Recently we have taken a look at some of the crew members who were responsible for managing the sailing of the Mayflower from England to America. In the timeline of the voyage, which would have been going on 400 years ago today, the Mayflower would have still been a long way from her destination with the journey taking much longer than planned, due to storms she was encountering. During one storm an indentured servant named John Howland was blown overboard. However, with what must have been incredible luck, he managed to grab hold of a rope that was trailing in the water, giving the crew the chance to haul him back on board and to safety.
Howland came from Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire and was the son of Margaret and Henry Howland His brothers Henry and Arthur Howland, who were Quakers, emigrated later from England to Marshfield, Massachusetts. When John boarded the Mayflower in Plymouth he was a servant of John Carvers sand held to the faith of the Separatist Pilgrims.
His determination to survive meant that he was able to complete the voyage with the rest of the ships crew and passengers and he was one of 41 men to have signed the Mayflower Compact in November. After John Carvers death in 1621 he became a freeman and three years later married fellow Mayflower passenger Elizabeth Tilley. They had ten children who all survived into adulthood.
He would become a key player in the fledgling colony. In 1626 he played a part in assuming the colony's debt to its investors which enabled the colony to pursue its own goals. In 1633, 1634 and 1635 he was elected assistant to the Governor, and in April 1634 was appointed head of Plymouth's trading post in Kennebec.
He outlived many of the other Mayflower Pilgrims into his 80’s. Among his millions of descendants are today are notable figures such as Humphrey Bogart, Anthony Perkins, former US Presidents George Bush and George W Bush, and the Baldwin brothers, Alec, Stephen, Billy and Danny.
The writer P.J. Lynch took inspiration for his illustrated book 'The Boy Who Fell From The Mayflower (Or John Howland’s Good Fortune)'.
These scenes were built by James Pegrum as part of a series of models on the voyage of the Mayflower. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see them first.
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