Pilgrim Timeline

The history of the Pilgrims begins when various preliminary actions resulted in the formation of their congregation at Scrooby in 1605-1606. That church congregation's history expanded when the Pilgrims formed Plimoth colony, which existed from 1620 to 1691-1692. The "Pilgrim Era" would be considered to span the years 1606-1691.

Let's put our Pilgrim fathers into the context of history below. Use your cursor to scroll within the timeline.

A Journey: Stories in the “Stones of Time”?

By Peter Dustin

If one arrives in Plymouth, MA via Summer Street following the line of Town Brook that empties into Plymouth Harbor, one does not see the Harbor or Bay beyond until that view opens up only after the first-time traveler has made a quick turn onto Sandwich crossing Town Brook, then another quick turn onto Main, and a final quick turn onto Water Street to pass between buildings again crossing Town Brook with a marina blocking the view, not realizing that Brewster’s garden has been passed on the left and Cole’s hill was directly in the line of sight ahead, as one is focused on wanting to see the vista of ocean water and to identify a place to car park, and there ahead appears a white columned object, which is the Roman Doric Portico designed by McKim, Mead, and White, which it turns out covers the venerated remains of Plymouth Rock, lying on the sand at water’s edge below, with “1620” carved into the granite that having been done long ago in 1880 and later this remaining one-third portion of rock was relocated here for viewing from above at promenade level by peering down through the open floor of the Portico.

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Anthony Hickman—The Unknown Separatist?

Anthony Hickman- The Unknown Separatist? Seasoned tourists understand that where there is a person, or persons, of great historical note then there are bound to be places jostling to capitalize on any association with them. No matter how tenuous the evidence of such an association may be, there is money to be made out of tourism.

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Honoring Nathaniel Philbrick, Author of "Mayflower"

Nathaniel Philbrick's 'Mayflower'At our Annual Luncheon on January 12, 2007, our Society presented its "Katharine F. Little Award for Distinguished Mayflower Scholarship" for 2007 to acclaimed author and historian Nathaniel Philbrick. Mr. Philbrick speaks in depth about his acclaimed historical novel "Mayflower" and the history of the Pilgrims.

"They should never have sailed to Plymouth in 1620. I mean, the organization [of the voyage] was pitiful from the beginning. They didn't know what they were getting themselves into; they were already beginning to run out of provisions even before they left. But they had faith. They truly had faith. And off they went."

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The Mayflower Hymn

TheWritten in 1920 for the Tercentenary of the Landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts by Allen Eastman Cross and adopted as the Official Hymn of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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Forefathers' Day

Forefather's DaySince 1769 there have been celebrations of the Pilgrims’ arrival in Plymouth. The earliest was that by the Old Colony Club on December 22, 1769 on the 149th anniversary. Historian James W. Baker, in his 2009 history Thanksgiving – The Biography of an American Holiday, says that Forefathers’ Day was created “as a celebration of Plymouth Colony’s independent origins and in response to oppression by the English Crown...

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Henry Samson, the Teenager on the Mayflower

Henry Samson, the Teenager on the MayflowerThe Separatists who came to be know as the "Pilgrims" left England in 1608 in search of religious freedom and took refuge in Holland, first in Amsterdam, then "for some 11 or 12 years" in Leiden. Their pastor in Leiden was John Robinson. In 1620, with Robinson's blessing, a portion of the congregation departed on the Speedwell and, stopping at Southamption, England, where they found the Mayflower waiting to accommodate them, set sail for the New World. Others who—like John Alden, apparently—never liked in Leiden joined them in England for the voyage across the Atlantic. Who, then, of the Mayflower passengers was in Leiden? Who was not? Can we always know with comfortable certitude?

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Philately and the Mayflower

Philately and the MayflowerI will not tell you that one of the Pilgrims brought his stamp collection along on board the Mayflower. The damp conditions on board would have wreaked havoc with it, but even more important, he would have had to wait 220 years until the postage stamp was invented before obtaining any examples to put in this album.

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The Game of the Mayflower

Mayflower: The Card GameHave you ever played the "Game of the Mayflower?" (1897)

An Historical card game which features episodes in the life of the Pilgrim Fathers on their arrival in the 'New World'.

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Nathaniel Philbrick on William Bradford: Impromptu

Nathaniel Philbrick on William BradfordIn his great book "Mayflower", Nathaniel Philbrick "focused," as he put it in the preface, "on two people," William Bradford (the governor, "pious and stalwart") and Benjamin Church (the Indian fighter, "audacious and proud"). Both men wrote revealingly about their lives in the New World."

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Pilgrims' Progress at Scrooby Village

Pilgrim's Progress at Scrooby VilliageFour hundred years ago in the reign of King James I, a small band of men and women of faith, hope and vision came together at the tiny village of Scrooby. In a Manor house there belonging to the Archbishop of York they forged the spirit and ideals the would later define the future great nation of the USA. At the heart of this group were Richard Clifton of Babworth, John Robinson of Sturton-le-Steeple, William Bradford of Austerfield and William Brewster of Scrooby – all at that time, and still remain small, out of the way rural villages.

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