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The Rest of the Story: The Ancestors of Sarah May Paddock Otstott
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William BREWSTER (1567-1644)

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      William Brewster in the Capitol building.     William Brewster signing the Mayflower Compact     Memorial stone for William Brewster     Memorial stone for William Brewster, cont
Name: William BREWSTER 1
Sex: Male
Father: William BREWSTER ( - )
Mother: Mary SMYTHE (SIMKINSON) ( - )

Individual Events and Attributes

Birth 1566/67 Doncaster, Yorkshire, England
Education frm 1580 to 1583 (age 12-16) Peterhouse College; Cambridge
Immigration 1620 (age 52-53) to Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts from Scrooby Manor, Nottinghamshire, England
Religion Separatist
Death 10 Apr 1644 (age 76-77) Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts
Burial possibly in or near Burial Hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts
Occupation Pilgrim colonist leader and preacher

Additional Information

Immigration on the "Mayflower"


Spouse Mary WENTWORTH (1659-1627)
Children Patience BREWSTER (1600-bef1634)
Marriage 1589 (app) (age 21-22) Scrooby Manor, Nottinghamshire, England

Individual Note 1

Elder William Brewster (c. 1560 or 1566 April 10, 1643) was a Pilgrim colonist leader and preacher born in Doncaster, England and raised in Scrooby, in north Nottinghamshire, who reached what became the Plymouth Colony in the Mayflower in 1620. He was accompanied by his wife, Mary Brewster, and his sons, Love Brewster and Wrestling Brewster. Son Jonathan joined the family in November 1621, arriving at Plymouth on the ship Fortune, and daughters Patience and Fear arrived in July 1623 aboard the Anne.



He was born probably at Doncaster, Yorkshire, England, circa 1566/1567, although no birth records have been found,[1][2][3][4][5] and died at Plymouth, Massachusetts on April 10, 1644 around 9- or 10pm.[1][2][3][4][5] He was the son of William Brewster and Mary (Smythe) (Simkinson) and he had a number of half-siblings. His paternal grandparents were William Brewster and Maud Mann. His maternal grandfather was Thomas Smythe.


Scrooby Manor was in the possession of the Archbishops of York. Brewster's father, William senior, had been the estate bailiff for the archbishop for thirty-one years from around 1580. With this post went that of postmaster, which was a more important one than it might have been in a village not situated on the Great North Road, as Scrooby was then.


William Junior studied briefly at Peterhouse, Cambridge before entering the service of William Davison in 1584.[6] In 1585, Davison went to the Netherlands to negotiate an alliance with the States-General. In 1586, Davison was appointed assistant to Queen Elizabeth's Secretary of State Francis Walsingham, but in 1587 Davison lost the favour of Elizabeth, after the beheading of her cousin (once removed) Mary, Queen of Scots.



Cambridge was a centre of thought concerning religious reformism, but Brewster's time in the Netherlands, in connection with Davison's work, gave him opportunity to hear and see more of reformed religion. While, earlier in the 16th century, reformers had hoped to amend the Anglican church, by the end of it, many were looking toward splitting from it. (See Brownist).


On Davison's disgrace, Brewster returned to Scrooby. There, from 1590 to 1607, he held the position of postmaster. As such he was responsible for the provision of stage horses for the mails, having previously, for a short time, assisted his father in that office. By the 1590s, Brewster's brother, James, was a rather rebellious Anglican priest, vicar of the parish of Sutton cum Lound, in Nottinghamshire. From 1594, it fell to James to appoint curates to Scrooby church so that Brewster, James and leading members of the Scrooby congregation were brought before the ecclesiastical court for their dissent. They were set on a path of separation from the Anglican Church. From about 1602, Scrooby Manor, Brewster's home, became a meeting place for the dissenting Puritans. In 1606, they formed the Separatist Church of Scrooby.



Restrictions and pressures applied by the authorities convinced the congregation of a need to emigrate to the more sympathetic atmosphere of Holland, but leaving England without permission was illegal at the time, so that departure was a complex matter. On its first attempt, in 1607, the group was arrested at Scotia Creek, but in 1608 Brewster and others were successful in leaving from The Humber. In 1609, he was selected as ruling elder of the congregation.


