NameWilliam Brewster
Birthabt 1562, Scrooby, Nottingham, England
Death10 Apr 1644, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts
FatherWilliam Brewster (~1535-1590)
Misc. Notes


- Elder Brewster's house in Plymouth was at the intersection of the "streete" and "high way." The "streete" in Plymouth was called First Street (later changed to Leyden Street) , and origianlly extended from the shore to the old fort at the summit of what is now Buriel Hill. The "high way" led to the Town Brook, and through it Pilgrims brought water from "the very sweete brooke" into which the "many delicate springs" still continue to f low.

- In the Division of Land, in 1623, "Mr. William Brewster" was alloted "6 akers." La ter he built a house in Duxbury, near Captain's Hill, where he lived, but died in Plymouth .


- "The ages of the principal men of the colony, only, are known. On their arriaval in 1620, Carver was probably the oldest; Brewster was 56; Standish, 36; Bradford , 32; Allerton, 31; Howland, 28; Winslow 26; and Alden, 21. Robinson, the Leyden pastor, was at this time 45 years of age." -- Winsor's Hist. of Duxbury, p. 55

Elder William Brewster's affidavit made at Leyden, June 25, 1609, states that he was then 42 years of age. Therefore, in 1620 he was in his 54th year.


- "Humblest and gentlest of men, his flock almost worshipped him because they loved him and had reason to love him, while that love was returned in full measure, and the chronicle says of his death in which he "so sweetly departed this life unto a better. We di d all grievously mourn his loss as that of a dear and loving friend."

- Bradford says: " He was wise and discreet and well spoken, having a grave and deliberate utterance, of a very cheerful spirit, very sociable adnd pleasant amongst his frie nds, of a
humble and modest mind, of a peaceable disposition, undervaluing himself and his o wn
abilities, and sometimes overvaluing others; inoffensive and innocent in his liv e and con-
versation, which gained him the love of those without, as well as those within.... He was
tender hearted and compassionate of such as were in misery, but especially of suc h as
had been of good estate and rank, and were fallen unto want and poverty, either fo r
goodness and religion's sake, or by the injury and oppression of others."


- The first formal military organizaion, distinct from the civil government, was form ed
Feb 27, 1621, Myles Standis being chosen captain, with full authority as commandant .
(Prince's Annals, February 1621; Palfrey's History of New England, i.p. 176; Goodwin s'
Pilgrim Republic, p. 115 )

- This organization include "all those able to bear arms." He was not only a membe r of this military organization but must have acted as it's chaplain.

- Elder Brewster "was in no way unwilling to take his part and bear his burden with t he rest"
(Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation, p 413, ed. of 1856)

- "He was able to use his armor as well as his bible." (Steele's Life of Brewster, p . 234)

- After one-half of the colonists had died in the "first sickness," in 1621, " Standi sh had
under him twenty men. Imagine them drawn up in two ranks. In the first rank are s een
Governor Bradford and Elder Brewster. The good Elder fights as he prays, and, thou gh
he would far rather convert and enemy than hurt him, he would not dream of allowing
him the first fire." (Goodwins's Pilgrim Republic, p. 189)

- "If Elder Brewster prayed for protection against enemies, he took good care that hi s gun
was ready and his sword was sharp, so that he might do his part toward securing th e
blessing asked." (Goodwin's Pilgrim Republic , p. 110

- Elder Brewster's two swords, his pistol, dagger and armor--head piece and corselet ,
"Costlett" -- are mentioned in the inventory taken after his death. One of his swo rds
was presented to the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1798. The Elder left no w ill.
In the settlement of his estate, "Jonathan, as the first born, was given his father 's arms."
(Pilgrim Republic, pp 431-32)

- The General Register of the Society of Colonial Wars, 1899-1902, p. 576, states Eld er
Brewster was "member and chaplain of the first military company under Captain Myles
Standish and served against the Indians."
Birth1568, England
Death17 Apr 1627, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts
ChildrenPatience (~1600-<1634)
Last Modified 20 Jul 2007Created 4 Sep 2012 using Reunion for Macintosh