Archives of News



Life in Leiden Many of the Separatists from the Gainsborough area and other places in England had escaped to Holland in 1608, and after a year in Amsterdam, they moved – under the leadership of Rev John Robinson – to the neighbouring city of Leiden. Bradford, Separatist Pilgrim and later diarist of their lives and […]


Arriving in Amsterdam Eventually, the Pilgrims all made their way to Holland after managing to escape from England in the summer of 1608. Their journeys so far had, according to their chronicler William Bradford, captured the popular imagination: “For by these so public troubles, in so many eminent places, their cause became famous.” Bradford recalled […]


A partial escape and an enforced separation We pick up the story from last week during high drama near Immingham, as the Pilgrim families are separated in their attempts to escape from England for Holland. While the women and children are stranded in boats near the shore, many of the men – their husbands and […]

Escape #2

From Gainsborough to Immingham to Holland After a failed first attempt to escape England from Boston on the south Lincolnshire coast, the Pilgrims needed to think again about their plans. They were still resolved to go, and so needed to come up with an alternative route. We pick up the story in Pilgrim William Bradford’s diary: “The next […]


The Separatists are held in Boston After making their way to the Lincolnshire coast near Boston, the Pilgrims were hoping to escape from England for new lives in Holland. But their secret escape plan was thwarted after they were betrayed by the master of the ship who had agreed to take them to Holland. Their ordeal in Boston […]

New Pilgrim Beer

In honour of the quadricentennial anniversary of the Mayflower Pilgrims setting sail in search of religious freedom one North Nottinghamshire brewery has released a special beer. The Pheasantry Brewery is a family run business with connections to Babworth, where Richard Clifton preached to William Brewster and a young William Bradford. This family have celebrated life’s […]


Separatists forced to live secret lives Religious life changed dramatically throughout the course of the 15th and 16th century. As each monarch changed, there were big changes in the way the Church expected people to practise their faith – and everyone was expected to follow the Church’s rules. If you didn’t, you were likely to […]


Seeking tolerance, spreading intolerance Some of the early leaders of the Pilgrims/Separatists made important arguments in favour of religious tolerance at a time when this wasn’t a universally recognised right. By raising these issues, they began important conversations about what people should be allowed to do in their lives. At this time, people were put […]


The Pilgrims and providence The Pilgrims had a strong belief in ‘providence’, which means the intervention of God’s will. They often saw providence in things that happened to them on their journeys, and it’s something William Bradford mentioned in his diary of their journeys and lives, Of Plimoth Plantation. By holding this belief, it seemed […]

Remote Volunteering

Latest advice suggests our sites and museums will be shut for another month or more, but there are plenty of ways that you can stay involved, have fun and support the project too. A relatively new trend of ‘micro-volunteering’ highlights the impact that seemingly small, and often very quick, tasks can have on a project’s […]