Christian Churches of God

No. 264

 

 

 

The Dutch Connection of the Pilgrim Fathers

(Edition 1.1 19980919-20000419)

 

General history sees the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620 in Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts as the foundation of the United States. They are considered as people from England that sailed to the promised land for a new future. However, few actually know that the Pilgrim Fathers are tied to Holland in an everlasting way that cannot be neglected. Their true history sheds a surprising light on the faith of these founding fathers. It also gives an insight in the persecution that existed in Protestant England under Queen Elizabeth I.

 

 

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(Copyright ă 1998  Christian Churches of God, ed. Wade Cox)

 

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The Dutch Connection of the Pilgrim Fathers

 

"L'Histoire, si elle devient la justification d'une politique, n'est qu'une vaste mensonge."

History, if it becomes the justification of politics, is nothing but a monumental lie.

(Guy Le Clec'h: Le Defi, Ed. Albin Michel, Ottawa, Canada, 1955, p.157.)

 


History is a Monumental Lie

This statement is all too true for history, especially when history has been written to prove an idea or to defend politics, or even to provoke war.

 

There is a very small margin, if one even exists, between politics and religion. How much difference has there been through the ages between religion and politics?

 

Are they not both tuned for exercising authority over others? If not in agreement, just by mere brutal force? How many wars have been waged on this planet, that were for the sake of a religion? What religion is not exercising power over others?

 

So history, if it becomes the justification of religion is also a monumental lie. It only serves the purpose of keeping laymen in serfdom.

 

It is written: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32 AV)

We are all equal before God, and we cannot have respect of persons, so we have to proclaim the truth, so that everybody can be free from slavery.

 

So we also have a commission to tell the truth concerning history. This means that we have the obligation to research history and consider all the facets involved. It is clear that we then uncover facts that are not always appreciated very much. Especially when the truth closes in.

 

Then we are brought to the point of the German saying: "Jeder hat seine Leiche im Keller versteckt". Everyone has his secret of dead bodies put in the cellar.

 

Much of the information for example of the Waldenses we have from their adversaries as the Roman Catholic Church. In their justification of their persecution of the Waldenses we can find the truth about them.

However, we have to keep in mind, who wrote the history, and why or for what purpose.

 

Although we have still to look through mirrors, we can see a history of Sabbath keeping Christians developing throughout the whole of Europe in the ages that the Mainstream churches and especially the Roman Catholic Church in fact had to remove from the scene. However, because of their politics and the adagio of divide et impera, they have conquered most of the European world by persecution and extermination of the Sabbath-keeping churches in Europe.

 

One of the methods was to divide the Sabbath Churches, to make them appear as separate local happenings, that were immediately stamped with the name of one of their leaders, who was always considered as an heretic. This sad way of reporting history can be read in the paper General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches (No. 122)).

 

It is understandable that there has always been an immense lie to justify the politics of religion to keep the people poor and ignorant. It comes forth from human nature and is based on greed and power.

 

We know that the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches have written history to justify their religion, and to condemn all the others, especially the Sabbath-keeping churches.

 

So it is a proper thing that we of the Sabbath- keeping Churches, now that we are able, have researched diligently to uncover the truth about the Sabbath keeping groups all over the world. There have been some much quoted works that seem to tell the truth about the history of these groups.

 

Just a few examples:

·                    A history of the True Church

·                    A history of the True Religion

·                    The true story of the True Church

·                    The incredible history of God's True Church.

These were all written by Sabbath-keepers, and of course they should be the truth?

At least the Titles state that to be so.

 

On reading the works carefully, one cannot escape the impression, that they are the same as the history sources of the Roman Catholics and Protestants. They all have been written with the perspective of their own justification.

To prove historically that the writer(s) belong to the exclusive only True Church with the True Religion. To prove this the historical proof is misused, misinterpreted, torn to pieces, put out of context, or they have even simply lied about facts.

 

All these books and articles turn out to be all a misrepresentation of the true facts.

 

Let us take an example.

 

A Christian knows that he is the seed of Abraham.

A Jew considers himself also the seed of Abraham.

An Arab is also known as the seed of Abraham.

All these three consider himself as the true seed.

And the more fundamental they are the more true seed they seem to become.

 

To be the true heir, we have to exterminate all the other descendants, or reject them as the seed, becoming in fact the "Chosen". So apparently it is with a man, who is of the true Church with the True Religion; and as there is only one Church as Christ cannot be divided, he belongs to the happy few.

 

The history of the Sabbath-keeping Churches through the ages is a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, and it is a commission of everybody to find the pieces, so that we all can, in the end get to the picture of the Truth, and be free from serfdom to any religious organisation.

 

For example Dugger and Dodd state:

 

All familiar with the early history of the United States remember that the Puritans, coming here in the Mayflower, landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. They had fled from persecutions in England, coming to what was known as "the new world," where they could worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. When they had gathered in their bountiful harvest, a day was set apart in which to render thanks to Almighty God, for having thus blessed them in provision for the coming winter. This day has ever since been celebrated in the United States as Thanksgiving. (Dugger, Andrew N. and Dodd, Clarence O, The History of the True Religion, 1968, Jerusalem, p. 264)

 

These Puritans were also known as the "Pilgrim Fathers", and brought the Sabbath observance to America.

 

This is confirmed by Dugger:

 

In the month of December, 1934, Hugh Sprague, editor of the St. Joseph Gazette (Missouri), wrote an editorial on this very matter.

"Strange as it may seem in the early history of America there was an attempt at suppression of the Christmas spirit. The stern Puritans at Plymouth, imbued with the rigorous fervor of the Old Testament, abhorred the celebration of the orthodox holidays. Their worship was on the Sabbath (Saturday), rather than Sunday, and Christmas in particular they considered a pagan celebration. Later immigrants attempted to observe Christmas as a time of joy, but were suppressed. Governor Bradford, Elder Brewster, Miles Standish and other leaders were firm against the yuletide spirit as we know it today."

In a private conversation between Elder A. N. Dugger and Editor Hugh Sprague, after this editorial appeared, the latter stated that the Pilgrims were his direct ancestors, and that he very well knew their religious beliefs and practices. And in addition, he stated that all his grandparents and great-grandparents knew that the Pilgrims of the Mayflower days were strict Sabbathkeepers on the seventh day of the week instead of Sunday.

(Kiesz, J. Sabbath History through the Ages, World Wide Web. Ozemail.com)

 

It is a pity that Dugger and Dodd did not mention that they already had left England in 1608, and although travelling in those days was more time-consuming than it is today, nobody will believe that they needed twelve years to travel to New-Plymouth. The Pilgrim Fathers fled from persecution in 1608 to Holland and stayed there for almost 12 years. They lived for most of the time in Leiden and Amsterdam, and finally they went to America.

 

Why did they go to Holland? Because the Pilgrim Fathers kept the Sabbath, and in Holland there were also Sabbath-keeping groups in those times, as Dugger and Dodd state:

"Erasmus (1466-1536) wrote of Sabbatarians in Bohemia early in the Reformation, `Descendants of the Waldenses in Bohemia and Holland formed material for Sabbath-keeping churches, which appeared with the dawn of the Reformation.'" -- History by Lewis, pp. 317-320. (Dugger, Andrew N. and Dodd, Clarence O, The History of the True Religion, 1968, Jerusalem, p. 196)

 

In Holland there was no persecution of other religions. It is true that where the Catholic Spaniards had been thrown out of the country, the Roman Catholic faith was not accepted as an official religion, and they were not free to worship just anywhere. They could do so undisturbed at non-official places. From these times the Church Onze-Lieve-Heer-op-zolder originated.

 

The Dutch waged a war for freedom of religion and economy with the Spaniards from 1568 till 1648, the 80-years war, that was ended at the Treaty of Munster in Westphalia.

The Spanish King needed a pause in the war very badly, as he was very unsuccessful, and there was an armistice for twelve years from 1609-1621.

 

To divert the attention of his people from the misfortune, he used that period to expel the Moriscoes, the christianised Muslims from Spain, so removing the last of the highly educated from his country. As the armistice was going to end in 1621, the Pilgrim Fathers feared that the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands could not withstand the Spanish fury, and feared that they also then would be persecuted by the Inquisition, and because of this fact they left the Netherlands. They had enjoyed freedom of religion in the Netherlands and could openly keep the Sabbath. Of course in the same period they also had contacts with the Sabbath keeping Dutchmen. And there has always been close ties with America and the Netherlands from those times on.

 

One of the things, that the Pilgrim Fathers took with them to America was Thanksgiving Day. That festival was already being kept for ages by the Dutchmen on the first Wednesday of November as Dankdag voor Gewas.

 

So we see that in fact the Pilgrim Fathers, out of fear of the Inquisition under the Spaniards, went to America, leaving the Netherlands after more than a decade there, and took with them the tradition of Thanksgiving Day from the same country.

 

Perhaps the misunderstanding might have originated from the fact that with the Mayflower two groups of different people sailed for America, as we can read from the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

 

Mayflower, in American colonial history, the ship that carried the Pilgrims from England to Plymouth, Mass., where they established the first permanent New England colony in 1620. Some of the Pilgrims were brought from Holland on the "Speedwell," a smaller vessel that accompanied the "Mayflower" on its initial departure from Southampton, Eng., on August 15. When the "Speedwell" proved unseaworthy and was twice forced to return to port, the "Mayflower" finally set out alone a month later after taking on some of the smaller ship's passengers and supplies. Among the "Mayflower's" most distinguished voyagers were William Bradford and Capt. Myles Standish.

Chartered by English merchants called the London Adventurers, the "Mayflower" was prevented by rough seas and storms from reaching the territory that had been granted in Virginia. Instead, after a 66-day voyage, it first landed November 21 on Cape Cod at what is now Provincetown, Mass., and the day after Christmas deposited its 102 settlers nearby the site of Plymouth. The ship remained in port until the following April, when it left for England.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, 15th Edition, 1990, Vol. 7, pp. 973-4)

 

We already see here in the most respected Encyclopaedia Britannica, confusion in the proper use of the word "Pilgrims". The improper use of the term "Pilgrim Fathers" is reinforced by the respected Meriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary, which is also edited by Encyclopaedia Britannica, where is stated:

 

Pilgrim Father, one of the English colonists who under the dominant religious motivation of a minority of Separatists from the Church of England sailed to America in 1620 aboard the Mayflower and founded the first permanent settlement in New England.

Pilgrim, one who journeys especially in alien lands; a person who passes through life as if in exile from a heavenly homeland or in search of it or of some high goal (as truth)

Emigrant, a person who leaves a country or region to settle permanently elsewhere.

 

From these definitions we see, that the people, who left Southampton in England in 1620 aboard the Mayflower, should properly be named Emigrants. The following description of Pilgrim Fathers confirms this. The term Pilgrim Fathers should only be applied to the people who had already emigrated from England to Holland and more than a decade later sailed aboard the Speedwell from Delftshaven, Holland to another country.

 

Pilgrim Fathers, in American colonial history, settlers of Plymouth, Mass., the first permanent colony in New England (1620). Of the 102 colonists, 35 were members of the English Separatist Church (radical faction of Puritanism) who had earlier fled to Leiden the Netherlands, to escape persecution at home.  Seeking a more abundant life along with religious freedom, the Separatists negotiated with a London Stock company to finance a pilgrimage to America.  Approximately two-thirds of those making the trip aboard the Mayflower were non-Separatists, hired to protect the company's interests; these included John Alden and Myles Standish.

These first settlers, initially referred to as the Old Comers and later as the Forefathers, did not become known as the Pilgrim Fathers until two centuries after their arrival. A responsive chord was struck with the discovery of a manuscript of Gov. William Bradford referring to the "saints" who had left Holland as "pilgrims". At a commemorative bicentennial celebration in 1820, orator Daniel Webster used the phrase Pilgrim Fathers, and the term became common usage thereafter.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, 15th Edition, 1990, Vol. 9, pp. 441-2)

 

In this part we read that the first settlers who came from Holland were mentioned by their own governor as "pilgrims", and that they stayed in Leiden in Holland. There must be a clear connection between the Pilgrim Fathers and Holland.

 

Let us see, what the Leiden archives tell us about the Pilgrim Fathers:

 

The Pilgrims were a group of English Calvinist religious dissenters who fled persecution under Queen Elisabeth I and her successor King James I, taking up residence in Holland, a country where a relative freedom of religion prevailed. In 1608 they arrived in Amsterdam, partly picked up by a Dutch captain offshore along the English coast, partly allowed to leave for Holland, after a stay in jail. But most of them left Amsterdam in 1609 for Leiden, the second largest city in Holland and seat of a famous university. Many of the group emigrated to America on the Mayflower (1620), the Fortune (1621), the Anne and the Little James (1623), and the second Mayflower (1629). They provided the leadership in the foundation of the colony New Plymouth as well as about half the colony's population.

Among the refugees were John Robinson, the reverend of the group, and William Brewster and his adoptive son William Bradford, who were playing leading roles in the history of the Pilgrims. The Elder William Brewster was the major figure in the publishing activities of the Pilgrim Press, from ca. 1617 until it was suppressed in 1619.

William Bradford was governor of the colony in America for many years. His manuscript Of Plimoth Plantation is the most important source of information about the Pilgrims. John Robinson and about 100 others submitted a written request at the Leiden municipality, for permission to reside in Leiden, dated February 12, 1609.

The city's permission states that Leiden "refuses no honest people free entry to come live in the city". It was not necessary to request permission, but obviously the Pilgrims had in their mind to stay in Leiden for a longer time. They lived and worked there as good citizens for more then ten years.

The emigration in 1620 had various motivating reasons. When religious dispute also took its toll in Holland, when the threat of war was growing because the Twelve Years' Truce was ended, when the children were close to becoming assimilated and Leiden no longer held out prospects of material prosperity, a part of the group -the majority did remain- decided again to travel elsewhere, like "pilgrims".

They choose North America, where attempts had been made to colonise Virginia only several years before. The group aims at realising their own ideals in freedom and with a self-selected organisatorial form. The years spent in Holland, in which the Pilgrims were able to put freedom and self-government into practice, have been essential to the subsequent development of their ideas. And not only that. The Pilgrims constitute a vital link in the making of the American society. Bradford had got with him the proclamation of 1581 in which the Netherlands denounced the king of Spain as their sovereign. It was the first step leading eventually to the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America in 1776.

 

The official residence permit is still in the archives of the city of Leiden, and the summary and transcription in Old-Dutch follow hereunder:

 

998 / SA 51 G fo. 33v / February 12, 1609 Residence Permit

Permission granted by the burgomasters and aldermen of the city of Leiden to John Robinson, pastor, born in England, and about one hundred of his countrymen and fellow members of the Christian Reformed Religion, to come and take up residence in Leiden around May 1, 1609.

998  GAL, Stadsarchief 1574-1816 inv.nr. 51 folio 32v., Gerechtsdagboek G.

12.2.1609. Versouck vanwegen 100 persoonen in Engelandt gebooren om haer residentie hier ter stede te mogen nemen.

Aen mijn Eersame Heeren Burgemeesteren ende Gerechte der Stadt Leiden.

Geven mit behoorlicke eerbiedinge ende onderdanicheden te kennen Jan Rabarthsen, dienaer des Goddelicken Woorts, mitsgaders eenige van de gemeente der Christelicke Gereformeerde Religie, geboren in den Coninckrijcke van Groot-Bretanien, ter nombre van hondert persoonen of daeromtrent, zoo manspersoonen als vrouwen, hoe sij wel van der intentie sijn souden hen eersdaechs, emmers tegen meye eerstcoomende, metter woonste te begeven binnen deser stadt ende de vrijdom van dien, omme hen te beneeren met verscheyden haerluyder hantwercken ende neeringh, zonder nochtans in 't minste yemant te bezwaren; soo est dat sij vertoonders hen sijn keerende aen Uwe Eersame, biddende zeer instantelick dat Uwe Eersame believe hen te vergonnen vrije ende lybre consent omme hen alsvooren te begeven.

Dit doende etc.

In mergine stont geapostilleert:

Die van de Gerechte, disponeerende op 't jegenwoordige versouck, verclaren dat sij geen eerlicke persoonen weygeren vrije ende lybre incompst omme binnen deser stede te mogen comen ende haer woonplaets te nemen, mits hem eerlicken gedragende ende sich onderwerpende alle keuren ende ordonnantiën alhier, ende dat oversulcx der thoonderen bijcompst alhier lieff ende aengenaem wert sijn.

