Both Brewster and Bradford are among the most well-known Mayflower Pilgrims - Bradford chronicled the story of their lives in his diary 'Of Plimoth Plantation', and Brewster became known as their Elder and guide. Today, there are millions of people around the world who can trace their ancestry back to these two local men.


William Brewster and his family lived in the Manor at Scrooby, where it is thought Clifton's Separatist group began to meet. Brewster had been well-educated and was well-travelled. As a young man, he had accompanied the Queen's Secretary of State to Holland on diplomatic missions.

After returning to Scrooby he took up his father's old position as Master of the Postes, hosting visitors to the Manor, which at that time, belonged to the Archibishop of York.


William Bradford came from a farming family in Austerfield near Bawtry. He was orphaned at a young age, and so was cared for by his grandparents and uncles. He spent plenty of time reading too, he was often ill and unable to play with other children. He started to read scriptures and went to hear a famous preacher, Richard Clifton, at Babworth Church.

Clifton had begun to inspire a group of followers, and Bradford, along with the Brewster family, joined them. When Clifton lost his job as vicar, they continued to meet secretly. Eventually, the pressure to conform became too great and the group decided to escape to Holland along with another similar group from Gainsborough.