William Bradford was born in 1590 in Austerfield near Doncaster which forms part of the Pilgrim Roots region.
Bradford was a member of the Scrooby congregation and also prominent in the churches both at Leiden and Plymouth. He became the second elected Governor of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in 1621 and continued to serve the Colony for almost 30 years.
Bradford was thought to have been brought up in Austerfield and as a teenager joined the separatist cause where he would escape to Holland with the Brewster family at the age of 18.
After travelling to America, Bradford was a signatory of the historic Mayflower Compact, and much of our knowledge about their momentous journey and early years of the Colony was recorded in his journal, ‘Of Plimoth Plantation’ which is considered as the first American history book ever written.
His most famous quote “as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindle hath shone unto many” is believed to refer to their struggles and efforts and that it would serve as a light that will inspire many more to follow them (the way one small candle can light a thousand).
Pilgrim Roots is a partnership connecting Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire telling the story of the Pilgrims before they set sail on the Mayflower who many believe laid the foundations for modern America. Follow the links below to find out more.