1500-1599 Captain Christopher John Martin (Mayflower) Mayflower William Robert Thompson

CAPTAIN CHRISTOPHER JOHN MARTIN (Captain of the Mayflower) ~ 10th GGF

Christopher John MARTIN [Mayflower Society], Captain, London Merchant Adventurer, Pilgrim, Churchwarden of Plymouth, Pilgrim Provisioner, Mayflo (10th GGF)


BIRTH 11 AUGUST 1575 • Billerica, Essex, England

DEATH 18 JAN 1621 • Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts

10th great-grandfather

When Captain Christopher John Martin (Capt of Mayflower) was born on August 11, 1582, in Billericay, Essex, England, his father, John, was 36 and his mother, Margaret, was 60. He married Prudence Deacon (Wife of Captain Christopher John Martin (Captain of Mayflower) in 1594 in his hometown. They had 15 children in 25 years. He died on January 28, 1621, in Massachusetts at the age of 38.

Christopher Martin (Mayflower passenger)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedi

Signing the Mayflower Compact 1620, a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris 1899

Christopher Martin (c. 1582-1621)[1] 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.[2][3][self-published source]




Early life

Christopher Martin first appears in the records of Great Burstead, Essex, England, with his 1607 marriage to a widow by the name of Mary Prowe.[1][2][4][self-published source]

Per Banks, according to Bradford he “came from Billirike (Billericay was then a hamlet in Gt. Burstead) in Essex, from which partes came sundrie others to go with them.”[5]

He was a merchant by trade, but without the required seven year apprenticeship, which caused him problems when he was sued, probably in 1607 in Quarter Sessions Court, by another merchant George Hilles. The result of the suit is not known, but Martin did manage to build his estate significantly over the following years.[4][6]

Martin and his wife Mary had their only child together, Nathaniel, born probably in 1609 in Great Burstead. To their marriage Mary also brought a son from her prior marriage, Solomon Prowe, probably a young child. In 1609 Christopher Martin was one of those men with property holdings who were selected to appear at the archdeacons Visitation of that year.[4]

In 1611 Martin was appointed churchwarden at Great Burstead, a position of which he may have been appointed on an involuntary basis. At Easter in 1612, Martin and his wife refused to kneel at the Easter Service and to take Holy Communion. This refusal to participate in Anglican church ceremonies indicated very early his Puritan views. This particular incident did not seem to cause issues for him within the community since a month later he was admitted as a land owner of three properties in Great Burstead by the Manorial Court.[1][4]

The records of the Virginia Company in London state that on January 15, 1616/17 Christopher Martin paid for the transportation of two people with a man named Ralph Hamor. It is unknown who Martin paid to transport to the Colony of Virginia.[7]

Records indicate that he was residing in Billericay in 1620 and it is noted that his family was having problems with the church again, this time for the behaviour of his son Nathaniel and step-son Solomon. This was in regard to the boys’ contrary answers to questions put to them by the vicar during their confirmation ritual. On March 3, 1620 Martin was prosecuted in the Archidiaconal Court “for suffering his son (Solomon Prowe) to the answer (the Archdeacon) that his father gave him his name.” Then Martin himself was cited by church officials for not providing the financial accounts he maintained during the time he was the churchwarden. Problems with financial records would follow him later with the Mayflower voyage preparations.[5][8]

About this time, presumably in early 1620, Martin was making arrangements for his family to emigrate to America on the Mayflower. Why his son Nathaniel did not travel with the family on the Mayflower is unknown – although the possibility exists that he had died, there is also speculation per Stratton that Nathaniel may well have been alive in England in 1620 and just did not accompany the family when the Mayflower departed. Nothing further is known of him.[8][9]

Christopher Martin had begun selling off his land holdings, in preparation for departure from England, several years before he boarded the Mayflower. One such sale was dated June 22, 1617 and the last sale was June 8, 1620.[8]

