Edward Southworth, of Samlesbury & Leiden

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Edward Southworth

Birthplace: Samlesbury, Lancashire, England
Death: Died in London, Middlesex County, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Southworth, of Samlesbury and Constance Southworth
Husband of Alice Bradford
Father of Ens. Constant Southworth and Capt. Thomas Southworth, of the Plymouth Colony
Half brother of John Southworth 1st Son; Thomas Southworth 2nd Son; Bridget Southworth; William Southworth 3rd Son; Margery Southworth and 6 others

Occupation: Silk Worker in Leiden, Netherlands
Managed by: Jeanine Louise Roembach/Clark
Last Updated:

About Edward Southworth, of Samlesbury & Leiden

brief biography

Taken from New York Southworth Lineage that descends from Edward and Alice Carpenter Southworth last updated 2014:


Edward Southworth, born 1590 in (Salmesbury) England, and Alice Carpenter born 1591 in Wrington, England and died 27 March 1670 in Plymouth.  They married in May 28, 1613 in Leyden Holland. Alice was the daughter of Alexander Carpenter, a prominent member of the Separatist movement (United Brethren) - separating from the Church of England.  Edward did not come to America; he died in 1620 in England, having been married a mere 7 years.   It has been mentioned that the branch of Southworths from which Edward descended died young typically.  He died at 30.  His siblings averaged 33 years of life. 

Edward was born a "gentleman" at Samlesbury, but he was the 7th son, the youngest son, and had to work for his living.  He was a "say weaver" who did not earn a lot of money and he was a Protestant.  The Pilgrims treated Edward as being of a higher social standing, or "well-to-do".  Note: Say Weavers made "say" - used in making table cloths bedding etc.

Edward and Alice had two sons, Constant and Thomas. The widowed Alice Carpenter Southworth journeyed on the Ship Anne, arriving 1623 to marry Governor Bradford.  Alice Southworth left their sons (Constant, 9 and Thomas, 7) in England for schooling.  They may have remained with their Aunt Julia Ann Carpenter who was married to George Morton. They came over to Plymouth with their Aunt Julia in 1628.

Alice remarried to Governor William Bradford, governor of Plymouth Colony, on August 14th, a few days after the ship's landing.  They had three children.

pedigree claims

"Edward Southworth is a direct decendent and bloodline of the kings of England, Scotland, France, and Norse Kings from Denmark/Norway."

Two separate identified family blood lines run to the Plantagenet kings through the strong Southworth family line, either from King Edward I or King Edward III. One of these English royalty lines begins with Elizabeth of England (Edward Southworth's 8th great grandmother) and her father King Edward I "Longshanks" of England (reign 1272-1307ad) Edward Southworth's 9th great grandfather. Through the Edward I line, Edward Southworth is a direct decendent and blood line of the House of Mercia, House of Wessex, House of Normandy, and the House of Plantagenet (Angevin). (King Edward I, Elizabeth of Rhuddlan countess of Hereford, William de Bohn 1st earl of Hereford, Elizabeth de Bohn countess of Arunder, Elizabeth FitzAlen duchess of Norfolk, Joan Goushill baroness of Stanley, Margaret Stanley countess of Sussex, Thomas de Boteler, Mary Boteler Southworth, Knight Sir John Southworth, Sir Thomas Southworth, Edward Southworth.

Edward's French king bloodline begins in the Carolingian Dynasty with Charles III (reign 893 AD - 922 AD) and continues through the line of Louis II, Charles II, Louis I, Charlemagne (Edward Southworth's 22th great grandfather), Pepin "the younger", Charles Martel "the Hammer" and continues through Pepin II.


