The home of the Mayflower in Essex, England

Linda MacIver examines the history of the Mayflower and the ship’s connections to the county of Essex (England), including the ship’s captain and signers of the Mayflower Compact. Follow the 17th century document trail to confirm what we really know about the Mayflower. Click here for a 71-minute video of her November 11, 2021 presentation on Zoom from the Wilmington, MA Library.

Maclver begins by tracing the history of the ship from its beginnings in Harwich in Essex County, England where the ship was built. She then goes on to trace the route of the Separatists (Pilgrims) from England to Leiden prior to their voyage to New England.

A monument to Captain Christopher Jones who piloted the ship to America now stands in a Harwich graveyard in Rotherhithe, South London not far from the Mayflower restaurant, pictured below, left. The house he lived in at the time (upper right) is now restored in Harwich near the harbor.

The Mayflower left London for Plymouth, England in the summer of 1620 where it picked up 102 passengers, only 35 of which were Separatists. It was originally to travel with the Speedwell, but that ship began leaking so badly that all of the passengers and crew had to be taken aboard the Mayflower.