, he betrayed them, having before hand complotted with ye serchers & other officers so to doe; who tooke them, and put them into open boats, & ther rifled & ransaked them, searching them to their shirts for money, yea even ye women furder then became modestie; and then caried them back into ye towne, & made them a spectackle & wonder to ye multitude, which came flocking on all sids to behould them. Being thus first, by the chatch-poule officers, rifled, & stripte of their money, books, and much other goods, they were presented to ye magestrates, and messengers sente to informe ye lords of ye Counsell of them; and so they were com[m]itted to ward. Indeed ye magestrats used them courteously, and shewed them what favour they could; but could not deliver them, till order came from ye Counsell-table. But ye issue was that after a months imprisonmente, ye greatest parte were dismiste, & sent to ye places from whence they came; but 7. of ye principall were still kept in prison, and bound over to ye Assises."95

The three small jail cells in the Boston Guild Hall open from a much larger room that was also usable as a prison. It was formerly accessible only by a circular stair leading from the court room above it. Archival records from this period that would cover such events in Boston are not preserved. Who these seven prisoners mentioned by Bradford were consequently is uncertain. As we have seen, five leaders were prisoners in April 1608: Joan Helwys (probably with her husband Thomas), Gervase Neville, John Drew and Thomas Jessop; warrants were also issued for Richard Jackson, Roger Rochester, and William Brewster. Although the imprisonment of Jackson and Rochester is uncertain, these seven may be the people Bradford meant. The reference to the Assizes indicates that the leaders of the 1607 failed exodus were imprisoned in Lincoln Castle. Bradford identified Brewster as the "cheefe of those that were taken at Boston, and suffered ye greatest loss; and of ye seven that were kept longst in prison and after bound over to ye assises"96

Bradford continues his narrative of the escape: "The nexte spring after, ther was another attempte made by some of these & others, to get over at an other place. And it so fell out, that they light of a Dutchman at Hull, having a ship of his owne belonging to Zealand; they made agreemente with him, and acquainted him with their condition, hoping to find more faithfullnes in him, then in ye former of their owne nation. He bad them not fear, for he would doe well enough. He was by appointment to take them in betweene Grimsbe & Hull, wher was a large com[m]one a good way distante from any towne. Now against the prefixed time, the women & children, with ye goods, were sent to ye place in a small barke, which they had hired for yt end; and ye men were to meete them by land.97 But it so fell out, that they were ther a day before ye shipe came, & ye sea being rough, and ye women very sicke, prevailed with ye seamen to put into a creeke hardby, wher they lay on ground at lowwater. The nexte morning ye shipe came, but they were fast, & could not stir till aboute noone. In ye mean time, ye shipe maister, perceiving how ye matter was, sente his boate to be getting ye men abord whom he saw ready, walking aboute ye shore. But after ye first boat full was gott abord, & she was ready to goe for more, the mr espied a greate company, both horse & foote, with bills, & gunes, & other weapons; for ye countrie was raised to take them. Ye Dutch-man seeing yt, swore his countries oath, 'sacramente,' and having ye wind faire, waiged his Ancor, hoysed sayles, & away.98 But ye poore men which were gott abord, were in great distress for their wives and children, which they saw thus to be taken, and were left destitute of their helps; and them selves also, not having a cloath to shifte them with, more then they had on their baks, & some scarce a peney aboute them, all they had being abord ye barke. It drew tears from their eyes, and any thing they had they would have given to have been a shore againe; but all in vaine, ther was no remedy, they must thus sadly part. And afterward endured a fearfull storme at sea, being 14. days or more before yey arived at their porte, in 7. wherof they neither saw son, moone, nor stars, & were driven near ye coast of Norway; the mariners them selves often despairing of life; and once with shriks & cries gave over all, as if ye ship had been foundred in ye sea, & they sinking without recoverie; for ye ship rose againe, & gave ye mariners courage againe to manage her. And if modestie would suffer me, I might declare with what fervente prayres they cried unto ye Lord in this great distres, (espetialy some of them,) even without any great distraction, when ye water rane into their mouthes & ears; & the mariners cried out, We sinke, we sinke; they cried (if not with mirakelous, yet with a great hight or degree of devine faith), Yet Lord thou canst save, yet Lord thou canst save; with shuch other expressions as I will forbeare. Upon which ye ship did not only recover, but shortly after ye violence of ye storme begane to abate, and ye Lord filed their afflicted minds with shuch comforts as every one canot understand, and in ye end brought them to their desired Haven, wher ye people came flockeing admiring their deliverance, the storme having ben so longe & sore, in which much hurt had been don, as ye masters friends related unto him in ther congrattulations.

