In 2020 it will be four hundred years since the Pilgrim Fathers set off for the new world on board The Mayflower, sailing to join another ship, The Speedwell, in Southampton. But after springing a leak, The Speedwell did not make the journey across the Atlantic, and her passengers crowded onto The Mayflower which left Plymouth alone 6th September 1620.
It’s often forgotten that there were other passengers on board as well as the Pilgrim Fathers; the majority were people travelling in hope of a better life in the new world and were traders, servants and merchant adventurers.
To mark the 400th anniversary locations around the world connected with The Mayflower have joined forces for celebrations in the Uk, the Netherlands and the US. You can read about them here.
Regular readers of this blog may recall that I went to Harwich in 2016 to learn about how they are celebrating the Mayflower’s history there. If you missed my account of the day, or want to read it again, click here.
Rotherhithe is another of those locations, and I am fortunate enough to be playing a small part leading guided tours of the area.
Rotherhithe is part of my own family history; a not too distant ancestor was baptised at St Mary’s Rotherhithe in 1815. He became a carpenter and joiner, and had five children including my great-grandmother, all born in Rotherhithe. Maybe that’s what draws me to the area, though I didn’t know of the family connection for quite a few years after I came to live in London.