The Lincoln Legacy (The Mayflower Saga Book 1)


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Mayflower 400 Tour

Another significant group of people who would formed the nucleus of the future Pilgrims were brought together through the teachings of Richard Clyfton, parson at All Saints' Parish Church in Babworth, Nottinghamshire, between and This congregation held Separatist beliefs similar to the nonconforming movements led by Barrowe and Browne.

William Brewster, a former diplomatic assistant to the Netherlands , was living in the Scrooby manor house and serving as postmaster for the village and bailiff to the Archbishop of York. Brewster may have met the teenage William Bradford from nearby Austerfield on the so-called Pilgrim Way, a still-extant trail that led to the Babworth church. Orphaned and with little formal education, Bradford would later serve as governor of Plymouth Colony for nearly 40 years, author the historical chronicle Of Plimoth Plantation the most important primary source of the Plymouth colony , and be remembered as the leading figure in seventeenth-century colonial American history.

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Having been favorably impressed by Clyfton's services, Brewster and Bradford began participating in Separatist services led by John Smyth , a Barrowist and friend of Johnson, in unincorporated and thus largely unmonitored Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. Sympathetic to the separatists, Hickman offered his protection and hosted the secret meetings.

He displayed some sympathy for the Puritan cause, writing in to Robert Cecil, a relative of Robert Browne and secretary of state to James I :. It had been hoped that when James came to power, a reconciliation allowing independence would be possible, but the Hampton Court Conference of denied substantially all the concessions requested by Puritans, save for an English translation of the Bible. To the demand to abolish the episcopate James responded, "No Bishop, no King. These important issues resurfaced later resulting in the English Civil War.

Following the Conference, in Clyfton was declared a nonconformist and stripped of his position at Babworth. Brewster invited Clyfton to live at his home. Upon Hutton's death, Tobias Matthew was elected as his replacement. Matthew, one of James' chief supporters at the conference, promptly began a campaign to purge the archdiocese of nonconforming influences, both separatists and papists. Disobedient clergy were replaced, and prominent Separatists were confronted, fined, imprisoned, or driven out of the country. At about the same time, Brewster arranged for a congregation to meet privately at the Scrooby manor house.

Beginning in , services were held with Clyfton as pastor, John Robinson a graduate of Corpus Christi, Cambridge , as teacher, and Brewster as the presiding elder. Shortly thereafter, Smyth and members of the Gainsborough group moved on to Holland, first joining Johnson's congregation and later establishing his own congregation in Amsterdam in Scrooby member William Bradford of Austerfield kept a journal of the congregation's events that would later be published as Of Plymouth Plantation.

Of this time, he wrote:. Unable to obtain the papers necessary to leave England, members of the congregation agreed to leave surreptitiously, resorting to bribery to obtain passage. One documented attempt was in , following Brewster's resignation, when members of the congregation chartered a boat in Boston, Lincolnshire. This turned out to be a sting operation, with all arrested upon boarding. The entire party was jailed for one month awaiting arraignment, at which time all but seven were released.

Missing from the record is for how long the remainder was held, but it is known that the leaders made it to Amsterdam about a year later. In a second departure attempt in the spring of , arrangements were made with a Dutch merchant to pick up church members along the Humber estuary at Immingham near Grimsby, Lincolnshire. The men had boarded the ship, at which time the sailors spotted an armed contingent approaching. The ship quickly departed before the women and children could board; the stranded members were rounded up but then released without charges.

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Ultimately, at least of the congregation did make their way to Amsterdam, meeting up with the Smyth party, who had joined with the Exiled English Church led by Francis Johnson , Barrowe's successor. The atmosphere was difficult because of the growing tensions between Smyth and Johnson. Smyth had embraced the idea of believer's baptism, which Clyfton and Johnson opposed.

Robinson decided that it would be best to remove his congregation from the fray, and permission to settle in Leiden was secured in With the congregation reconstituted as the English Exiled Church in Leyden, Robinson now became pastor while Clyfton, advanced in age, chose to stay behind in Amsterdam. The success of the congregation in Leiden was mixed. Leiden was a thriving industrial center, and many members were well able to support themselves working at Leiden University or in the textile, printing and brewing trades. Others were less able to bring in sufficient income, hampered by their rural backgrounds and the language barrier; for those, accommodations were made on an estate bought by Robinson and three partners.

Brewster had been teaching English at the university, and in , Robinson enrolled to pursue his doctorate. There, he participated in a series of debates, particularly regarding the contentious issue of Calvinism versus Arminianism siding with the Calvinists against the Remonstrants. Brewster, in a venture financed by Thomas Brewer, acquired typesetting equipment about and began publishing the debates through a local press. Holland was, however, a land whose culture and language were strange and difficult for the English congregation to understand or learn.

