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Elder William Brewster

Elder William Brewster

Male Abt 1566 - 1644  (78 years)  Submit Photo / DocumentSubmit Photo / Document    Has 8 ancestors and more than 100 descendants in this family tree.

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  • Name William Brewster 
    Prefix Elder 
    Birth Abt 1566  Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Death 10 Apr 1644  Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Burial 13 Apr 1644  Burial Hill, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Initiatory (LDS) 7 Sep 1894  SGEOR Find all individuals with events at this location 
    FamilySearch ID LH2V-RD6 
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Person ID I1079  mytree
    Last Modified 25 Feb 2024 

    Father William Brewster,   b. 1535, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 10 Aug 1608, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 73 years) 
    Mother Mary Smythe,   b. 1535, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 17 Apr 1627, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 92 years) 
    Marriage 1567  St. Wilfrid's Church, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F904  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary,   b. Abt 1569, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 17 Apr 1627, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 58 years) 
    Marriage Bef 1593  Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. Jonathan Brewster,   b. 12 Aug 1593, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 7 Aug 1659, Norwich, New London, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 65 years)
    +2. Patience Brewster,   b. Abt 1600, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 12 Dec 1634, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 34 years)
    +3. Fear Brewster,   b. Abt 1606, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 12 Dec 1634, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 28 years)
     4. Son Brewster,   b. Abt 1609, Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Nederland Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 20 Jun 1609, Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Nederland Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 0 years)
    +5. Love Brewster,   b. Abt 1611, Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Nederland Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 31 Jan 1650, Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 39 years)
     6. Wrestling Brewster,   b. Abt 1614, Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Nederland Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 22 May 1627, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 13 years)
    Family ID F912  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 14 Apr 2024 

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBirth - Abt 1566 - Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - Bef 1593 - Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - 10 Apr 1644 - Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBurial - 13 Apr 1644 - Burial Hill, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsInitiatory (LDS) - 7 Sep 1894 - SGEOR Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Brewster, Elder William likeness
    Brewster, Elder William likeness

    Documents
    Brewster, Elder William 17th Century Documents
    Brewster, Elder William 17th Century Documents

    Headstones
    Brewster, Elder William
    Brewster, Elder William

    Histories
    Brewster, Elder William Life Sketch
    Brewster, Elder William Life Sketch

  • Notes 
    • Mayflower - Pilgrim

      SOURCE: Jones, Emma C. Brewster (The Brewster genealogy, 1566-1907)

      SOURCE: Robert Charles Anderson, (New England Historic Genealogical Soci e ty, Boston, MA).

      SOURCE: Barbara Lambert Merrick, (General Society of Mayflower Descendan t s).

      William Brewster was born about 1566, the son of William Brewster. He w a s educated in both Greek and Latin and spent some time at Cambridge Uni ve rsity, although he never completed a full degree. He went into the ser vic e of William Davison, then Secretary of State, while his father bac k hom e maintained a position as the postmaster of Scrooby, Nottinghamshi re. Un der Davison, Brewster first traveled to the Netherlands. After Dav ison wa s removed as Secretary of State by Queen Elizabeth, Brewster work ed himse lf into his father's postmaster duties and maintained Scrooby Ma nor. Brew ster was instrumental in establishing a Separatist church wit h Richard Cl yfton, and they often held their meetings in the Manor house . Brewster an d the others were eventually found and forced out, and flee ing prosecutio n and persecution they headed to Amsterdam in 1608, and mo ved to Leiden , Holland in 1609. Brewster became the church's Elder, resp onsible for se eing that the congregation's members carried themselves pr operly, both he lping and admonishing them when necessary.

      In Leiden, Brewster working with Thomas Brewer, Edward Winslow, and othe r s, began working a printing press and publishing religious books and pa mp hlets that were then illegally conveyed into England. Brewster also em plo yed himself teaching University of Leiden students English. By 1618 , th e English authorities were onto him and his printing press, and ha d the D utch authorities in pursuit of him. Thomas Brewer was arrested an d held i n the University of Leiden's prison, but Brewster managed to eva de the au thorities and went into hiding for a couple years.
      When the Leiden church congregation decided to send the first wave of se t tlers to establish a colony that everyone could eventually move to, the i r pastor John Robinson decided to remain behind in Leiden with the majo ri ty of the congregation, intending to come later. The smaller group tha t w ent on the Mayflower desired the next highest ranking church official , El der Brewster, to go with them; so he agreed. He brought his wife Mar y an d two youngest children, Love and Wrestling, on the Mayflower with h im.

      Brewster continued his work as Church Elder throughout his life at Plymo u th Colony. His wife Mary died in 1627, and he never remarried. He live d t o be nearly 80 years old, dying in 1644. His estate inventory lists t he t itles of several hundred books that he owned. Shortly after he died , Will iam Bradford wrote a short but concise biography of Brewster in hi s histo ry of Plymouth Plantation, though he erroneously filed it under 1 643 inst ead of 1644.