Bridget Robinson

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Bridget Robinson (White)

Birthdate: (63)
Birthplace: Stourton, Le Steeple, Nottinghamshire, England
Death: October 28, 1643 (63)
Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Place of Burial: Pieterskerk Leiden Leiden Municipality Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Alexander White, of Stourton le Steeple and Eleanor White
Wife of John Robinson Rev and Rev. John Robinson, M.A.
Mother of Isaac Robinson, Jr.; Robinson; Dr. John Robinson; Bridget Lee; Mercy Robinson and 5 others
Sister of Charles White; Katharine (White) Legatt Carver, "Mayflower" Passenger; Roger White; Thomas Roger White; Frances Jessup and 3 others

Managed by: Susan
Last Updated:

About Bridget Robinson

Bridget White, daughter of Alexander White and Eleanor Smith. She was born 1578 in England, and died 1643 in Holland?.


  1. February 15, 1604 in Greasley, Eng, to John Robinson (15757-1625), son of John Robinson & Anne.

      Children of John Robinson and Bridget White are:

  •   9 i.   Ann4 Robinson, born 1604 in Norwich, England; died Unknown.She married Jan Schetter Bef. 1622 in England; born in Utrecht; died Bef. September 1625. More About Ann Robinson: LDS Records: AFN: MG41-K3 More About Jan Schetter: LDS Records: AFN: MG3Z-WK
  • + 10 ii.   John Robinson, born 1606 in Norwich, England; died Bet. 1638 - 1697.
  • + 11 iii.   Bridget Robinson, born 1608 in Amsterdam, Holland; died Bef. 1671.
  • + 12 iv.   Isaac Robinson, born 1610 in Leiden, S. Holland, Netherlands; died 1704 in Barnstable, Barnstable Co., MA.
  •   13 v.   Mercy Robinson, born 1612; died Abt. 1623 in Leyden, Holland. Notes for Mercy Robinson: [dickdutton(2).ged] Moved to Holland with her family; probably died there. More About Mercy Robinson: LDS Records: AFN: JF6C-H5
  • 14 vi.   Fear Robinson, born 1614 in Leyden, Holland; died Abt. 1670 in Leyden, Holland.She married John Jennings September 8, 1648; died December 7, 1664 in Leyden, Holland. Notes for Fear Robinson: This marriage produced 3 daughters[dickdutton(2).ged] Married and remained in Holland when her family emigrated to Ame[Robinson00.GED] W. H. Burgess, page 351:"Fear Robinson, born 1614, remained in Leyden for life.She was in no hurry to marry, and would be a help and comfort to her mother during her widowhood.At last, on August 21,1648, she was betrothed to John Jennings the younger, a wool-comber by trade, whose father by the same name, had been connected wit the congregation from its earliest days in Leyden.Tfhe witnesses atthe betrothel were Elias Arnold, a watch maker, and Rose Jennings.The marriage of John and Fear took place on Sept. 8.For sixteen years they lived together, then John Jennings fell ill.He drew up his will Dec. 1, 1664, a necessary act, as he was leaving three little children behind.Six days later his body was carried out from his house on Molesteeg for burial at St. Peter's Church. Fear Jennings was not left all together unprovided for, and by the death of Rose Jennings, her mother-in-law, in 1668, further property came to her in right of her husband, in the shape of a house on .Having inherited this property, she in tdurn made a will, March 20, 1669, and added a codicil in the following January. Before May 31, 1670, she was dead, and on that date the guardian of her three children, still under age, sold her house for 3790 gilders.It is noteworthy that John Butterfield, one of the English colony in Leyden was the purchaser." More About Fear Robinson: Fact 1: Married John Jennings, Jr. Fact 2: Bef. May 1670, died leaving 3 daughters under age LDS Records: AFN: JF6C-W7 Notes for John Jennings: [Robinson00.GED] Robinson Genealogy, page 34:John Jennings, Jr. was a wool-comber.He married Fear Sept. 8, 1648 and sixteen years later in 1664 he became ill.On Dec. 1, 1664 he drew up his will and "...six days later his body was carried out from his house on Molesteeg for burial in St. Peter's Church." More About John Jennings: Cemetery Address: Leiden, Holland, Netherlands Cemetery Name: St. Peter's Church LDS Records: AFN: JF6C-V2 Occupation: Wool-comber
  • 15 vii.   Jacob Robinson, born 1616; died 1638 in Leyden, Holland. More About Jacob Robinson: Burial: May 26, 1638, Leyden, Holland Fact 1: 1638, Died and was buried in the Pieterskerk in Leyden on 26 May
  • "Robinson" in History and Genealogy of the Mayflower Planters Leon C. Hills, Leon Clark Hills Genealogical Publishing Com, Jun 1, 2009 - History - 462 pages.  Page 122-123