Edward, son of Richard of Clarborough was born in 1585 had a brother named Thomas, born two years earlier. It is possible that this Edward could have been Edward of Leyden. Webber and Weiss conclude that there is little to connect the two, but Robert French in his article "Who was Edward Southworth of Leyden" (Mayflower Quarterly, Feb. 1992) demonstrates that Thomas Southworth (Richard of Clarborough's son and Edward's brother) left a bequest to a man named Nicholas Watkins, who was also left a bequest by a woman named Anne Peck when she went to join the Pilgrims in Holland. French concludes his article by naming Pilgrims John Robinson, Richard Bernard, Richard Clyfton, John Smith, Hugo Bromhead, William Brewster et al as having ties to the Southworth family of Nottinghamshire.

From "The Identity of Edward Southworth of Leyden" condensed from John Southworth's "Miscellaneous Notes" to "A History of the Southworths of Samlesbury 1300-1890"

There have been at least four pairs of brothers offered at various times as being the Edward and Thomas Southworth who fled to Leyden and who were the ancestors of the Plymouth Southworths. The best work by far on establishing which is the correct pair is Frederick L. Weis' The Ancestry of Ensign Constant and Captain Thomas Southworth (Dublin 1958). Weis does a thorough and convincing job of showing that the Edward of Leyden was a descendant of the Southworths of Samlesbury, the details of which are beyond the scope of this note, as are the details of the Southworth's English lineage. I simply refer the reader to Weis' work. For another lengthy treatment of the ancestry in England, refer to Samuel G. Webber's A Genealogy of the Southworths (Southards) (Boston 1905).

Little is known about Edward's early life. He was a member by birth in the Foreign Burgesses of the Preston Guild in Lancashire. Like his father, he was a follower of the reformed religion, and was living in Leyden, Holland, as one of the Pilgrim exiles in Rev. John Robinson's church as early as 1611. Although he came from a well-placed family in the English gentry, by the time he reached adulthood the family lands and fortune had been reduced to almost nothing due to death and inheritance taxes, as well as fines and confiscations resulting from the Catholic leanings of his grandfather. Moreover, he was the seventh and youngest son of his father, so most of the estate would have bypassed him anyway. He had a small inheritance from his grandfether -- twenty nobles a year, or about $32 -- but this was not enough to sustain him and a family. In Leyden, he took a job as a sayworker to make ends meet, apparently working for his father-in-law.

On Tuesday, 28 May 1613, he married ALICE-1 CARPENTER in Leyden; his brother Thomas was his best man. Alice was the daughter of Alexander Carpenter of Wrington, Somerset, England, and was born around 1590. Their intention to marry is recorded in the town records:

" Aengets De iiij May 1613. Eduwaert Sodtwaert saeywercker Jongman uyt Engelant vergeselschapt met Tomas Sodtwaert zyn brueder Samuel Fuller zyn zwager & Rogier Wilson zyn bekende met Els Carpenter Jonge Dochter mede uyt Engelandt vergeselschapt met Anna Ras & Elysabeth Gennings haer bekenden."

He and Alice had at least two children:

      i       Constant              b.c. 1614              m. Elizabeth Collier
      ii       Thomas              b.c. 1616               m. Elizabeth Raynor

By the time the Mayflower had sailed for New England in 1620, he had returned to London where he lived at Heneage House, Duke's Place. Several of the Pilgrims had the same address prior to their departure, and this area of London was a noted rendezvous for those espousing the cause. One of them, Robert Cushman, wrote the following letter to Edward at Heneage on 17 August 1620, from Darmouth, where the ship accompanying the Mayflower had put in for repairs:

" Loving friend, my most kind remembrance to you & your wife, with loving E.M. &c whom in this world I never looke to see againe. For besids ye eminente dangers of this viage, which are no less than deadly, an infirmitie of body hath ceased me, which will not in all licelyhoode leave me till death. What to call it I know not, but it is a bundle of lead, as it were, crushing my harte more & more these 14. days, as that allthough I doe ye actions of a liveing man, yet I am as but dead; but ye will of God be done.

