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cene Four
    1620 PANEL


This year sees a completely different type of migrant settling out across the Atlantic, bound for the territory of the London Virginia Company. These latest potential colonists are English but their home for years has been in Holland, in the town of Leyden. They are also unlike most of the settlers who have gone before who sought their financial fortunes in the Jamestown area. These newcomers are Separatists who, though loyal subjects of King James, are seeking freedom to worship as they choose, safely away from his persecution. How then did they come to live in Holland? And, why leave now?

James hates Puritans and Separatists. Puritans are Christians who disagree with many of the doctrines and practices of the established church, namely the Church of England and want to change it from the inside. Separatists however want to literally separate from it completely, hence their name and whilst at first, early in James’s reign around 1604, both groups were tolerated but despised as Nonconformist killjoys, eventually they became hated and finally, persecuted.

A law was passed whereby everyone was required to attend church and take communion at least once a month or be imprisoned. If they did not ‘repent’ within three months they were executed. Church leaders were required to sign a document known as the Thirty Nine Articles which really meant that no one was allowed to dissent from the views of the Church of England. 300 ministers refused and were sacked. Not even the dead were safe from persecution: corpses of Nonconformists were exhumed, brought to trial in Court, sentenced, then subjected to the gross indecency of being hung, drawn and quartered.

Realising that they would pay for their beliefs with their lives, the Separatists fled to Holland in 1607 and for thirteen years rejoiced in the religious freedom they found there. However, though grateful to their tolerant hosts, they have been increasingly concerned about their children becoming Dutch so, as Englishmen, have decided to make a fresh start in Virginia. This brings events up to the present time, 1620 and this scene. It is 22 July. The Separatists are shown bidding farewell to their Pastor, John Robinson before leaving Holland aboard the tiny vessel Speedwell to join up with their second chartered ship Mayflower awaiting them in Southampton. 


VALERIAN Valerian officinalis. Valerian tea is commoner drink in Germany than in England, taken to calm the head and prevent hysteria.

IVY Hedera.  ‘in our time is very seldom used, save that the leaves are laid upon little ulcers in the thighs, legs or other parts of the body’  Gerard

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