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  • 4 Sep 2021 3:01 AM | Soule (Administrator)

    Continuing construction and planting.

    Speedwell leaking [Friday, 4 September 1620]

    Speedwell starting to leak dangerously; Mayflower in company. Course W.S.W.

    Note: Mayflower, Day by Day started last year on Sunday, 6 September (recording the arrival of the Mayflower and the Speedwell in Plymouth on 6 September 1620, mentioning the actions of the day before).  I shall continue recording the events of both 1620 and 1621 until Monday (6 September), editing the original post to put the events on their proper dates.  After that, I will go back to recording only 1621.  I still hope to continue until the Fortune leaves in December 1621.

  • 3 Sep 2021 3:11 AM | Soule (Administrator)

    Friday, 3 September 1621

    Continuing construction and planting.

    Fair wind [Thursday, 3 September 1620]

    Mayflower, with the Speedwell in company, pass Lands End with wind fair.  General course W.S.W.

  • 2 Sep 2021 3:23 AM | Soule (Administrator)

    Continuing construction and planting.

    Mayflower and Speedwell weigh anchor [Wednesday, 2 September 1620]

    Both ships weighed anchor and set sail.  Laid general course W.S.W.

  • 1 Sep 2021 3:31 AM | Soule (Administrator)

    Continuing construction and planting.

    Lying at anchor, Dartmouth Harbour [Tuesday, 1 September 1620]

    Both ships lying at anchor in Dartmouth Harbour, both ready for sea.  Bradford says: “Some leaks were found and mended and now it was conceived by the workmen and all, that [the Speedwell] was sufficient, and they might proceed without either fear or danger.”  Bradford indicated that they must have left Dartmouth “about the 21st” [o.s.] of August (or 31 August n.s.).  Captain John Smith gives that date, though somewhat confusedly.  Arber (The Story of the Pilgrim Fathers, 343) says: “They actually left on 23 August.” Goodwin (Pilgrim Republic, 55) says: “Ten days were spent in discharging and re-stowing the Speedwell and repairing her from stem to stern,” which would indicate that they left on 23 August/2 September.

  • 31 Aug 2021 3:19 AM | Soule (Administrator)

    Continuing construction and planting.

    Ships lying at anchor in Dartmouth Harbour [Monday, 31 August 1620]

    Ships still lying at anchor at Dartmouth Harbour. The overhauling of the Speedwell has been completed, and the cargo has been replaced.  Making ready to go to sea.

  • 30 Aug 2021 3:17 AM | Soule (Administrator)

    Resumed construction and planting.

    Lying at Anchor, Dartmouth harbour [Sunday, 30 August 1620]

    Both ships lying at anchor in Dartmouth harbour.

    Although the Speedwell was abandoned after trying to cross the Atlantic, it has appeared in art a remarkable number of times. The dramatic scene before the Speedwell’s departure from Delfshaven is depicted in “The Embarkation of the Pilgrims” by Robert J. Weir in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C., and the same scene is reprinted on the back of the rare US $10,000 bill.  You can tell that this is the Speedwell and not the Mayflower because the name of the ship is visible under Pastor Robinson’s knees.  The evocative 1971 painting by Leslie Arthur Wilcox, now at Pilgrim Hall, was included in our chronicle a couple of days ago.  That painting, as well as another painting of the Speedwell leaving Delfshaven, appeared on two commemorative stamps from the Isle of Man in 1992: Wilcox’s painting is on the 28p postage stamp.  There are several websites giving a more complete survey of the Pilgrims in postage, but to my knowledge these are the only two stamps with the Speedwell.  Oddly enough, these stamps were issued in 1992 to commemorate the five hundredth anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America: since the Isle of Man had no connection with Christopher Columbus, they used their next best and commemorated Myles Standish (who, it is claimed, was a Manxman).

  • 29 Aug 2021 3:46 AM | Soule (Administrator)

    Kept the Sabbath.

    Ships lying at anchor [Saturday, 29 August 1620]

    Mayflower and Speedwell lying at anchor in Dartmouth harbour (Bayard’s Cove).  Speedwell relading.

  • 28 Aug 2021 3:41 AM | Soule (Administrator)

    Construction and planting continue.

    Lying at anchor in Dartmouth Harbour (Friday, 28 August 1620)

    The Speedwell still being repaired, although it is now judged by the workmen that mended her to be sufficient for the voyage.

    A plaque in Bayards Cove to the two ships reads, in part:  HERE, OFF BAYARD'S COVE, THE MAYFLOWER (180 TONS) WITH LONDON COLONISTS, AND THE SPEEDWELL (80 TONS) WITH LEYDEN PILGRIMS - SOME 122 IN ALL - LAY AT ANCHOR FROM AUGUST 23 (NEW STYLE) TO ABOUT AUGUST 31, 1620. THESE SHIPS HAD SAILED FROM SOUTHAMPTON ON AUGUST 15. THEY PUT IN AT DARTMOUTH TO REPAIR THE LEAKING SPEEDWELL. THEY SAILED FROM DARTMOUTH FOR AMERICA'

  • 27 Aug 2021 3:22 AM | Soule (Administrator)

    Friday, 27 August 1621

    Back to work: planting and construction continues.

    Lying at anchor, Dartmouth harbour [Thursday, 27 August 1620]

    Both ships in Bayard's Cove; the Speedwell being searched and mended. Sailors offended at Christopher Martin because of meddling; there is also some dissension among the chief of the passengers.  Cushman’s letter, written in Dartmouth and dated August 17 (o.s.) says: “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. ... But at best this cometh of it, that he makes himself a scorn and laughing stock unto them.”

  • 26 Aug 2021 2:52 AM | Soule (Administrator)

    A new era of peace

    After the (unsuccessful) expedition to capture Corbitant, Governor Bradford received “many Gratulations from diverse Sachems and much firmer Peace.”  The show of force in the midnight raid, no matter how disorganised and confused, had won the Pilgrims some new respect.  Epenow, the sachem in (what is now) Martha’s Vineyard, and the leader who had attacked Dermer several years ago, made overtures of friendship.  Even Corbitant himself let it be known that he now wanted to make peace.  Massasoit was by now back in Sowams, and now that the Pilgrims had proved themselves loyal and resolute supporters, a new era of peace settled over the region.  Even Canonicus, chief sachem of the Narragansetts, sent a messenger to treat of Peace.

    Lying at anchor, Dartmouth Harbour [Wednesday, 26 August 1620]

    The Speedwell, being thoroughly overhauled for leaks, was pronounced “as open and leaky as a sieve.”  The carpenters found a loose plank three feet long and admitting water freely, “as at a mole hole”; the seams had also opened some.  There was much dissatisfaction and discontent between the passengers and the ship’s “governour” Christopher Martin, between whom and Robert Cushman, the “assistant,” there is constant disagreement.  Cushman portrays the contemptible character and manner of Martin very sharply, and could not have wished to punish him worse for his meannesses than he did, by thus holding him up to the scorn of the world for all time.  He says, inter alia: “If I speak to him, he flies in my face and saith no complaints shall be heard or received  but by himself, and saith: ‘They are froward, and waspish, discontented people, and I do ill to hear them.’”

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