By Kathleen M. Myers
|Date of birth: about 1572|
|Marriage: Alice (maiden name unknown)|
|Children: Four (4)
1. William b. about 1593
2. Joseph b. about 1596
3. Sarah b. about 1598
4. Priscilla b. 1600-1605, probably about 1603
|Death: 21 February 1620/21, Plymouth|
|Burial Site: Probably Coles Hill Burial Ground, Plymouth, MA|
- William Mullins was from Dorking, County Surrey, England.
- He followed his father's trade as a shoemaker and was one of the more prosperous of the original settlers.
- In 1612 William Mullins "bought a holding in Dorking with a house and an acre and a half of land and outbuildings between West Street and Back Lane (now Church Street) for 122 pounds and took over a mortgage of 200 pounds. He sold this to Ephraim Bothal in May 1619 for 280 pounds." Now known as Nos. 58-61 West Street in Dorking, it is believed to be the only home of a Pilgrim Father to have survived intact.
- "William Mullins marriage record is not found in the Parish Register for Dorking, nor are the baptisms of his children."
- "On 29 April 1616, a warrant was issued to bring 'one William Mollins before their lordships'...while the reason for his arrest is not given, it was most probably associated with the religious controversies of that time."
- William Mullins was a member of the group known as the Merchant Adventurers, men who made financial investments in the voyage of the Mayflower and the colonization of America.
- When the Mayflower left Plymouth on 6 September 1620, William Mullins was accompanied by his wife Alice, daughter Priscilla, son Joseph, and servant Robert Carter. He carried with him over 250 shoes and 13 pairs of boots.
- The Mayflower's destination was the mouth of the Hudson River, claimed by King James as part of Virginia. After bad weather and 65 days at sea, Captain Christopher Jones knew he was well north of the original destination. At daybreak on 9 November 1620, land was sighted. According to Bradford, the passengers were "not a little joyful."
- William Mullins was the 10th signer of the Mayflower Compact.
- "Of what lay ahead, William Bradford wrote in Of Plymouth Plantation,"...they now had no friends to welcome them, nor inns to entertaine or refresh their weatherbeaten bodys, no houses or much less townes to repaire to, to seeke for succor...and for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search unknown coasts..."
- William Mullins died during the first sickness, on 21 February 1621. He made an oral will written down by Plymouth's governor, John Carver. In his will he mentions his wife, Alice, children Priscilla and Joseph, and his children in Dorking, William Mullins and Sarah Blunden. His will was witnessed by the Mayflower's Captain, Christopher Jones, its surgeon, Giles Heale and John Carver. A copy of his will was carried by the Mayflower on her return voyage to England in 1621 and was administered there by his other daughter, Sarah Mullins Blunden. Alice Mullins, Joseph Mullins and the servant, Robert Carter also died the first winter.
- William Mullins will was discovered in the late 19th century by Henry F. Waters. "The will proves that William died before his wife, son and servant, who are all mentioned in the instrument and that Alice and Joseph were still alive when the Mayflower sailed or else Governor Carver would have annexed a statement regarding the deaths of two legatees. the date of the copy of the will also proves that the Mayflower did not leave New England until after 2 April 1621."
- Orphaned on this side of the Atlantic, Priscilla Mullins married Mayflower passenger, John Alden about 1623. She and her husband helped to found the town of Duxbury. They were the parents of ten children and have a large number of descendants including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who wrote about his ancestors in the poem "The Courtship of Myles Standish", Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams and Vice President Dan Quayle.
General Society of Mayflower Descendants
Surrey History: Exploring Surrey's Past - Dorking - William Mullin's House
Mayflower Families Through Five Generations (Silver Books)
New England Historic Genealogical Society
Caleb Johnson's MayflowerHistory.com