|3rd Governor of Plymouth Colony|
|Preceded by||William Bradford|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Prence|
|6th Governor of Plymouth Colony|
March 1, 1636 –March 7, 1637
|Preceded by||William Bradford|
|Succeeded by||William Bradford|
|10th Governor of Plymouth Colony|
June 3, 1639 –June 5, 1644
|Preceded by||William Bradford|
|Succeeded by||William Bradford|
|Born|| 18 October 1595 |
Droitwich, Worcestershire, England
|Died||8 May 1655 59) (aged|
|Profession||Politician and governor|
Edward Winslow (18 October 1595 –8 May 1655) was a Separatist who traveled on the Mayflower in 1620. He was one of several senior leaders on the ship and also later at Plymouth Colony. Both Edward Winslow and his brother, Gilbert Winslow signed the Mayflower Compact. In Plymouth he served in a number of governmental positions such as assistant governor, three times was governor and also was the colony's agent in London. In early 1621 he had been one of several key leaders on whom Governor Bradford depended after the death of John Carver. He was the author of several important pamphlets, including Good Newes from New England and co-wrote with William Bradford the historic Mourt's Relation , which ends with an account of the First Thanksgiving and the abundance of the New World. In 1655 he died of fever while on an English naval expedition in the Caribbean against the Spanish.
He is the only original Plymouth colonist with an extant portrait painted from life. This, along with portraits of Winslow's son and daughter-in-law, and various Winslow family artifacts, are in the Pilgrim Hall Museum, in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Edward Winslow was born in 1595 and would have been baptized a few days later. He was the eldest son of Edward Winslow Sr. of Droitwich, in Worcestershire, England, by his wife Magdalene Oliver whom he had married the previous year at St. Bride's Church, Fleet Street, London. Edward Winslow, the father, according to family records, was born October 17th., 1560 and was a descendant of the Winslow family of Kempsey, Worcestershire, a line that had existed in the county at least since 1500. The Winslow estate in Kempsey was called Kersweil with a similar name of Careswell later being given to the gentrified Plymouth estate of Governor Josiah Winslow, son of Edward Winslow and Susanna.
Author Charles Banks notes that it is highly probable that this Edward, Sr. was the son of Kenelm Winslow of Kempsey. Author Eugene Stratton believes that no one has been able to discern Kenelm Winslow's ancestry with any certainty. Kenelm Winslow, probably a brother of Edward Sr., born in 1551, was called a resident of Worcester, yeoman, in 1605. It is not certain if the family was gentry, but were at least fairly well-off. Edward Sr. was an under-sheriff and involved in the salt production trade.
Edward Winslow had four younger brothers: Gilbert (who accompanied him on the Mayflower in 1620), John, Josiah and Kenelm, all of whom followed Edward and Gilbert to America over the next decade.
Between April 1606 and April 1611, Edward Winslow attended the King's School at Worcester Cathedral, under Henry Bright. Two years later, in August 1613, he became an apprentice contracted for a total of eight years to John Beale, stationer and citizen of London. After an apparent legal dispute with Beale, however, Winslow's contract was re-made with his being apprenticed in October 1615, for eight years. But Winslow apparently did not fulfil his contract with Beale as about two years later, in 1617, he moved to Leiden, Holland to join the Separatist church there. [ self-published source ]
In 1617 Edward Winslow traveled to Leiden Holland to join the English exile Separatist church and help Elder William Brewster with his underground (illicit) printing activities. Brewster and young Edward Winslow in 1618 were responsible for a religious tract, Perth Assembly , critical of the English king and his church bishops which caused an angry King James to order Brewster's arrest, sending English government agents to Holland to try to find and seize him. The Pilgrims had bad fortune in this, as Elder Brewster was forced to hide, first in Holland, then in England, from the agents just when the Pilgrims needed his leadership in preparation for their departure for America.
On April 27, 1618 Winslow married in Leiden Elizabeth Barker, he being called a printer from London. Johnson reports that a search of possible English ancestral and baptismal records for Elizabeth does not reveal anything of note.
