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400 years Pilgrim Fathers

For those interested in American history: the Lakenhal Museum in Leiden has an exhibition on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim Fathers leaving the city for the unknown shores of North America. Runs from 27 March to 12 July.

Posted by
673 posts

Unknown? I'd say that the North American coast was already fairly well known by Europeans.

Bartholomew Gosnold, had surveyed and named Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard in 1602, prior to his taking the Godspeed to Virginia in 1607.

The Virginia Company of Plymouth had put a short lived settlement on the Kennebunk River in June 1607.

John Smith surveyed the region again in 1612, calling that region of Virginia New England.

The First Mate and Pilot of the Maryflower John Clark, had already served on the James River, in Virginia in 1611 and had been a Spanish prisoner for 5 years before bringing the pilgrims 1620.

Stephen Hopkins had been a survivor of the wreck of the Sea Venture in 1611, a pardoned mutineers, and veteran of Virginia service before sailing on the Mayflower.

And never mind that many natives of the New England coast had been taken from their homes and carried away to Europe for many decades prior.

But, it's nice to have the Pilgrims finally catch up...

Posted by
1283 posts

VAP - but most of us - at least on this side of the Atlantic - have never heard of them and have no idea who they are. But the Pilgrim Fathers are a bit more famous, because the story/myth is more interesting.

As well as the exhibition Ton mentions, Plymouth (the original one in Devon), has several events planned to mark the anniversary since that's from where they finally left.

Posted by
809 posts

I’m in Amsterdam now and plan to visit Leiden on Saturday. Looks like I’m a month too early for this exhibit - rats! But I’m looking forward to
The American Pilgrim museum and several others, including the Rijks van Oudeheden which sounds interesting.

Posted by
9733 posts

Ton, thanks for this info on the exhibit. Now I am bummed I am going to the Netherlands just a few days too early to see this. Dang it.

Posted by
598 posts

Thank you, VAP! I might add that there were Pilgrim Mothers and Pilgrim Children on board as well. The title of the exhibition is "PILGRIMS TO AMERICA – AND THE LIMITS OF FREEDOM"