             Our pinass will not cease leaking, els I thinke we had been halfe way at Virginia, our viage hither hath been full of crosses, as our selves have been at crokednes. We put in hear to trime her, & I thinke, as others also, if we had stayed at sea but 3. or 4. howers more, shee would have sunke right down. And though tshe was twice trimed at Hamton, yet now she is open and leakie as a seive; and ther was a borde, a man might have puld of with his fingers, a foote longe, wher ye water came in as at a mole hole.
             We lay at Hamton 7. days, in fair weather, waitning for her, and now we lye hear waiting for her in as faire a wind as can blowe, and so have done these 4. days, and are like to lye 4. more, and by yt time ye wind will happily turne, as it did at Hampton.
             Our victualls will be halfe eaten up, I thinke, before we goe from the coaste of England, and if our viage last longe, we shall not have a months victialls when we come in ye countrie. Neare 700£ hath bene bestowed at Hampton, upon which I known not. Mr. Martin saith he neither can nor will give any accounte of it, and if he be called upon for accounts he crieth out of unthankfullnes for his paines & care, that we are susspitious of him, and flings away, & will end nothing.
             Also he so insulteth over our poore people, with shuch scorne & contempte, as if thet were not good enough to wipe his shoes. It would break your hart to see his dealing, and ye mourning of our people. They complaine to me, & alass! I can doe nothing for them; if I speake to him, he flies in my face, as mutinous, and saith no complaints shall be heard or received but by him selfe, and saith they are forwarde, & waspish, discontented people, & I doe ill to hear them.
      * * *
             Friend, if ever we make a plantation, God works a mirakle; especially considering how scante we shall be of victualls, and most of all ununited amongst ourselves, & devoyd of good tuturs & regimente. Violence will break all. Where is ye meek & humble spirite of Moyses? & of Nehemiah who reedified ye wals of Jerusalem, & ye state of Israell? Is not ye sound of Rehoboams braggs daly hear amongst us? Have not ye philosiphers and all wise men observed yt, even in setled comone welths, violente governours bring either them selves, or people, or boath, to ruine; how much more in ye raising of comone welths, when ye morter is yet scarce tempered yt should bind ye wales.
             If I should write to you of all things which promisculously forerune our ruine, I should over charge my weake head and greeve your tender hart; Only this I pray you, Prepare for evill tidings of us every day. But pray for us instantly! It may be ye Lord will be yet entreated one way or other to make for us. I see not in reason how we shall escape even ye gasping of hunger starved persons; but GOD can doe much, & his will be done!
             It is better for me to dye, then now for me to bear it, which I doe daly, & expecte it howerly; haveing received ye sentance of death, both within me & without me. Poore William King & my self doe strive who shall be meate first for ye fishes; but we look for a glorious resurrection, knowing Christ Jesus after ye flesh no more, but looking unto ye joye yt is before us,, we will endure all these things and accounte them light in comparison of yt joye we hope for.
             Remember me in all love to our friends as if I named them, whose praires I desire ernestly, & wish againe to see, but not till I can with more comforte looke them in ye face. The Lord give us that true comforte which none can take from us. I had a desire to make a breefe relation of our estate to some friend. I doubte not but your wisdome will teach you seasonably to utter things as here after you shall be called to it.
             That which I have written is treue, & many things more which I have forborne. I write it as upon my life, and last confession in England. What is of use to be spoken of presently, you may speake of it, and what is fitt to conceile, conceall. Pass by my weake maner, fo rmy head is weake, & my body feeble, ye Lord make me strong in him, & keepe both you & yours."

Edward died at a young age, sometime before 1621 and probably in 1620 at Heneage House in London. His early death was not entirely unusual in his family; there were seven heirs to the Southworth lands in the short span of eighty years, and the average age of his ten brothers and sisters at their deaths was thirty-three.

The widowed Alice came to Plymouth Colony aboard the Ann. She left her two sons with friends, probably in London. She landed in Plymouth in July 1623, and on August 14 of that year married Gov. William Bradford at Plymouth (No. 82:4:2080), whose first wife Dorothy May had fallen overboard from the Mayflower and drowned in Cape Cod Bay. The colonists feasted on roast venison and "other such good cheer in such quantity that I could wish you some of our share," wrote Emmanuel Altham to a friend in England.