Bridget White, dau. of Alexander White, yeoman, and Eleanor Smith, of Sturton-Le-Steeple in Nottinghamshire, England, b. there after July 3, 1575. This approximate date of birth is deduced by an entry in the Leiden notarial records of July 3, 1641 in which she is called, by translation, "Bridget Robinson nee White, ca. 66, widow of John Robinson, Leyden." Her age in the written Dutch is "omtrent 66 jaren" (about 66 years.) The writer assumes this was equivalent to saying, in Latin, she was Ætatis suæ 66, meaning she was then 65 years old, born after July 3, 1575.

By Aug. 1599 both of Bridget's parents were dead leaving extensive wills on record. Her oldest brother Charles inherited from their father a 99-year lease to the land of the former Beauvale Abbey at Greasley in west-central Nottinghamshire. Charles died testate at Beauvale Abbey in 1634. At Greasley on Feb. 15, 1603/4 in St. Mary's church, Bridget m. John Robinson, at the time a priest of the Anglican Church of England. John was born at Sturton-Le-Steeple, Nottinghamshire, betw. Mar. 2 and Sept. 4, 1576, the s. of John Robinson and his wife Ann. He d. in Leiden, South Holland, the Netherlands on Mar. 1, 1625 in the Dutch calendar (Mar. 1, 1624/5 in the modern English calendar), "Ætatis suæ" 49, meaning he was then 48 years of age. He was the celebrated pastor who separated from the Church of England and pastor of the core pilgrims from Leiden who sailed in 1620 aboard the Mayflower and founded the Plymouth Colony. See his memorial below for more detail.

Rev. John Robinson and wife Bridget White were the parents of seven known children but only six have names. Of the six named children, only four lived to adulthood. An unnamed child was interred at St. Peter's Church in Leiden in 1621 before the following Oct. 15, 1622 Leiden poll tax census of the family:

• Jan Robbenson predicant, Brugitta Robbenson sijne huy svrouwe, Jannes, Brugitta, Isack, Mercij, Ferer, Jacobus - Robbenson kinderen ent Marija hardy dienstmeijt."

• Translation. John Robinson preacher, Bridget his wife, John (in Dutch "Jannes"; John [Jan] son of John [nes]), Bridget, Isaac, Mercy, Fear, James, the Robinson children and Maria hardy maid-servant.

Contrary to the claim by early writers, John and Bridget were not the parents of a daughter named Ann bapt. Apr. 16, 1605 at St. Andrew's Church in Norwich, England. Although John may have performed the baptism, Ann was the infant daughter of a George Robinson and the child was buried at St. Andrew's churchyard June 21, 1605. Under then existing rules of the English Church, children were required to be baptized at the parish church where the parents resided. In 1605 Rev. Robinson was residing in the small adjoining parish of St. Peter Hungate, perhaps as little as two blocks from the site of St. Andrew's church.

Bridget (White) Robinson's oldest sister, Catherine, was the wife of John Carver. The Carvers sailed in 1620 on the Mayflower with Carver designated the first Governor of the Plymouth Colony. Unfortunately, both John and Catherine died in Plymouth by the spring of 1621 wherein William Bradford became the historically celebrated Governor of the Plymouth Colony.

The claim that Bridget along with son Isaac, and daughters Mercy and Fear sailed to America in 1629 on the so-called Mayflower II is a fabrication. It is a result of a misinterpretation of a passage in a March 1629 letter from James Sherley to William Bradford (Bradford's Letter Book) not corrected until 1866 by Rev. Dr. Henry Martyn Dexter. Bridget never left Leiden following her husband's death, daughter Mercy was buried in her adolescence in Leiden, son Isaac did not arrive in America until 1631, and daughter Fear married and died in Leiden in circa 1670.