"But to returne to ye others wher we left. The rest of ye men yt were in greatest danger, made shift to escape away before ye troope could surprise them; those only staying yt best might, to be assistante unto ye women. But pitifull it was to see ye heavie case of these poore women in this distress; what weeping & crying on every side, some for their husbands, that were caried away in ye ship as is before related; others not knowing what should become of them, & their litle ones; others againe melted in teares, seeing their poore litle ones hanging aboute them, crying for feare, and quaking with could. Being thus aprehended, they were hurried from one place to another, and from one justice to another, till in ye ende they knew not what to doe with them; for to imprison so many women & innocent children for no other cause (many of them) but that they must goe with their husbands, semed to be unreasonable and all could crie out of them; and to send them home againe was as difficult, for they aledged, as ye trueth was, they had no homes to goe to, for they had either sould, or otherwise disposed of their houses & livings. To be shorte, after they had been thus turmolyed a good while, and conveyed from one constable to another, they were glad to bee ridd of them in ye end upon any termes; for all were wearied & tired with them. Though in ye mean time they (poore soules) indured miserie enough; and thus in ye end necessitie forste a way for them.

"But yt I be not tedious in these things, I will omitte ye rest, though I might relate many other notable passages and troubles which they endured & underwente in these their wanderings & travells both at land & sea; but I hast to other things. Yet I may not omitte ye fruite that came hearby, for by these so publick troubls, in so many eminente places, their cause became famouss, & occasioned many to looke into ye same; and their godly cariage & Christian behaviour was such as though some few shrunk at these first conflicts & sharp beginings, (as it was no marvell,) yet many more came on with fresh courage, & greatly animated others. And in ye end, notwithstanding all these stormes of oppossition, they all gatt over at length, some at one time & some at an other, and some in one place & some in an other, and mette togeather againe according to their desires, with no small rejoycing."99

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1. My thanks go to Michael Paulick, Alan Argent, Peggy Baker, James Baker, and Stacy Wood, whose comments have improved this chapter. Additional thanks to Sandra Withington of the Nottinghamshire Tourism Authority, at whose invitation I visited the Bassetlaw region and photographed Pilgrim sites, and to Sue Allan, author of Mayflower Maid, and Wayne Gibling of Hidden Nottingham, who drove me.

2. My comments owe a great deal to the work of Professor Simon Haslett, from Bath Spa University College, and Australian geologist Ted Bryant, from the University of Wollongong. The idea that the 1607 flood was due to a tsunami was first put forward by Haslett and Bryant in a scientific paper published in 2002 in the journal Archaeology in the Severn Estuary. Their identification is covered in the BBC program broadcast on 2 April 2005 BBC News (; it had also been covered in The Times on 4 January 2004 (,,1-17089-1424953,00.html). Their idea contradicts the formerly accepted opinion that the 1607 event resulted from a confluence of meteorological extremes and tidal peaks. See:

3. A copy is in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The publishers were W. Barley and I. Bayly.

4. The pamphlet was printed for W.W.; copy in the British Library. The floods are mentioned on 16 February in the Calendar of State Papers, Domestic: James I, 1603-1610 ( Feb. 16. London. 51. Thos. Foster to Tobie Matthew... a fearful inundation at Bridgewater and Bristol...

5. Alexander Carpenter was a witness to the marriage registration in Amsterdam of Antoine Fetcher of Zelwoerdt (probably Selworthy, Somerset) and Janneken Richeman from Hilperton in Wiltshire: Gemeente Archief Amsterdam, Puyboek, nr. 665, by date, 16 December 1600.

6. John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (Actes and Monuments of the Church, 1570 edition), hereafter referred to as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, bk. 7, p. 924 []

7. That the plague was understood to be God’s punishment of the faithless is apparent in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (1570), bk. 7, p. 924: “after the burnyng of Thomas Noryce, aboue mentioned, pag. 218. at the Citie of Norwiche, the same yeare folowed such a fire in Norwiche, that the whole Citie, wel nere, was therewith consumed. Ex Geor. Lilio. Like as also after the burnyng of the foresayd good aged father in Smithfield, the same yeare (whiche was. 1500) we read in the Chronicle of Fabian a great plague to fall vppon the Citie of London, to the greate destruction of the inhabitantes therof.”

8. Information from the parish registers is from microfiche copies at the Nottinghamshire Archives. Unfortunately, records from Scrooby and Babworth for these years are not preserved. At Sutton-cum-Lound, the numbers reverted in the next two years (1603, 1604) to 10 and 9, then rose to 17, 13, and 17 in 1605, 1606, and 1607, before dropping to 7 in 1608.

