950. William13 Brewster Elder (William14, William15) was born Scrooby or Doncaster, Yorkshire England 1566. William died April 10, 1644 in Plymouth, MA, at age 77.(1246)

He married Mary Wyrall or Wentworth or Unknown before 1593 in England. Mary was born circa 1569 in England.(1247) (Additional notes for Mary Wyrall or Wentworth or Unknown(1248)) Mary died April 17, 1627 in Plymouth, MA, at age 57.(1249) After receiving his degree from Cambridge University, he became the private secretary to Sir William Davison, Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth. William accompanied Davison on his mission to the Netherlands. Subsequently, he succeeded his father as the Postmaster at Scrooby, an office of high responsibility and influence. He held the post until 1607.

William has been dubbed the leader of the Puritan exodus to New England. He withdrew from the Church, and helped create a Congregationalist society which met Sundays in the drawing room of his manor house at Scrooby. In late 1607 or early 1608, William and the Pilgrims went to Amsterdam. They found the English exiles who had earlier arrived there were fiercely involved in doctrinal controversies, and they decided to search further.

They travelled to Leyden in 1609, and remained there for eleven years. William opened a publishing house, primarily for theological works. But the group, now over 300 strong, did not wish to be simply absorbed by another country; the wanted to preserve their English language and traditions. In short, they wished to build a new Christian state. Recognizing that this was nearly impossible on the already staked-out Europe, it was decided to go to the Atlantic coast of America.

After several false starts, the Mayflower, with William aboard, set sail for America on September 6, 1620. They arrived in Plymouth, Cape Cod bay, on November 9th. He was the oldest of the Mayflower passengers who celebrated the first Thanksgiving.

William Bradford describes William Brewster thusly: "he was wise and discreet and well spoken, having a grave and deliberate utterance, of a very cheerful spirit, very sociable and pleasant amongst his friends, of an humble and modest mind, of a peaceable disposition, undervaluing himself and his own abilities...inoffensive and innocent in his live and conversation...he was tender-hearted, and compassionate of such as were in misery, but especially of such as had been of good estate and rank, and were fallen into want and poverty, either for goodness and religion's sake, or by the injury and oppression of others..."

Elder Brewster's biography is as good a place as any to comment on the first Thanksgiving in October, 1621. It was really a unique event; the Pilgrims did not celebrate the next year, or any time thereafter. The Thanksgiving holiday was not born until President Lincoln declared as such in 1863.

The indian king Massasoit with about 90 of his men were the guest for three days. They brought five deear to the feast, and four of the Pilgrim men hunted and brought back enough fowl (turkey, geese, pheasant, and other birds) to feed the group for nearly a week. Beer was the primary beverage for everyone, including children [sources: calebj@aol.com; The Thanksgiving Primer by the Plimouth Plantation, 1991]

William Brewster Elder and Mary Wyrall or Wentworth or Unknown had the following children:

child + 802 i. Jonathan12 Brewster.

child 951 ii. Patience Brewster was born Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England ca 1600. Patience died before 12 Dec 1634 in Plymouth, MA, at age 34. She married Thomas Prence 5 August 1624 in Plymouth, MA. She came to America from England aboard the ship Anne which arrived in Plymouth in July 1623.

child 952 iii. Fear Brewster was born Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England ca 1606. Fear died before 12 Dec 1634 in Plymouth, MA, at age 28. She married Isaac Allerton after 10 July 1623 in Plymouth, MA. She came to America from England aboard the ship Anne which arrived in Plymouth in July 1623.

child 953 iv. Love Brewster(1250) was born in Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands ca 1611. Love died January 31, 1650/1651 in Duxbury, Plymouth Co, Massachusetts, at age 38. He married Sarah Collier May 15, 1634 in Plymouth, MA.(1251) (Additional notes for Sarah Collier(1252)) Sarah died April 26, 1691 in Plymouth, MA, at age unknown.

child 954 v. Wrestling Brewster was born probably Holland ca 1614. Wrestling died before 1644 at age unknown.

horizontal rule

email graphic Send email to author: email address

Table of Contents graphic Return to Table of Contents or Index

Go to Next Page GraphicGo to Next Page

Go to Previous Page GraphicGo to Previous Page

oil paintings