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The Fortune was the second ship of emigrants to reach Plymouth Colony in 9-Nov-1621. Of the 35 new colonists, many were family members of Pilgrims that arrived earlier in the Mayflower. One of many Immigrant Ships of New England.

Voyage History[]

Departing England[]

Many of those onboard the Fortune had been part of the 1620 expedition of the Mayflower and the Speedwell, but the second ship was forced to turn back because it leaked terribly and likely not survive the Atlantic crossing.

Robert Cushman carried with him a patent to the New Plymouth colony in the name of Mr John Pierce of London, one of the Merchant Adventurers.

Although the Fortune arrived in the Cape Cod area on November 9, 1621, the ship strangely remained at the tip of the Cape for some time which caused the natives to be alarmed, thinking it might be a hostile French vessel. Upon hearing reports of this strange vessel, Governor Bradford had Myles Standish arm his militia and load the cannon on Burial Hill in case of an attack by the French. It took the ship several weeks to find Plymouth and when the Fortune at last finally entered Plymouth Bay, she was seen to be a friendly English ship and the settlers were delighted and much relieved. But during the transit from Cape Cod to Plymouth the passengers were shocked by the barren and bleak shoreline, much as the Mayflower passengers had been. The Fortune passengers found it hard to believe that anything could exist in such a forbidding land. Per Bradford, “..and ther saw nothing but a naked and barren place..” And when they saw the depressing conditions within the colony being experienced by the settlers, they became quite panicked. The passengers were so disheartened and had such misgivings about this place they even advised the ship’s master they wanted to reembark and leave if the colony did not meet their expectations, but were talked out of such action by the master and ship’s crew although they were promised that if need be, they would be taken down the coast to Virginia.

The timing of the arrival of the Fortune, in late November, was pretty unfortunate and quite the surprise. For the settlers had already harvested their meager crop for the season and had a great 3-day feast with the indians and were now getting ready to endure another winter (their first being most miserable) and barely had enough to feed themselves (about 50 souls). Now there were another 35, as the ship arrived with very little supplies, foodstuffs, clothing or anything. The colonists had to endure a second winter short of food. Another quote from the journal of William Bradford (1590-1657)

"There was not so much as biscuit cake or any other victuals for them, neither had they any bedding, ...nor pot, or pan to dress any meat in, nor over-many clothes."

Plymouth Landing[]

The actual second boat to Plymouth was the 55 ton Fortune. It arrived at Cape Cod on Nov. 11, 1621 with "35 persons to remaine and live in ye plantation." Under command of Thomas Barton, master, she had left London in July.

The pilgrim fathers and mothers were settling in for another long, cold winter. They didn't expect another boat until spring. When the Fortune's tall white mainsail was seen off Cape Cod the nervous colonists thought it was a French raiding party come down from Canada to make mischie Governor William Bradford convened a council of war. Defense chief Miles Standish, "the little chimney easily fired," mustered "every man, yea boy, that could handle a gun" and ordered the 1,500 pound cannon on Fort Hill to thunder out a warning shot.

As the Fortune tacked into Plymouth harbor, the settlers were surprised and relieved to see her run up the red cross of England, this being in the days before Scotland's cross of Andrew was added to the Union Jack. Plymouth's sturdy little shallop, a tiny fishing vessell, brought ashore 35 new settlers, all in good health, "which did not a little rejoyce them The welcome mat frayed a bit when it was learned that the penny pinching Merchant Adventurers, the Colony's underwriter in London, had sent the Fortune out with no provisions..."not so much as bisket cake or any victialls," little bedding beyond "some sorry things" in their cabins, and neither "pot nor pan to dresse any meate in."

Like those who crossed on the Mayflower, not all on the Fortune had come to the New World seeking religious freedom. Only 12 were listed in Plymouth's company of "saints," Separatist followers of Robert "Trouble Church" Browne, a famous and fiesty dissenter from the Church of England. The "saints" on the second boatload included such names as William Bassett, Jonathan Brewster, William Wright, Thomas Morton, Austin Nicholas and 14 year old Thomas Cushman, who...

