Before the Mayflower

Eleven Years in Leiden.

The late 16th and early 17th centuries – the 33 years leading up the the famous Mayflower voyage –  were a time of transition from Queen Elizabeth to King James in England, and in the Netherlands, the Dutch Golden Age

If you were living in civilized places like England or the Netherlands, why would you consider boarding the Mayflower, bound for the New World? The Atlantic crossing would be a nightmare, with the threat of storms, pirates, and cramped and dark conditions. Even if you reached land, you were destined for a wild place, lacking shelter and filled with uncertainty. Your odds of survival hovered at 50 percent.  Who will venture aboard, and will it be for love, land, or religious freedom?

Learn more about the Leiden years Before The Mayflower.