Aldus gedaen in haer vergaderinge op 't Raethuys desen 12en february 1600negen.

Onder stont:

Mij jegenwoordich ende geteyckent: J. van Hout.

 

The Dutch officials were convinced that the Request was done by members of the Christian Reformed Religion, and did not know that they were members of the sect of Brownists as another letter confirms.

 

999 / SA 300 Missives Book C fo. 126 / Letter

Letter sent by the city of Leiden to Jan Jansz. (van) Baersdorp, member of the Provincial Executive of the States of Holland, in reply to an undated letter received from him in 1609. Van Baersdorp is asked to hand to the lord grand pensionary (of Holland) the reply from the city of Leiden together with the request received from John Robinson and some members of the Christian Reformed Religion and the decision taken with regard to that request on February 12, 1609. The city of Leiden declares that when a request was received from John Robinson, pastor, and some members of the Christian Reformed Religion, all born in England, it was decided to grant permission to them to come and take up residence in Leiden. At the time the city of Leiden was not aware that the persons in question were members of the sect of the Brownists.

 

As the Pilgrim Fathers have been identified with Brownists, it will be useful to have a look at the man, who gave his name to what have been termed as his followers.

 

Browne, Robert (b. c. 1550 -- d. October 1633, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Eng.), Puritan Congregationalist leader, one of the original proponents of the Separatist, or Free Church, movement among Non-conformists that demanded separation from the Church of England and freedom of state control. His separatist followers became known as Brownists.

Educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and ordained, he, with Robert Harrison, gathered a Separatist Church at Norwich in 1580. As a consequence of this and other similar activities, he was imprisoned 32 times and in 1582 was exiled.  He subsequently returned to England, however, and conformed to the established church. He was the author of a number of books, including A Treatise of Reformation Without Tarying for Anie (1582).

(Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, 15th Edition, 1990, Vol. 2, p. 562)

 

As the Brownists settled in Leiden, we have to see where Leiden is. We also have to look at who the persons Robinson and Bradford were, and look at even more astonishing facts.

 

Leiden, English Leyden, town to the north-east of The Hague, became a centre of Dutch Reformed theology and of science and medicine in the 17th and 18th centuries. Leiden became a noted printing centre after the Elzevir family (from Louvain) established their press there c. 1581. During the Dutch revolt against Spain, the city endured a Spanish siege (May-October 1574), that was only relieved when the dikes were cut, flooding the countryside and enabling Dutch ships to carry provisions for the townspeople. In reward for the citizen's bravery during the siege, the University of Leiden was founded in 1575 by William I the Silent, prince of Orange, and became a centre of Dutch Reformed theology and of science and medicine in the 17th and 18th centuries, with such scholars as Joseph Justus Scaliger, Hugo Grotius, Jacobus Arminius, Daniël Heinsius, Frans Hemsterhuis, and Herman Boerhaave. Historical buildings include the Pilgrim Fathers house (dedicated 1957) containing documents concerning the stay of the Pilgrims in Leiden (1609-1620) prior to their settling in Plymouth, Mass.; the medieval St. Peter's Church contains a memorial to their pastor, John Robinson.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, 15th Edition, 1990, Vol. 2, pp. 252-3)

 

Robinson, John (b. c. 1575, Sturton-le-Steeple, Nottinghamshire, Eng. -- d. March 1, 1625, Leiden, Neth. English Puritan minister called the pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers for his guidance of their religious life before their journey to North-America aboard the "Mayflower" in 1620.

In 1602 Robinson became a curate at St. Andrew's Church, Norwich. His refusal to conform to the Anglican anti-Puritan decrees of 1604 led to his suspension from preaching, and in 1606 or 1607 he joined the Separatist congregation at Scrooby, Nottinghamshire. Also called Nonconformists, these early congregationalists wished to separate from the Church of England so they could follow what they believed to be purer and more simplified forms of church government and worship.

With the Scrooby congregation Robinson travelled to Amsterdam in 1608, but in 1609 he went with 100 of his followers to Leiden to escape the dissension prevalent among the other Nonconformist groups. As pastor at Leiden, he inspired the growth of his congregation to 300 members. One of them, William Bradford, who later became governor of Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, likened Robinson's congregation to the early Christian churches because of its "true piety, humble zeal and fervent love towards God and his Ways."

Robinson entered Leiden University in 1615 to study theology, but by 1617 he and his followers were seeking a more secure and permanent location. In July 1620, while he remained with the majority who were not yet ready to travel, part of his congregation sailed for England aboard the Speedwell. Before departure from Leiden, Robinson declared to them in a celebrated sermon, "For I am confident the Lord hath more truth and light yet to break forth out of His holy Word."  The following September, 35 of them left Plymouth on the Mayflower for New England. Robinson died before he could leave Holland, and the remnant of his congregation was absorbed by the Dutch Reformed Church in 1658. 

(Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, 15th Edition, 1990, Vol. 10, pp. 114-5)

 

Bradford, William (b. March 1590, Austerfield, Yorkshire, Eng. -- d. May 9, 1657, Plymouth, Mass.), governor of the Plymouth Colony for 30 years, who helped shape and stabilise the political institutions of the first permanent colony in New England. Bradford also left an invaluable journal chronicling the Pilgrim venture, of which he was part.

As a boy in England, he was caught up in the fervour of the Protestant Reformation and became a dedicated member of the Separatist Church, the "left wing" of Puritanism, when only 12. Seven years later he joined a group of Nonconformists who migrated to Holland (1690) in search of religious freedom. Dissatisfied with the lack of economic opportunity there, he helped organise an expedition of about 100 "Pilgrims" to the New World in 1620. Aboard ship, Bradford was one of the framers of the historic Mayflower Compact, an agreement for voluntary civil co-operation that became the foundation of the Plymouth government. The following year he was unanimously chosen as governor of the New World settlement and was re-elected 30 times, serving all but five years until 1656.

Bradford is remembered mainly for his contribution in nurturing the fledgling colony's democratic institutions, such as the franchise and town meeting, thus establishing those traditions of self-government that would set the pattern for national political development in years to come.  Although he called himself a Congregationalist, he discouraged sectarian labels and made a point of welcoming all Separatist groups to New England shores. In addition, he evolved means of assimilating non-believers into the life of the colony.

Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-47 is a unique source of intimate detail and description of both the sea voyage and the hardships and challenges faced by the settlers.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, 15th Edition, 1990, Vol. 2, pp. 452-3)

 

More records from the Netherlands:

The famous little vessel, Mayflower, which landed its cargo of 102 Pilgrims from Holland at Plymouth, Mass., in Dec., 1620, had no person by name of Greenwood on board, yet the State records in the archives of Leiden, Amsterdam and Rotterdam show the presence of Greenwoods among the Puritans who had separated from the established church and fled from England to Holland to escape persecution. The exodus of these religious people from England begun immediately following the execution of Rev. John Greenwood at Tyburn, in 1593, and was continued to 1612 or later.  From the Amsterdam records we learn of a William Greenwood, from Norwich, whose betrothal to Rachel Pettes is recorded on Nov. 24, 1617, Sam. Singleton and Robt. and Margaret Hopkins being witnesses. No record of marriage is found.

The Leiden records tell of a John Greenwood, from London, who matriculated in philosophy at Leiden University July 9, 1625, aged 20. He was then living in the family of John Keble, from Canterbury, a wool comber. The records show his betrothal to Bridget Robinson May 10, 1629, with witnesses Sam. Lee, a hat maker, Thomas Nash, Eliz. Nash and Bridget Robinson, mother of the bride. The marriage occurred May 26, 1629. The marriage record says he "is a young man from the Brownists' camp." As the Puritans in Holland were called Brownists the locality where they lived may have been known as Brownists' Camp. This John Greenwood matriculated in theology at Leiden University May 22, 1634, aged 28, and was then yet living with John Keble. Bridget Robinson, whom John Greenwood m., was daughter and second child of Rev. John Robinson, pastor of the Puritan church in Leiden. This church, a prosperous body of English refugees, numbered 300 members. The name Bridget was formerly common among English women. Even Oliver Cromwell, the Puritan leader of England, begun his letters to his wife with "Dear Biddie." The Leiden records show Bridget Robinson Greenwood to have m. 2d, William Lee, of Amsterdam, July 25, 1637. The national council of American Congregational Churches have a table erected in Leiden to the memory of Rev. John Robinson, the father of Bridget, and of the Pilgrims who came to America in 1620, nearly all were from Rev. John Robinson's church. There were two Puritan churches in Amsterdam at the same time.

The Leiden records disclose also the marriage of Lacharian Greenwood, Sept., 1647, to Jannetie Bruynal, a girl from Colchester. A son was b. to this couple Apr. 3, 1657. Mr. Greenwood had some difficulty with the magistrates about this, a second marriage. Amsterdam records show the death of Anna Greenwood Jan. 1636, as wife of Paul Diers de Ras. Her first husband was a Mr. Schas.

Rotterdam records show the baptism of Thomas Groenewont (Greenwood) Dec. 31, 1647. His marriage is recorded as having occurred in 1676. From Rotterdam records it appears that Francis Greenwood, an Englishman and merchant, was m. 1671. His family consisted of a wife and two daughters.

(Greenwood, F., Greenwood Genealogies, 1154-1914, (1914) East Templeton, MA, Ch. 6 Greenwoods in Holland)

 

Who is Greenwood? Has this name connections in England and Holland? The archives of Southwark, England give more information.

 

Southwark has many links with the Pilgrim Fathers who set sail for America in 1620. The story begins before then however. John Greenwood, a clergyman, had already been arrested in Norfolke in 1585. When he came to London as the chaplain to Lord Rich of Rochford, he started a small congregation of Separatists ca. 1585, sometimes called the "Ancient Church" often a reference to Brownist theology.

In 1586 he and a group of people were sent to The Clink for refusing to obey the religious laws of Elizabeth 1, thus beginning a tradition of religious dissent within Southwark.

The dissenters founded a prison church under the guidance of John Greenwood, and Henry Barrowe, a lawyer. They called themselves 'Independents' but were also known as 'Brownists' because of the free thinking of Robert Browne, the headmaster at St Olave's School.

From their jail cells, their pens were not silenced, especially Barrow's. They were able to have a few of their works publish in the Netherlands.  Another clergyman, Francis Johnson, soon joined them. He had been ordered by the English Ambassador to Holland to buy and burn the books by Greenwood and Barrowe. Inspired by them he came to visit the authors and found himself being jailed with them! In 1592 Greenwood, Barrowe and John Penry gained a temporary reprieve and began meeting at a house in the Borough and formally constituted the Southwark Independent Church. However the reprieve was short-lived and Greenwood and Barrowe were executed on 6th April 1593. John Penry was also executed, at a site near the present day junction between Albany Road and Old Kent Road, on 29th May 1593. Roger Rippon, whose house was used for worship was arrested and died of disease in prison.

On his eventual release Francis Johnson travelled to Newfoundland looking for a place where religious freedom might be possible. He finally settled in Holland where many of the Southwark dissenters had fled to. The remaining members of the group continued to meet in secret before being brought into the open by Henry Jacob in 1616. Jacob had been influenced by the writing of Johnson and in 1620 some members of the Southwark Church were given permission to sail to America. It was this group who went on the Mayflower.

 

It appears that only one of the Pilgrim Fathers actually came from Southwark. The crew however provide many links to Southwark. The most important is the Captain ,and part owner, of the Mayflower, Captain Christopher Jones.

Captain Jones was born in Harwich but by 1611 he was settled in Rotherhithe, (then a popular place for sea captains to live) where some of his children were baptised, at St Mary's Church.

The rector at St Mary's from 1611 - 1654 was Thomas Gataker, a man of puritan leanings, and Captain Jones probably learnt about Puritanism from him. Also from Rotherhithe were another part owner, John Moore, and First Mate John Clarke, after whom Clarke's Island, Plymouth Bay, Mass is named. (Clarke was baptised at St Mary's in 1575). Clarke had spent 1611 - 1616 as a prisoner of the Spanish.

The Mayflower was an old ship more used to sailing to France than to America. She set sail from close to the present day The Mayflower Inn and joined The Speedwell at Southampton before they set sail together for America. The Speedwell sprung a leak forcing them to turn back twice before The Mayflower took on her passengers and finally set sail from Plymouth on 6th September 1620. Land was sighted on 29th October but it was not until 21st December that they found somewhere to land. The Mayflower remained with the settlers until April 1621 before returning to Rotherhithe in May 1621. Captain Jones died the following March and was buried at St Mary's. John Clarke died the following year on a voyage to Virginia. Many more people from Southwark moved to America over the next few years, including John Harvard, founder of the famous University.

 

The Mayflower sailed finally from Plymouth, to New England. This is also the name of the place where they finally settled: Plymouth Rock, or Plymouth Colony, or Plymouth Plantation. Some of the passengers were the Pilgrim Fathers from Holland.

 

Had the Mayflower sailed with the Pilgrim Fathers from Southampton, they would have landed at Southampton Rock of course.

 

The Dutch connection is clear from history. Please consider also the following quotes:

 

About the year 1565 they made their appearance in England, which had always been a cave of Adullam and a city of refuge to those who were persecuted for righteousness sake. These Anabaptists lasted as such for a little over one century, and then they were merged into some of the other evangelical churches. As further evidence that they flourished in England, the "Broadmead Records: Historical Introduction," p 53, states that "In 1568 the Dutch Anabaptists held private Conventicles in London, and perverted many."

In 1525 certain fanatics of Munster, Germany, thought to set up the kingdom of Christ on earth, "taking heaven by storm." These people ran to wild extremes, and cast much discredit upon the cause of true religion. The true Anabaptists, however, had no lot nor part with these ranting visionaries, yet they were unfortunately classed with them; and this was used as a pretext for renewed persecution.

Many, if not all, of the Anabaptists observed the seventh-day Sabbath. Dr Francis White (Treatise on the Seventh Day, p 132), says:- "They who maintain the Saturday Sabbath to be in force, comply with the Anabaptists."

Russen (On Anabaptists, London, 1703, p. 79), speaking of heresies

The Sabbath Recorder of June 11, 1868, says:- "In 1552 many in England were known as Sabbatarians.

 

A few other quotes will confirm this:

 

The Separatist movement in England is often associated with the radical reformer, Robert Browne (1550?-1633), who professed loyalty to the monarchy, but grew impatient with its inability or unwillingness to act on reforms which he believed were God's will. He began preaching without ordination and refused the laying on of hands by a bishop, claiming that this act had no meaning or authority. Meetings were held in fields or in secret places to avoid arrest and persecution. Robert Browne himself was arrested on numerous occasions and wrote that he was confined in thirty-two different dungeons, some "so dark you could not see your hand before your face at midday." In 1581 he and some of his followers fled to an island off the coast of Holland which was the haven for many religious rebels of Europe. After about two years the congregation fell apart, largely over their rule calling for "constant mutual criticism." Browne's name is not revered with that of other Reformers, for he eventually returned to the Church of England and served as one of its priest for forty years.

Many of Browne's followers felt deserted but continued to meet in various communities to study the Bible, to listen to sermons, and to participate in religious discussions. Two of these communities, Scrooby and Gainsborough, stand out in history, not so much for the uniqueness of their gatherings, but because later churches trace their spiritual roots to these two congregations.

……

Scrooby is considered the mother of the Congregational Church. William Brewster, William Bradford, and John Robinson were among the congregation who in 1608 migrated to Holland where freedom of worship was granted.  At Leiden they formed the group known as the Pilgrims who sailed for America in 1620 aboard the Mayflower.  Among the Scrooby congregation which fled to Holland but who did not come to America until a decade later was John Dunham, whose grandson, Reverend Edmund Dunham, founded the Seventh Day Baptist church in Piscataway, New Jersey, nearly a century later in 1705.

 

Baptist heritage is more closely related to the Gainsborough congregation where John Smyth and Thomas Helwys were leaders. Their congregation left England about 1607. Soon after they arrived in Holland they came under influence of the Anabaptist teachings through the Mennonites….

Smyth's church in Amsterdam, founded on the principle of adult baptism in 1609, is considered the first truly Baptist church. Two years later the congregation split with part of them remaining in Holland where they eventually united with the Mennonites. The other part, led by Thomas Helwys returned to England where they settled at Spitalfield just outside London.

……

Only a small percentage of the population in the American colonial churches. Since many of our records of the period come from the churches, the emigration of groups such as the Pilgrims in 1620 and the Quakers in 1682, led many to conclude that most of the people who sailed to America came in search of religious freedom. The historical fact is that many shiploads of settlers came for reasons far removed from any religious consideration.

(Sanford, Don A., A Choosing People: The History of Seventh Day Baptists, Broadman Press, Nashville, Tennessee (1992) pp. 39-40, 86.

 

Here we have another statement, that the reason for leaving Holland was not in first instance in pursuit of religious freedom, but for economic possibilities.

 

The idea seems to have been, in some of the histories, that in order to have the pure link of the true Church in America, going back to the Apostles, without blemish, we have to trace the religion back to England, as the place where the only true religion was observed. Thus one cannot accept the existence of the other strains in the Netherlands, even if they gave the Pilgrim Fathers shelter for more than ten years. Perhaps they would have stayed in the Netherlands if, in the meantime, the armistice had been replaced by a peace treaty.

 

Dugger and Dodd seem to be writing the history from an incorrect perspective, to support the claim that they had the only true religion.

 

One of the important influences in this period of Netherlands’ history is the execution of Johan van Oldenbarnevelt in The Hague on May 13th, 1619. Oldenbarnevelt was after William I the Silent, the second founding father of an independent Netherlands. He mobilised Dutch forces under William's son Maurice and devised the triple alliance with France and England (1596). In the Twelve Years' Truce (1609) he reaffirmed Holland's dominant role in the republic. His opponent became Price Maurice, who wanted a rather strong Calvinistic involvement in State affairs, while Van Oldenbarnevelt was more for the Separatist thinking. This political conflict was fought by Maurice as a religious one. There had been a religious conflict between two Leiden professors, Arminius and Gomarus concerning the doctrine of Predestination.  Gomarus kept to the doctrine of Calvin, and Arminius developed the so-called Arminianism, which developed into the later American Unitarianism. Oldenbarnevelt held to the faith of Arminius, that also propagated that human dignity requires an unimpaired freedom of the will. In July 1617 Prince Maurice openly sided with the Gomarists or Calvinistic Contra-Remonstrants, as a veiled declaration of war on Oldenbarnevelt and the Holland regents' party. There had been a show process against Oldenbarnevelt at an extraordinary tribunal consisting of 24 judges, by no means all of whom were qualified lawyers, and not a few of whom, besides being political opponents, were also personally antagonistic to Oldenbarnevelt. He was condemned to death for "subversion" of the country's religion and policy. He was refused grace and was beheaded in May 1619 in The Hague at the age of 72.

 

This execution of a prominent very highly respected man for political reasons, however in a religious disguise, in which the freedom of worship was involved, must have scared the Pilgrim Fathers greatly. This event must have influenced their decision to leave the country, where they were at that time living in freedom, at their earliest convenience.

 

This black page in Dutch history was perhaps a trigger to uproot the Pilgrim Fathers in the Netherlands and bring them as the first Sabbath-keeping group to America.

The Netherlands, because of its own history, has traditionally been a haven for the oppressed, for the persecuted, for the strangers, for the freethinkers. The Netherlands received the Pilgrim Fathers, and many others. Among them was the English Unitarian philosopher John Locke, who sought refuge there twice.

 

Dugger and Dodd neglect important facts. We will take a few other quotes from Dugger and Dodd, and analyse their perception from other historical references. Here we are concerned with the quotes they make from the work of Rabbi Samuel Kohn, whch is also the subject of another paper:

 

Dr. Samuel Kohn, chief Rabbi of Budapest, Hungary, in a recent work (Sabbatarians in Transylvania, 1894, pp. 8, 9), says, "In Bohemia Sabbatarians sprung up as early as 1520. Such Sabbatarians, or similar sects, we meet about 1545 among the Quakers in England. Several leaders and preachers of the Puritans have re-transferred the rest day from Sunday to Saturday; and the Christian Jews who arose in England and partly emigrated to Germany, and settled near Heidelberg, believed, indeed, in Jesus, but they also celebrated the Sabbath and regarded the Jewish laws in reference to meats and drinks." -- Idem, p. 38.

(Dugger, Andrew N. and Dodd, Clarence O, The History of the True Religion, 1968, Jerusalem, pp. 237-8)

 

In a book by Dr. Samuel Kohn, chief Rabbi of Budapest, Hungary, from which we have previously quoted, he says, "In 1545 we find a Sabbatarian sect among the Quakers in England." Also that leaders and preachers of the Puritans had retransferred the rest day from Sunday to Saturday. -- Sabbatarians in Transylvania pp. 8, 9.

(Dugger, Andrew N. and Dodd, Clarence O, The History of the True Religion, 1968, Jerusalem, p. 262)

 

Chief Rabbi Kohn of Budapest, Hungary, in a work entitled, Sabbatarians in Transylvania, says of the Puritans, "Certain leaders and preachers of the Puritans have [1554] retransferred the rest day from Sunday to Saturday." --  p. 38.

(Dugger, Andrew N. and Dodd, Clarence O, The History of the True Religion, 1968, Jerusalem, p. 264)

 

Dugger and Dodd quote three times from the work of Kohn. Further study indicates, that Dugger and Dodd, had never seen the work of Kohn. They quoted him from an unreferenced extant work of the History of the Seventh Day Baptists. We will now examine the real quotes from the translation that has now been made generally available.

 

Already around the year 1530 Sabbatarians emerged in Bohemia, who “regarded the Sabbath-rest with such painstaking accuracy that they would not even remove something accidentally caught in the eye on this day,” 2)  Sabbatarians (Subbotniki), or Judaizers also arose soon thereafter in Silesia, Poland and Russia; in the latter, where they were frequently confused with Jews in the second half of this century, remain until today. 3)  We meet similar sects [9] around 1545 among the Quakers in England. 4) Several leaders and preachers of the Puritans, imbued with the Old Testament spirit, likewise raised the issue of reinstating the day of rest from Sunday to Saturday, and even demanded that the law of the Old Testament be recognised as the law of the State. 5)  

The Christian Jews, who emigrated in the year 1661 partially to Germany and established themselves in the proximity of Heidelberg, likewise emerged in England, and probably believed in Jesus, whom they admired as Redeemer. However, they celebrated the Sabbath and observed the food-laws of the Old Testament, and even the rite of circumcision.

 

In the first reference we see, that they quote wrongly the date, 1520 instead of 1530. Then the translation is clumsy. Food laws of the Old Testament (alttestamentarische Speisegesetze) have been translated with "Jewish laws in reference to meats and drinks". A Food law has nothing to do with drinks. This is perhaps an indication that Dugger and Dodd either did not obey the food laws, or are not interested in this aspect. In their work there is only one reference to the Food Laws:

 

"In their efforts to follow the mandates of the Mosaic law, the flesh of swine for food was placed under ban. Mutton and beef tallow took the place of lard in cooking. A few of the more well-to-do used olive oil." -- Idem., p. 203.

(Dugger, Andrew N. and Dodd, Clarence O, The History of the True Religion, 1968, Jerusalem, p. 286)

 

In the second quote we find:

"In 1545 we find a Sabbatarian sect among the Quakers in England."

 

While Kohn states:

We meet similar sects around 1545 among the Quakers in England.

Why do Dugger and Dodd find only one sect among the Quakers keeping the Sabbath, when they quote Kohn, who clearly says that there are more? Were Dugger and Dodd so unique, that they could not share the true religion with others or did they just misquote from a secondary source?

 

The third quote from Kohn is the same as the first one. However they use a different page number. Why? Seemingly to give the impression, that they have quoted extensively from this source?

 

Why are Dugger and Dodd neglecting, seemingly at face value the important work of Kohn titled the Sabbatarians in Transylvania? The was no direct quotes from this 300 page work by Kohn. It appear they had not read it. More importantly these Transylvanians were doing much more concerning the faith than Dugger and Dodd and their church and the Seventh Day Baptists from whom they quote. Could it simply be, as the fact seems to suggest, that these US offshoots would loose their uniqueness and the status of being the very chosen? Or was it that here in Transylvania a special true church was present; one that they could not accept, and one which was destroying their paradigm?