Bridget (White) Robinson's will was written by a Dutch notary in Leiden on Oct. 28, 1643. In that era people generally wrote their will anticipating death was near. But when she died and where she is interred cannot be found. While the writer assumes she is interred at the Pieterskerk (St. Peters Church) where her husband and at least three of her children are known to be interred, her burial does not appear in the Index to Leiden's burial (Begraven) records and she does not appear in the detailed burial records after a line-by-line reading from Oct. 28, 1643 to the end of the year 1645. Son Isaac had been residing in the Plymouth Colony since 1631, and in 1643 he was under 35 years of age living in Barnstable, Mass. He does not appear in the important Plymouth Colony list (census) of August 1643 concerning all males age 16 to 60 Able to Bear Arms (the ATBA list.) However, he appears in the Barnstable town records in January 1644. The writer believes in August 1643 Isaac, perhaps with wife Margaret, was on his way to Leiden for the writing of his mother's will, and why Isaac is not included in the ATBA list. Bridget's will specifically states eldest son John was then residing in England with a wife and two named children, and included a specific clause in her will concerning family property John then held. It is possible that following the writing of her will, Bridget traveled with son Isaac to England on his return to New England intending to visit son John and his family, and died in England versus Leiden.

The known children of Rev. John Robinson and Bridget White are:

• i. Dr. John Robinson 3rd, bapt. March 24, 1605/6 at St. Peter Hungate parish church in Norwich, England and died after April 1658; was probably twice married and had children.

• ii. Bridget Robinson, bapt. January 25, 1606/07 at St. Peter Hungate parish church in Norwich, England and died on an unknown date in Leiden in or after 1680; was twice married and had a daughter by both husbands; both of her daughters were living in Leiden in 1684.

• iii. Isaac Robinson, b. before April 4, 1610 probably in Leiden, and d. circa 1704 at Barnstable, Mass.; was thrice married and had children by all three wives. He is the immigrant American ancestor of all known American-born descendants of Rev. John Robinson and Bridget White.

• iv. Mercy Robinson, born circa 1614 in Leiden; was buried March 27, 1623 at the Pieterskerk. ["Den hint van Engel predicant," the infant of the English preacher].

• v. Fear Robinson, born circa 1616 in Leiden, d. before May 31, 1670 in Leiden; m. Sept. 8, 1648 in Leiden, John Jennings, Jr., who died in Leiden in 1664 and by whom she had three known daughters.

• vi. An unnamed child, possibly the twin of James, was buried at the Pieterskerk February 7, 1620/21. ["Een hint van de Engels predicant," an infant of the English preacher.]

• vii. James Robinson, possibly a twin, born February 7, 1620/21; entered the University of Leiden at the age of 12 but died at age 17; was buried at the Pieterskerk May 26, 1638.

Dexter claimed a child of Rev. John Robinson was buried at the Pieterskerk May 15, 1618. However, the child is called in the Dutch record simply the child of "Jan Robrecht" [John Robert, Robrecht in singular form with no ending "s" or "se"], who is not identified as "the English preacher." The father could possibly have been John, son of Robert, and if so definitely was not a child of John and Bridget (White) Robinson. Nonetheless, this writer believes Dexter was in error and this was not John Robinson and wife Bridget's child.

Edited 11/4/2016

The following bio sketch for Rev. John Robinson has been submitted to FAG to replace the existing sketch. Because a "famous person" memorial will not be transferred to a documented descendant, the writer is skeptical that a historically correct bio replacement will be honored.

John Robinson, son of John and Ann Robinson of Sturton-le-Steeple in Nottinghamshire, England, born there in the year 1576.[1] He died in Leiden, Holland on March 1, 1625 in the Dutch calendar (historically March 1, 1624/5 in the English calendar), Ætatis suæ 49. He was interred at the Pieterskerk (St. Peters Church) March 4, 1625 in the Dutch calendar (historically March 4, 1624/5 in the English calendar.)

John's father was a yeoman (a farmer) and John was likely first educated in the local grammar school taught by the Sturton vicar.[2] He entered Corpus Christi College at Cambridge on April 9, 1592,[3] where he obtained his degree of Bachelor of Arts on February 25, 1595/6. He subsequently held a lectureship in Greek (Praelector Graecus) and the position of student oversight (Decanus.) On March 27, 1597 he was elected a fellow of Corpus Christie but not formally installed until one full year later on March 27, 1598. By rule, fellows of the college were required to be consecrated priests of the Anglican Church and were not allowed to marry. On May 28, 1599 John was awarded the degree of Master of Arts. He does not appear in the list of college officers for the years 1601-1602, but is fifth in the list of fellows in the college register under the date of February 4, 1602/3: Johannes Robinson Nottinghamiensis Artium Magr Sacerdos - John Robinson, Nottingham, Master of Arts, Priest.

