The Pilgrims were a congregation of religious separatists influenced by Robert Browne who landed at Massachusetts in 1620 and founded Plymouth Colony. They were led by pastor John Robinson, John Carver, church elder William Brewster, and William Bradford. They are best remembered for their pious culture and staunch belief in religious freedom from an oppressive establishment.
While still in the town of Scrooby in Nottinghamshire, England, the congregation began to feel the pressures of religious persecution. In the Hampton Court Conference, King James I declared Puritans and Protestant Separatists to be undesirables, and in 1607, the Bishop of York raided the homes of and imprisoned several members of the congregation in a prison in Boston, Lincolnshire. The congregation left England and settled the Netherlands, first in Amsterdam, and finally in Leiden in 1609.
Prayers in the new world
Our fathers were Englishmen, which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness. But they cried unto the Lord, and He heard their voice and looked on their adversity. And let them therefore praise the Lord, because He is good: and his mercies endure forever.
- Philbrick (2006) pp 7-13; Addison (1911), pp xiii-xiv
- Addison (1911), pp 51
- The Discoverers, Pioneers, and Settlers of North and South America, from the Earliest Period (982) to the Present Time
- Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation, 1606-1646