Due to his somewhat wealthy estate, interest in emigrating to the Colony of Virginia and being at odds with the Anglican Church, Martin associated himself with the London merchants, known as Merchant Adventurers, who were providing financial investment and arranging the emigration and settlement in America of the Leiden congregation.[8]

Voyage preparations

The Leiden congregation, knowing that passengers from all over England would be joining their party who were not members of their church, thought it would be prudent to appoint one of the “Londoners” to join in London the agents of the Leiden church, John Carver and Robert Cushman. The work to be done required the procurement of all needed goods and supplies for the Mayflower, and at the time Speedwell, voyage and for the provisions needed by the settlement afterwards. Christopher Martin, as “treasurer agent”, was assigned to this task and he immediately took to the job with alacrity, with the Leiden congregation as well as the Mayflower company would coming to regret his involvement in anything that required the handling of their scarce funds.[1][10][11]

In his later historic writings, Bradford gives some of the thinking behind the Martin’s involvement in voyage preparations – the Leideners thinking it be useful that one of the “Strangers” sent by the (Merchant) Adventurers would complement well the work done by their agents John Carver and Robert Cushman in receiving monies and purchasing provisions in England for the voyage, “not so much for any great need of their help, as to avoyd all susspition, or jelosie of any partiallities.” Good intentions were found to not work on the personality of Christopher Martin.[11][12]

Martin immediately began to abuse his authority, since with the power to purchase supplies, separately from Carver and Cushman, Martin began to purchase whatever goods he wished and without considering what was a fair price to pay for such goods. Martin, along with Carver and Cushman, was required to purchase supplies and foodstuffs such as beer, wine, hardtack, salted beef and pork, dried peas, fishing supplies, musketsarmor, clothing, tools, trade goods for Indians, and the screw-jack which would prove to be useful in ship-structure support prior to their arrival in America. Carver and Cushman collected provisions in London and Canterbury with Martin doing as he wished in Southampton, the major port on England’s south coast, contrary to the others wishes. He did not ask for (or take) advice and when funds began to run short, just prior to the sailing for America, he was questioned about his financial records and became quite enraged over suspicions that the Leiden church had and refused to show his records to anyone.[1][11][13]

On the Speedwell

What is unknown, is why, despite serious concerns that the Leiden congregation had about Martin, they still assigned him to be the governor of the passengers scheduled to embark on the Speedwell, the smaller companion ship of the Mayflower. The Leideners also came to regret this, but not for very long as the Speedwell did not make the voyage. Part of the record from one of those on the SpeedwellRobert Cushman, in writing a letter to a friend in London about Christopher Martin – relating the following about him – “insulted our poor people with such scorn and contempt as if they were not good enough to wipe his shoes”; and “if I speak to him, he flies in my face, as mutinous and saith no complaints shall be heard…”; and he was afraid if any passengers were to go ashore, they would not return – “…but he will not hear them, nor suffer them to go ashore lest they should run away.”; “The sailors also are so offended at his ignorant boldness, in meddling and controlling, in things he knows not what belongs to; as that some threaten to mischief him, others say they will leave the ship, and go their way; but at best this cometh of it, that he makes himself a scorn and laughing stock unto them.”[13][14]

The Speedwell proved to be unseaworthy for the Atlantic voyage, and many of them quit the voyage to return to London often at great financial loss, or transferred over to the Mayflower which became quite over-crowded.[13]

On the Mayflower

The Landing of the Pilgrims (1877) by Henry A. Bacon. The Pilgrims are traditionally said to have landed at Plymouth Rock.

