Ship Model No.: GSW040
Ship Launched: Year 1620
Dimension: 700mm Long x 600mm Wide x 270mm High
About the Mayflower – Historical Significance
The Mayflower transported the Pilgrim Fathers from Plymouth, England to “North Virginia” (in what was later to become the United States of America) in 1620, leaving Plymouth on September 6 and weighing anchor near Cape Cod on November 21.
In general, the Mayflower was used mostly as a cargo ship in the trade of goods (often wine) between England and France, but also Norway, Germany and Spain. Like many ships of the time (such as the Santa Maria) the Mayflower was most likely a carrack with three masts, square-rigged on the foremast and mainmast but lateen-rigged on the mizzenmast.
Aboard the Mayflower were many stores that supplied the pilgrims with the essentials needed for their journey and future lives. Among these stores it is assumed that they would have carried tools and weapons, including cannon, shot, and gunpowder, as well as some live animals, including dogs, sheep, goats, and poultry. Horses and cattle would come later. The Mayflower would also carry two boats: a long boat and a “shallop”, a sort of twenty-one foot dinghy. She also carried twelve artillery pieces (eight minions and four sakers), as the Pilgrims feared they might need to defend themselves against the Spaniards, Frenchmen, or the Dutch, as well as the Native Americans.
At least between 1609 and 1622 the ship was based in Rotherhithe, London, England and mastered by Christopher Jones, who commanded the ship on its famous transatlantic voyage. The Mayflower had a crew of twenty-five to thirty, along with other hired personnel. The names of five are known, John Alden among them. William Bradford, in the only known account of the Pilgrim voyage, wrote that Alden “was hired for a cooper [barrel-maker], at South-Hampton, where the ship victuled; and being a hopefull yong man, was much desired, but left to his owne liking to go or stay when he came here; but he stayed, and maryed here.”
After leaving the passengers at Plymouth, Jones sailed the Mayflower back to England, arriving in May 1621. Within two years of his death, in March 1622, the ship had fallen into disrepair, and was likely broken up and sold for scrap lumber.