IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN.
In 1608, a congregation of disgruntled English Protestants from the village of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, left England and moved to Leyden, a town in Holland. These “Separatists” did not want to pledge allegiance to the Church of England any longer and therefore made the move to Holland in hopes of finding religious freedom.
(Pictured above is Martin Luther, a German monk, priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation.)
Upon their arrival in Holland, the Separatists (they called themselves “Saints”) were happy to find that they could worship as they liked. However, they also found a secular life that was more difficult to navigate than they’d anticipated. This was due primarily to (1) the Dutch craft guilds excluding migrants, which therefore forced the Saints into menial, low-paying jobs; and (2) Holland’s easygoing, cosmopolitan atmosphere, which proved alarmingly seductive to some of the Saints’ children.
(Pictured above is an example of an alarmingly seductive byproduct of Holland’s easygoing, cosmopolitan atmosphere.)
For the strict, devout Separatists, this was the last straw. They decided to move again, but this time to a place without government interference or worldly distraction: the “New World” across the Atlantic Ocean.
So, in August 1620, a group of about 40 Saints joined a much larger group of secular colonists (referred to as “Strangers”) and set sail from England, ultimately landing in Cape Cod 2 months later.
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