9. Everton: 1600 (11), 1601 (12), 1602 (29), 1603 (13), 1604 (12), 1605 (10), 1606 (15), 1607 (14), 1608 (5), 1609 (13), 1610 (15).

10. At Blyth the numbers were: 1600 (27), 1601 (40), 1602 (33), 1603 (29), 1604 (36), 1605 (30), 1606 (26), 1607 (47), 1608 (28), 1609 (35), 1610 (25).

11. East Retford: 1600 (14), 1601 (22), 1602 (31), 1603 (14), 1604 (22), 1605 (24), 1606 (11), 1607 (23), 1608 (10), 1609 (11), 1610 (10).

12. The weather is mentioned in the parish register notes of Arlingham, with excerpts published on-line at It is stated that the excerpts are from Beaver H. Blacker, Gloucester Notes and Queries, vol. 1 (1881).

13. Emanuel van Meteren, Historie van de Oorlogen en Geschiedenissen der Nederlanderen, en derzelver Nabuuren: Beginnende met den Jaare 1315, en eindigende met den Jaare 1611<. (Gorinchem: De Wed: van Nicolaas Goetzee, 1761), vol. 9, p. 254.

14. Calendar of State Papters Domestic, James I, Nov. 2 [1607] Westminster: [82] Proclamation for restraint of the inhabitants of places infected from coming to the Court. Printed. {Proc. Bk., p. 163}. On Nov. 12 , a list of the mortality from the plague in and around London was filed (nr. 89).

15. Calendar of State Papers Domestic, James I. June 2 [1608], Oatlands: Proclamation for preventing and remedying the dearth of grain and other victuals. Printed. [Proc. Bk., p. 174. Same date: [Warwick] Dearth of corn in Warwickshire. The common people threaten to resist turning arable land into pasture.

16. For the donation of Constantine, see John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (Actes and Monuments of the Church, 1570 edition), bk. I, pp. 131-132 ; bk. 8, pp. 1209-1216. I am omitting other aspects of Henry VIII’s reforms to concentrate on the innovations in church structure as representing a return to the “primitive” church. His divorce from Katherine of Aragon and the financial aspects of cancelling the obligation to send contributions to Rome and of abolishing the monasteries are not directly connected with issues discussed by John Robinson and the Pilgrims in defining their own church structure.

17. For an overview of Separatist activity before Browne, particularly the ministry of Richard Fitz, see Champlin Burrage, The Early English Dissenters in the Light of Recent Research, 1550-1641 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1912; reprinted: Paris, Arkansas: The Baptist Standard Bearer), vol. 1, pp. 80-93; vol. 2, pp. 9-18.

18. The British Library’s copy is A Booke which sheweth the life and manners of all true Christians, and howe vnlike they are vnto Turkes and Papistes and Heathen folke … Also there goeth a Treatise before of Reformation without tarying for anie. Etc. (Middelburg: Richarde Painter, 1582 {1583?}.

19. On Penry, see Donald J. McGinn, John Penry and the Marprelate Controversy (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1966); Champlin Burrage, John Penry, the so-called Martyr of Congregationalism, as Revealed in the Original Record of his Trial and in Documents related thereto (Oxford: Oxford University Press; London: H. Frowde, 1913).

20. A study of the complexities at Cambridge is H. C. Porter, Reformation and Reaction in Tudor Cambridge (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1958; second edition with a new preface: Hamden, Connecticut: The Shoe String Press, Archon Book, 1972).

21. The Act Against Puritans (1593), 35 Elizabeth, Cap. 1. Gee, Henry, and William John Hardy, ed., Documents Illustrative of English Church History (New York: Macmillan, 1896), 492-8. Hanover Historical Texts Project Scanned and proofread by Heather Haralson, May 1998. Posted by Raluca Preotu, July 1999. Proofread and pages added by Jonathan Perry, March 2001. [] Editors' Introduction: “THIS Act was the culmination of the measures taken by Elizabeth to repress Puritanism.”

22. Patrick Colinson, The Elizabethan Puritan Movement (London: Jonathan Cape, 1967), p. 431.

23. Collinson, Elizabthan Puritan Movement, p. 448. Nichols, from Kent, was probably known to Robert Cushman, according to Michael Paulick (private communication).

24. University of Nottingham, Presentements Project, AN/PB 292/1-9; AN/PB 292/46 (Scrooby, 1598).

25. University of Nottingham, Presentments Project, Presentment Bill relating to William Brewster, Scrooby parish, 1598; AN/PB 292/7/46; Photo online at:

26. On Brewster’s early career, see chapter 5, section “Young William Brewster in Leiden, 1585-6.”

27. Ronald A. Marchant, The Puritans and the Church Courts in the Diocese of York, 1560-1642 (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1960), pp. 141-143.

