Pilgrim Fathers

Puritan Colonists

Pilgrim Fathers

This article on the Pilgrim Fathers who settled the second colony in Colonial America in New Plymouth:

  • Background information on the Pilgrim Fathers - the Scrooby separatists
  • History Timeline of the Pilgrim Fathers providing facts and information about the journey of the 'Pilgrim Fathers' on the Mayflower
  • The relationship of the Pilgrim Fathers with the Native American Indians
Mayflower Compact
The Pilgrims & the Mayflower
PuritansMayflower Voyage
American Colonies Index

The History of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower

The Pilgrim Fathers: The Pilgrims, the Mayflower and the Plymouth Colony

The Pilgrim Fathers - The Colony

Pilgrim Fathers is the name given to early colonists and settlers of the Plymouth Colony located in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States. The first settlement of the Plymouth Colony by the Pilgrim Fathers was at New Plymouth. The Plymouth Colony was founded by a group of people referred to as separatists, who later came to be known as the "Pilgrim Fathers" or simply as Pilgrims.

The Pilgrim Fathers - Separatists
The Pilgrim Fathers, or Pilgrims, were part of a church congregation of religious separatists led by pastor John Robinson, church elder William Brewster and William Bradford. Separatists were a group of Puritans who advocated total withdrawal from the Church of England. The Separatists wanted the freedom to worship independently from English authority. Their quest for religious freedom took the Pilgrim Fathers to Colonial America where they had set their sights on New England which they had read about in a book called 'A Description of New England'. The author of the book was John Smith, famous for founding the first colony in Jamestown.

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor

The Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor

Pilgrim Fathers - History Timeline
Discover interesting  facts and information about the Pilgrim Fathers via this fast source of information - a History Timeline of the Pilgrim Fathers. For additional facts and information about their religion refer to the Similarities and the Differences between the Pilgrim and the Puritan.


History Timeline of the Pilgrim Fathers
History Timeline of the Pilgrim Fathers (1600 to 1623)

1600The Pilgrim Fathers, or Pilgrims, were a group of religious reformers, or separatists, in Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England led by pastor John Robinson, church elder William Brewster and William Bradford.

1602Scrooby Manor, William Brewster's home, became a meeting place for the dissenting Puritans.

1606The group formed the Separatist Church of Scrooby

1607The Scrooby congregation is persecuted by Tobias Matthew, Archbishop of York. Their homes were raided several members of the Scrooby separatists were imprisoned

1608/9Following the persecution many of the Scrooby separatists leave England for Amsterdam in the Netherlands and move on to Leiden in the south of the Netherlands

1616John Smith publishes his book "A Description of New England"

1618One of the Scrooby separatists, the church elder William Brewster, criticizes the the King of England and the Anglican Church. Authorities in England go to the Netherlands to arrest Brewster but he escapes arrest.  

1618The congregation of the Scrooby separatists decide to leave Europe to escape religious prosecution and set their sights on New England, as described by John Smith

1618/19The congregation of the Scrooby separatists obtain a land patent from the London Virginia Company which allows them to settle at the mouth of the Hudson River. They then sought financing through the Merchant Adventurers, a group of businessmen who principally viewed the colony as a means of making a profit. Upon arriving in America, the Pilgrims began working to repay their debts.

1618/19The Scrooby separatists obtain financing for their journey through the Merchant Adventurers, a group of businessmen who principally viewed the colony as a means of making a profit. The men who would become the Pilgrim Fathers agree to repay their debts when they reach America.

1619Two ships, the Mayflower and Speedwell, are prepared to take the Scrooby separatists to America

1620July 1620: The Scrooby separatists with their families and the other colonists board the Speedwell in July 1620 in the Dutch port of Delfshaven

1620The Speedwell travels to Southampton, England, to rendezvous with the Mayflower to pick up supplies and additional passengers

1620July 15:  The Speedwell, with 30 passengers, and the Mayflower, with 90 passengers, leave Southampton

1620The Speedwell leaks and the Pilgrim Fathers and the other colonists have to go to Plymouth in England for repairs. In the end the Speedwell is not deemed sea-worthy.

1620There are rumors that that the master of the Speedwell had intentionally sabotaged his ship to avoid having to make the treacherous voyage to North America. Some passengers abandon their attempt to emigrate, whilst others join the over crowded Mayflower. The passengers total 102 people.

1620September 6, 1620: The Mayflower leaves Plymouth bound for North America

16201620 - The Pilgrims establish their own government, the basis of which was the Mayflower Compact, which they drafted on their journey to the New World on the Mayflower

1620October: The journey on the Mayflower lasts eight weeks before the colonists make their first landfall, on the tip of Cape Cod

1620December: The Mayflower passengers select a coastal site suitable for their settlement. They name it New Plymouth, after the English town from which the Mayflower departed.

1620December 21, 1620: The Pilgrim Fathers set foot on the new land

1620/21Winter: The pilgrims suffered a terrible winter. Many died of disease and others from the harsh conditions without adequate shelter. 45 of the 102 Pilgrims died the first winter and were buried on Cole's Hill

1621March 16, 1621: the first formal contact with the Native American Indians. The tribe was the Wampanoag who were led by Chief Massasoit. The son of Chief Massasoit, Metacom or Philip, would eventually wage war against the colonists during 1675 and 1676 in King Philip's War

1621July 1621: The Pilgrim Fathers pledged peace with Wampanoag Native American Indians led by Chief Massasoit. The Indians taught the colonists farming techniques and helped them to survive in the colony. Relationships between the Colonists and the Indians in later years resulting in the 1634-1638 Pequot War

1621November 1621: The first Thanksgiving of the Pilgrim Fathers was a solemn affair. Only 53 pilgrims were alive to give thanks to God. Only four adult women had survived to celebrate the First Thanksgiving

1623The First Thanksgiving recognised a such by  the Pilgrim Fathers was a celebration of the arrival of fresh supplies and new colonists. The First Thanksgiving celebration lasted for three days and featured a feast that included different types of waterfowl, wild turkeys and fish procured by the colonists, and five deer that were brought by friendly Native American Indians.

1623At this point we end the History Time of the Pilgrim Fathers.
History Timeline of the Pilgrim Fathers (1600 to 1623)
History Timeline of the Pilgrim Fathers


Embarkation of the Pilgrim Fathers

Embarkation of the Pilgrim Fathers

Pilgrim Fathers
So ends the period in the history of Colonial America which saw the settlement of the 'Pilgrim Fathers' and the First Thanksgiving celebration.

Pilgrim Fathers

  • Interesting Facts and information about Pilgrim Fathers

  • Pilgrim Fathers history timeline

  • Fast Facts and info about the Pilgrim Fathers timeline

  • Pilgrim Fathers is great history timeline resource for kids

  • Social Studies Homework help for kids on the Pilgrim Fathers

Pilgrim Fathers - Plymouth - Mayflower - Colonial America - Facts - Colonists - Separatists - England - English - Colony - Colonies - Pilgrim Fathers - History Timeline - History - Timeline - Pilgrim Fathers - US - Summary - Definition - Pilgrim Fathers - History - Pilgrim Fathers - Interesting - Information - Info - Events - Pilgrim Fathers - Short - Kids - Children - Studies - Pilgrim Fathers - Social Studies Teaching resource - Social Studies - History - Pilgrim Fathers - eachers - Kids - Dates - Pilgrim Fathers - Events - Pilgrim Fathers - Colonial America - Pilgrim Fathers