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Newport Branch Meeting, 2023 October 31.

Newport Branch Meeting, 2023 October 31st

You Never Know Whom You Might Find (Derek Fielding)

Our speaker had a target individual- an ancestor who made a real mark in life. He took us through his various family trees right back to 1567 and his target, one William Brewster.

He then related the stages of Brewster’s life- his early days at Scrooby Manor in Nottinghamshire, study at Cambridge University and a diplomatic position requiring travel, particularly to the Netherlands and then his return to Scrooby. Whilst at Cambridge he had been greatly influenced by the Brownists, a breakaway movement from the Anglican Church and for the next ten years he allowed Brownist Services to take place at Scrooby Manor. Eventually, however. It became clear that this was too dangerous and so he recommended to the Scrooby Congregation that they emigrate en masse to the Netherlands, where religious freedom was practised. This they did and arrived at the University town of Leiden.

However, after a few years it was clear that a further move was needed, this time to America to found a new self-governing colony there. They voyaged on the ship Mayflower with Brewster serving as their religious leader and they founded a new colony, called New Plymouth in the present day Massachusetts. This colony became a centre for civilized growth and building up to the present USA.

We now call the Scrooby Congregation as the Pilgrim Fathers but in America they are often termed the Founding Fathers and William Brewster had been at the centre of their creation.

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