Birth: William Brewster was born about 1566, most probably in
the Scrooby, Nottinghamshire area.
Death: He died in Plymouth,April 10, 1644. His place of
burial in Plymouth is unknown
Ship: Mayflower, 1620
Life in England: William Brewster was born to William and
Mary (Smythe)(Simkinson) Brewster. His father worked for many years as
the bailiff and postmaster of Scrooby manor. In 1580, he became a
student at the University of Cambridge, but left there to work for
Secretary William Davison. After his father’s death in 1590,William
continued in Scrooby as postmaster until 1603. It was most likely at
this time that he joined the Separatist movement. Eventually he, along
with many others of the congregation, emigrated to the Netherlands in
order to worship openly.
Life in Holland: The Scrooby congregation lived first in
Amsterdam for about a year, and in the spring of 1609 left there for
Leiden.William Brewster lived near Pieterskerk [St. Peter’s church] with
his wife and children. He taught English to Leiden University students
and worked as a printer. His son, Jonathan, was a ribbonweaver. William
was chosen first as assistant to Pastor John Robinson and later as
elder. It was in this capacity that he traveled to Plymouth Colony in
Life in New England: Brewster, his wife, and sons, Love
and Wrestling, came to Plymouth aboard the Mayflower. Jonathan
arrived in 1621 aboard the Fortune, and his two daughters, Fear
and Patience, came to Plymouth in 1623 aboard either the Anne or Little
James. William preached in the Plymouth church for many years. He
died in 1644.
Family: William married a woman named Mary _____ by 1593.
She died in Plymouth in April 1627.William Bradford in writing of
William Brewster’s life and death wrote, that Brewster had “many
children.” If so, there may be others besides those listed below as yet
Children of William and Mary Brewster: