Thomas Tinker (c. 1581 – 1620/21) and his family, comprising his wife and son, came in 1620 as English Separatists from Holland on the historic voyage of the Pilgrim Ship Mayflower . He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact but he and his family all perished in the winter of 1620/1621, described by Bradford as having died in "the first sickness."
Holland is a region and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands. The name Holland is also frequently used informally to refer to the whole of the country of the Netherlands. This usage is commonly accepted in other countries, and sometimes employed by the Dutch themselves. However, some in the Netherlands, particularly those from regions outside Holland, may find it undesirable or misrepresentative to use the term for the whole country.
A pilgrim is a traveler who is on a journey to a holy place. Typically, this is a physical journey to some place of special significance to the adherent of a particular religious belief system. In the spiritual literature of Christianity, the concept of pilgrim and pilgrimage may refer to the experience of life in the world or to the inner path of the spiritual aspirant from a state of wretchedness to a state of beatitude.
The Mayflower was an English ship that transported the first English Puritans, known today as the Pilgrims, from Plymouth, England, to the New World in 1620. There were 102 passengers, and the crew is estimated to have been about 30, but the exact number is unknown. The ship has become a cultural icon in the history of the United States. The Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact prior to leaving the ship and establishing Plymouth Colony, a document which established a rudimentary form of democracy with each member contributing to the welfare of the community. There was a second ship named Mayflower, which made the London to Plymouth, Massachusetts, voyage several times.
The English ancestry of Thomas Tinker is not certain – author Charles Banks believed that the most promising connection to Thomas Tinker of the Mayflower is a Thomas Tinker in the same field of work – carpenter, of Neatishead, co. Norfolk, born in 1581 at Thurne, co. Norfolk. Author Caleb Johnson reports this same Thomas Tinker married Jane White on June 25, 1609 in Thurne, co, Norfolk.
Neatishead is a village and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. The village is situated some 20 km (12 mi) north-east of the city of Norwich, within The Norfolk Broads and to the west of Barton Broad. Access to Neatishead from the broad is by way of Limekiln Dyke, a narrow channel leading off the broad.
Thurne is a small village and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. It is located on the River Thurne in The Broads, some 18 km (11 mi) west of the town of Great Yarmouth and 20 km (12 mi) east of the city of Norwich.
It is known that Thomas Tinker was an English Separatist residing in Leiden, Holland in the early 1600s. But the only time that his name appears in Leiden records is on January 6, 1617, when he became a citizen of that city. His profession was listed as wood sawyer. His guarantors, per the record of that event, were Abraham Gray and John Keble.
Leiden is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland, Netherlands. The municipality of Leiden had a population of 123,856 in August 2017, but the city forms one densely connected agglomeration with its suburbs Oegstgeest, Leiderdorp, Voorschoten and Zoeterwoude with 206,647 inhabitants. The Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) further includes Katwijk in the agglomeration which makes the total population of the Leiden urban agglomeration 270,879, and in the larger Leiden urban area also Teylingen, Noordwijk, and Noordwijkerhout are included with in total 348,868 inhabitants. Leiden is located on the Oude Rijn, at a distance of some 20 kilometres from The Hague to its south and some 40 km (25 mi) from Amsterdam to its north. The recreational area of the Kaag Lakes (Kagerplassen) lies just to the northeast of Leiden.
The Tinker family's embarkation on the Mayflower , per William Bradford states: "Thomas Tinker, and his wife, and a sone." The names of the wife and son are unknown.
The Mayflower departed Plymouth, England on September 6/16, 1620. The small, 100-foot ship had 102 passengers and a crew of about 30-40 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.
Plymouth is a port city situated on the south coast of Devon, England, approximately 37 miles (60 km) south-west of Exeter and 190 miles (310 km) west-south-west of London. Enclosing the city are the mouths of the river Plym and river Tamar, which are naturally incorporated into Plymouth Sound to form a boundary with Cornwall.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
On November 9/19, 1620, after about three months at sea, including a month of delays in England, they spotted land, which was the Cape Cod Hook, now called Provincetown Harbor. 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 harbor at Cape Cod hook, where they anchored on November 11/21. Thomas Tinker was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact.
Provincetown Harbor is a large natural harbor located in the town of Provincetown, Massachusetts. The harbor is mostly 30 to 90 feet deep and stretches roughly 1 mile (1.6 km) from northwest to southeast and 2 miles (3.2 km) from northeast to southwest – one large, deep basin with no dredged channel necessary for boats to enter and exit.
