I enjoy researching people's lives and writing their stories. For me, it's a natural passion, but was it important to others? To determine whether oth...
The Living Profile
February 20, 2015
Royal Coercion or Youthful Ambition?
September 16, 2017
Mayflower Pilgrim Descendants
August 25, 2015
While the Jamestown, VA colonists were the first to settle in North America, much prestige is applied to Mayflower Pilgrim descendants and rightfully so. Like Jamestown, the Plymouth colonists battled Indians, endured periods of starvation, and overcame brutal winter conditions. The wilderness contained unknown horrors, and somehow, they were able to carve a small settlement in the remote north. What would cause a group of people to venture into this unknown and potential peril? The cause was not a vicious monarch, an infectious plague, or poverty. Their determination was catalyzed by religious liberty.
Many years earlier, Henry VIII had shirked Catholic doctrine and authority to accommodate a divorce. In England, popery was outlawed, but the need and desire for Christian influence persisted. The Protestant Church of England was organized, but it retained some Catholic customs. Gone were popish power, jurisdiction, canons, and persecution, but ceremony and conformity was retained.
After the death of Henry VIII, his child son reigned but succumbed to death early leaving Catholic
Mary Queen of Scots to reign. Bloody Mary's death instigated religious emigration. For fear of persecution and execution, approximately 800 fled to other European cities. With Mary dead, Elizabeth I reigned and welcomed the emigrants and their influence back.
For some, the Church of England's conformity measures and ceremonial prowess were stifling. Those wanting reform sought liberty and relief. Among them were the Mayflower Pilgrims. They desired a Congregational or Separatist church.
As a minority sect, what were the Pilgrims willing to endure to achieve religious freedom? They didn't just board the Mayflower and set sail. Future blogs will chronicle some of these challenges.