Archives of PilgrimAGE



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 […]

Escape #1

Sixty miles to the coast: attempting to flee from Boston Once the Separatists made their minds up about fleeing from England in search of tolerance in Holland, they needed to find a means of escape. They were living inland, in Nottinghamshire and around Gainsborough, so they needed to make their way to the coast. Pilgrim […]


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 […]


Becoming Separatists and risking all “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 & clapped up in prison, others had […]


The Two Congregations Who were the ‘Separatists’? How do they relate to the ‘Pilgrims’? Four centuries ago, the Church of England was the established Christian church of the state, set up by King Henry VIII following his battles with the previously established Church in Rome. Religion played a hugely important role in everyday life for […]

Welcome to PilgrimAGE

An online programme commemorating the Mayflower Pilgrims throughout Summer 2020, 400 years on from their historic transatlantic voyage Over the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you short stories about that group of people who many know as the Pilgrims, as part of our summer PilgrimAGE programme to commemorate the Mayflower story in its 400th […]
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