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Great Migration: Passengers of the Sparrow, 1622

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  • Phineas Pratt (c.1593 - 1680)
    Phineas Pratt Find A Grave Memorial# 143461134 Cohasset Central Cemetery, Cohasset, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA Phineas Pratt was b. circa 1593 London, England and d.19 Apr 1680 Charlestow...

May, 1622 The Sparrow, at Maine from England, sent passengers in a boat to Plymouth, New England. Fishing vessel, Master Rogers.

A boat arrived at the Plymouth Plantation from the Sparrow (fishing vessel at Maine, hired and sent out by Thomas Weston and John Beauchamp, salter of London, for their personal profit) with 7 men passengers sent by Weston to work for him in New England. They remained at Plymouth until the Charity and the Swan moved them to "Wessagusset" (Weymouth, Massachusetts) where they were to establish a settlement.

Phineas Pratt was a member of Thomas Weston’s Wessagusset company. Thomas Weston was one of the original investors in Plymouth Colony, but he quarreled with the company, sold out his interests and struck out on his own.  He sent three ships (first, the Sparrow, followed by the Charity and the Swan) to New England in 1622, intending to establish his own colony.  The Sparrow sailed to Maine and then sent their ship’s boat down the coast to Plymouth.

William Bradford describes the arrival of the Sparrow’s boat  in Plymouth at the end of May 1622 as “This boat brought seven passengers and some letters, but no victuals nor any hope of any.”  (Bradford, Of Plimoth Plantation, p. 100; all references to Bradford hereafter being to the Samuel Eliot Morison edition, first published by Knopf in 1952).  (Phineas himself refers to 10 men in his narrative, but he may have been including ship’s crew.)  It is from Edward Winslow (Good Newes from New England, p. 16-17; all references to Good Newes hereafter being to the Applewood Press edition) that we learn “the boat proved to be a shallop, that belonging to a fishing ship, called the Sparrow, set forth by Master Thomas Weston, late merchant and citizen of London, which brought six or seven passengers at his charge, that should before have been landed at our Plantation, who also brought no more provision for the present than served the boat’s gang for their return to the ship.”  The Charity and the Swan arrived at Plymouth in the end of June or beginning of July, 1622.

Sparrow sources: