West Virginia Pioneers

William BREWSTER

Male 1566 - 1644  (~ 78 years)


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  • Name William BREWSTER 
    Born CA 1566  prob Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 10 Apr 1644  Plymouth, Mass Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I2838  WVPioneers
    Last Modified 13 Jul 2018 

    Father William BREWSTER,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F29726  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary [Brewster],   b. Abt 1576, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Apr 1627, Plymouth, Mass Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 51 years) 
    Notes 

    • Elder William Brewster
      Born 1566 or 67 probably at Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England. Matriculated at Cambridge December 3, 1580.
      Postmaster at Scrooby, residing in the manor house, where members of the Pilgrim Church were accustomed to meet on the Lord's Day. When the Pilgrims attempted to remove to Holland in 1607, he with them was imprisoned at Boston, England.
      They ultimately got to Holland where they remained twelve years and during their stay at Leyden, Holland, William Brewster was chosen Elder of the Church. He came to Plymouth on the Mayflower with his wife, Mary and two young sons, December 16, 1620.

      mayflowerhistory.com
      William Brewster
      BIRTH: About 1566, in the vicinity of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England, son of William and Mary (Smythe)(Simkinson) Brewster.
      MARRIAGE: Mary (maiden name unknown), about 1592, probably in the vicinity of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England.
      CHILDREN: Jonathan, Patience, Fear, an unnamed child who died young, Love, and Wrestling.
      DEATH: 10 April 1644 at Plymouth.
      yDNA HAPLOGROUP: I-M253

      William Brewster was born about 1566, the son of William Brewster. He was educated in both Greek and Latin and spent some time at Cambridge University, although he never completed a full degree. He went into the service of William Davison, then Secretary of State, while his father back home maintained a position as the postmaster of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire. Under Davison, Brewster first traveled to the Netherlands. After Davison was removed as Secretary of State by Queen Elizabeth, Brewster worked himself into his father's postmaster duties and maintained Scrooby Manor. Brewster was instrumental in establishing a Separatist church with Richard Clyfton, and they often held their meetings in the Manor house. Brewster and the others were eventually found and forced out, and fleeing prosecution and persecution they headed to Amsterdam in 1608, and moved to Leiden, Holland in 1609. Brewster became the church's Elder, responsible for seeing that the congregation's members carried themselves properly, both helping and admonishing them when necessary.

      In Leiden, Brewster working with Thomas Brewer, Edward Winslow, and others, began working a printing press and publishing religious books and pamphlets that were then illegally conveyed into England. Brewster also employed himself teaching University of Leiden students English. By 1618, the English authorities were onto him and his printing press, and had the Dutch authorities in pursuit of him. Thomas Brewer was arrested and held in the University of Leiden's prison, but Brewster managed to evade the authorities and went into hiding for a couple years.

      When the Leiden church congregation decided to send the first wave of settlers to establish a colony that everyone could eventually move to, their pastor John Robinson decided to remain behind in Leiden with the majority of the congregation, intending to come later. The smaller group that went on the Mayflower desired the next highest ranking church official, Elder Brewster, to go with them; so he agreed. He brought his wife Mary and two youngest children, Love and Wrestling, on the Mayflower with him.

      Brewster continued his work as Church Elder throughout his life at Plymouth Colony. His wife Mary died in 1627, and he never remarried. He lived to be nearly 80 years old, dying in 1644. His estate inventory lists the titles of several hundred books that he owned. Shortly after he died, William Bradford wrote a short but concise biography of Brewster in his history Of Plymouth Plantation, though he erroneously filed it under 1643 instead of 1644.
    Children 
     1. Fear BREWSTER,   b. Abt 1606, prob Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 12 Dec 1634, Plymouth, Mass Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 28 years)
     2. Love Brewster,   b. CA 1607,   d. 1650, Duxbury, Massachusetts Bay, British America Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 43 years)
     3. Wrestling Brewster,   b. CA 1611,   d. Between 1627 and 1651  (Age ~ 16 years)
    Family ID F966  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - CA 1566 - prob Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 10 Apr 1644 - Plymouth, Mass Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Sources 
    1. [S50] Pioneer History of Meigs Co, Oh to 1949.