Mayflower scale model ship
- Ship Model Specifications
The model is constructed from a variety of woods, making it very colorful yet has very little paint.
The Story of the Mayflower
No one knows exactly when, where, or for whom the Mayflower, a Dutch cargo fluyt, was built. The first record of her appears in August of 1609, when Andrew Pauling hired the fluyt to transport cargo between England and Norway in order to pay off debts. Because the ship failed to return on schedule, Pawling was jailed and taken to court by his debtors. Documentation from the lawsuit contains the first, proven record of the Mayflower. One deposition noted that a quarter-owner of the ship, Christopher Jones, had served as ship master for two years, aging the ship to at least 1607. Since the name "Mayflower" was common at the time, older links as to history, ownership, and construction of the ship are speculative. From 1609 to 1620, historians have determined that the Mayflower, based in Rotherhithe, London, England, was used almost exclusively as a cargo ship transporting English goods such as cloth, fur, iron and pewter, to Spain and France, returning primarily with French wines.
In May of 1620 a group of religious dissenters, better known as Pilgrims, hired the Mayflower along with a second ship, the Speedwell, to carry them to America where they could practice their religion without fear of prosecution. The two ships set sail from England twice over the next three months, but was forced to return each time because the Speedwell was leaking. For the third attempt, the company opted to sail without the Speedwell. On September 6, the Mayflower, captained by Christopher Jones, set off from Plymouth, England with 102 passengers and a crew of 25 to 30 sailors and tradesmen, including barrel-maker John Alden. After a laborious 66 day voyage imperiled by storms, sickness, and two deaths, the company arrived near Plymouth, Massachusetts on November 11, 1620. The intended destination had been the mouth of the Hudson River near New York City where the Pilgrims had received permission from the London Company to settle. The ship, however, had been forced off course by the foul weather, and dangerous shoals prevented them from entering the Hudson. The company, with no option to continue on, harbored at the Plymouth location. The company remained aboard ship until March 1621, awaiting for the worst of the New England winter to abate. Conditions aboard ship degraded rapidly with scurvy, pneumonia, and TB decimating the company down to only 53 passengers and half the crew. The surviving Pilgrims became the earliest permanent European settlers of New England. The Mayflower finally returned to England on May 5, with accolades for the establishment of the colony tempered by the devastating 50% loss of life and with no profitable cargo.
For a brief time, the Mayflower returned to transporting cargo between London and France. Then, Christopher Jones fell ill and the ship set unused and unattended in the Thames river. Upon Jones' death, the Mayflower was appraised at a mere 128 pounds. By 1624, the ship was in ruins and is thought to have been sold as scrap lumber. Popular legend has it that parts of the ship were used to build a barn that still stands near Jordans in Buckinghamshire, England. Evidence has indicated that parts of an old ship were utilized, but there is no proof that the planks are indeed from the famous Mayflower. Today, a speculative replica of the ship, called the Mayflower II, is berthed in Plymouth, MA. Amid much ado, the replica, built in Devon, England, traversed the identical voyage as her namesake to reach her final harbor in 1957.