Return Voyage / Pirates[]

Fortune left Plymouth after 14 days (December 1621) was "speedily dispatched away laden with (cargo) estimated to be worth near £500." This load was the pilgrims first return cargo which they hoped to sell for much desperately needed supplies. A big cargo of clapboard, and two hogsheads of beaver and other skins.

Fortune was not with the ship of that name on the return to England. Apparently due to a major navigation error, navigation being imperfect in those days, the ship sailed hundreds of miles off course from England, south-east into France’s Bay of Biscay off the coast of Vendee, north of La Rochelle. About five weeks into her voyage on January 19, 1622 and not far from the fortified Ile d’Yeu, a French warship overtook the Fortune which was off-course about 350 sea miles southeast of where they should be – England’s Land’s End and the English Channel. It seems the Fortune made a common mistake – her master mistook the long peninsula of Brittany in western France for the Lizard Peninsula on the southwestern end of England and then she strayed off down the French Atlantic coast to be taken by a French warship. And although the Fortune was not considered an enemy ship, France at this time was undergoing Huguenot rebel activities and any English vessel coming close to their shore was suspected of aiding the rebels and liable for search and seizure. The French warship stopped and boarded Fortune and she was seized. And although it was soon learned that Fortune was not carrying contraband, the French governor seized her guns, cargo and rigging. The governor locked the ship’s master in a dungeon and kept Cushman and the crew on board under guard. He also confiscated the manuscript of Mort’s Relation. After thirteen days they were freed, with the manuscript in Cushman’s possession but without its cargo of valuable beaver skins. The Fortune finally arrived back into the Thames on February 17, 1622


Passenger List[]