Winslow quite soon became a leading member of the English exiles meeting as the Leiden church group. On June 10, 1620, Winslow was one of four men – the others being William Bradford, Isaac Allerton and Samuel Fuller, who wrote a letter representing the Leiden congregation to their London agents John Carver and Robert Cushman regarding the terms upon which the Pilgrims would travel to the America. The trip preparations became quite taxing on everyone's patience and pocket-book due to the various Thomas Weston financial schemes that used up what monies they had and as author Nathaniel Philbrick wrote: "..during preparations to sail for America, the Pilgrims demonstrated an extraordinary talent for getting duped."
Winslow and his wife Elizabeth were part of the Leiden Separatist group who had decided to travel far away from England and the repressive regime of King James I to more freely practice their religious beliefs. Merchant Adventurer investment group agent Thomas Weston assisted in this venture by providing the ship Mayflower for the Pilgrim's journey. Traveling on the Mayflower in company with the Winslows were his brother Gilbert and family servant/employee George Soule and a youth, Elias Story. Also in the care of the family was Elinor (Ellen) More, a girl of eight years. In all there were four unaccompanied More children from Shipton, Shropshire in the care of senior Pilgrims on the Mayflower: Elinor, Jasper, Mary and Richard.Elinor perished the winter of 1620 with only one brother Richard More surviving.
The Mayflower departed Plymouth, England on September 6/16, 1620. The small, 100-foot ship had 102 passengers and the crew is estimated to be approximately 30 but the exact number is unknown.They lived in extremely cramped conditions. By the second month out, the ship was being buffeted by strong westerly gales, causing the ship's timbers to be badly shaken with caulking failing to keep out sea water, and with passengers, even in their berths, lying wet and ill. This, combined with a lack of proper rations and unsanitary conditions for several months, attributed to what would be fatal for many, especially the majority of women and children. On the way there were two deaths, a crew member and a passenger, but the worst was yet to come after arriving at their destination when, in the space of several months, almost half the passengers perished in cold, harsh, unfamiliar New England winter.
On November 9/19, 1620, after about 3 months at sea, including a month of delays in England, they spotted land, which was the Cape Cod Hook. After several days of trying to get south to their planned destination of the Colony of Virginia, strong winter seas forced them to return to the shelter of Cape Cod hook, now called Provincetown Harbor, where they anchored on November 11/21. The Mayflower Compact was signed that day.
|Governors of Plymouth Colony|
The ill-prepared and poorly supplied colonists lost over half of their population through a multitude of problems – including hunger, scurvy, other diseases and their first bitter winter on the North American mainland. In the spring of 1621, Winslow and the others attended what would become known as the first Thanksgiving.
The people who survived all worked hard to provide food and shelter. Amidst criticism from Thomas Weston for not loading up the returning Mayflower with goods for the investors, William Bradford sent a letter stating the troubles encountered by the Mayflower passengers. He blamed Weston, and stated that Governor Carver had worked himself to death that spring and the loss of him and other industrious men lives cannot be valued at any price.
The following year the ship Fortune arrived at Plymouth colony but again, Thomas Weston had inadequately supplied the ship for the colony. With winter approaching, the colonists only had half the needed supplies, but as William Bradford recorded, 'they all faced it bravely'.
The following year, despite the adversities of the winter, the colonists were able to load the Fortune for England with enough furs and other supplies to pay for over half of their indebtedness to the Merchant Adventurers, but the ship was attacked by the French as it came near the English coast and all the cargo was taken by the privateers.
On February 21, 1621, William White died leaving a widow, Susanna, and two sons, Resolved and Peregrine, the first child born in the colony. Edward Winslow lost his wife Elizabeth on March 24, 1621 and just a month and half later, on May 12, 1621, Edward Winslow and Susanna White became the first couple to marry in Plymouth Colony. They were married in a civil ceremony by Governor William Bradford. The couple had three sons, one daughter and one unknown child who died young.
Winslow had established a friendship with native leader Massasoit, whose people were trading with the colonists. In January 1629 a new patent for land at Kennebec was approved which provided for a fishing and trading post at Pentagoet and a fortified trading post at Cushnoc on the Kennebec which opened the area to Plymouth colonists. At the same time, Isaac Allerton opened his own trading post on the Kenebec and thereby became a rival of Edward Winslow, setting a pattern for adversarial rivalry between them that would continue from that time on.
