Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 19 September 2020

The legacy of The Mayflower

This autumn marks the quartercentenary of the.voyage of the Mayflower to Plymouth Rock. The BBC News website has an interesting and insightful article about the cultural perceptions and myths - and there seem to be many of them - that surround that famous voyage which can be read at What we all get wrong about the Mayflower

The article brings out very well the legacy of the Pilgrims and ties that in with current concerns in the US. That may be an eye-opener to readers across the Atlantic. To readers in the UK I suspect the Pilgrims are mildly interesting. Looking at them down the inverted telescope of history I wonder if most of their contemporaries thought  “good riddance...”

There is more about the background to the emigration of the self-styled Pilgrims and  their journey and early days in their new home in the Wikipedia article at Mayflower

The original community that became the Pilgrim Fathers originated fairly close to my home area, in their case around Austerfield - for which there is an introduction here at Austerfield - on the borders of Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire to the south of Doncaster, and  few miles to the south at Babworth in Nottinghamshire. The life of their Austerfield born leader William Bradford can be seen at William Bradford (governor)

One of their early meeting places was nearby at the still surviving Old Hall in Gainsborough on the Lincolnshire bank of the Trent. It was this community who first settled in Holland in 1608 before the decision to sail across the Atlantic in 1620. Timbers from the ship itself are said to have been reused to build the Mayflower Barn in one of the heartlands of English Protestant dissent since the Lollardy of the fifteenth century in south Buckinghamshire. There is an account of it at Jordans, Buckinghamshire

1 comment:

Matthew F Kluk said...

I always like to point out that the Pilgrims, arriving in the New World seeking religious freedom, immediately outlawed freedom of worship for Catholics and Jews. The irony is a fine thing.