Initially, the Pilgrims settled in Amsterdam and worshiped with the Ancient Church of Francis Johnson and Henry Ainsworth. Offput by the bickering between the two, which ultimately resulted in a division of the Church, the Pilgrims left Amsterdam and moved to Leiden after only a year.


In Leiden, the group managed to make a living. Brewster taught English and later, in 1616-1619, as the partner of one Thomas Brewer, printed and published religious books for sale in England, though they were proscribed there. In 1619, the printing type was seized by the authorities under pressure from the English ambassador, Sir Dudley Carleton, and Brewster's partner was arrested. Brewster escaped and, with the help of Robert Cushman and Sir Edwin Sandys, obtained a land patent from the London Virginia Company on behalf of himself and his colleagues.


In 1620, he joined the first group of Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower on the voyage to North America. When the colonists landed at Plymouth, Brewster became the senior elder of the colony, serving as its religious leader and as an adviser to Governor William Bradford.


As the only university educated member of the colony, Brewster took the part of the colony's religious leader until a pastor, Ralph Smith, arrived in 1629. Thereafter, he continued to preach irregularly until his death in April 1644.


Brewster was granted land amongst the islands of Boston Harbor, and four of the outer islands (Great Brewster, Little Brewster, Middle Brewster and Outer Brewster) now bear his name. In 1632, Brewster received lands in nearby Duxbury and removed from Plymouth to create a farm there.[7]


Brewster died in 1644 and was likely buried in Plymouth, possibly upon Burial Hill; however his place of burial is unknown.[1][2][3][4][5][8]



Sometime before 1593, in England, William Brewster married someone by the name of Mary, whose maiden name and parentage have not yet been proven; it has been speculated that it could be either Wyrall or Wentworth, but there is no compelling evidence for either assumption.[1][2][3][4][5] She was probably born in England circa 1568-1569. She 'dyed at Plymouth, Massachusetts on April 17, 1627.' (Brewster Book).* Bradford says that, though she died ' long before' her husband, 'yet she dyed aged,' but by her affidavit of 1609 she was less than sixty years of age and it is probable that her ' great & continuall labours, with others crosses, and sorrows, hastened it (t. a. old age) before y* time.'[9]


The children of William and Mary were:


Elder Jonathan Brewster (August 12, 1593 - August 7, 1659) married Lucretia Oldham of Derby on 10 April 1624,[4][10][11][12][13] and were the parents of eight children.

Patience Brewster (c. 1600 - December 12, 1634)[4] married Gov. Thomas Prence of Lechlade, Gloucestershire, 4 children.

Fear Brewster (c. 1606 - before 1634)[4] so called because she was born at the height of the Puritans' persecution. Married Isaac Allerton of London, 2 children.

Unnamed child was born, died and buried in 1609 in Leiden, Holland.[4]

Love Brewster was born in Leiden, Holland about 1611 and died between October 6, 1650 and January 31, 1650/1, at Duxbury, Massachusetts.[4][14][15] At the age of about 9, he traveled with his father, mother and brother, Wrestling, on the Mayflower to Plymouth, Massachusetts. He married Sarah Collier in Plymouth, Massachusetts on May 15, 1634. Love and Sarah were the parents of 4 children.

Wrestling Brewster was born in 1614 in Leiden, Holland; was living in 1627, died unmarried before the 1644 settlement of his father's estate.[4]


Places and things named after Brewster

Great Brewster Island

Little Brewster Island

Middle Brewster Island

Outer Brewster Island

Brewster, Massachusetts

Brewster Chair



1 a b c d Merrick, 1

2 a b c d Merrick, 2

3 a b c d Merrick, 3

4 a b c d e f g h i j Merrick, 4

5 a b c d Merrick, 5

6 Brewster, William in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 19221958.

7 Steele, 353

8 Elder William Brewster at Find A Grave

9 Jones, 5

10 a b Jones, 11

11 a b Jones, 12

12 a b Jones, 13

13 a b Jones, 14

14 Merrick, 14

15 Merrick, 15

16 Jones, 38



Burt, Daniel S. The Chronology of American Literature: America's Literary Achievements from the Colonial Era to Modern Times New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004. ISBN 978-0618168217

Cottrell, Robert C. Roger Nash Baldwin and the American Civil Liberties Union New York: Columbia University Press, 2000 ISBN 0231119720

Fitch, Noel Riley. Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child; New York: Doubleday, 1999.

