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Richard Britteridge was born 9999 in England and died 20 December 1620 Plymouth Harbor onboard the Mayflower, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts of unspecified causes.

Biography[]

William Bradford's passenger list of the Mayflower suggests that Richard Britteridge was an adult man, and not a servant. Furthermore he was one of the Compact Signers. He died the first winter at Plymouth on 21 December 1620, one of six passengers to die that month, and the first passenger to die after the Mayflower had transitioned from Provincetown Harbor over to Plymouth Harbor.

Nothing else is known about Richard Britteridge. Based solely on name alone (it is a fairly uncommon name), he could perhaps be the Richard Brightridge that was baptized on 31 December 1581 at Crowhurst, co. Sussex.

We know that the exact date of his death was 21 Dec 1620 from Thomas Prince's 1736 book "Chronological History of New England". Prince used a "Register of Births and Deaths" written by Bradford. Unfortunately this register was lost during the time of the Revolutionary War.


Voyage of the Mayflower[]

Mayflower at Provincetown Harbor

The Mayflower, originating from London with a group of Adventurers bound for the New World rendezvoused on 22 July with the Speedwell just arriving from Holland with a group of religious refugees from Leiden. Originally intended to sail jointly to the English Colony in Virginia it soon became evident that Speedwell was not seaworthy. Passengers and cargo were combined onto Mayflower (with many left behind) for the journey, finally departing on September 9.

During the voyage fierce storms blew the ship off course, arriving at Cape Cod on the Eastern Massachusetts coastline on November 9th. For two days they attempted to sail south to Virginia but exhausting supplies and fierce storms caused them to abort this effort and drop anchor at what is now Provincetown Harbor. On November 11th, the group decided to settle here and start their own colony. They wrote a governmental contract called the Mayflower Compact, Richard was the 34th of the 41 signers on this document.

Signing the Mayflower Compact 1620, a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris 1899

About the middle of December 1620, the ship moved and dropped anchor in Plymouth Harbor. All the while the pilgrims were conducting several exploring missions of the area and negotiations with the local natives. Almost half of the passengers died, suffering from an outbreak of a contagious disease described as a mixture of scurvy, pneumonia and tuberculosis. In the spring, they built huts ashore, and on March 21, 1621, the surviving passengers disembarked from the Mayflower into their new settlement at Plymouth, Massachusetts.


Vital Records[]

Bradford's 1651 Journal[]

Moses died sometime in the winter of 1620-1621. William Bradford recorded his death and that of other male passengers traveling alone:

"Moyses Fletcher, Thomas Williams, Digerie Preist, John Goodman, Edmond Margeson, Richard Britterige, Richard Clarke. All these dyed sone after their arivall, in the generall sicknes that befell. But Digerie Preist had his wife and children sent hither afterwards, she being Mr. (John) Allerton's sister. But the rest left no posteritie here."

Cole's Hill Memorial[]

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A large monument was erected in 1921 on Cole's Hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts to honor the many pilgrims who came to Plymouth Colony in the Mayflower but died during the first terrible winter and were buried here. This person is one of those person's listed thereon.

Pilgrim Monument[]

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National Monument to the Forefathers, commemorates the Mayflower Pilgrims, (including this person) who came to Plymouth Colony in 1620 on the Mayflower. Dedicated on August 1, 1889, it is thought to be the world's largest solid granite monument. Located on an 11 acre hilltop site on Allerton Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

References[]

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