A fine, sunshining day “like April.” Party went on shore; the common house almost completed (and repaired). Many passengers and crew are ill both on ship and on shore.
The other of the wanderers from last weekend was Peter Browne (with or without the final “e”: there was really no standardised spelling even of surnames in the seventeenth century -- for different spelling, just check with the Soule/Sowle/Sole/Sowles/Sewell/Soulis/Solly family). He was baptised on 26 January 1594/5 in Dorking, Surrey, the same home town as the Mullins family (also Mayflower passengers). Peter Browne was the son of William Browne, who died when Peter was 10; he had two older siblings (Jane and Thomas) and three younger brothers (Samuel, John and James). There are a number of family connections between the Browne and the Mullins families in Dorking, detailed rather fully in Caleb Johnson’s article (“The Probable English Origin of Mayflower Passenger Peter Browne, and His Association with Mayflower Passenger William Mullins,” TAG 79 [July 2004]: 161-178; see also Barbara Merrick, “Some New Information about Pilgrim Peter Brown,” MQ 53 [Feb 1987]: 10-13). Peter Browne was probably out of any indenture or apprenticeship before he boarded the Mayflower (he would have been about 26 or perhaps a little bit older), and signed the Mayflower Compact. The 1620 sketch of Plymouth house locations shows that Peter Browne and John Goodman were neighbours, with Peter’s house being closest to the bay on the south side of the street; he received one acre of land in the 1623 division, “on the south side of the brook to the baywards.” Shortly after the division of land, Peter married the widow Martha Ford, who arrived on the Fortune in November 1621. Martha’s husband apparently died on the voyage, or shortly after arrival, and Martha gave birth the day after arriving in Plymouth (!). By the 1627 division of cattle, Peter and Martha had a child of their own (Mary, who married Ephraim Tinkham), and Martha was pregnant with another daughter (Priscilla, who married William Allen). Also in the household were Peter’s stepchildren, John and Martha Ford. Peter’s wife Martha died around 1630, and he remarried to a woman named Mary (whose maiden name and parents have not been discovered) and had two additional children by her (one of whom died before reaching adulthood; the other, Rebecca, married William Snow). Peter died in the early autumn of 1633. Peter only had daughters survive, marry and have descendants, and thus there are no Browne descendants with a direct male line. Among his more famous descendants are Dick Van Dyke and the three Wilson brothers from the Beach Boys.