Bradford indicates that initially, prior to the Mayflower sailing, Martin was the passenger governor for that ship – (Christopher Martin) “was governour in the biger ship, and Mr. Cushman assistante.” Robert Cushman did not, in the end, sail with the Mayflower.[12]

Bradford does not state who was ship governor when the Mayflower sailed alone, but somewhere along the way on the Atlantic voyage, the Leideners had had enough of Christopher Martin and chose to be governed on the Mayflower by the more popular John Carver.[12]

Christopher Martin had embarked in the Mayflower in company with his wife Mary, her son (and servant) Solomon Prower and Martin’s servant John Langmore, all possibly residents of Essex at the time of embarkation.[15][16]

The Mayflower departed PlymouthEngland 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, contributed to the eventual death of many travelers, 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.[17]

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. And 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. The Mayflower Compact was signed that day.[17][18]

Upon arrival at Cape Cod, Christopher Martin was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact, but his step-son Solomon, being still in his teens, was not old enough to sign. His servant John Langemore, also believed to be in his teens at the time, also did not sign the Mayflower Compact.[17][19]


The family information stated here replaces previous information due to new research in England by Mayflower researcher and biographer Caleb Johnson. The research reported the first family of Mary Prower and children of that marriage, most of whom were previously unreported. Present-day descendants of several of those children may be qualified as newly found Mayflower descendants.

Christopher Martin married widow Mary Prowe [Prower] in Great Burstead parish, Essex, on February 26, 1606/07.[1][20]

Mary (______) Prower may have been born in the mid-1570s due to her first child having been born about 1594. Her ancestry is unknown.[1] After extensive research, Author Caleb Johnson believes the name of her first husband was Edward Prower who first appears in Billericay, Essex, about 1586, possibly from Hallingbury. He married to Mary (_____) about 1592.

Edward and Mary Prower had the following children, all born or baptized in Great Burstead:

  1. Edward Prower (Jr), born about 1594. Possibly named for his father. No baptism record for him or his brother Solomon in Great Burstead parish as no records exist from 1579 through 1596.
  2. Solomon Prower, born possibly between 1595 and 1598. He was a Mayflower passenger with Bradford referring to him as a servant. He died in Plymouth on December 24, 1620.
  3. John Prower, baptized December 2, 1599, buried December 11, 1599.
  4. Mary Prower, baptized June 21, 1601. Possibly named after her mother.
  5. Unnamed child, buried October 26, 1603.

Although no burial record or probate exists for Edward Prower, Johnson believes that he died between 1603 (had infant buried in October 1603) and February 1606/07, when his widow Mary married Christopher Martin.[21]

Author Caleb Johnson additionally states that since Mary (Prowe) Martin came as a passenger on the Mayflower, her five children are rightfully Mayflower descendants. It is known that her son Solomon came on the Mayflower as a “singleman” and died in December 1620. Two other children – John and an unnamed child, died in infancy.

Johnson further states that if there are any descendants of Mary (Prowe) Martin alive today, they must be descendants of eldest son Edward Prower (Jr.) or daughter Mary Prower. Johnson has found no record to prove that daughter Mary survived, but he states that there is proof that Edward Prower did survive, married and had several children. There is a record that on August 19, 1621, that Edward Prower and his wife Dorothy registered the baptism of their first child at Greaat Burstead, naming him Solomon Prower. Johnson believes that Edward had heard about the death of his brother Solomon in Plymouth seven months earlier and had named his first-born for him. This infant died in January 1622, so in memory Edward Prower named his next child, baptised in November 1622, also Solomon. In August 1628 they baptised a daughter Martha.[22]

It is possible that the grandchildren of Mayflower passenger Mary (Prower) Martin did survive to adulthood, married, and left descendants behind who may be ancestors of persons alive today in England or elsewhere.

Death of Christopher Martin and family

Martin’s step-son Solomon Prowe died on December 24, 1620, just as the exploration of Plymouth Harbor had commenced.[23]

By early January, 1621 Christopher Martin had become quite ill and on January 6 (or 7) Governor John Carver returned to the Mayflower from a trip ashore to discuss accounts and business with Martin. Christopher Martin is believed to have died the following day, January 8, 1621. Mary Martin died a few days later on January 11. Both were categorized as dying in the “general sickness.” Their servant John Langmore also died that winter.[19][24][25]

Bradford wrote that “Mr. Martin, he and all his, dyed in the first infection; not long after the arivall.” The death of Christopher Martin removed what might have been a source of future trouble in the life of Plymouth colony.[26]

