First Death of a Passenger
“In all this voyage there died but one of the passengers, which was William Butten, a youth [born perhaps in 1605], servant to Samuel Fuller.” Today marks the 400th anniversary of the death of the first of the passengers to die on this voyage. Caleb Johnson notes a William Butten, son of John Butten, baptised at Worksop, Nottinghamshire, on 13 March 1605 as possibly being this passenger. Worksop was not all that far from Scrooby and briefly had a Separatist gathering in 1607. Some members of the Worksop congregation had joined with members of the Scrooby separatist congregation in the migration to Holland in 1608 and soon thereafter. There is at least one other possible William Butten in the area, but his birth date is too early for him to qualify as a “youth” in 1620. Nothing else is known about this passenger, his cause of death or his origins.
The fact that the first passenger to die was the servant to the physician does not fill us with great confidence about how well everyone else will be.