William Bradford: The Man Who Helped Found America

Catherine Warr, host of Yorkshire’s Hidden History, introduced this 20-minute video about William Bradford who served as Governor of Plymouth Plantation from 1621 to 1657. Before she ends, however, she realized that Bradford was not quite the hero she imagined after she learns about what he did in the Pequot War of 1636. Click here for the 15-minute video that she posted on July 29, 2022.

(Above) Philosopher Thomas Hobbs influenced Bradford’s thinking as did his study of the Scriptures which he read while convalescing as a young man. He attended the church in Bradford, Yorkshire but became disillusioned with the way the Puritans conducted worship and became a Separatist.

(Above) The Separatists squelched others’ practices, such as playing sports on Sunday, and refused to celebrate Christmas. While in Leiden, Holland, the Dutch culture began to influence the Separatists’ children, so they made plans to go to America where they could start their own colony.

When they heard about the failure of the colony in Jamestown, they began to fear for their own survival as they first arrived in America in the winter of 1620. Later, in 1636, Bradford helped to lead a massacre of the Pequot Tribe that resulted in the death of hundreds of men, women and children.