  1. John Adams (1595-1633) - patriarch of the Adams family of Massachusetts. He was a carpenter and probably came from London. Later married Ellen Newton who came on the Anne in 1623. Member of the 1626 Purchaser investment group. In 1627 cattle division with wife “Eliner” and son James. He died in 1633 and in 1634 his widow Ellen married Kenelem Winslow, brother of Mayflower passenger Edward Winslow. He lived with the Bradford family on arrival. John traveled alone, but was among family and friends.
  2. Elizabeth Bassett (1603-1651) - probably passenger, wife of William Bassett, married by 1623 at Plymouth.
  3. William Bassett (c1590-1667) - longtime and notable resident of Plymouth Colony.
  4. William Beale – Single in 1623 land division and shared two acres with Thomas Cushman. Not listed in 1627 cattle division. No further record in Plymouth.
  5. Edward Bompasse (1605-1683) – Single upon arrival and, per Bradford, was one of the “lusty yonge men” who arrived on the Fortune. In the 1623 land division as “Edward Bompass.” Member of 1626 Purchaser investment group as “Edward Bumpas.” In 1627 cattle division as “Edward Bumpasse.” Died c.1683/84. He and his wife Hannah are listed on Green Harbor Monument. They had twelve children with one additional child "Faith" who died at birth. Edward was on the committee for establishing their school. It was the first school in the New World. He was a carpenter and he taught the colonists how to build a grass roof home quickly. He built their stockade fence and was their guardsman at the gate. He served as a juror. He lived with the Allerton Family on arrival and stayed close to their family through his lifetime. He was listed in the 1985 Book of Scholarly Records according to the Genealogy Society of Boston. Edward's birth name is Edouad Bompasse born St. Bartholomew Parish, London, England in 1605. He is listed as a Saint. He was the son of John Thomas Bompasse "Bonpas" "Brave Pass" French Origin (1575-1628) and Ann Brodforde "Bradford" (1578-1606) from St. Bartholomew Parish, London, England. Edward traveled alone, but was among family and friends.
  6. Jonathan Brewster (1593-1659) - Eldest Son of Mayflower Passenger William Brewster (1567-1644). One acre in 1623 land division as a single man. In 1624 married Lucretia Oldham (1600-1679), daughter of Walter “Ouldham,” who came on the Anne in 1623. Member of the 1626 Purchaser investment group. In 1627 cattle division the family was listed as “Johnathan”, “Lucrecia” and children “Willm” and Mary.
  7. Clement Briggs – A fellmonger (hide dealer). In 1616 resided in Southwark, London, with Robert Hicks, fellow Fortune passenger. Single upon arrival and received one acre in the 1623 land division as “Clemente Brigges.” Member of the 1626 Purchaser investment group. In 1627 cattle division as “Clemont Briggs.”
  8. John Cannon – No record in Plymouth. Single upon arrival and one acre in the 1623 land division. Not listed in 1627 cattle division. Stratton reports he appeared in a 1638 Plymouth land record with William Tench.No record in Plymouth. Single upon arrival and one acre in the 1623 land division. Not listed in 1627 cattle division. Stratton reports he appeared in a 1638 Plymouth land record with William Tench.
  9. William Conner (Coner) – Single upon arrival and one acre in the 1623 land division as “William Coner.” Not listed in the 1627 cattle division and does not appear further in colony records.
  10. Robert Cushman (1577-1625) - father of Thomas, he stayed only 14 days and returned to England where he died.
  11. Thomas Cushman (1608-1691) - Soon leading elder of Plymouth Colony. Married Mary Allerton (1616-1699), daughter of Mayflower passenger Isaac Allerton (1586-1658). Arrived at age 14 with his father who left him hear with Gov Bradshaw and returned to England. She would be the longest lived Mayflower passenger. In 1649 he succeeded Elder William Brewster as Ruling Elder of the Plymouth Church.
  12. Stephen Deane - Single on arrival and received one acre in the 1623 land division as “Steuen Dean.” Member of the 1626 Purchaser investment group as “Steeven Deane.” In the 1627 cattle division. Married Elizabeth Ring from Leiden in 1627 sometime after division. Died 1634.[17]
  13. Philip Delano (1602-1683) - (Phillipe De La Noye) – Age about 16 upon arrival. A Dutch convert to the Leiden pilgrim sect, (Mayflower passenger Francis Cooke (1583-1663) may have been his uncle) he died quite wealthy years later in Duxbury MA. Forefather of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945).
  14. Thomas Flavel – One of the older married passengers who came with a son of unknown name. In 1623 land division he and his unnamed son received two shares and were listed as “Thomas Flauell & his son.” His wife Elizabeth came on the Anne in 1623 and appears with one acre in the 1623 land division with Anne passengers as “goodwife Flauell.” The family is not in the 1627 cattle division.
  15. (unknown name) Flavel – Son of Thomas Flavel – per 1623 land division.[19]
  16. William Ford (1562-1621) – Husband of Martha with two children. He was a passenger on the Fortune who may have died prior to or shortly after the ship reached port. He apparently had a share In the 1623 land division under “Widow Foord,” when the 4 members of this family – husband (deceased), wife Martha, son John and daughter Martha received 4 acres.
  17. Martha Weighte Ford (1589-1630) – Widow of Fortune passenger ______ Ford. In the 1623 land division the family was assigned 4 lots under her name as “Widow Foord.” In 1626 she married Mayflower passenger Peter Browne (bef1600-1633). In 1627 cattle division the family appears as “Peeter” and Martha Browne, with her Ford children John and Martha “fford.” She died by 1630.