Christopher Martin was buried in the Coles Hill Burial Ground, Plymouth. The burial place of his wife Mary was also Coles Hill Burial Ground. The family is memorialized on the Pilgrim Memorial Tomb, Coles Hill, Plymouth. The three entries for them on the Tomb are “Christopher Martin and his wife”, “Solomon Prower” and their servant John Langemore/Langerman named as “John Langmore”. Solomon Prower and John Langerman most likely were also buried on Coles Hill, as were all on the Mayflower who died the first winter after the ship moved from its Cape Cod anchorage.[27]

In 1920, at the three-hundredth anniversary of the Mayflower sailing, a plaque was unveiled in the United Reformed Church in Billericay, Essex, England, to commemorate the Martin family, Mayflower emigrants from that town. The plaque names Christopher Martin, Marie Martin, Solomon Prower and John Langerman.[28]

Servants traveling with the Christopher Martin family on the Mayflower

  • Solomon Prowe. Servant and step-son of Christopher Martin. He did not sign the Mayflower Compact indicating he had not yet reached the age of twenty-one, possibly being born between 1600 and 1606. He seems to have been from Essex, from where the Martin family probably originated. All members of the Martin family died during the first few months the Mayflower was in the New World. Solomon Prower died on December 24, 1620, just days before the exploration of Plymouth Harbor for the Pilgrim settlement.[16][29][30][31][self-published source]
  • John Langemore. Servant to Christopher Martin. Probably in his teens as he did not sign the Mayflower Compact. Almost nothing is known of his ancestry although he may have come with the Martin family from Essex. He died the first winter, as did all members of the Martin family.[16][32][33][self-published source]


  1. Jump up to:a b c d e f g A genealogical profile of Christopher Martin, (a collaboration of Plimoth Plantation and New England Historic Genealogical Society accessed 2013) Archived 2011-11-02 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Jump up to:a b Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620–1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), p. 323
  3. ^ Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and her passengers(Indiana:Xlibris Corp., Caleb Johnson, 2006) pp. 185-186
  4. Jump up to:a b c d Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and her passengers(Indiana:Xlibris Corp., Caleb Johnson, 2006) p. 183
  5. Jump up to:a b Charles Edward Banks, The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers (Boston: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2006), p. 70
  6. ^ Nick Bunker, Making Haste from Babylon: The MayflowerPilgrims and their New World a History (New York: Knopf 2010), p. 268
  7. ^ Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and her passengers(Indiana:Xlibris Corp., Caleb Johnson, 2006) pp. 183-184
  8. Jump up to:a b c d Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and her passengers(Indiana:Xlibris Corp., Caleb Johnson, 2006) p. 184
  9. ^ Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620–1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), p. 324
  10. ^ Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and her passengers(Indiana:Xlibris Corp., Caleb Johnson, 2006) pp. 184-185
  11. Jump up to:a b c Nick Bunker, Making Haste from Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and their New World a History (New York: Knopf 2010), p. 22
  12. Jump up to:a b c Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620–1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), p. 142
  13. Jump up to:a b c Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and her passengers(Indiana:Xlibris Corp., Caleb Johnson, 2006) p. 185
  14. ^ Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A story of Courage, Community and War (New York: Viking, 2006), pp. 26-27
  15. ^ Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620–1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), pp. 323-324
  16. Jump up to:a b c Charles Edward Banks, The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers (Boston: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2006), p. 66
  17. Jump up to:a b c Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620–1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), p. 413
  18. ^ George Ernest Bowman, The Mayflower Compact and its signers, (Boston: Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1920), Photocopies of the 1622, 1646 and 1669 versions of the document, pp. 7-19.
  19. Jump up to:a b Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and her passengers(Indiana:Xlibris Corp., Caleb Johnson, 2006) pp. 176, 186
  20. ^ Charles Edward Banks, The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers (Boston: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2006), p. 70 Christopher Martin, p. 76, Solomon Prower, p 66
  21. ^ Mayflower Quarterly,vol. 76, no. 3, September 2010 and (Samuel Prower) pp. 242-243
  22. ^ Mayflower Quarterly, vol. 76, no. 3, pp. 242-243 and 244-246
  23. ^ Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and her passengers(Indiana:Xlibris Corp., Caleb Johnson, 2006) p. 186″
  24. ^ Charles Edward Banks, The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers (Boston: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2006), pp. 6, 70
  25. ^ Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A story of Courage, Community and War (New York: Viking, 2006), p. 89
  26. ^ Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620–1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), pp. 323-324; 408
  27. ^ Memorial for Christopher Martin and Mary Power Martin
  28. ^ United Reformed Church Billericay Essex & Mayflower
  29. ^ Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and her passengers(Indiana:Xlibris Corp., Caleb Johnson, 2006) p. 199
  30. ^ Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620–1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), p. 342
  31. ^ Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A story of Courage, Community and War (New York: Viking, 2006), p. 81
  32. ^ Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and her passengers(Indiana:Xlibris Corp., Caleb Johnson, 2006) p. 176
  33. ^ Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620–1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), p. 317

