Pilgrim Fathers and Maritime Warfare

“In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, e&. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620.
– The Mayflower Compact

I live three minutes away from the Thames via leisurely stroll (which technically forfeits my right to complain about anything ever). Not only is the pretty great in and of itself, but the Thames is a fascinatingly historic river in a fascinatingly historic city. Come wandering with me this week as I show you a bit of the fantastic history within twenty minutes of my flat.

Just a bit beyond the manor house lies the church of St. Mary’s of Rotherhithe. Still surrounded by a church yard (not all London churches are quite so lucky), this build packs a historical wallop when it comes to London and the city’s maritime past.

The Mayflower, the ship that carried the Pilgrims first to the Netherlands and then the New World was captained by a man from Rotherhithe . He is now buried in the church’s yard along with a prince of the then-newly discovered island nation of Palau after he journeyed to and settled in Britain. The church also houses two beautiful bishop’s chairs which have been carved from the timbers of a famous ship, the HMS Temeraire, which fought at the battle of Trafalgar and was later immortalized in a painting by Turner.
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Literally just across the street is the famous Mayflower pub. Originally named the Shippe, it stood near the original mooring sight of the renowned ship. When the premises were overhauled in the 18th century, it was rechristened the Mayflower in its honor and today holds the distinction of being the oldest continually operating pub on the Thames.
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