William Brewster (1566-7 – 1646)
Of the William and Mary who came on the Mayflower. Nothing is known of his wife. William was the oldest Mayflower passenger to have participated at the First Thanksgiving, in his early fifties.
400 years ago
Before coming to America on the Mayflower in 1620, William Brewster helped form the Separatist church in England. When the group was found out by the King of England, they fled to Holland, in 1608. While in Holland, Brewster had published a number of religious pamphlets which were critical of the Church of England. One caught the attention of the King, and Brewster had to go in hiding until he sailed to America on the Mayflower.
William Brewster was the Reverend Elder of the Pilgrim’s church at Plymouth.
I love it that I’m related to such a dynamic radical who is so personally responsible for the ultimate founding of the United States of America. As there are about 10 million Mayflower descendants in the U.S., I figure that William and Mary might have ultimately begat a million of us, so in that respect I feel like I’m one in a million.