28. The Millenary Petition (1603). Henry Gee and William John Hardy (eds.), Documents Illustrative of English Church History (New York: Macmillan, 1896), 508-11. Hanover Historical Texts Project Scanned and proofread by Heather Haralson, May 1998. Posted by Raluca Preotu, July 1999. Proofread and pages added by Jonathan Perry, March 2001, For a discussion of the background and context, see W. K. Jordan, he Development of Religious Toleration in England, From the Accession of James I to the convention of the Long Parliament (1603-1640) (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1936).

29. See Paul S. Seaver, The Puritan Lectureships, The Politics of Religious Dissent, 1560-1662 (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1970).

30. Collinson, Elizabethan Puritan Movement, p. 449., referring to The Registrum Vagum Anthony Harison, I, Norfolk Record Society, xxxii, 34-6, 156-7, 158-9. Collinson mistakenly identifies Robinson as having been of Emmanuel College. Robinson was from Corpus Christi. Timothy George, John Robinson and the English Separatist Tradition (Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1984), pp. 69-71, the source of the quotations from the Harison ms. that are used here.

31. John Bradford, A Sermon of repentaunce, made by John Bradford, B.L. (London: Iohn Wright [1553]) Sermon 12 July, 1553, republished on-line at: Another edition was published in 1619. John Bradford is not known to be related to William Bradford.

32. The quotation is found in William Barlow’s history of the Hampton Court Conference, published in Cardwell (ed.), History of the Confessions, p. 185, quoted in Porter, Reformation and Reaction in Tudor Cambridge, p. 405. Further quotations from Barlow that are used in my summary are published by H. M. Dexter and M. Dexter, The England and Holland of the Pilgrims, pp. 338-345. For a clear discussion of the background of the predestinarian Lambeth Articles, see Timothy George, John Robinson, pp. 64-69.

33. The quotation is also from Barlow’s history, published in Cardwell, History of the Confessions, p. 186, as quoted in Porter, Reformation and Reaction in Tudor Cambridge, p. 406.

34. J. G. de Hoop Scheffer, History of the Free churchmen called the Brownists, Pilgrim Fathers and Baptists in the Dutch Republic, 1581-1701 (Ithaca, New York: Andrus & Church, 1922 (translation of the Dutch), pp. 75-79; Dexter and Dexter, The England and Holland of the Pilgrims, pp. 438-441. Johnson and Ainsworth published their views in An Apologie or Defence of such true Christians as are commonly, but vniustly, called Brownists: against such imputations as are layd vpon them by the Heads and Doctors of the Vniuersity of Oxford, in their answer to the humble petition of the ministers of the Church of England, desiring reformation of certayne ceremonies and abuses of the Church. ([Amsterdam], 1604).

35. From the king’s Premonition to Monarchs, in his Works (1616), p. 305, cited and quoted in Dexter and Dexter, The England and Holland of the Pilgrims, p. 370. See also: His Maiesties speech in this last session of Parliament, as neere his very words as could be gathered at the instant: together with a discourse of the maner of the discouery of thi late intended treason, ioyned with the examination of some of the prisoners. (London: Robert Barker: 1605).

36. For the actions of the ecclesiastical courts in the diocese of York (including Nottinghamshire), see Ronald A. Marchant, The Church under the Law, Justice, Administration and Discipline in the Diovese of York, 1560-1640 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969); and Marchant, The Puritans and the Church courts in the Diocese of York, 1560-1642 (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1960).

37. Joseph Hall, commented on the inconsistency in his book, A Common Apology of the Church of England against the Unjust Challenges of the Over-Just Sect, commonly called Brownists […] occasioned by a late pamphlete published [by John Smyth and John Robinson] under the name Of an Answer to a Censorious epistle […] (London: S. Macham, 1610). See George, John Robinson, pp. 77-78.

38. The information that follows is principally derived from the best source for a detailed overview: Ronald A. Marchant, The Puritans and the Church Courts in the Diocese of York, 1560-1642 (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1960), p. 299 (Clifton), 304 (Gray), 296 (Bernard), 311-312 (Southworth), 297 (Bromhead). Additional information is found in the Archdeacony of Nottingham presentment records published on-line by the University of Nottingham library. Bromhead’s ejection, mentioned by Marchant with references to Burrage and Burgess that do not refer to it, is not documented in the presentments from North Wheatley that are excerpted by the University of Nottingham library project on presentments in the archdeaconry. Marchant, however, was thoroughly familiar with all the other church court records that could include the citation; his statement can be accepted as probably true, even though some error in citation is evident. Presumably it is recorded in the Act Book of the Chancery Court (York), which I have not seen.

