This was the final day of cargo transfer from the Speedwell to the Mayflower. The Speedwell was built in 1577, under the name Swiftsure, as part of English preparations for war against Spain. She participated in the fight against the Spanish Armada. During the Earl of Essex's 1596 Azores expedition she served as the ship of his second in command, Sir Gelli Meyrick. After hostilities with Spain ended, she was decommissioned in 1605 and renamed the Speedwell. According to William Bradford, the Speedwell was sold at auction in London after 1620, and after being repaired made a number of successful voyages for her new owners. The Swiftsure/Speedwell had thus previously crossed the Atlantic several times when it started leaking in August 1620, making its peril all the more mysterious.