In 1630 John Winthrop (1587-1649) organized a fleet of 11 ships to carry almost 1000 immigrants from England to America and founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Departing in two groups in April and May, they arrived at various dates in June and July. These ships were:The Ambrose; The Arabella; The Charles; The Hopewell; The Jewel; The Mayflower; The Success; The Talbot ; The Trial; The Whale; The William & Francis.

Background of English Colonies Edit

The first English colony was at Jamestown Virginia in 1607. The second English colony was the founding of Plymouth_Colony in 1620 in Massachusetts.  Both were actually very small settlements that only just barely survived.  There were a couple of English settlements that either collapsed or were abandoned and the settlers returned to Europe.

The next big English colony push was John Winthrop leading a small flotilla in 1630 to settle near the area of present day Boston.  It was named the Massachusetts Bay Colony after the name of the indian tribes that lived in that area.  It's principle cities were BostonWatertownCharlestown, and Salem along with a many of the small farmtowns that stand today.

A key catalyst for this big migration was the internal strife in England in the first half of the 17th Century.  The Stuart dynasty has just come to power and aligned itself with the Church of England (Anglican faith) and began intense persecution of those who practised Catholicism (the predecessor of Anglican church) and Puritans, which was the intended to be a even more "pure" form of Christian faith than either the Catholic or Anglican church.  There was also the rich acquiring up a lot of farmlands forcing the poor off their farms and into London.  Then the Thirty Years War started in 1618 that pitted England and other Protestant countries against the Catholic countries of Spain and Central Europe.

Governor Winthrop was a leading organizer of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and his principle motivation was to create the ideal Puritan community as an example to the world.  Unlike the Pilgrims that settled Plymouth, this group enjoyed greater abundance of financial backing and starting supplies.

The Winthrop Fleet consisted of eleven ships sailing from Yarmouth, Isle of Wright to Salem. Some sailed April 8, arriving June 13, 1630 and the following days, the others to sail in May, arriving in July.

The Fleet Edit

Winthrop Fleet Large list of names of passengers to New England 1630 on board the ships: The Ambrose; The Arabella; The Charles; The Hopewell; The Jewel; The Mayflower; The Success; The Talbot ; The Trial; The Whale; The William & Francis. This list is from the excellent book: _The Winthrop Fleet of 1630_: (An Account of the Vesselseake, Robert Fien English Homes from Original Authorities) by Charles Edward Banks. It is believed by Banks to be a complete list, gathered from many sources.

For the period 1620–1633 the standard reference is now Robert Charles Anderson’s The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620–1633 (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995). It should be noted that the early work of Charles Banks on the composition of the Winthrop Fleet of 1630 is now considered unreliable.

 In 1630, their population was significantly increased when the ship Mary and John arrived in New England carrying 140 passengers from the English West Country counties of Dorset, Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall. These included William Phelps along with Roger Ludlowe, John Mason, Rev. John Warham and John Maverick, Nicholas Upsall, Henry Wolcott and other men who would become prominent in the founding of a new nation. It was the first of eleven ships later called the Winthrop Fleet to land in Massachusetts.

The ships were the Arbella flagship with Capt Peter Milburne, the Ambrose, the Charles, the Mayflower, the Jewel, the Hopewell, The Success, the Trial, the Whale, the Talbot and the William and Francis.

Sailed April 8 1630: Ambrose, Arbella, Hopewell, Talbot,

Sailed May 1630: Charles, Jewel, Mayflower, Success, Trial, Whale, William and Francis

Winthrop wrote to his wife just before they set sail that there were seven hundred passengers. Six months after their arrival, Thomas Dudley wrote to Bridget Fiennes, Countess of Lincoln and mother of Lady Arbella and Charles Fiennes, that over two hundred passengers had died between their landing April 30 and the following December, 1630. That letter traveled via the Lyon April 1, 1631 and reached England four week later.