The rapidity with which she remarried after her arrival suggests that she was acquianted with the groom before her immigration; they likely knew each other well in Leyden. One early comentator suggested they had a different relationhip:

" There had been an early attachment, and marriage had been prevented by parents of the lady, objecting to the inferior rank and circumstances of Bradford. She now, a widow, came over purposely to marry him."

This story may be apochryphal; she had nothing left to keep her in England, many of her close friends and coreligionists had emigrated to Plymouth, and New England held a host of opportunities for her young sons. In addition, at this period it was unusual for either a widow or widower to remain such for any period of time. Bradford needed a wife, and she needed a husband and a father for her two young sons.

Alice and William had three children (surnamed Bradford):

      i       William              b. 17 June 1624              m. Alice Richards
      ii       Mercy              b.a. 1627                     m. Benjamin Vermayes
      iii       Joseph              b. 1630                     m. Jael Hobart     


Since the arms brought to Plymouth by Edward's widow had a sable field and since the Samlesbury Southworths bore the same and were the only Southworths in England who did - and the heir male had used crosses patonce, flory and crosslet, it seems conclusive that Edward of Samlesbury and Edward of Leyden were identical.

Mrs. Mary J. Sibley

It has not been proven or disproven whether Edward Southworth, the Leyden pilgrim who married Alice Carpenter, is the same as the Edward Southworth was the son of Thomas Southworth and Rosamond Lister. Roberts gives the line, but says proof, for or against, would be welcome.

"The Southworth family [of Leyden, Holland and Plymouth, Mass.] was

apparently of gentle birth, but claims that Edward Southworth [of

Plymouth, Mass.] was identical with the Edward Southworth, son of Thomas

and Rosamond (Lister) Southworth, of Samlesbury Hall, Lancashire, are not

adequately supported" [Stratton, Eugene Aubrey. Plymouth Colony : its

history & people 1620-1691. (Salt Lake City, Utah : Ancestry Publishing,

c1986), p. 355-356].

Edward had another son by the name of Constant and they both came over to Plymouth to join their mother who became the second wife of Governor Bradford.

Leiden Pilgrim Edward Southworth married Alice Carpenter & their sons Constant and Thomas were early settlers in Plymouth. He probably died in Leiden, Holland. His widow married second, William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth, as his second wife. Source Anderson's Great Migration Study Project

The following much earlier information is quoted from: The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers--Who Came to Plymouth on the "Mayflower in 1620, the "Fortune" in 1621, and the "Anne" and the "Little James" in 1623, written and compiled by Charles Edward Banks, Member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, originally published in New York, 1929, this edition printed in Baltimore, 1965, by Geological Publishing Company, p. 161. MRS. ALICE SOUTHWORTH She was the widow of Edward Southworth, daughter of Alexander Carpenter and sister of Julian Carpenter, the wife of George Morton (q.v.). She was betrothed to Edward Southworth, say-weaver of Leyden, 7 May, 1613, by whom she had two sons, Constant, born 1615, and Thomas, 1617, who accompanied her on the voyage. She married Governor Bradford, about a month after arrival, on 14 August, 1623. The Southworths and Gov. Bradford had lived in Heneage House, Duke's Place, London, for about a year prior to the sailing of the Mayflower. It is probable that the Southworth family came from the vicinity of Fenton, co. Notts, near Sturton-le-Steeple, the home of Rev. John Robinson (P.R.O. Exchequer, Dep. 43-44, Elizabeth Michaelmas No. 3). Southworth families lived in various parishes in that section of England before the Pilgrim exodus.


view all 18

Edward Southworth, of Samlesbury & Leiden's Timeline

Samlesbury, Lancashire, England
Age 24
Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
Age 25
Leyden, Holland, Netherlands
Age 26
Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
Age 30
England, United Kingdom
August 5, 1622
Age 32
London, Middlesex County, England
September 13, 1910
Age 32
September 13, 1910
Age 32
June 2, 1920
Age 32