39. On Smyth, see W. H. Whitley (ed.), The Works of John Smyth (2 vols., Cambridge University Press, 1915); Burrage, The Early English Dissenters, passim; James R. Coggins, John Smyth’s Congregation, English Separatism, Mennonite Influence, and the Elect Nation (Waterloo, Ontario; Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press, 1991; = Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History, No. 32; Walter H. Burgess, John Robinson, Pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers, A Study of his Life and Times (London: Williams and Norgate; New York: Harcourt, Brace & Howe, 1920), pp. 409-417 (Appendix IV Did John Smith the Se-Baptist Spring from Sturton?). See also: Henry Morton Dexter, The True Story of John Smyth, the Se-Baptist (Boston, Massachusetts: Lee and Shepard , 1881). Smyth published sermons from his time at Lincoln: The Bright Morning Star, or the Resolution and Exposition of the 22nd Psalm; preached publicly in four Sermons at Lincoln. By John Smyth (Cambridge: John Legat, printer to the University of Cambridge, 1603); copy in the Emmanuel College library, Cambridge (cited by Edward Arber, The Story of the Pilgrim Fathers, 1606-1623. A.D., as told by Themselves, their Friends, and their Enemies (London: Ward and Downey; Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Col, 1897; New York: Kraus Reprint Co., 1969), p. 133.

40. University of Nottingham, Archdeaconry of Nottingham Presentments, AN/PB/294/1/64, April 22, 1602. A Mr. John Smyth is listed in a presentment dated April 24, 1601, as a schoolteacher in Sturton-le-Steeple. Whether this is the same John Smyth is unclear, although possible. Another schoolteacher in the area was Alexander Smyth, who is listed as a schoolteacher in Carburton in 1596: AN/PB/292/4/22.

41. University of Nottingham, Presentment book project: AN/PB 294/1/119, dated July 26, 1603.

42. Jane Wastenes was evidently a relative of Mr. John Wastenes, the minister of West Burton, who was cited in 1602 together with John Smyth when Smyth preached there. See University of Nottinghamshire, Presentment Books: AN/PB 294/1/64/ Wastenes was a minister at Harthill, Yorkshire. He was listed in a presentment as the clergyman at a wedding in 1606: AN/PB 352/3/5.

43. Ainsworth’s Counterpoyson (Amsterdam, 1608), p. 246, is quoted by George, John Robinson, p. 79. It is likely that Francis Cooke and Hester Mayhew met Robinson at this time, as they lived in Norwich in 1607 and were members of the Walloon Church whose building was across the street from St. Andrew’s. They must have been aware of the turmoil. When they returned to Leiden they became members of Robinson’s congregation.

44. Michael R. Paulick, “John Robinson, Pastor of the Pilgrims, in Norwich 1603-1607,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 155 (2001), pp. 359-366, specifically pp. 359-360.

45. Ainsworth’s Counterpoyson (Amsterdam, 1608), p. 246, is quoted by George, John Robinson, p. 79. It is likely that Francis Cooke and Hester Mayhew met Robinson at this time, as they lived in Norwich in 1607 and were members of the Walloon Church whose building was across the street from St. Andrew’s. They must have been aware of the turmoil. When they returned to Leiden they became members of Robinson’s congregation.

46. The will is Public Record Office B 11.109, in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. It is cited by George, John Robinson, p. 74. Some price comparisons are found in David Cressy, Coming Over: Migration and Communication between England and New England in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987). For example, a suit of frieze cost 19 shillings (1 shilling less than one pound) in 1625; a wooden cart could be had for 10 shillings; a pair of boots cost 9 shillings; a hundred pounds of pickled pork cost 1 pound 5 shillings; a small kettle cost 10 shillings and a large one cost 2 pounds. The examples are quoted in:

47. Marchant, The Puritans and the Church Courts in the Diocese of York, 1560-1642, p. 152. For West Burton, see University of Nottingham, Presentment Books project: AN/PB/294/1/95, dated April 28, 1603.

48. For the actions of the ecclesiastical courts in the diocese of York (including Nottinghamshire), see Ronald A. Marchant, The Church under the Law, Justice, Administration and Discipline in the Diovese of York, 1560-1640 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969); and Marchant,The Puritans and the Church courts in the Diocese of York, 1560-1642 (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1960).

