Monday, December 18, 2017

Along the Pilgrim Trail ~ The Mayflower returns to Rotherhithe, London, England

Along the Pilgrim Trail, Part 23

The Mayflower Pub, Rotherhithe, London
and 43 members of the Mayflower Society Tour

Vincent and I recently took the General Society of Mayflower Descendants Historic Sites Tour of England, Wales and The Netherlands along with 41 other enthusiast participants (known as "The 43").  We traced the footsteps of the Separatists and the Mayflower passengers and crew all around these countries with some amazing tour directors, guides, historians and authors.  We were given access to places off the usual tourist trails, and behind the scenes.  We had a wonderful time, and this is the last blog post of this series.

Since October I have been blogging about our tour to England and Holland with the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.  For 22 posts I have traced the footsteps of our Pilgrim ancestors from the origins of the Separatists in Babsworth and Gainsborough, to the home villages and parishes of the Pilgrim Fathers and Mothers, to their escape to Holland, and back again to England before finally departing Plymouth in Devonshire in 1620.  Many readers never knew all these stories, and it has been interesting to relive the adventures of these early colonists before they even came to the New World.

In the 22nd post the Separatists and the adventurers left Plymouth.  Most of you know what happened next when they crossed the stormy Atlantic Ocean for 66 days, landed at Cape Cod, searched for a place to plant their colony, and endured a terrible winter when 50 of the 102 settlers died.  However, by springtime they had made alliances with the Native Wampanoag people, planted their first crops, and were on their way to surviving in New England.

On 5 April 1621 Captain Christopher Jones and his crew returned to England.  None of the colonists decided to return with him, although he offered to bring anyone who wanted to return.  They returned to London in 31 days, less than half the time it took to get to Cape Cod. 

Less than a year later, Captain Jones died in Rotherhithe, a neighborhood along the Thames River in London.  This was where the Mayflower landed on her return.  Jones’s widow and the other three owners of the Mayflower (Jones was the fourth owner) applied for an appraisal of the ship in 1622. It appraised for 128 pounds, 8 shillings, and 4 pence.  The ship was then probably scrapped.

Rotherhithe is a place where you can see many memorials to Capt. Christopher Jones, and to the Mayflower.  My two favorite memorials are the statue called “Sunbeam Weekly and the Pilgrim’s Pocket,” and the Mayflower Inn.  The Mayflower Pub, where descendants are invited to sign a book and list their Mayflower ancestors.  The Mayflower originally sailed from near this pub, which was originally called “The Shippe”, and then rebuilt in the 18th century and renamed “The Spread Eagle”, and then renamed “The Crown”. We also visited St. Mary’s Church, where Capt. Jones is buried, and there is a plaque commemorating the Mayflower.

This is the last of the blog posts, because this is where the Mayflower came to rest, and was eventually scrapped.  The story doesn’t end here, because the colonists that Capt. Christopher Jones left behind prospered, and were eventually joined with their beloved kinfolk and friends from Leiden when the ships Fortune and James arrived in the subsequent years.

You know the rest of the story!

Sunbeam Weekly and the Pilgrim's Pocket
This statue is named for a popular series of children's historic comic books.
The little boy is reading about the history of America,
and a Pilgrim is looking over his shoulder. 
The Pilgrim's pocket includes a lobster, a guide to London, and a cross.  

St. Mary's Church, Rotherhithe, where Capt. Christopher Jones is buried

This is Yours Truly, signing the book for descendants at the Mayflower Pub in Rotherhithe.
We all had a nice lunch, and all signed the book.  This was one of the highlights of the entire trip for me!

The Mayflower Pub in Rotherhithe website:

Other blog posts in this series:
Part 1 of this series "Babworth, Nottinghamshire":

Part 2 of this series "Scrooby Manor"

Part 3 of this series “Gainsborough, Lincolnshire”:

Part 4 of this series "Harwich, Essex, home of the Mayflower"

Part 5 this series "Stephen Hopkins of Upper Clatford, Hampshire"

Part 6 of this series "William Mullins of Dorking, Surrey"

Part 7 of this series “Edward Winslow of Droitwich, Worcestershire”

Part 8 of this series "The Fullers of Reddenhall, Norfolk":

Part 9 of this series "John Howland of Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire":

Part 10 of this series "Tilley and Sampson of Henlow, Bedfordshire":

Part 11 of this series "William Bradford of Austerfield, Yorkshire":

Part 12 of this series "Francis Eaton of Bristol":

Part 13 of this series "James Chilton, Robert Cushman of Canterbury, Kent, England":

Part 14 of this series "Fishtoft, Lincolnshire where the Pilgrims were betrayed":

Part 15 of this series "Boston, Lincolnshire, where the Pilgrims were jailed":

Part 16 of this series "Immingham, Lincolnshire to Holland":

Part 17 of this series “In Exile in Amsterdam”:

Part 18 of this series “St. Pieterskerk in Leiden, The Netherlands”:

Part 19 of this series "Touring Leiden":

Part 20 of this series "Delfshaven, Holland"

Part 21 of this series “Dartmouth, Devonshire”

Part 22 of this series “Plymouth, Devonshire”


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Along the Pilgrim Trail ~ The Mayflower returns to Rotherhithe, London, England”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 18, 2017, ( accessed [access date]). 

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