In 1632, he made an exploratory tour up the Connecticut River for colonization. It is suggested that he landed and selected the settlement which became Windsor.
Edward Winslow was an experienced diplomat acting for Plymouth in its relationship with English officials. He later was Plymouth governor for one-year terms from 1633–34, 1636–37 and 1644–45. Additionally, in 1643 Winslow was one of the commissioners of the United Colonies of New England, which was a military group uniting the various New England colonies against the natives.
By the early 1640s England was engaged in a great civil war. Some settlers returned to England to join the efforts to overthrow the reigning King, Charles I. In 1646, Winslow began working for Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector. After King Charles was executed in 1649, Edward Winslow had plans to return to Plymouth but soon became involved in the problems of England. He would never return to Plymouth.
Winslow lived for a short time in Clapham, Surrey together with a number of radical puritan merchants, including James Sherley one of the financiers of the Mayflower. These merchants supported his campaign to send missionaries to the Indians in North America.
In 1654, Winslow was commissioner of an English naval mission against the Spanish in the West Indies. They were victorious but Winslow contracted yellow fever and died on May 7, 1655 near Jamaica.
Edward Winslow married:
Children of Edward Winslow and his wife Susanna White Jackson:
Children of Susanna White's first marriage with William White who became Edward Winslow's step-sons:
Winslow is reported to have been buried at sea in the Caribbean somewhere between Hispaniola and Jamaica, sometime after May 7, 1655.Winslow Cemetery in Marshfield, Massachusetts has a stone monument to "The Settlers of Green Harbor Marshfield" with the name of Edward Winslow and his wife Susanna and many others. This includes the names of Susanna's sons Resolved and Peregrine White and their wives. Also in Winslow Cemetery is a memorial stone with plaque stating "Edward Winslow, Founder of Marshfield".
His writings, though fragmentary, are of the greatest value to the history of the Plymouth colony. They include:
Edward Winslow, along with William Bradford are believed to have prepared a Journal of the Beginning and Proceeding of the English Plantation settled at Plymouth in New England, published in 1622, which is generally known as Mourt's Relation , owing to its preface having been signed by "G. Mourt."
Some of his writings may be found reprinted in Alexander Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims.
The Mayflower Compact, originally titled Agreement Between the Settlers of New Plymouth, was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was written by the male passengers of the Mayflower, consisting of separatist Puritans, adventurers, and tradesmen. The Puritans were fleeing from religious persecution by King James I of England.
Plymouth Colony was an English colonial venture in America from 1620 to 1691 at a location that had previously been surveyed and named by Captain John Smith. The settlement served as the capital of the colony and developed as the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts. At its height, Plymouth Colony occupied most of the southeastern portion of Massachusetts.
William Bradford was an English Puritan separatist originally from the West Riding of Yorkshire in Northern England. He moved to Leiden in Holland in order to escape persecution from King James I of England, and then emigrated to the Plymouth Colony on the Mayflower in 1620. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact and went on to serve as Governor of the Plymouth Colony intermittently for about 30 years between 1621 and 1657. His journal Of Plymouth Plantation covered the years from 1620 to 1646 in Plymouth.
John Carver was one of the Pilgrims who braved the Mayflower voyage in 1620 which resulted in the creation of Plymouth Colony in America. He is credited with writing the Mayflower Compact and was its first signer, and he was also the first governor of Plymouth Colony.
Josiah Winslow was born in Plymouth Colony about 1628 and died in 1680 in Marshfield, Plymouth Colony. In records of the time, historians also name him Josias Winslow, and modern writers have carried that name forward. He was born one year after the Charter which founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony, bringing over 20,000 English immigrants to New England in the 1630s. Josiah was the Harvard College-educated son of Mayflower passenger and Pilgrim leader Edward Winslow and was Governor from 1673 to 1680. The most significant event during his term in office was King Philip's War, which created great havoc for both the English and Indian populations and changed New England forever. Josiah was the first native-born governor of an American Colony.