49. Marchant, The Puritans and the Church Courts, p-. 296-297. Marchant writes, “sued by Edmund Thurland, esquire, for calling him ‘an atheiste, a knave and a whoremaster’ to his face; admitted ‘whoremaster’; found guilty and performed penance.” It is not entirely clear from this, whether Brewster admitted calling Thurland a “whoremaster” or Thurland admitted being a “whoremaster.” For Thurland presentments, see University of Nottingham, Presentment book project: AN/PB; 292/7/20 (Sutton-cum-Lound, 1598; AN/PB/ 294/1/2 (Sutton-cum-Lound, 1601; AN/BP/294/2/184 (Sutton-cum-Lound, 14.4.1608, Isabel Thurland, widow of Edmund Thurland, accused of recusancy).

50. Marchant, Puritans and the Church Courts, pp. 142-143.

51. See the presentment dated 1603: University of Nottingham, Presentment books project: AN/PB/294/1/255.

52. Coggins, John Smyth’s Congregation, pp. 31, 35, 160-170. Coggins asserts that the congregation that formed in the Scrooby-Gainsborough area was a single one led by Smyth. He accounts all the others as Smyth’s members, including Robinson and Clyfton. This, in my opinion, does not agree with Bradford’s later report that the congregation divided for geographical convenience, meeting in different places. I do not think that there was sufficient definition to name any of the clergy as the chief leader.

53. Dexter and Dexter attempt to imagine the lay-out of the house, based on various partial indications from documentary references. See their book, The England and Holland of the Pilgrims, pp. 215-250; Edward Arber does the same: The Story of the Pilgrim Fathers, pp. 56-66.

54. See Edward Arber, The Story of The Pilgrim Fathers, 1606-1623 A.D., as told by Themselves, their Friends, and their Enemies (London: Ward and Downey; Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1897; New York: Kraus Reprint, 1969), p. 57.

55. Local opinion that the remaining house represents part of something built in the early eighteenth century is probably incorrect. Instead, what one sees is apparently from the seventeenth century or slightly earlier, but much altered.

56. I examined the interior of the house in 1987. Charles Strickland visited the house ca. 1950. It is the source for the idea of half-lofts that he incorporated into his designs for replica houses at Plimoth Plantation Museum. All of Strickland’s houses at Plimoth Plantation have been demolished in the last twenty years as being inconsistent with the year 1627 the museum chose (in the 1970’s) to emphasize. The half-loft design was thought inaccurately to have no precedent and instead to reflect the aesthetics of National Park lodges

57. Another one-room cottage of similar design stands on the main street in Kempsey, Worcestershire, the parish where Edward Winslow lived with his grandparents for a while. The Kempsey cottage has been extended with a brick section containing a chimney that evidently replaces a framed chimney within the original timber framing.

58. Matt. 18: 15-17. Moreouer, if thy brother trespace against thee, go, and tell him his faute betweene thee & him alone: if he heare thee, thou hast wonne thy brother. But if he heare thee not, take yet with thee one or two, that by ye mouth of two or thre witnesses euerie worde may be co[n]firmed. And if he will not vouchsaue to heare the[e], tell it vnto the Church: & if he refuse to heare the Church also, let him be vnto thee as an heathen man, and a Publicane.

59. This refers to the entire chapter, but presumably particularly to verses 3-5. I Cor. 5: 3-5. For I verely as absent in bodie, but presemt in spirit, haue determined already as thogh I were present, that he that hathe thus done this thing, When ye are gathered together, and my spirit, in the Name of our Lord Iesus Christ, that suche one, I say, by the power of our Lord Iesus Christ, Be deliuered vnto Satan, for the destructio[n] of the flesh, that the spirit may be saued in the day of the Lord Iesuss.

60. Eph. 5: 7 .Be not therefore companions with them. [and 11] And haue no fellowship with ye vnfruteful workes of darkenes, but euen reproue them rather.

61. John Robinson, A Manumission to a Manuduction, or Answer to a Letter inferring Publique communion in the parrish assemblies upon private with godly persons there., (n.p., 1615), pp. 20-21.

62. Richard L. Greaves, “The Role of Women in Early English Nonconformity,” Church History, Vol. 52, No. 3 (Sep., 1983) , pp. 299-311.

63. See Marchant, The Puritans and the Church Courts, p. 163, n. 5, referring to Whitley’s edition of John Smyth’s works, p. lxxiv.

64. University of Nottingham, Presentation books project: Bilborough, AN/PB/292/5/53 (1596); AN/PB/292/6/12 (April 20, 1598); Rempstone memorandum, AN/PB/295/3/69; Bilborough, AN/PB/293/7/24 (May 15, 1606); Basford, AN/PB/294/2/100 (April 11, 1608).

65. Emmanuel van Meteren, A trve discovrse historicall, of the svcceeding governovrs in the Netherlands, and the ciuill warres there begun in the yeere 1565 ... Translated and collected by T.C. esqvire and Ric. Ro. ovt of the Reuerend E.M. of Antwerp his fifteene bookes Historia Belgica, and other collections added ... (London: Matthew Lownes, 1602). I have not checked the page reference.