Giddins, Gary. Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams - The Early Years 1903 - 1940, Volume 1. Publisher Back Bay, 2002, ISBN 0316886459.

Hughes, Thomas Patrick. American ancestry: giving the name and descent, in the male line, of Americans whose ancestors settled in the United States previous to the Declaration of independence, A.D. 1776, Volume 11; Publisher J. Munsell's sons, 1898

Jones, Emma C. Brewster. The Brewster Genealogy, 1566-1907: a Record of the Descendants of William Brewster of the "Mayflower," ruling elder of the Pilgrim church which founded Plymouth Colony in 1620. New York: Grafton Press. 1908

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. Evangeline, a Tale of Acadie: Issue 40 of Sesame booklets; BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2008. ISBN 0554476029.

Merrick, Barbara Lambert. William Brewster of the Mayflower and His Descendants for Four Generations Barbara Lambert Merrick, compiler, Published by General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Revised 3rd Edition. 2000.

Newport Historical Society. Items of interest concerning Oliver Hazard Perry in Newport, and Newport in the War of 1812. Newport. Newport Historical Society, 1913

Roberts, Gary Boyd. Genealogies of Connecticut Families: From the New England Historical and Genealogical Register Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983. ISBN 9780806310305

Steele, Ashbel. Chief of the Pilgrims: or, The life and time of William Brewster, ruling elder of the Pilgrim company that founded New Plymouth, the parent colony of New England, in 1620 J.B. Lippincott, 1857.

Schmidt, Gary D. A Passionate Usefulness: The Life and Literary Labors of Hannah Adams. University of Virginia Press, 2004. ISBN 0813922720

Roberts, Jeremy. Zachary Taylor: Presidential leaders ;Publisher Twenty-First Century Books, 2005. ISBN 0822513978

Wright, R.W.Biographical record: Yale University. Class of 1842 R.W. Wright, compiler, Published by Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, Printers, 18782

Individual Note 2

Pilgrim colonist, leader and preacher

Elder William Brewster came from Scrooby, in north Nottinghamshire and reached what became the Plymouth Colony in the Mayflower in 1620. He was accompanied by his wife, Mary Brewster, and his sons, Love Brewster and Wrestling Brewster. The town of Brewster, Barnstable, MA was incorporated Febr 19, 1803 and was named for Elder William Brewster. A large part of the inhabitants being his descendants

William Brewster attended Peterhouse College, Cambridge 1580-1583; was postmaster and baliff-receiver at Scrooby, England 1590-1607. Organized Scrooby congregation 1606-1609; removed his family to Amsterdam and later to Leyden, Holland where he tutored 1609-1616 and was ruling Elder 1616-1619. He was in flight and hiding in England in 1619-1620 while arranging passage for the Sainets to New England. William, his wife and two youngest sons arrived Plymouth via the Mayflower in 1620. At Plymouth, William was Ruling Elder until 1643. He was also purchaser 1626; Undertaker 1627-1641


Family links:


Mary Brewster (1570 - 1627)*



Elizabeth Brewster Emerson (1584 - 1638)*

Patience Brewster Prence (1590 - 1634)*

Jonathan Brewster (1593 - 1659)*

Fear Brewster Allerton (1606 - 1634)*

Love Brewster (1611 - 1650)*

Wresting Brewster (1614 - ____)*3


1Curfman, Robert Joseph, "The Paddock Genealogy : Descendants of Robert Paddock of Plymouth Colony, Blacksmith and Constable 1646" (LC: CS71.P122 1977). p 46.
3"Find A Grave" (