Peregrine White was the first baby boy born on the Pilgrim ship the Mayflower in the harbour of Massachusetts, the second baby born on the Mayflower's historic voyage, and the first known English child born to the Pilgrims in America. His parents, William White and his pregnant wife Susanna, with their son Resolved White and two servants, came on the Mayflower in 1620. Peregrine White was born while the Mayflower lay at anchor in the harbor at Cape Cod. In later life he became a person of note in Plymouth Colony, active in both military and government affairs.
John Howland accompanied the English Separatists and other passengers when they left England on the Mayflower to settle in Plymouth. He was an indentured servant and in later years an executive assistant and personal secretary to Governor John Carver.
James Chilton was a Leiden Separatist passenger on the historic 1620 voyage of the ship Mayflower and was the oldest person on board. Upon arrival in the New World, he was a signer of the Mayflower Compact. James Chilton was one of the earliest to die that winter, perishing within the following month.
Isaac Allerton Sr., and his family, were passengers in 1620 on the historic voyage of the ship Mayflower. Allerton was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact. In Plymouth Colony he was active in colony governmental affairs and business and later in trans-Atlantic trading. Problems with the latter regarding colony expenditures caused him to be censured by the colony government and ousted from the colony. He later became a well-to-do businessman elsewhere and in his later years resided in Connecticut.
The booklet Mourt's Relation was written primarily by Edward Winslow, although William Bradford appears to have written most of the first section. It was written between November 1620 and November 1621 and describes in detail what happened from the landing of the Mayflower Pilgrims on Cape Cod in Provincetown Harbor through their exploring and eventual settling of Plymouth Colony. The book describes their relations with the surrounding Native Americans, up to what is commonly called the first Thanksgiving and the arrival of the ship Fortune in November 1621. Mourt's Relation was first published and sold by John Bellamy in London in 1622. This significant tract has often been erroneously cited as "by George Morton, sometimes called George Mourt".
Samuel Fuller was a passenger on the historic 1620 voyage of the Pilgrim ship Mayflower and became a respected church deacon and the physician for Plymouth Colony.
Richard More was born in Corvedale, Shropshire, England, and was baptised at St. James parish church in Shipton, Shropshire, on 13 November 1614. Richard and his three siblings were at the centre of a mystery in early-17th-century England that caused early genealogists to wonder why the More children's father, believed to be Samuel More, would send his very young children away to the New World on the Mayflower in the care of others. It was in 1959 that the mystery was explained. Jasper More, a descendant of Samuel More, prompted by his genealogist friend, Sir Anthony Wagner, searched and found in his attic a 1622 document that detailed the legal disputes between Katherine More and Samuel More and what actually happened to the More children. It is clear from these events that Samuel did not believe the children to be his offspring. To rid himself of the children, he arranged for them to be sent to the Colony of Virginia. Due to bad weather, the Mayflower finally anchored in Cape Cod Harbor in November 1620, where one of the More children died soon after; another died in early December and yet another died later in the first winter. Only Richard survived, and even thrived, in the perilous environment of early colonial America, going on to lead a very full life.
William White was a passenger on the Mayflower. Accompanied by his wife Susanna, son Resolved and two servants, he travelled in 1620 on the historic voyage. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact and perished early in the history of Plymouth Colony.
Resolved White was a passenger on the Pilgrim ship Mayflower. In 1620, he accompanied his parents, Pilgrims William and Susanna White, on the journey. He married Judith Vassall, daughter of William Vassall, a founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Later in life White became a notable person of Plymouth Colony.
William Bassett was an English artisan, a migrant to North America.
The Mayflower Compact was an iconic document in the history of America, written and signed aboard the Mayflower on November 11, 1620 while anchored in Provincetown Harbor in Massachusetts. The Compact was originally drafted as an instrument to maintain unity and discipline in Plymouth Colony, but it has become one of the most historic documents in American history. It was published in London in Mourt's Relation in 1622, and the authors had added a preamble to clarify its meaning: "it was thought good there should be an association and agreement, that we should combine together in one body, and to submit to such government and governors as we should by common consent agree to make and choose."
Susanna White was a passenger on the Mayflower and successively wife of fellow Mayflower passengers William White and Edward Winslow.