When did the Mayflower depart Plymouth to Sail to America?

+4 votes
Today is September 16th.  On this day in American History, the Pilgrims boarded the Mayflower and set sail from Plymouth, England.
in The Tree House by Joe Kenworthy G2G1 (1.8k points)
Thank you for the reminder.

Actually, a document that the Mayflower scholars recently transcribed showed they did plan for their future.  this is a provisions list:  


It's interesting that beer was included in the provisions list.  I  never thought Pilgrims and Beer went together.
How wrong you are.  Plymouth was chosen because they had to get off the ship because they were out of beer, and Plymouth had good fresh water to make beer.   They lived in an age where water was not always pure, and beer was safer to drink than water.  Especially if you'd been on a ship for weeks.  The water in beer is heated.  At this time they didn't know to boil water to make it safer for drinking, but they did know how to boil water to make beer.  Alcohol level in their beer was not high.
It took them 3 years to get permission to go.  They actually started in July,  But lots of things went wrong, the worst of which was that their second ship, the Speedwell, started to sink.  Both ships went back, and they ultimately ditched the Speedwell, and about a dozen people from that ship came on the Mayflower, contributing to the overcrowding and disease. Dozens more were left behind.  Their final departure was in September, but they thought they were going to Virginia, which was a much warmer climate.
Their permit was for "Northern Virginia", whch at that time meant anywhere fron New Jersey to Maine.  They fancied the Hudson.

Going to Virginia would have been much easier (they had a reception system and a guesthouse for new arrivals), but pointless, because Virginia operated under English law and the Church of England.  The Pilgrims were going to have something more like Shariah law, with the death penalty for all sorts of Old Testament sins that weren't even illegal in England - though in the event they rarely had the stomach for executions and stuck to brutal whippings.
“Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht” is an old Yiddish adage meaning, “Man Plans, and God Laughs.”


Which is related to "Man proposes, God disposes" — Thomas a Kempis, which, in turn, may be from Proverbs (16:9) and/or Jeremiah (10:23) (which also may be where the Yiddish saying originated).  The Avon Bard also said "There is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will".

 Psalm 33:10:  

"The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates
the plans of the peoples."
(In other words, men may plan but God has plans of His own)
I am not sure why the word "frustrates" keeps getting cut out in my reply above.
Hamlet writen by William Shakesspear.AKA The Bard of Avon

3 Answers

+2 votes
by James Collins G2G6 Mach 5 (54.9k points)
+2 votes
According to my calculations the Mayflower left Plymouth, England on September 6, 1620 (old date) and September 15, 1620 (new date).  Wikipedia says September 16, 1620.  I believe the 1 day off had something to do with a leap year.  It has been awhile since I figured it out.  That was a Tuesday.

1620, being a leap year has 366 days.
A common year has 365.

That's too simple.  Back then the beginning of 1620 began on the old date (od), Mar. 25 the Lady Day, the feast of the Annunciation.  Mar. 25, 1620 (od) corresponds to Jan. 3, 1620 new date (nd).  Dates are then 9 days apart until Feb. 29, 1620 (od) corresponds to Mar. 10, 1620 (nd).  Thereafter dates are 10 days apart until next leap year (nd) so that Mar. 1, 1624 (nd) corresponds to Feb. 20, 1623, 9 days apart, etc. until 1752.  See "A Handbook of Dates For Students of British History", by Cheney Jones.
Feb 18 1619/20 Julian = Feb 28 1620 Gregorian

Feb 19 = Feb 29

Feb 20 = Mar 1


Feb 28 = Mar 9

Feb 29 = Mar 10

Mar 1 = Mar 11 etc

As for the difference in days between Feb 20 and Mar 1, you can make it 9 or 10 depending on how many days you count in February.  But it's a meaningless calculation.

But they set sail on Sep 6 and anchored Nov 11.  Why Americans have the urge to convert these dates to Gregorian is a mystery.  Usually they don't keep it up for long.  Between the Mayflower and George Washington's birthday, the entire history and genealogy of the colonies is done by everybody using the month and day of the original records (but with the year number rolled over on Jan 1).
That first line should read Feb 18 1619 Julian = Feb 28 1620 Gregorian.  It's an interesting calculation to try to understand where "old dates" and "new dates" came from.
I'm sorry both dates are Gregorian.  That calendar was introduced in 1582.  At that time the calendar year was ordered to take effect on January 1st but not adopted.  The year continued to begin on March 25th.  Around the middle of the seventeenth century continental and American countries had gone over to "new" dates where the year began with January 1st.  For official purposes, Englishmen continued till 1751 to use "old" dates where the year began with March 25th, but they were wavering in there allegiance and found it convenient to give double indication for the period between January 1st and March 24th.  Hence, the date February 18 1619, would be shown as February 18 1619/20.

Please see the reference, "A Handbook of Dates For Students of British History", by Cheney Jones.  This is a great reference when studying British History.

+2 votes
THe Mayflower left from Dartmonth not Plymouth , but  ran into a storm and cound not return to Dasrtmouth and was forced to wait until the next year for the voyage. Some of the original passengers did not go and were replaced by others.
So....Are you saying that the Mayflower left Dartmonth on September 16 1620?
The way I understand how the Mayflower sailed is:on August 5,1620 both the Speedwell and the Mayflower sailed from Southampton only to return  to Dartmouth so the leaky Speedwell could be repaired. That would have been around August 12. They both sailed on August 21 and sailed about 300 miles but the repair job on the Speedwell was to no avail. She continued to leak and they both returned to Plymouth where the Speedwell was deemed unseaworthy for the voyage. The Speedwell passengers disembarked and joined the others on the already crowded Mayflower bringing the total # to 102.   She then set sail alone on September 6, 1620 from Plymouth for the 66 day voyage to the New World. They arrived at what is now Provincetown, Cape Cod November 9, 1620.
In the early 70's I was living in Dartmouth, there was a plaque there about the Mayflower, and it , as I can recall read very much as you have stated.
I was just confused about: “The Mayflower left from Dartmouth not Plymouth...” and I wanted to state what I knew. I say that because my Mayflower relatives (Thomas and Joseph Rogers) were aboard the Speedwell before she was deemed unseaworthy and were added to the final 102 passengers who did sail to what we know as Plymouth. Thanks for sharing your info about having seen The plaque that you reference. Godspeed.

Rev. Frederick W.Rogers

Related questions

+4 votes
4 answers
0 votes
2 answers
+28 votes
1 answer
+1 vote
1 answer

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright