1569 - 1627 (~ 62 years)
||Mary ? [1, 2, 3] |
||Between 1565 and 1569
||England [1, 2]
|Also Known As
||Mary Love |
||17 Apr 1627
||Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA [1, 2, 3, 4]
||27 Apr 1627 
||Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts
- Notion: The name of Mary Wentworth has been proposed for the wife of William Brewster. "The American Genealogist", " The Mayflower Descendant: A Quarterly Magazine of Pilgrim History and Genealogy" and the" New England Historical and Genealogical Register", all confirm that additional research must be done before accepting this surname as fact. In addition, a privately published pamphlet by John G. Hunt, "Of Mary Brewster, Wife of William Brewster of the Mayflower, from Plymouth, England to New Plymouth, New England" (1985) suggests that William Brewster's wife was named Mary Wyrall of Loversall, near Doncaster. This has yet to be proved. ( This taken from William Brewster of the Mayflower and His Descendants for 4 Generations by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.
"Mayflower Quarterly:vol. 75, No. 4 - December 2009": Mary Brewster - Mother to Millions of Americans
Written by Kathleen M. (Kathy) Myers -13th generation descendant of Mary and William Brewster, through their son, Love Brewster.
Throughtout North America the early settlers planted lilacs. A Hardy plant, lilacs provided beauty in the lives of those who cleared the land, built homestead, tilled the soil, and raised families. Toda, lilacs are still found growing in the places where these early people planted them, some hiding the foundation of byildings that vanished long ago. Such a location is one-acre plot of land in Duxbury, Massachusetts, where there is a "...huge lilac bush covering the cellar hold of the last house t this location. The acre plot, now owned by tghe Duxbur Rural and Historical Society, is practically the same one-acre that Elder William Brewster bought from Francis Eaton in 1631... on which he built his house." "Tradition holds that either the Elder or his son Jonathan ordered the lilacs from Holland, for the flower is not native to North America. I like to think they were planted in memory of Mary Brewster.
Not a lot is known about Mary Brewster's early life, not even her maiden name. She may have been a Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire girl. the year of her bith, 1569, is based on an affidavit she filed in Leiden, Holland in 1609 where her age was listed as 40.
Elizabeth I of England had been on the throne just a year when mary was born. I can only speculate whether mary brewster received an education beyond the wifely skills her mother would have taught. In Tudor England,"...the education of girls was for the privileged and the rish. Its aim was to produce wives schooled in godly and moral precepts....Most girls were taught the wifely arts, how to manage a household, neddlework, herbs and wild plants that oculd be used in healing, meal preparation, and their duty to their futher husband. But foremost was their strong religious training."
To the Pilgrims, "...marriage was a civil affair...a contract, mutually agreed upon by a man and a woman. Marriage was created by God for the benefit of man's natual and spiritual life. Marriages were considered important for two main reasons: Procreation of children to increast Christ's flock; and to avoid the sin of adultery. Paster John robinson taught that the important characteristics to find in a spouse are (1) godliness, and (2) similarity - in age, beliefts, estate, disposition, inclinations, and affections. In marriage, "the wife is specially required a reverend subjection in all lawful things to her husband,' and the husband is 'to give honor to the wife,' as the Lord requires 'the love of the hsband to his wife must be like Christ's to His church.'
William Brewster found in Mary a spouse that was close in age, shared his beliefs, and may have shared his estate in life, meaning they were of the same social class. The record does not reveal whether or not theirs was an arranged marriage as many were in those times. In Tudor England educating women to read was considered a waste of time but often educated men, such as William Brewster was, taught their spouses and daughters to read. Compatibility and affection was key to a marriage contract that lasted until her death 35 years later. Brewster never remarried, living 17 years beyond her.
As a typical 16th Century wife, Mary Brewster was responsible for the household. She was assigned the tasks of baking bread, brewing beer (drinking water was not fit to drink), curing and salting meats, cooking vegetables, preserving fruits and making pickles and jams. While candles and soap may have been purchased, country women made their own. They spun wool and linen for use in the household and for clothing. Mary, along with the assistance of her older children, would have milked the cows, gathered the eggs, and grown and tended the garden.
Life with William Brewster was filled with joy and anxiety. The early years at Scrooby Manor were joyful. Her first two children, Jonahtn (b.1593) and Patience (b.1600) were born there. By 1602 William Brewster had become more involved in the Separatist movement, and Scrooby Manor became a meeting place for the dissenters. mary Brewster would have found friends among this group of people. by 1606 the dissenters had formed the Separatist Church of Scrooby and the authorities were pressuring the. 1606 was the same year that Mary gave birth to their daughter who they named Fear. Just over a year later, the family fled to Holland.