On or about February 5, 1603/4 John resigned his fellowship at Corpus Christie. On Feb. 11, 1603/4 John was issued a license to marry by the Archdeaconry Court of Nottingham and on February 15, 1603/4 at St. Mary's Church in the parish of Greasley, in west-central Nottinghamshire, John married Bridget White, daughter of Alexander White and Eleanor Smith (both deceased and late of Sturton-le-Steeple.) Bridget was likely presented for marriage by her eldest brother Charles, who in the 1595 will of their father inherited a 99-year lease on land associated with the former Beauvale Abbey in Greasley.

Following marriage, John was initially an associate priest of St. Andrews Church in the parish of St. Andrews in Norwich, England. The ministers and congregation of St. Andrews were overwhelmingly Puritans. At the time John and wife Bridget lived mere blocks from St. Andrews church in the small adjoining parish of St. Peter Hungate. In the latter parish the first two children of the family were baptized; son John on March 24, 1605/6 and daughter Bridget on Jan. 25, 1606/7.

In 1606 when King James issued his proclamation that all ministers conform to a new book of canons or face expulsion from their religious living, John left St. Andrews but continued to live in Norwich. In about 1607 John formally "separated" from the Church of England and soon joined a congregation of non-conformists meeting at Scrooby Manor in northwest Nottinghamshire, home of local postmaster and Scrooby bailiff William Brewster. There Richard Clifton was pastor and John Robinson associate pastor. William Bradford would soon join the congregation. Enduring pressure to conform, most of the Scrooby congregation chose to relocate to Amsterdam where there was religious tolerance and where they associated with a puritan English denomination, John Robinson acting as an associate pastor.

Due to incompatible factions in the Amsterdam church, in 1609 John Robinson and his followers petitioned the Burgomasters of Leiden for permission to move there, which was granted. At the time Leiden's university was a center of protestant theological thought, the city offered religious tolerance, and Leiden was a growing center of textile production but lacked skilled tradesmen. By May 1, 1609 Rev. John Robinson, along with William Brewster as Elder, relocated to Leiden. On May 5, 1611 John Robinson and three of his congregation (Henry Wood, William Jepson, and "Raynulph" Thickens, husband of John's sister-in-law Jane White), purchased property within a block of the Pieterskerk and only a few blocks from the University of Leiden. At Leiden Robinson's congregation settled into the city's daily life with many initially employed as unskilled to semi-skilled workers in the textile trade (wool comber, draper, fustian worker, ribbon maker, say-worker, etc.)

As John Robinson became known within the intellectual and religious community of Leiden, in 1612 he became an unwilling participant in the debate between Arminianism espoused by Episcopius and Calvinism espoused by the Reformed Dutch Church.[4] The debate and the Synod of Dort seven years later in 1618-19 would result in the rejection of Arminianism and Episcopius' banishment from a further religious life in the Netherlands. In 1624 John Robinson published A Defense of the Doctrine propounded at the Synod of Dort solidly placing him as a Calvinist.

On September 5, 1615 John, identified as "John Robinston, Englishman, aged 39," entered Leiden University as a theology student. This status gave him certain privileges including 126 gallons of beer and ten gallons of wine free of taxes every three months, and exemption from night watch.

But by 1617-8 Robinson and many of his congregation sought to relocate again. Despite religious intolerance in England, Robinson and his adult congregation were English by birth, and their children were becoming more Dutch than English. The Dutch offered free passage to settle anywhere within their sphere of influence, including New Amsterdam (now greater New York), but this offer was not accepted. Instead, Robinson's church sought to relocate to some part of English North America. In 1619 Robinson's brother-in-law John Carver, accompanied by Robert Cushman, was sent to London to negotiate with the Virginia Company. After extended negotiations, arrangements were concluded to relocate to what was then considered part of northern Virginia. Two separate groups would constitute those who sailed in 1620. The Speedwell was hired to take William Brewster and a minority of Robinson's congregation from Delftshaven to England where they would join with others of like religious belief who had been gathered in England to sail on the Mayflower.