 

The Sabbatarians in Transylvania were strictly observing the food laws but also they were keeping the Feasts, New Moons and Sabbaths and not according to the Jewish Hillel calendar.

 

It is true, that in the long run most of the Waldenses in Western Europe became Protestant and that the Sabbath-keeping religion was established in America by the Pilgrim Fathers. At the time that Dugger and Dodd first published their work, there were still Sabbatarians practising their faith in the region as described by Kohn in 1894. There are still many thousands of Sabbath-keeping Christians today in the East-European countries of Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Poland, and others. They have survived the persecutions and oppressions of the World Wars, and the Soviet regime, and they all form together a living, accusation against the Anglo-Saxon Churches for their arrogant claims to being the only true church and only true religion, even though they keep on bickering between themselves, especially in the more recent splits of the Sabbath-keeping movement.

 

This story here gives us an idea about the writing of the history of religion. We have seen that mainstream Christianity has written history for their own purposes and that is also a monumental lie.

 

We had hoped to see a better example with the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God. We have seen here also that history is written with the purpose of establishing the apostolic succession and the exclusivity of the group, and is no better.

 

As a further proof we mention a conclusion of Dugger and Dodd, that gives the true motivation of their writing of history, and that will now be read hopefully with different eyes.

 

It will be noted from the historical proofs given that the church which had been established at Jerusalem, carried across Asia Minor, preserved in the wilderness of the Waldensian mountains, and then scattered throughout Europe prior to the Reformation, at last found its way to its final resting place in the wilderness of the American continent, and here revived the ancient truths preserved from generation to generation throughout its long pilgrimage from the Holy Land.

(Dugger, Andrew N. and Dodd, Clarence O, The History of the True Religion, 1968, Jerusalem, pp. 263-4)

 

Is this not another monumental lie of so-called history or at best only a part of the true story?

 

However, despite all the set-backs in research and all the neglect and omissions and misrepresentations of the true history we come to the following conclusions:

 

§         Over the centuries there have been extensive contacts between the Sabbatarians of England and Netherlands

§         The Sabbatarians in the Netherlands have also had a profound influence on the renewal of Sabbatarianism and the Sabbath-keeping Churches in England of the 16th century.

 

§         Sabbath-keeping in England was extant for centuries. Sabbath-keepers were among the Pauliani executed at Oxford in the twelfth century and in Wales up until at least the eleventh century (cf. Cox. General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches (No. 122) CCG 1995; and The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170)).

§         The Flemish Lollards had influenced Sabbatarianism in England even before the Reformation (ibid).

§         The persecution of the Separatists or Non-conformist or Independents or Brownists found its cause in the strict observations of the ten commandments, including the fourth commandment to keep the Sabbath day.

§         Already at the end of the 16th century Sabbatarians fled persecution from England and went to Holland, which finally resulted in complete congregations such as those of Scrooby and Gainsbury.

§         Those called the Pilgrim Fathers, were in fact English Sabbatarians, who had settled for more that a decade in the Netherlands in freedom of religion and occupation. They called themselves the Saints.

§         The exodus of the Pilgrim Fathers to New England was prompted by the execution of a leading Dutch Statesman Oldenbarnevelt, because of higher politics, blaming his Unitarian viewpoint as the main cause.

§         In the 17th century there had been an enduring migration of free-thinkers and Unitarians or Sabbatarians from England to The Netherlands.

§         Christmas as a festival had been banned by the religious revival under the Reformation in England under Henry VIII. It was reinstated by the Catholic Mary Tudor and banned again under Cromwell. The Pilgrim Fathers also banned Christmas in the American colonies as we see from the history but it was reinstated by the Protestant and Catholic sects.

§         William III of Orange and Mary became king and queen in Scotland and England, and greater toleration came into effect.

§         There had been a spread of Sabbatarianism in the centuries prior to the Reformation all over Europe into Scandinavia and Russia and also at this same time there was an increase in Sabbatarianism in Transylvania, and elsewhere resulting in many followers (see Kohn, The Sabbatarians in Transylvania, trans. T McElwain and B. Rook, Ed. W. Cox, CCG Publishing 1998).

 

In a separate paper we will go into more detail regarding the work of Kohn. His work is important to the history of Sabbatarianism, but unfortunately he is no better than the others as we will demonstrate. His work is nevertheless a very important window on the Sabbath-keeping church in Transylvania at the time of the Reformation and requires careful consideration by us all.

 

For a better understanding of the facts a chronology concerning the Pilgrim Fathers and their relation with the Netherlands has been attached.

 

An important thing to note about these Pilgrim Fathers, is that they were persecuted in the colony they founded in America and so they had to move to a new place.

q



CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS CONCERNING THE PILGRIM FATHERS IN RELATION TO THEIR GUEST COUNTRY, THE NETHERLANDS

 

Date

Event

Ref

Before 1520

Sabbatarianism is suppressed from the synod of Whitby in 663.

Sabbatarianism survives under persecution especially in Wales until at least 1045 with married clergy into the twelfth century.

Pauliani or Publiani executed at Oxford ca 1192

Suppression of Sabbatarians in Scotland.

Sabbath-keeping churches in the Netherlands, founded by the Waldenses

Lollards (from lollen to mumble) move freely between the Flemish and English.

Sabbatarianism suppressed in Scandinavia from 1436 onwards.

Sabbatarianism ordered suppressed in Russia at the Council of Moscow (1503).

Dd

122

1545

Sabbatarian branches are now openly under the Quakers in England

Ko

1552

Many Sabbatarians are thoughout England.

The Strangers church is a refuge for the Unitarians from all over Europe under Henry VIII and Edward VI. Christmas is banned by Henry VIII but reinstituted by Queen Mary Tudor.

Sa

1558 - 1603

Elizabeth I, queen of England

Aa

1565

Anabaptists make their appearance in England

Sa

1568

Dutch Anabaptists hold Conventicles in London

As

1568 - 1648

80-years war between Netherlands and Spain for freedom of religion

Aa

1579 - Nov - 15

Ferenc Dávid dies in prison in Transylvania

Ko

1580

Robert Browne and Robert Harrison gather a Separatist Church in Norwich.

Sa

1581

Netherlands denounce the king of Spain as their sovereign

The Elzivir family establish their printing press in Leiden.

Robert Browne flees England with some followers to Walcheren, Netherlands.

The Scrooby and Gainsborough congregations continue to meet.

Aa

Eb

Ed

Sa

1586

Group of Dissenters imprisoned in The Clink, Southwark, for refusing to obey the religious laws of Elizabeth I.

John Greenwood and Henry Barrowe found in The Clink the Prison Church, also known as 'Independents' or 'Brownists'

So

 

So

c. 1587

The English Ambassador to Holland orders Francis Johnson to buy and burn the books by Greenwood and Barrowe. Johnson is later jailed with them.

So

1592

Greenwood, Barrowe and John Penry gain temporary reprieve.

They formally constitute the Southwark Independent Church

So

So

1593 - Apr - 6

Greenwood and Barrowe are executed at Tyburn

So

1593 - May - 29

John Penry executed.

So

1593

Exodus of Southwark Church to Holland starts.

Roger Rippon, whose house was used for worship, dies in prison.

Francis Johnson travels to Newfoundland and later settles in Holland.

So

So

So

1599

András Eössi dies in Transylvania

Ko

1602

John Robinson becomes curate at St. Andrew's Church, Norwich

William Bradford, the later governor of Plymouth Colony, becomes at age 12 a dedicated member of the Scrooby congregation.

Eb

Eb

1604

Anglican anti-Puritan decrees. John Robinson suspended from preaching

Eb

1606

John Robinson joins the Separatist congregation of Scrooby

Eb

c. 1607

The Gainsborough congregation with John Smyth and Thomas Helwys leave England and arrive in Amsterdam, Holland

Sa

1608

John Robinson leave with the Scrooby  (Eng.) congregation, later known as the Pilgrim Fathers, England and flees to Amsterdam in Holland.

A Roman Catholic Church confiscated and given to the English congregation.

Sa

 

Am

1609 - Feb - 12

The City of Leiden grants John Robinson and 100 Pilgrim Fathers from Amsterdam a Residence Permit for Leiden.

