Archives of News



Indentured passengers on the Mayflower There were a range of different passengers on the Mayflower, a mixture of Separatist families and others sent to help establish a new colony by those sponsoring the voyage.  Some of the families were accompanied by servants, which Bradford – who became the Governor of the colony within its first […]


The Pilgrims leave England for the last time The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth on the 16th September 1620 – or the 6th September according to Bradford’s diary (to explain, and just to make things a bit more complicated, in 1752, the Old Style Julian calendar was changed to the New Style Gregorian calendar we […]


A tale of two ships: the Speedwell and the Mayflower A tale of two ships: the Speedwell and the Mayflower In the summer of 1620, the Separatists in Holland had decided which of them would sail first to America. They boarded the ship they had bought, the Speedwell, ready to join another ship hired in […]


For “they knew they were pilgrims”: preparing for a voyage Once the Separatists in Holland started to conclude they wanted to move on again from the homes they had established in Leiden, there was much work to be done. They had lengthy discussions about where they should go. Some suggested Guiana while others preferred Virginia, […]


Religious riots, wars and rebellion in a turbulent Europe The Pilgrims’ lives in Leiden began to become increasingly difficult and uncertain in the years running up to 1620. They had been accepted in the city, but there were other factions who they didn’t always agree with. Bradford recalled the religious arguments that rumbled on, which […]

Covid-19 Pilgrims Trail Visiting Updates

Update 5.January.2021: Under current lockdown measures, the Pilgrims Trail sites are closed. It is possible to visit the sites and read external interpretation as part of daily exercise; please do continue to engage with us online. When it is possible to re-open our sites, we anticipate the measures outlined below being in place for some […]


To play the King: the Pilgrims continue to provoke James I Even though the Pilgrims were now living in Holland, they were still at odds with the English authorities and the King, James I. Leading Pilgrim and Elder William Brewster had set up a printing press with the financial support of another of their group, […]


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 […]