During their time in Holland, Mary gave birth to three more children, sons Love and Wrestling and a child who died. It was in Holland that Mary Brewster was first introduced to the lialac bush. "The lilac is native to Eastern Europe and grows wild in the forests of Hungary and Romania." Popular on the continent, the lilac did not make its way to England until "....sometime before 1629 when the first record of its existence appears in wirting."
While the crossing began with good winds and good weather, many of the passengers were sea-sick at first. They had to contend with a crew of 30, some of who danced on the deck, and made fun of their seasickness, some who used profanities. About half way through the voyage, the "Mayflower" ran into strong storms which caused water to leak into the ship, dripping and falling on the 102 passengers squeezed in the deck below, a space seventy-five feet long and not quite five feet high. It was the space between the upper deck and the hold which contained their provisions.
As the wife of the appointed Elder of the group and as one of the oldest women on the voyage, Mary was a respected member of the community. She mothered the younger women and children with her strong religious faith and moral influence. As women in that era depended on other women or mid-wives to deliver their babies, she may have been called upon to assist with the birth of Oceanus Hopkins aboard the "Mayflower" as it crossed the Atlantic, and again with the birth of Perigrine White, the son of Susanna and William White, while the ship was anchored off of Cape Cod.
Shortly after the arrival of the "Mayflower", Dorothy Bradford, wife of William Bradford, fell off the ship and drowned. Mary (Norris) Allerton gave birth to a stillborn son. Soon, what has been called "the dying time" began. When it was over Mary Brewster was one of just five adult women to survive the first winter. By the first Thanksgiving, only four adult women survived. Mary Brewster, Eleanor Billington, Elizabeth Hopkins and Susanna White Winslow. With so few remaining, the skills Mary Brewster learned at her mother's knee were vital to the survivors.
I reflect on the courage of mary Brewster and the other women of the "Mayflower". I believe it was their great love of God and gtrust in His promises that carried them through. How many of us today have that kind of courage? To endure religious persecution; to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a small ship; to be deposited on a hostile shore during a New England winter; to lose half of the company in a few short months; to wather the "Mayflower" sail away to England leaving them with no means to return; to be self-relient and self-sufficient.
Mary Brewster died in 1627 and never lived in the house built by her husband on the one acre of land in Dusbury where the lilacs still gro."...With him came his sons, Love and Wrestly, and Richard ore, the little boy who grew up in the Brewster household. to his father's house Love brought his bride, Sarah Collier, and here were born their children, William, Nathaniel, Wrestling and Sarah. Nearby, on the west side of the creek, the Elder's oldest son, Jonathan, lived in a house he had built on his father's land. The Elder William Brewster died in 1643 and his estate was divided between his two sons, Love getting all east of the creek, and onathan west of the creek. How long the Brewster house stood is not known, but by 1648 both Jonathan and Love had left the Nook and the Brewster lands had been sold out of the family."
These were the people who tended the plants and watched the lilacs grow - her loving children and grandchildren whose descendants today number in the millins. The Brewster lilacs, planted in moemory of Mary Brewster.
||9 Apr 2017 |
||Elder William BREWSTER, b. Between 1566 and 1567, Doncaster, Yorkshrie, England , d. 10 Apr 1644, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA (Age ~ 78 years) |
||Between 1585 and 1586 
||Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England 
| ||1. Jonathan BREWSTER, b. 12 Aug 1593, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England , d. 07 Aug 1659, Norwich, New London, Conn. (Age 65 years) [Birth]|
| ||2. Patience BREWSTER, b. Bef 1600, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England , d. 12 Dec 1634, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts (Age > 34 years) [Birth]|
| ||3. Fear BREWSTER, b. Bef 1606, Scrooby, Nottinghamshire,England , d. Bef 12 Dec 1634, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA (Age < 28 years) [Birth]|
| ||4. Child BREWSTER, b. Bef 1609, Holland , d. 20 Jun 1609 (Age > 0 years) [Natural]|
| ||5. Love BREWSTER, b. Bef 1611, Holland , d. Between 06 Oct 1650 and Jan 1651, Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA (Age > 39 years) [Birth]|
| ||6. Wrestling BREWSTER, b. Bef 1614, Leyden, Holland , d. Between 22 May 1627 and 05 Jun 1644 (Age > 13 years) [Birth]|
||29 Jan 2018 |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
- [S02658] Mayflower Increasings 2nd Edition by Susan E. Roser.
- [S03585] Mayflower Families in Progress: William Brewster of the Mayflower & His Descendants for 4 Generations , Barbara Lambert Merrick/ E. Virginia Hunt, (General Society of Mayflower Descentants - Revised 3rd Edition 2000).
- [S02361] Genealogical Records: Pilgrim Genealogies and Histories, 1600s-1900s, Sons & Daughters of Pilgrims, Vol III.
- [S02018] Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines Volume II by Mary Walton Ferris.