Pilgrim Fathers Association
The history of two of the founder Pilgrim Fathers is a much more factual, but nevertheless fascinating story with its origins firmly established within the Doncaster area. Approximately nine miles south of Doncaster there are a number of places of interest linked to William Bradford and William Brewster, passengers aboard The Mayflower. Scrooby is the birthplace of William Brewster. Its Manor House was the meeting place for those who desired to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience and the house, together with St Wilfrid's Church, where Brewster was fined for non-attendance, stand today. (The Manor House is a private residence and access is by prior arrangement only). In 1606-7 William Brewster held meetings of the Scrooby Separatist congregation here with William Bradford and Richard Clyfton, another Pilgrim Father who preached at the nearby church of Babworth.
Just three miles from Scrooby is the village of Austerfield. William Bradford was born here in 1589 and christened in the village church, St Helena’s. As a young man he was so inspired by Richard Clyfton that he regularly walked the eight miles to Babworth, to hear him preach. Bradford rose to become one of the principal figures in 17th century New England.
John Carver of Doncaster, William Bradford of Austerfield and William Brewster of Scrooby led the foundation of Plimoth Colony, the first settlement of New England. Willliam Brewster, as religious elder, held the first Thanksgiving in 1621 and the beliefs of the Colony paved the way for the first amendment of the US Constitution which protects religious freedom in the US.