The history regarding the non-seaworthiness of the Speedwell, the sailing of only the crowded Mayflower and the founding of the Plymouth Colony is well known and need not be repeated. John Robinson never made it to Plymouth having stayed behind with those of his church who chose to remain in Leiden until the first to sail had fully settled in Plymouth. But his farewell sermon at the sailing of the Speedwell from Delftshaven, Holland for England in July 1620 includes the following oft-cited portion:

• I Charge you before God and his blessed angels that you follow me no further than you have seen me follow Christ. If God reveal anything to you by any other instrument of His, be as ready to receive it as you were to receive any truth from my ministry, for I am verily persuaded the Lord hath more truth and light yet to break forth from His holy word.

A companion 1843 painting by artist Robert W. Weir of Robinson's sermon aboard the Speedwell hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capital building in Washington. (see photos.)

John Robinson authored twelve major works between 1609 and 1625, one which was not published until 1642. Sixty two essays on assorted religious issues were assembled as individual chapters in Essays on Observations Divine and Moral published in 1625 soon after his death. Despite that many of his works were first published either in Amsterdam or Leiden (a few at Leiden may have been published by William Brewster), no major library or archive in the Netherlands holds any of the works. His published works, either as an original printing or reprinted in the mid-17th century, are held by the Rare Book division of the British Library in London. In 1851 these were published in a three volume set The Works of John Robinson, Pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers by the Committee of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, edited by Robert Ashton.

John Robinson and Bridget White had seven identifiable children who are summarized in their mother's memorial.

(bio by: Don Blauvelt

[1] The 1891 placed bronze memorial on the outer wall of the Pieterskerk at Leiden says John died Æt(atis) 49, meaning he was then 48 years old, born after March 1, 1575/6. His Sept. 5, 1615 matriculation to Leiden University says he was "ann. (i.e., Æ) 39," born on or before Sept. 4, 1576. From these two records one can deduce John was born between Mar. 2, 1575/6 and Sept. 4, 1576, as such dates are historically written in the modern English calendar. [2] The claim that John Robinson attended the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School at Gainsborough, in Lincolnshire, is based on the false claim John was born at Gainsborough. No record exists of his attendance at that school, as all records of that school during the Cromwell era were destroyed. Otherwise, historical documents at Sturton-le-Steeple indicate John's father was significantly involved there with the local vicars in civil, legal and religious activities. [3] His matriculation record first erroneously stated he was, in Latin, from "Eboracensis," of or from ancient Eboracum, now modern Yorkshire and generally northern England. That reference was later crossed through and substituted with "Notting." as in Nottinghamiensis (Nottinghamshire). [4] Arminianism is the theological ideas of the Dutch theologian Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609) and his historic supporters known as the Remonstrants. Calvinism was named for John Calvin, a French theologian (1509-1564.)

Edited 11/4/2016

While this presentation began with John and Bridget's grandson Peter Robinson of Windham, Conn., it has grown beyond initial intent. The writer is reminded of a comment made to him several years ago by a respected U.S. genealogist that the only claim to fame the Robinson family has is they descend from Rev. John Robinson. The more important view is what did his descendants become in their own right? The commenter would be amazed at who they were and are.

view all 15

Bridget Robinson's Timeline

November 10, 1579
Stourton, Le Steeple, Nottinghamshire, England

Eleanor Smith
in the Millennium File
Name: Eleanor Smith
Gender: Female
Birth Date: 1546
Birth Place: Stourton, Notts, England
Death Date: 1599
Father: William Smith
Mother: Katherine Porter
Spouse: Alexander White
Children: Bridget White
Source Information
Heritage Consulting. Millennium File [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2003.
Original data: Heritage Consulting. The Millennium File. Salt Lake City, UT, USA: Heritage Consulting.
The Millennium File contains more than 880,000 linked family records, with lineages from throughout the world, including colonial America, the British Isles, Switzerland, and Germany. Learn more...
© 2016,

Age 24
March 24, 1606
Age 26
Norwich, Norfolk, England
January 25, 1607
Age 27
Norwich, Norfolk, England
Age 30
Leiden, Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands
Age 32
Holland, Reusel-de Mierden, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands
Age 36
South Holland, Netherlands
Age 38
Leiden, Holland (South), Netherlands
February 7, 1620
Age 40
Greasley, Nottinghamshire, England, United Kingdom