Further reading

  • Robert C. Anderson. The Great Migration Begins. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995.
  • Robert C. Anderson. The Pilgrim Migration. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004.
  • R. J. Carpenter. Christopher Martin, Great Burstead and The Mayflower. Chelmsford, Essex, 1982.
hidevteMayflower passengers and related topics
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SeparatistsPriscilla (Mullins) AldenIsaac AllertonMary AllertonWilliam BradfordLove BrewsterWilliam BrewsterPeter BrowneWilliam ButtenJohn CarverJames ChiltonMary ChiltonFrancis CookeHumility CooperJohn CrackstonEdward DotyMoses FletcherEdward FullerSamuel FullerJohn HowlandDegory PriestThomas RogersHenry SamsonGeorge SouleEdward TilleyJohn TilleyThomas TinkerJohn TurnerWilliam WhiteResolved WhitePeregrine WhiteEdward Winslow
Other passengersJohn AldenJohn BillingtonFrancis EatonConstance HopkinsOceanus HopkinsStephen HopkinsChristopher MartinElinor MoreJasper MoreMary MoreRichard MoreWilliam MullinsMyles StandishRichard Warren
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Mayflower Compact

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mayflower Compact
Signing the Mayflower Compact 1620, a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris 1899
CreatedNovember 21 [O.S. November 11], 1620
Repealedfirst repealed in 1686
reinstated in 1689 and repealed again in 1691
Signatorieslist of signatories

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.

The Mayflower Compact was signed aboard ship on November 21 [O.S. November 11], 1620.[1] Signing the covenant were 41 of the ship’s 101 passengers[2][3] while the Mayflower was anchored in Provincetown Harbor within the hook at the northern tip of Cape Cod.[4]


Reasons for the Compact

The Pilgrims had originally hoped to reach America in early October using two ships, but delays and complications meant they could use only one, the Mayflower. Their intended destination had been the Colony of Virginia, with the journey financed by the Company of Merchant Adventurers of London. Storms forced them to anchor at the hook of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, however, as it was unwise to continue with provisions running short. This inspired some of the non-Puritan passengers (whom the Puritans referred to as ‘Strangers’) to proclaim that they “would use their own liberty; for none had power to command them” since they would not be settling in the agreed-upon Virginia territory.[5] To prevent this, the Pilgrims determined to establish their own government, while still affirming their allegiance to the Crown of England. Thus, the Mayflower Compact was based simultaneously upon a majoritarian model and the settlers’ allegiance to the king. It was in essence a social contract in which the settlers consented to follow the community’s rules and regulations for the sake of order and survival.[6]

The Pilgrims had lived for some years in Leiden, a city in the Dutch Republic. Historian Nathaniel Philbrick states, “Just as a spiritual covenant had marked the beginning of their congregation in Leiden, a civil covenant would provide the basis for a secular government in America.”[7]


