Mayflower ship has become a part of history. Arguably it is one of the best-known ships globally. That is remarkable for a ship that existed in the 1600s. The iconic voyage was from Great Britain to the USA. However, there is a lot of confusion about which other ships sailed with it. We will answer that today and shed some light on that particular voyage.
What ships sailed with the Mayflower?
Mayflower set sail for America along with Speedwell on August 15, 1620. However, Speedwell developed a leak, so both the ships set sail back to England, forcing them to go back to Dartmouth, followed by Plymouth. However, due to the damage that Speedwell suffered, finally, on September 16, 1620, Mayflower set sail for America.
Prior to this journey, the Mayflower was considered a wine trading ship. It was a cargo ship 100 feet in length. However, when it embarked for America, it had a passenger count of 102 in addition to the crew. Even though it was 100 feet long, with so many passengers, the space was really cramped inside the ship. Every family was allotted very little space.
Why is Mayflower famous?
The journey to America is what made Mayflower famous. It was the first ship to sail from Great Britain to America and one which helped establish a colony in America. The journey, however, wasn’t straightforward.
Most passengers occupied the gun deck, which was only 5.5 feet in height. Seldom did the passengers stroll on the upper deck. That was only possible during calm weather.
The crew was sizable at 37 members and occupied the cabins on the upper deck.
However, very little is known about the crew members of the ship. Some known members include John Alden, who was a cooper, followed by ship surgeon Giles Heales.
Noteworthy passengers included William Bradford. He became the governor of the Plymouth plantation established in America later. He also authored a book that detailed the journey. It remains one of the most genuine records of the journey from Great Britain to America.
As for the voyage, the initial half of the voyage was pretty smooth. Despite the limited space allotted to each family, most passengers adjusted pretty well. Passengers experienced fair and sunny weather for weeks. This ensured the health of all the passengers remained good onboard. In the records, it is also mentioned that there were three pregnant women on board. One woman named Elizabeth Hopkins gave birth to a boy on board named Oceanus.
After the initial half of the journey, the Mayflower started experiencing bad weather. Due to a storm, the main mast experienced a crack leading to a leak. Most passengers feared the water would sink the ship mid-ocean and not make it to America. However, the sizable crew ensured that the beam and most leaks were fixed.
Even after the completion of repair work, the cold and damp conditions on board deteriorated the health of passengers over time. However, after 66 days, the boat eventually reached America, but before that, a young boy died on board because of illness.
The ship aimed to land in northern Virginia. However, the ship reached New England. Even though the landing port was different, after 66 days on the water, the passengers and the crew were eager to disembark on land.
However, the lack of food and approaching winter forced the crew and passengers to go further to find suitable places to build a habitation. Eventually, the ship reached Provincetown Harbour in Cape Cod. That is where the passengers of the ship established a colony and its rules and regulations. However, the colony was short-lived as skirmishes with the locals forced the ship to sail further to Plymouth Harbor.
1. Who sailed with the Mayflower?
Speedwell was the ship that initially sailed with the Mayflower. However, due to a leak in Speedwell, both the ships returned to the harbour, and after that, it was Mayflower that sailed alone.
2. What was the second ship after the Mayflower?
The Fortunate was the second ship that sailed from Great Britain to the Plymouth colony of the new world. However, it sailed a full year after the ship Mayflower sailed. Even though it is remembered, the main limelight is always on Mayflower since it was the first ship that sailed to the new world.
3. How many survived Mayflower?
Records are sketchy about the survival rate of Mayflower passengers. But according to some estimates, roughly 50 of the original 102 passengers on the Mayflower were able to survive the first winter in the New World. There have been attempts to trace back the history of individuals to come to an accurate number, but the attempts so far haven’t been successful.
4. What are 5 facts about the Mayflower?
There are quite a few rumours about Mayflower. However, some facts can be established as well through a record. These include:
- Bradford, who sailed on the Mayflower and later on became the governor of the new colony and wrote a book about the journey of the Mayflower, is the most dominant source of information about the Mayflower.
- Many of the passengers of the Mayflower first attempted to live in the Netherlands, but the restrictions in the Dutch Society forced them to sail to the New World to live as per the English culture and worship as per their norms.
- Initially, Mayflower was to cross the ocean in June, but procuring supplies took a long time, and it crossed the ocean in late fall when it had to endure storms and cold temperatures.
- Half the passengers of the Mayflower were casualties during the journey.
- Passengers who arrived in the New World found a previously cleared land, a flourishing village named Pautuxet. The epidemic from 1616 to 1619 killed 2000 occupants, so the cleared land was empty.
So, yes, a ship initially sailed with Mayflower, which went by the name of Speedwell, but it had to return due to a leak, and eventually, it was Mayflower who sailed alone to the new world.
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Zahra is an alumna of Miranda House, University of Delhi. She is an avid writer, possessing immaculate research and editing skills. Author of several academic papers, she has also worked as a freelance writer, producing many technical, creative and marketing pieces. A true aesthete at heart, she loves books a little more than anything else.