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Great Migration: Passengers of the Handmaid, 1630

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  • Stephen Bryant, of Plymouth Colony (aft.1615 - bef.1701)
    STEPHEN BRYANT Sr.was born before 1618 in perhaps Kent, England. He died before June 1701 in Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts. Father: JOHN BRYANT Jr. was born about 1592 in Kent Co., England....
  • Samuel Fosten Eddy (c.1608 - 1687)
    Samuel and his brother John sailed from London on the Handmaid , Aug.10, 1630. They arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Oct. 29, 1630 (old style). He was poor and a debtor for several years. He be...
  • Made by Ashley Odell for use on
    John Bryant, of Scituate (1618 - 1684)
    John Sr. was a house carpenter by trade and lived on the second Herring Brook at Scituate. It is stated that his chief interests in life were two: the colony’s legal courts and the begetting of childre...
  • Lt. John Bryant (1644 - 1708)
    Lieut. John Bryant was born on 17 Aug 1644 in Scituate, MA. [85] At the age of 5, John was baptized in the Second Church of Scituate, on 23 Mar 1650. [116] John died in Scituate, MA, on 26 Jan 1707/8; ...
  • John Eddy (1597 - 1684)
    Biography Pilgrim Village Families Sketch: John Eddy from Robert Charles Anderson Birth: John Eddy was baptized in March 1597 at Cranbrook, Kent. Death: He died on October 12, 1684, in Watertow...

Arrival of the Handmaid, 29 Oct. 1630

After twelve weeks at sea, the Handmaid docked at Plymouth on 29 Oct. 1630 with about 60 passengers. [1] They were the last group from Leiden. [2]

The brethren described these arrivals as the "weakest and poorest", which may account for why none of their names were preserved. This was the last of the Pilgrim ships, although a few more brethren strayed in from time to time. At this point organized efforts to colonize Plymouth came to an end due to lack of funding. Emphasis shifted to the well financed Puritan migration farther up the coast at Massachusetts Bay. [3]

The group included 28 cows [4], Captain Standish, and "2 gent passingers, who came to plant here, but havinge no testimonies we would not receive them." [5][6]



  1. Winthrop's Journal, "History of New England" 1630-1649, James Kendall Hosmer, Ed. (New York: Scribner, 1908), vol. 1, p. 53.
  2. However ... "Winthrop's writings make it appear that the Handmaid was destined for Plymouth and did not even dock at at a Bay Colony port, though whether any of these passengers were of the Leiden group cannot be said.(21) Stratton, p. 47
  3. Dunham.
  4. Findagrave.
  5. That the Eddy brothers did arrive on the Handmaid can be seen from the same source, 319, where in a letter to his wife on 29 November 1630 Winthrop writes, "Edy of Boxted, who came in her [the Handmaid] tould me a fortnight that he had many lettres in the shippe for me, but I heer not yet of them: which makes me now (havinge opportunity to send to Plimmouth) to write these few lines to thee, least the shippe should be gone before I have received my lettres." The wording of these two passages makes it appear that the ship's master, along with Standish and the two gentleman passengers, arrived at Boston via some other, perhaps smaller, vessel, and the Handmaid stayed at Plymouth. This would make it seem that some at least, perhaps most, of the about sixty passengers on the Handmaid must have been destined for Plymouth. Winthrop Papers, p. 269.
  6. Winthrop notes that the Handmaid, John Grant, master arrived at Plymouth 29 1630 having been twelve weeks at sea and spent all her masts. She had sixty passengers who "came all well," but of twenty eight heifers she landed seventeen alive. On November 11 the vessel came to the Bay with Captain and two gentlemen passengers "who came to plant here, but having no testimony, we would not receive them." History 1 37 38. Dudley tells us that Morton of Mare Mount was sent home to England in the Handmaid and in December this year. Some beaver was also sent home in her, but whether on Plymouth or Bay account Morton does not state; but he does give a relation of the unseaworthiness of the ship and the hardships of the passage New English Canaan (Prince Society), 337 342.