Bradford’s transcription of the Compact

The original document has been lost,[8] but three versions exist from the 17th century: printed in Mourt’s Relation (1622),[9][10] which was reprinted in Purchas his Pilgrimes (1625);[11] hand-written by William Bradford in his journal Of Plimoth Plantation (1646);[12] and printed by Bradford’s nephew Nathaniel Morton in New-Englands Memorial (1669).[8] The three versions differ slightly in wording and significantly in spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.[10] William Bradford wrote the first part of Mourt’s Relation, including its version of the compact, so he wrote two of the three versions. The wording of those two versions is quite similar, unlike that of Morton. Bradford’s handwritten manuscript is kept in a vault at the State Library of Massachusetts.[13]Modern version

IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great BritainFrance, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of EnglandFrance, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620.[14]

The document was signed on November 21 [O.S. November 11].[1]


Further information: Mayflower Compact signatories1920 U.S. postage stamp depicting the signing of the compact

A list of 41 male passengers who signed the document was supplied by Bradford’s nephew Nathaniel Morton in his 1669 New England’s MemorialThomas Prince first numbered the names in his 1736 A Chronological History of New-England in the form of Annals.[2] The original document has been lost, so Morton is the sole source for the signers. He probably had access to the original document, but he could not have known the actual order in which it was signed simply by inspecting it. Morton’s arrangement of names might not have been the arrangement on the original document, and the names on the original may not have been arranged in any orderly fashion. Prince’s numbers are based solely on Morton, as he himself stated.[8]

Morton’s list of names was unnumbered and untitled in all six editions (1669–1855), although their order changed with successive editions. In his original 1669 edition, the names were placed on two successive pages forming six short columns, three per page.[8] In subsequent editions, these six short columns were combined into three long columns on a single page in two different ways, producing two different orders in unnumbered lists of signers. The second (1721) and third (1772) editions changed the order of the first edition by combining the first and fourth columns into the first long column, and similarly for the other columns. The fifth (1826) and sixth (1855) editions returned the names to their original first edition order by combining the first and second short columns into the first long column, and similarly for the other columns. Prince numbered the names in their original 1669 Morton order. He added titles (Mr. or Capt.) to 11 names that were given those titles by William Bradford in the list of passengers at the end of his manuscript.[2][12]

The following list of signers is organized into the six short columns of Morton (1669) with the numbers and titles of Prince. The names are given their modern spelling according to Morison.[15] Use the numbers for the order used by genealogists and half of unnumbered lists (Samuel Fuller will be the eighth name), but merge the half columns vertically into full columns for the order used by the other half of unnumbered lists (John Turner will be the eighth name).

Mr. John CarverWilliam BradfordMr. Edward WinslowMr. William BrewsterMr. Isaac AllertonCapt. Myles StandishJohn AldenMr. Samuel FullerMr. Christopher Martin Mr. William MullinsMr. William WhiteMr. Richard WarrenJohn HowlandMr. Stephen HopkinsEdward TilleyJohn TilleyFrancis CookeThomas RogersThomas TinkerJohn RigsdaleEdward Fuller
John TurnerFrancis EatonJames ChiltonJohn CrackstoneJohn BillingtonMoses FletcherJohn GoodmanDegory PriestThomas WilliamsGilbert WinslowEdmund MargesonPeter BrowneRichard BritteridgeGeorge SouleRichard ClarkeRichard GardinerJohn AllertonThomas EnglishEdward DotyEdward Leister


During the 300th anniversary of the Mayflower landing, Governor Calvin Coolidge, who became President a few years later, stated the following in an address:

The compact which they signed was an event of the greatest importance. It was the foundation of liberty based on law and order, and that tradition has been steadily upheld. They drew up a form of government which has been designated as the first real constitution of modern times. It was democratic, an acknowledgment of liberty under law and order and the giving to each person the right to participate in the government, while they promised to be obedient to the laws.