Le

1609 - 1621

Armistice between Netherlands and Spain

Aa

1611

The former Gainsborough congregation in Amsterdam splits. One part with Smyth remains in Holland and unites later with the Mennonites.

The other part with Helwys returns to England and settle at Spitalfield.

Sa

 

Sa

1615

John Robinson enters Leiden University to study theology.

Eb

1616

Henry Jacob brings the meetings of the Southwark Church in the open.

So

1617 - 1619

Activities of William Brewster on the Pilgrim Press in Holland

Le

1619 - May - 13

Johan van Oldenbarnevelt executed in The Hague, Holland

Aa

1620 - July

1620 - Aug - 15

 

Part of the Pilgrim Fathers sail from Delfthaven to England aboard the Speedwell

Mayflower sails from Southampton. Some members of the Southwark Church aboard. No Pilgrim Fathers aboard.

Speedwell with about 35 Pilgrims Fathers from Holland aboard sails along with the Mayflower to New England. Speedwell first docks in Dartmouth and for a second time in Plymouth because of leaks. Majority of Pilgrim Fathers stays in Holland.

Gn

So

Le

Gn

Gn

1620 - Sept

Speedwell and Mayflower in Plymouth, Eng. Mayflower takes 35 Pilgrim Fathers and their supplies aboard.

Gn

1620 - Nov - 21

Mayflower lands at Cape Cod, now Providence

Eb

1620

Mayflower lands at Plymouth Rock. New England. Pilgrim Fathers go ashore

Eb

1621

Fortune sails with Pilgrim Fathers from Holland to New England

Le

1623

Anne and Little James sail with Pilgrim Fathers from Holland to New England

Le

1629

Mayflower sails again with Pilgrim Fathers from Holland to New England

Le

1638 - July - 17

The 'trial' at Dés. The Sabbatarians in Transylvania condemned to death.

Ko

1648

Treaty of Munster. End of 30-years and 80-years war

Aa

1661

Sabbatarians migrate from England to Heidelberg, Ger.

Ko

1661 - Nov - 26

John James executed at Tyburn

Sa

1689 - Mar - 14

Scotland proclaims William III and Mary king and queen

Aa

1776 - Jul - 4

Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.

Netherlands are first country that recognises the new State.

Aa

 

 

References:

Aa - Aarsbergen, A et al. Kroniek van de Mensheid, 1986, Elsevier, Amsterdam

Am - Amsterdam Archives. Especially, The English Church

As - American Sabbath Tract Society, Seventh Day Baptisits in Europe and America, 1910, Plainfiels, New Jersy

Dd - Dugger A.N. and Dodd C.O., The History of the True Religion, 1968. Jerusalem

Eb - Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, 1990, Chicago

Ed - WorldWideWeb exlibris.com English Dissenters

Gn - WorldWideWeb geocities.com Greene, J.W. Mayflower 1620

Go - Gorgenyi, Laszlo, The Tragedy of Central Europe., 1998, Corvinus Library, Budapest

Gr - Greenwood, Frederick, Greenwood Genealogies, (1914) East Templeton. MA

Ko - Kohn, Samuel, Die Sabbatharier in Siebenbürgen, 1894, Singer & Wolfer, Budapest

Le - Leiden Archives, especially the Pilgrim Fathers

Sa - Sanford, Don A., The History of the Seventh Day Baptists, Broadman Press, Nashville

So - WorldWideWeb southwark.gov.uk History of Southwark

122 - Cox, W. General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches, CCG 1995).

 

CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS CONCERNING ENGLISH DISSENTERS

 

Date

Event

Ref

663

Sabbatarianism is suppressed from the synod of Whitby

122

1070

Waldenses from France, Germany and Holland did abound in England

Cr

1080

Waldenses and their disciples generally corrupted all France, Italy and England

Cr

1120

The Waldensians published their Confession of Faith and Practice.

Ag

1139

The Second Lateran Council was called by Pope INNOCENT II and condemned the Arnoldists and Petro-Brussians.

Ag

1155

ARNOLD of Brescia burned at Rome for insisting on separation of church and state.

Ag

1160

King HENRY II ordered the Paulicians at Oxford to be branded on their foreheads.

Ag

1192

Pauliani or Publiani executed at Oxford

122

1209

In the city of Beziers, 60,000 people perished from the Inquisition.

Ag

1211

400 people in Lavaur were burned alive and 100,000 Albigenses were killed in one day by the Inquisition.

Ag

1213

32,000 Albigenses were slain at Toulouse by the Inquisition.

King JOHN submitted to Pope INNOCENT III, paying a “fine” of 1,000 marks  annually to the Pope until the reformation.

Ag

1224

Franciscan friars arrived in England.

Ag

1252

Pope INNOCENT IV issued “Ad exstirpanda” to exterminate heretics.

Ag

1260

At least 800.000 Sabbath-keeping Waldenses in England and Europe

Be

1229

The Synod of Toulouse forbade Bible reading by laymen.

Ag

1315

English Waldensians still keep the Sabbath. Later they merge into the Lollards

Ed

1330 - 1384

John Wycliffe

Ed

1350

Walter Lollard, a German preacher, also called " Waldensian Bard" comes to England

Ed

1372

John Wycliffe receives Doctor of Divinity from Oxford University

Ed

1374

Wycliffe employed by the Crown to mediate with the Church over authority

Ed

1377 - 1378

Wycliffe falls under scrutiny of the Church

Ed

1377 - 1399

Reign of Richard II

Ed

1380

Wycliffe starts to publish text in English rather than in Latin

Ed

1381

Wycliffe starts the translation of the Vulgate Bible from Latin into English

Ed

1382

Late medieval reform movement starts at Oxford University

Ed

1382

Wycliffe is forced to move from Oxford University, condemned for dissident views

Ed

1383 - 1415s

Lay preachers or mummers stroll the countryside for preaching a reformed doctrine. They are called Lollards, and sometimes known as Wycliffites.

Lollard positions and reforms find support at Court from Richard II

Ed

1384

Wycliffe dies.  John Purvey becomes now the leader of the reform movement

Ed

1387

First official use of the name Lollards by Bishop of Winchester issued in a mandate

Ed

1390 - 1408

Lollard Bibles are made available to a large audience

Ed

1399 - 1413

Reign of Henry IV.  Catholic Church finds increased support at Court.

Ed

1400

Lollards are said to number 100,000

Ed

1407

Lollard Bible banned

Ed

1410

Lollards subject to the new statute De Heretico Comburendo, burning of heretics

Ed

1414

Uprising for the waning Lollard cause by Sir John Oldcastle fails

Ed

1415

Oldcastle tried, convicted, imprisoned, escaped, finally captured and executed in 1417

Ed

1415

Council of Constance condemns Wycliffe and his writings

Ed

1428

Wycliffe's bones are dug up, burned and cast into the River Swift

Ed

1428

English Lollards go underground across the nation

Ed

1436 onwards

Sabbatarianism suppressed in Scandinavia

122

1496 - 1561

Menno Simonszoon, after whom the Mennonites have their name.

Aa

1503

Sabbatarianism ordered suppressed in Russia at the Council of Moscow

122

1509 - 1547

Henry VIII persecutes Anabaptisits

Ed

1520 - 1580

Radical Reformation

Ed

1525

Anabaptisit congregations start to spread from Zurich

Ed

1530s

Anabaptists persecuted by most civil authorities and State officials

Ed

1530s - 1613

Late Tudor Period

Ed

1533 - 1556

William Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury

Ed

1534

Anabaptists known in England mostly among Dutch and Flemish congregations

Ed

1534

Munster bastion of militant Anabaptism

Ed

1535 - 1546

Large number of foreign Anabaptists executed or burned at the stake for heresy

Ed

1535

25 Dutch Anabaptists arrested and buned at the stake in London

Ed

1535 - Jan

Munster put under siege

Ed

1536

Henry VIII orders William Tyndale to be executed because of Anabaptist views

Ed

1540

Most of regional Anabaptists either imprisoned or executed

Ed

1545

Sabbatarian branches are now openly under the Quakers in England

Ko

1547 - 1553

Reign of Edward VI

Ed

1550

English Anabaptist books available

Ed

1550's

Anti-Anabaptist literature exists

Ed

1550

Edward VI establishes Strangers Church (Reformed) for foreign congregations

Ed

1550 - May - 2

Joan Bocher (asa Joan Knel) Anabaptist and member of Stangers Church burned

Ed

1556 - 1558

Reign of Mary I. Persecution of all religious (non-Catholic) dissenters

Ed

1558 - 1603

Reign of Elizabeth II.  All religious dissenters seen as problems to State and Crown

Ed

1568

Dutch Anabaptists hold Conventicles in London

As

1577

William of Orange decrees religious toleration in Holland

Aa

1579 - Nov - 15

Ferenc Dávid dies in prison in Transylvania

Ko

1580

Robert Browne and Robert Harrison gather a Separatist Church in Norwich.