66. Bradford’s History “Of Plimoth Plantation.” From the Original Manuscript (Boston: Wright & Potter, 1901), pp. 11-15.]

67. University of Nottingham, Presentment books project: AN/PB/294/2/47 (May 21, 1607). The unclarity may be an aspect of the form of the computerized categories. The documents were not available while the archives moved (summer, 2006).

68. The quotation is from Marchant, see Marchant, The Puritans and the Church Courts, p. 142, referring to Cause Papers (LB 218) of the Archdeaconry Court (University of Nottingham). Further information about this horse is lacking.

69. University of Nottingham, Presentment books project: AN/PB/294/1/63 (dated April 22, 1602).

70. University of Nottingham, Presentment books project: AN/PB/294/1/102 (dated April 28, 1603); AN/PB/293/2/70 (dated 1603 (c)) ; AN/PB/294/1/256 (1603); AN/PB/294/2/41 (dated June 17, 1607); AN[PB{294?2/189 (dated April 14, 1608).

71. University of Nottingham, Presentment books project: AN/PB/294/1/21 (April 21, 1601); AN/PB/204/1/89 (April 22, 1602); AN/PB/294/2/204 (April 14, 1608).

72. University of Nottingham, Presentment books project: AN/PB/ 294/1/207 (April 28, 1603).

73. University of Nottingham, Presentment books project: AN/PB/292/7/20 (1598 (c)). The others cited for non-attendance were Richard Ellis, Robert Bingham, Robert Barker, Glyn Chauntry, and Isabel Thurland (who is elsewhere identified as a recusant). Among the churchwardens was John Cullands, presumably a relative of Henry.

74. University of Nottingham, Presentation books project: AN/PB/294/2/187 (April 14, 1608). A James Horsefole was presented for misbehaving in church at East Retford on September 8, 1602: AN/PB/293/2/32

75. AN/PB/294/1/223 (Easter, 1603); AN/PB/294/1/255; AN/PB/294/2/67 (May 7, 1607). George Hanson Sr. and George Hanson Jr. are both listed as churchwardens at Austerfield in 1598: AN/PB/292/7/32 (April 27, 1598).

76. He is mentioned in that function in 1598: AN/PB/ 292/7/19 (April 27, 1598); 1608: AN/PB/294/2/209 (April 14, 1608); AN/PB/352/2/18 (July 5, 1608); AN/PB/294/2/237 (April 4, 1609, May, 1609).

77. Henry Sampson of the “Mayflower” was born in Henlow, Bedfordshire; see Robert Charles Anderson, The Pilgrim Migration, Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633 (Boston, Massachusetts, 2004), pp. 403-404, citing the work of Robert Leigh Ward in The American Genealogist, 52 (1976), pp. 198-208; 56 (1980), pp. 141-143.

78. University of Nottingham, Presentment books project: AN/PB/292/4/7 (May 4, 1596).

79. University of Nottingham, Presentment books project: AN/PB/292/4/16 (May 4, 1596).

80. University of Nottingham, Presentment books project: AN/PB/294/1/87 (April 22, 1602); AN/PB/293/2/42 (dated 1603 (c)); AN/PB/294/1/217 (April 24, 1603); AN/PB/294/1/234 (July and August, 1603); AN/PB/294/2/276 (May 4, 1609).

81. University of Nottingham, Presentment books project: AN/PB/293/1/2 (1601 (c)); AN/PB/293/8/64 (April 27, 1609).

82. University of Nottingham, Presentment books project: AN/PB/292/4/11 (1596 (c)); AN/PB/ 294/1/37 (April 24, 1601); AN/PB/296/1/31 (April 26, 1610 cited for sexual immorality); Dexter and Dexter, The England and Holland of the Pilgrims, p. 626.

83. The information and documentary quotations are from Marchant, The Puritans and the Church Courts, pp. 160-162; for a description of the various church courts, see Ronald A. Marchant, The Church under the Law, Justice, Administration and Discipline in the Diocese of York, 1560-1640 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969).

84. On Gervase Neville, the Helwyses, and Thomas Jessop, see Coggins, John Smyth’s Congregation, passim.

85. Marchant, The Puritans and the Church Courts, p. 161, n. 1. I doubt that they were not related, however distantly, as the coats-of-arms of the two branches of the Southworth family have the same charges merely reversing the tinctures. Walter Burgess mentions the will (1612) of a Thomas Southworth “of Wellam in Clarborough,” who was the overseer of the will of Thomas Peck, father of Anne Peck, a member of Robinson’s Leiden congregation. See Walter H. Burgess, John Robinson, Pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers, A Study of his Life and Times (London: Williams and Norgate; New York: Harcourt, Brace & How, 1920), pp. 102, n. 2.