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Their children were becoming more and more Dutch as the years passed by. The congregation came to believe that they faced eventual extinction if they remained in Holland. They wanted to either return to England or move as free Englishmen to a new English homeland beyond the sea. By , although the congregation was stable and relatively secure, there were ongoing issues that needed to be resolved. Bradford noted that the congregation was aging, compounding the difficulties some had in supporting themselves. Some, having spent their savings, gave up and returned to England.

It was feared that more would follow and that the congregation would become unsustainable.

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The employment issues made it unattractive for others to come to Leiden, and younger members had begun leaving to find employment and adventure elsewhere. Also compelling was the possibility of missionary work, an opportunity that rarely arose in a Protestant stronghold. Reasons for departure are suggested by Bradford, when he notes the "discouragements" of the hard life they had in Holland, and the hope of attracting others by finding "a better, and easier place of living"; the "children" of the group being "drawn away by evil examples into extravagance and dangerous courses"; the "great hope, for the propagating and advancing the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world.

Pilgrim Edward Winslow's recollections support Bradford's account: In addition to the economic worries and missionary possibilities, Winslow stressed that it was important for the people to retain their English identity, culture and language. They also believed that the English Church in Leiden could do little to benefit the larger community there. At the same time, there were many uncertainties about moving to such a place as America.

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Stories had come back about the failed Sagadahoc colony in today's Maine and of the hardships faced by the Jamestown settlement in Virginia. There were fears that the native people would be violent, that there would be no source of food or water, that exposure to unknown diseases was possible, and that travel by sea was always hazardous. Balancing all this was a local political situation that was in danger of becoming unstable: the truce in what would be known as the Eighty Years' War was faltering, and there was fear over what the attitudes of Spain toward them might be.

Possible destinations included Guiana, where the Dutch had already established Essequibo; or somewhere near the existing Virginia settlement. Virginia was an attractive destination because the presence of the older colony might offer better security. It was thought, however, that they should not settle too near and thus fall into the same restrictive political environment as in England. The congregation decided to petition the English Crown for a charter to establish an English colony in the New World. Some were concerned about approaching the government of King James that had forced them into exile.

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However William Brewster had maintained the contacts he had developed during his period of service with William Davison, sometime Secretary of State under Queen Elizabeth. John Carver and Robert Cushman were dispatched to London to act as agents on behalf of the congregation.

Their negotiations were delayed because of conflicts internal to the London Company, but eventually a patent was secured in the name of John Wincob on June 9, Because of the continued problems within the London Company, preparations stalled. The congregation was approached by competing Dutch companies, and the possibility of settling in the Hudson River area was discussed with them. These negotiations were broken off at the encouragement of another English merchant, Thomas Weston, who assured the anxious group that he could resolve the London Company delays.

Weston did come back with a substantial change, telling the Leiden group that parties in England had obtained a land grant north of the existing Virginia territory, to be called New England.

This was only partially true; the new grant would come to pass, but not until late in when the Plymouth Council for New England received its charter. It was expected that this area could be fished profitably, and it was not under the control of the existing Virginia government.

A second change was known only to parties in England who chose not to inform the larger group. New investors who had been brought into the venture wanted the terms altered so that at the end of the seven-year contract, half of the settled land and property would revert to them; and that the provision for each settler to have two days per week to work on personal business was dropped. Amid these negotiations, William Brewster found himself involved with religious unrest emerging in Scotland. In , James had promulgated the Five Articles of Perth, which were seen in Scotland as an attempt to encroach on their Presbyterian tradition.

The Lincoln Legacy (The Mayflower Saga Book 1) The Lincoln Legacy (The Mayflower Saga Book 1)
The Lincoln Legacy (The Mayflower Saga Book 1) The Lincoln Legacy (The Mayflower Saga Book 1)
The Lincoln Legacy (The Mayflower Saga Book 1) The Lincoln Legacy (The Mayflower Saga Book 1)
The Lincoln Legacy (The Mayflower Saga Book 1) The Lincoln Legacy (The Mayflower Saga Book 1)
The Lincoln Legacy (The Mayflower Saga Book 1) The Lincoln Legacy (The Mayflower Saga Book 1)
The Lincoln Legacy (The Mayflower Saga Book 1) The Lincoln Legacy (The Mayflower Saga Book 1)
The Lincoln Legacy (The Mayflower Saga Book 1) The Lincoln Legacy (The Mayflower Saga Book 1)

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