Sa

1580 - 1590's

English separatist congregations in exile on the Continent

Ed

1581

Robert Browne arrested and imprisoned by the Bishop of Norwich.  Following his arranged release Browne migrates to Middleburg in the Netherlands

Ed

1587 - Oct

Greenwood of the "Ancient Church" arrested and sent to the Clink (Prison)

Ed

1587 - Nov

Barrow arrested and imprisoned while visiting Greenwood in prison.

Ed

c. 1587

Francis Johnson, who was sent to Holland to buy and burn the books of Greenwood and Barrow, is arrested and imprisoned while visiting them in prison. Later released.

Ed

159? - 1614

Congregation under John Smyth in Holland

Ed

1590 - 1612

The Legate family were cited as having Anabaptist beliefs

Ed

1592 - 1593

Migration of Brownists, Barrowists, also known as Johnsonians, to Holland

Ed

1598

Francis Johnson establishes another Barrowist congregation in Holland

Ed

1593 - Apr - 6

Greenwood and Barrowe are executed at Tyburn

Ed

1593 - May - 29

John Penry executed.

So

1593

Exodus of Southwark Church to Holland starts.

Roger Rippon, whose house was used for worship, dies in prison.

Francis Johnson travels to Newfoundland and later settles in Holland.

So

So

So

1599

András Eössi dies in Transylvania

Ko

1599 - 1658

Oliver Cromwell.

Ed

1603 - 1609

Arminius active in Leiden.  Opposed Calvinistic predestination, opted for free will and conditional election.  His followers known as Arminians; beliefs, Arminianism

Tl

1603 - 1625

Reign of James I. Policy undertaken to keep everyone under control

Ed

1603

Henry Jacob imprisoned for a reform publication. His followers are called Jacobites, also Brownists, Congregationalists, Independent, Puritans.

Ed

1604

Jacob exiled to Holland. Here he helps to establish a number of congregations

Socinus dies, next year Racovian Cathechism published, teaching antitrinitarian

Ed

1606

John Smyth founds independent dongregation at Gainsborough

Tl

1607

Scrooby congregation with John Robinson and William Bradford move to Holland

Ed

1608

Gainsborough congregation with Smyth and Helwys move to Amsterdam, Holland

Ed

1609 - Feb - 12

The City of Leiden grants John Robinson and 100 Pilgrim Fathers from Amsterdam a Residence Permit for Leiden.

Le

1610

William Ames, theologian and former Fellow of Christ's College migrates to Holland

Ed

1611

King James Authorised Version Bible.

Thomas Helwys congregation seen as the primary roots of the Arminian Baptists

Ed

1612

Original Gainsborough congregation under Thomas Helwys returns to England

They practice the new form of adult baptism by immersion as learned in Holland

Ed

1613 - 1616?

Thomas Helwys in prison

Ed

1614

English version of Racovian Catechism dedicated to James I; James rejects this; burns book as work of Satan

 

1615

Smyth dies. His congregation merges with the local Dutch Anabaptist congregations

Ed

1616

Henry Jacob returns to England. Had a London congregation in Southwark

Ed

1616 - 1626?

John Murton new minister of the original Gainsborough congregation

Ed

1617 - 1619

John Trask, pastor of the Mill Yard Church in London, preaches the Sabbath

 

1619

Bishop Andrews, presiding the infamous Star Chamber accuses Trask of Judaising

Synod of Dort; James I condemns Arminianism (anti-Calvinisti, antipredestiarianism

Tl

1619 - May - 13

Johan van Oldenbarnevelt executed in The Hague, Holland

Aa

1620 - July

1620 - Aug - 15

 

Part of the Pilgrim Fathers sail from Delfthaven to England aboard the Speedwell

Mayflower sails from Southampton. Some members of the Southwark Church aboard. No Pilgrim Fathers aboard.

Speedwell with about 35 Pilgrims Fathers from Holland aboard sails along with the Mayflower to New England. Speedwell first docks in Dartmouth and for a second time in Plymouth because of leaks. Majority of Pilgrim Fathers stays in Holland.

Gn

So

Le

Gn

Gn

1620 - Sept

Speedwell and Mayflower in Plymouth, Eng. Mayflower takes 35 Pilgrim Fathers and their supplies aboard.

Gn

1620 - Nov - 21

Mayflower lands at Cape Cod, now Providence

Eb

1620

Mayflower lands at Plymouth Rock. New England. Pilgrim Fathers go ashore

Eb

1621

Fortune sails with Pilgrim Fathers from Holland to New England

Le

1622

Henry Jacob leaves for America and starts the community of Jacobopolis in Virginia

Ed

1623

Anne and Little James sail with Pilgrim Fathers from Holland to New England

Le

1624

John Lathrop becomes Henry Jacob's successor upon moving to London

Ed

1629

Mayflower sails again with Pilgrim Fathers from Holland to New England

Le

1632

Lathrop and his congragation discovered by agents of the Bishop of London, arrested and imprisoned for eighteen months to two years and fined

Ed

1633

Robert Browne dies in jail while waiting for trial at the old age of 83

William Laud becomes archbishop of Canterbury. Anti-Calvinist. Arminian

Ed

Tl

1634

Lathrop migrates to Boston Massachusetts

Ed

1635

Lathrop establishes a puritan church at Plymouth Colony

Ed

1638 - July - 17

The 'trial' at Dés. The Sabbatarians in Transylvania condemned to death.

Ko

1640 - 1660

Adamites active in England

Ed

1641

General Meeting of General or Arminian or anti-Calvinistic Baptists in Whitechapel (London) results in many arrests and imprisonment.

William Laud committed to Tower for high treason. 1645 beheaded

Ed

 

Tl

1644

New England outlaws Anabaptists

Tl

1648

Parliament votes death penalty to antitrinitarian views

 

1649 - Jan - 30

Charles I, King of England executed at Whitehall, London

Aa

1649 - 1660

Interregnum

Ed

1649 - 1661

Fifth Monarchist or the Fifth Monarchy Men, a radiacal putitan movement active

Ed

1653 - 1658

Oliver Cromwell Lord Protector

Ed

1660

Restoration of the Monarchy. Persecution starts again for all Baptist groups

Ed

1661 - Nov - 26

John James executed at Tyburn

 

1664

Conventicles Act (prohibits dissenters' church gatherings).  Five Mile Act; excludes nonconforming preachers from within five miles from municipalities.  New Netherlands taken by English; Peter Stuyvesant surrenders, city becomes New York

Tl

1668

WILLIAM PENN was imprisoned in the Tower of London over the doctrine of the Trinity.

Ag

1671

STEPHEN MOMFORD organized the Seventh-Day Baptists in Rhode Island.

Ag

1672

Religious freedom was granted to nonconformists Protestants in England.

Ag

1673

Must swear to be Anglican to hold any public office

 

1674

John Milton's Treatise on Christian Doctrine.  Antitrinitarian

Tl

1683

German Mennonites settled at Germantown near Philadelphia and founded the Mennonite Church in America.

Ag

1687

"Unitarian" appears first in Stephen Nye's Brief History of Unitarians (antitrinitarians)

Tl

1689 - Mar - 14

Scotland proclaims William III (Calvinist and Dutch) and Mary king and queen

Aa

 

 

 

 

 

Cr -          Crosby's History of the English Baptists

Be -         Benedict: 1848, p. 31

Ag -        Wetzel, R.C. A Chronology of Biblical Christianity, 1997, Ages Software, Albany, OR

Ko -        Kohn

Ed -         English Dissenters, 1998, WorldWideWeb exlibris.com

Aa -       

Tl -          Time Line of the Seventeenth Century