Coming to America

The Mayflower set sail for Virginia in September 1620 with around 130 passengers and crew. In late
November, the ship sighted land – but they were further north than planned. After a long voyage across the
Atlantic, the Pilgrims were just off the coast of Massachusetts.

Continue reading “Voyage”



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.

Continue reading “Servitude”

Gainsborough enjoys three day Continental Street Market this August Bank Holiday

Gainsborough Continental Market

Shoppers turned out for Gainsborough’s three-day Continental Street Market which took place over the Bank Holiday Weekend (29th, 30th and 31st August).

Stalls located in the town centre and Marshall’s Yard offered a variety of tastes from around the world including foods from Greece, and Germany as well as Asian and Italian dishes – there were also sweet treats, children’s rides and fresh produce from local traders.

Continue reading “Gainsborough enjoys three day Continental Street Market this August Bank Holiday”



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 know today – 11 days were dropped from September and before that the year ended on 24th March).

Many of the Separatist families from Leiden who had been on the leaky Speedwell were now on the Mayflower with other families, all setting off as colonists for a New World – new of course to them, but not to the indigenous people who had lived there for thousands of years.

Continue reading “Departure”



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 England, the Mayflower.

Bradford, their chronicler and later colony Governor, picks up the story as they depart from Holland:

“Thus hoisting sail, with a prosperous wind they came in short time to Southampton, where they found the bigger ship come from London, lying ready, with all the rest of their company. After a joyful welcome, and mutual congratulations, with other friendly entertainments, they fell to parley about their business…” Continue reading “Ships”

Gainsborough to host three day Continental Street Market this Bank Holiday Weekend

Continental Market

Gainsborough is looking forward to a three-day Continental Street Market this Bank Holiday Weekend (29th, 30th and 31st August), bringing tasty treats from around the world to the town centre.

The ideal destination for foodies of all ages, the market will be open from 10am until 6pm on Saturday and 10am until 5pm on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.

Continue reading “Gainsborough to host three day Continental Street Market this Bank Holiday Weekend”



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, where the earlier Jamestown colony had been established. They decided Virginia would be better, as Bradford recounts:

“Such hot countries [like Guiana have] grievous diseases, and many noisome impediments, which other more temperate places are freer from, and would not … agree with our English bodies … if they should there live, & do well, the jealous Spaniard would never suffer them long, but would displant or overthrow them, as he did the French in Florida … they should have none to protect them, & their own strength would be too small to resist so potent an enemy, & so near a neighbour.”

Continue reading “Pilgrims”


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.

Continue reading “Debates”