  18. John Ford (1617-) child, age 3.
  19. Martha Ford (1619-1683) child, age1.
  20. Child Ford (1621-1621) A son born on November 9, 1621 upon the arrival of the Fortune in Plymouth. He died soon after.
  21. Robert Hicks (Hix) – Born about 1570. In 1616 he was a fellmonger (hide dealer) residing in Southwark, London. Married, but arrived as a single man as had only one lot in the 1623 land division as “Robart Hickes.” Member of the 1626 Purchaser investment group as “Robte. Hicks.” His wife Margaret and two children arrived on the Anne in 1623. In the 1627 cattle division the “Hickes” family, Robert and “Margret,”appear with their four children. He died in 1647.
  22. William Hilton – Son of William and Ellen Hilton of Northwich, co. Chester, where he lived with his wife and children 1616-1620. At the time of emigration he was a London resident with his brother Edward. Arrived as a single man with only one lot in the 1623 land division. His wife and two children came over on the Anne in 1623 and appear in the land division for Anne passengers as:”William Hiltons wife & .2. children”. The family was not in the 1627 cattle division. Per Banks the family moved to New Hampshire in 1623/4 where his brother Edward Hilton founded the city of Dover.
  23. Benedict Morgan – A sailor born in 1597. In 1619 married Agnes Porter. Resident of St. James, Clerkenwell, London, when he emigrated. He came as a single man and had one lot in the 1623 land division as “Benet Morgan.” Went back in 1623 on the ship Anne with its return voyage to England. He did not return to New England. He died in 1630.
  24. Thomas Morton – Possibly born c.1589. Came alone and had one share of land in the 1623 division. Brother of George Morton and father of Thomas Morton Junior who came in 1623 on the Little James and Anne respectively. Member of the 1626 Purchaser investment group as “Thom. Morton.” Not listed in 1627 division and may have died about then.
  25. Augustine (Austen) Nicolas – No family record in Plymouth. Received one acre as a single man in the 1623 land division as “Austen Nicolas.” Not listed in 1627 and may have died or left the colony.[25]
  26. William Palmer – He was one of the older passengers, possibly born about 1570. He was a nailer by profession. He came without his family and received one acre in the 1623 land division. Member of the 1626 Purchase investment group as “Willm. Palmer.” His family came over on the Anne in 1623 and his wife Frances received one acre in the 1623 land division as an Anne passenger under “ffrance wife to Wit Palmer.” In 1627 his wife Frances and son William shared in the division of cattle list as “William Pallmer,” wife “ffrances” and son “Willm Pallmer Jnor.” He died in 1637.[26]
  27. William Pitt – No record in Plymouth. Came as a single man and drew one lot in the 1623 land division sharing 2 lots with William Wright. Not listed in the 1627 cattle division.
  28. Thomas Prence (1600-1673) - 4th Governor of Plymouth Colony. Married 4 times, first to Patience Brewster (1600-1634), daughter of Mayflower passenger William Brewster (1567-1644) and sister of a fellow passenger.
  29. Moses Simmons (1604-1691) – He was a Dutch member of the Leiden English Separatist church. No other origin information. He came as a single man, possibly a minor, receiving two acres in the 1623 land division as “Moyses Simonson” which he shared with Philipe de la Noye. Member of the 1626 Purchaser investment group as “Moyses Symonson.” In 1627 cattle division as “Moyses Simonson” he shared 2 acres with Philipe de la Noye.
  30. Hugh Stacie – He was a yeoman (farmer/land holder). Nothing is known of his origins. He came over as a single man and possibly an apprentice as was not a freeman until 1642. Listed as “Hugh Statie” in the 1623 land division with one lot. Not listed in the 1627 cattle division.
  31. James Steward – Either unmarried or without his family on arrival as only one lot assigned to him in the 1623 land division. No record after 1623.
  32. William Tench – Nothing is known about him prior to emigration. Single upon arrival and shared 2 acres with John Cannon in the 1623 land division. Not listed after 1627 although there is a record of a 1638 Plymouth land sale with John Cannon.
  33. John Winslow (1597-1674) - brother of Mayflower passenger Edward Winslow (1595-1655). He would marry Mary Chilton (c1605-1679) who came on the Mayflower also but was left orphan when both her parents died in the first horrible winter.
  34. William Wright (1595-1633) – One of the oldest of the passengers, born about 1595. He came alone on the ship and received two acres in the 1623 Land Division which he shared with William Pitt.

Return Voyage Passengers[]

  1. Robert Cushman (1577-1625) - father of Thomas, he stayed only 14 days and returned to England where he died.
  2. Desire Minter (c1605-) - Arrived on Mayflower with the Carver family - but returned to England in 1621 and was never heard from again.
  3. William Trevore (c1590-) - hired hand came on the Mayflower and returned to England for completing his year of service.


References[]

Summary[]

1621 Migration to America[]

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He was a passenger on the English ship Fortune, which was the second ship to sail from London (July 1621), bound for New England. The ship arrived safe at Cape Cod in Nov 1621. This ship contained many relatives and friends of the Mayflower pilgrims, led by Robert Cushman (1577-1625). It was a bit of a disappointment for the starving original settlers to find that this ship contained very few additional supplies, but another 35 hungry mouths to feed.

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