The Colony of Virginia, chartered in 1606 and settled in 1607, was the first enduring English colony in North America, following failed proprietary attempts at settlement on Newfoundland by Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1583, and the subsequent further south Roanoke Island by Sir Walter Raleigh in the late 1580s.
Per Johnson, this may be the same Thomas Tinker, carpenter, who married Jane White in Thurne, co. Norfolk, England on June 25, 1609
The dates of death of Thomas Tinker, his wife and son are unknown. Bradford used the term "died in the first sickness" for the family so presumption is made they died possibly in December 1620 or January 1621 when illness had become rampant. Thomas Tinker was buried in Coles Hill Burial Ground in Plymouth, likely in an unmarked grave as with many passengers who died in the early days. His son is noted as being buried in Coles Hill Burial Ground and the wife's burial is listed as unknown, but it is believed she also was buried at Coles Hill. The family is memorialized on the Pilgrim Memorial Tomb on Coles Hill as "Thomas Tinker his wife and son."
The fate of the Thomas Tinker family as recollected by William Bradford in 1651: "Thomas Tinker, and his wife and sone, all dyed in the first sicknes."
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.
Francis Cooke was a Leiden Separatist who came to America in 1620 on the Pilgrim ship Mayflower and a signer of the Mayflower Compact.
Degory Priest was a member of the Leiden contingent on the historic 1620 voyage of the ship Mayflower. He was a hat maker from London who married Sarah, sister of Pilgrim Isaac Allerton in Leiden. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact in November 1620 and died less than two months later.
Thomas Rogers was a Leiden Separatist who traveled in 1620 with his eldest son Joseph as passengers on the historic voyage of the Pilgrim ship Mayflower.
Christopher Martin. He and his family embarked on the historic 1620 voyage of the Pilgrim ship Mayflower on its journey to the New World. He was initially the governor of passengers on the ship Speedwell until that ship was found to be unseaworthy, and later on the Mayflower, until replaced by John Carver. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact. He and his family all perished in the first winter at Plymouth Colony.
Edward Doty was a passenger on the 1620 voyage of the Mayflower to North America; he was one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact.
John Tilley and his family were passengers on the historic 1620 voyage of the Mayflower. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact, and died with his wife in the first Pilgrim winter in the New World.
Humility Cooper, of Leiden, Holland, traveled in 1620 on the voyage of the ship Mayflower as a one-year-old female child in the company of the Edward Tilley family. Although Edward Tilley and his wife died the first winter in the New World, Humility survived to live her young life in Plymouth Colony, returning to England possibly in her teen years. Her fate in England is unknown.
Peter Browne, was a passenger on the historic 1620 voyage of the Mayflower and was a signatory of the Mayflower Compact.
Henry Samson In 1620 Henry Samson travelled as a member of the Edward Tilley family on the historic voyage of the Pilgrim ship Mayflower. The Tilleys died in the first winter but Henry Samson survived to live a long, fulfilling life in Plymouth Colony.
Edward Tilley traveled in 1620 on the historic voyage of the ship Mayflower as a Separatist member of the Leiden, Holland contingent. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact, and died with his wife in the first Pilgrim winter in the New World.
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.
Moses Fletcher was a Leiden Separatist who came to America on the historic 1620 voyage of the Pilgrim ship Mayflower. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact and perished shortly thereafter in the Pilgrims first winter in the New World.
John Turner was a passenger, along with his two sons, on the 1620 voyage of the historic Pilgrim ship the Mayflower. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact and perished with his sons that first winter.
John Crackston was an English Separatist from Holland who came with his son John on the historic 1620 voyage of the Pilgrim ship Mayflower. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact, but perished with the first Pilgrims to die the winter of 1620, exact date unknown. His son John later died in his twenties.
William Bassett (c.1590–1667) was an English artisan, a migrant to North America.
Also see: The ships Anne and Little James
The Mayflower Compact was the iconic document in the earliest history of America. It was ratified by forty-one men on board the Pilgrim ship Mayflower on November 11, 1620 while anchored at Cape Cod, now Provincetown Harbor in Massachusetts. The Compact was originally drafted as an instrument to maintain unity and discipline in this new land called Plymouth Colony but, over time, it has become one of the most historic documents in American History.