But the really wonderful thing was that they had the power and strength of character to abide by it and live by it from that day to this. Some governments are better than others. But any form of government is better than anarchy, and any attempt to tear down government is an attempt to wreck civilization.[16]

See also


  1. Jump up to:a b Bennett, William J.; Cribb, John T. E. (2013). The American Patriot’s Almanac: Daily Readings on America. Thomas Nelson. p. 460. ISBN 978-1-59555-375-1.
  2. Jump up to:a b c Thomas Prince, A chronological history of New England in the form of annals (1736) Chronology 73, 84–86. Internet Archive.
  3. ^ Bradford listed 104 passengers, including: William Button, a servant of Samuel Fuller who died five days before landfall; Oceanus Hopkins, born at sea; Perigrine White, born two weeks after landfall; and seamen William Trevor and someone named Ely, both hired for one year. If the two seamen and Perigrine White are ignored (William Button’s death is offset by Oceanus Hopkins’ birth), one is left with the “101 who sail’d from Plimouth in England, and just as many arriv’d in Cape Cod Harbour” as listed by Prince.
  4. ^ Young, Alexander (1841). Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers of the Colony of Plymouth from 1602 to 1625. C. C. Little and J. Brown. pp. 117–124.
  5. ^ Bradford, William (1898). “Book 2, Anno 1620” (PDF). In Hildebrandt, Ted (ed.). Bradford’s History “Of Plimoth Plantation”. Boston: Wright & Potter. Retrieved 2006-06-01.
  6. ^ Young 1841, p. 120.
  7. ^ Nathaniel Philbrick (2006), Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War, Penguin Book, New York, N.Y., ISBN 978-0-14-311197-9, p. 41
  8. Jump up to:a b c d George Ernest Bowman, The Mayflower Compact and its signers (Boston: Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1920). Photocopies of the 1622, 1646 and 1669 versions of the document.
  9. ^ William Bradford, Edward Winslow (printer G. Mourt [George Morton], Relation or Iournall of the beginning and proceedings of the English Plantation setled at Plimoth in New England, Early English Books Online, p.4
  10. Jump up to:a b Henry Martyn Dexter, [G. Mourt = George Morton], Mourt’s Relation or Journal of the Plantation at Plymouth, 1865, pp.6–7, a reprint using original typeface, paragraphs, punctuation, spelling and embellishments, but not pagination.
  11. ^ Samuel Purchas, Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas His Pilgrimes, Vol. XIX (Glasgow:James Maclehose, 1906) 313–314. Reprint of 1625 edition except that letters i, j, u, and v are used according to modern custom, contracted letters extended, printers’ errors corrected, and repaginated from original four volumes to twenty volumes (I.xxvi).
  12. Jump up to:a b William Bradford, Bradford’s History “Of Plimoth Plantation” from the original manuscript (Boston: 1901) page 110 (photocopy of manuscript page follows). Passengers listed on pages 530–540. No annotations. Official printing by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This printing of the compact is identical to the 1856 version by the Massachusetts Historical Society. Spelling and contractions follow manuscript except for modern usage of u and v. Capitalization and punctuation differ from manuscript. A faithful transcription is at Mayflower Compact (1620) Archived 2009-03-03 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ History of Plimoth Plantation: manuscript, 1630–1650. State Library of Massachusetts Catalog
  14. ^ “Mayflower Compact : 1620. Agreement Between the Settlers at New Plymouth : 1620”Avalon Project, Yale Law School. Retrieved 18 February 2018. Source: The Federal and State Constitutions Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Colonies Now or Heretofore Forming the United States of America Compiled and Edited Under the Act of Congress of June 30, 1906 by Francis Newton Thorpe Washington, DC : Government Printing Office, 1909.
  15. ^ Samuel Eliot Morison, Of Plymouth Plantation 1620–1647 by William Bradford (New York: Alfed A. Knopf, 1966) 441–3.
  16. ^ “Descendants Hail Spirit of Pilgrims”New York Herald. 1920-11-23. p. 6. Retrieved 2020-11-19.

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