86. Dexter and Dexter, The England and Holland of the Pilgrims, pp. 401-403; Marchant, The Puritans and the Church Courts, pp. 161-164.

87. William Whitaker, A Disputation on Holy Scripture, Against the Papists, especially Bellarmine and Stapleton (William Fitzgerald, trs.; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1849), p. 15.

88. Marchant, The Puritans and the Church Courts, p. 166, summarizing his history of court actions against the separatists.

89. Diocese of Canterbury, Probate/Court Records, Miscellaneous: DCb/PRC/44 (1584-1603; see also the Canterbury Court of Quarter Sessions, CC/JQ/405 (1605); CC/JQ/405/vi (1606).

90. Michael R. Paulick, “Richard Masterson, John Ellis, Chritopher Verrall, and The Sandwich Separatists, 1603-1620,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 154 (2000), pp. 353-369.

91. Paulick describes the parish meeting at which Fletcher was chosen to be sexton as a proto-Congregationalist gathering. Instead, I think that the parish was acting to chose a civil officer, as they asserted was their traditional right as parish residents. The parish did not necessarily thereby imagine that they had a voice in choosing their clergy, although some members may have felt that they should.

92. Paulick suggests that there is a clerical confusion in the reference to two people named Richard Masterson, and that one might be identified with Richard Marston instead. The source of the reference to Richard Masterson, Sr., and Jr., is a letter from “the ministers of the towne of Sandwich.” I think it is unlikely that they were confused, and I see no reason to imagine a clerical error of transcription. Instead, I think that the father of Richard Masterson who moved to Leiden was probably “Richard Masterson, Sr.” It is possible that “Richard Marston” in other references is identical with Richard Masterson, Sr. “Marston” was a local anti-establishment preacher in Sandwich, supported by the town with a lectureship that permitted him to preach on Wednesdays. He died in 1620. See Paulick, “The Sandwich Separatists,” p. 360.

93. Paulick’s remarks on this are derived principally from the collection of Leiden documents summarized by Johanna Tammel, The Pilgrims and other People from the British Isles in Leiden, 1576-1640 (Peel: The Mansk-Svenska Publishing Co., 1989).

94. Harald Kirk-Smith asserts that the 1607 attempt originated in Scrooby and that the émigrés “travelled in small boats down the Idle from Scrooby past Bawtry where they picked up more passengers, into the Trent to Gainsborough and Torksey, still fifty miles distant from Boston, thence via the Fosse Dyke to Lincoln, and down the Withom to Boston.” Bradford, the only source for this 1607 event, does not provide support for this hypothesis. Getting past the tolls at Torksey and Lincoln and the inspections for demurrage charges at Lincoln would have posed a problem if this route had been followed. An overland flight to Boston would have been less likely to attract the notice of tax collectors or other police officers. See: Harald Kirk-Smith, William Brewster ‘The Father of New England: His Life and Times, 1567-1644 (Boston, Lincolnshire: Richard Kay, 1992), p. 86. Kirk-Smith provides a mixture of accurate information with unsupported assumptions, claiming for example that the Pilgrims in Leiden held services in the Pieterskerk, which is unsubstantiated and unlikely. Who was involved in the 1607 attempt, and where they started on their way to Boston, are both unknown, although Brewster was among them, according to Bradford. But Brewster was probably in hiding, and thus unlikely to have started from Scrooby on this escape attempt.

95. See Dexter and Dexter, The England and Holland of the Pilgrims, pp. 401-407; Bradford’s History Of Plimouth Plantation, p. 490.

96. Bradford’s Of Plimouth Plantation, p. 490.

97. The 1608 emigration may be assumed to have originated in Scrooby, where the small bark could sail up the Idle to the Trent and thence to the coast without passing any tolls or inspections.

98. Bradford reports on the captain’s oath as if he heard it. The word “sacramente” is not known from other sources as being a typical Dutch expletive. Bradford, therefore, probably was present, and not among the men who stayed behind. On the other hand, Bradford also describes the distress of the women left stranded as if he had been there. John Cotton, in a short biographical note about Bradford, reports that Bradford later got across to Zeeland and made his way north to Amsterdam. I think this may be an inventive extrapolation by Cotton, derived from reading in Bradford’s manuscript that the Dutch captain had a ship from Zeeland. It might, alternatively, record something Cotton had heard from Bradford or someone else who knew him.

99. Bradford’s History “Of Plimoth Plantation”, pp. 16-21.