400 years ago there were a group of people living in and around Doncaster. They made a special journey across the ocean to America.
One of them was called William Bradford and he lived in a village called Austerfield. This is St. Helena's Church in Austerfield where he was baptised. Manor House was his childhood home and still exists today
William and his friends became very sad because King James would not let them pray to God as they wished. King James said that they must use the same prayers that he did; and if they did not, they would be thrown into prison or made to move away from their family and friends.
"Let us go away from this country." Said William and some of his friends. So they left their homes to sail across the sea. To a country called Holland. It was around this time they started to call themselves "Pilgrims". Pilgrims are people who travel to faraway places searching for something that they love.
In Holland, the Pilgrims were very happy for about 12 years, but they were very, very poor. The Pilgrims became worried that their children were growing up, only speaking Dutch. Why do you think the children were only speaking Dutch? "This will never do," said the Pilgrim Fathers, so they decided to move their families to America. Because they wanted to be just like their Dutch friends and not speak English at all. The children even said, that they did not go to church anymore.
The Pilgrims hired a ship called The Speedwell to take them back to England. There they would meet up with other Pilgrims on a ship called the Mayflower. On their way to America, the Speedwell began letting in water. So the Pilgrims decided to return to England and sail with everyone altogether on board The Mayflower. On the 6th September 1920 the ship set sail for America.
Riddle to solve? 131 people sail on the Mayflower and one died. When they arrived at America, there were still 131 people on board. How could this happen? A little boy was born. He was called "Oceanus," so that everyone would remember the ocean was his birthplace.
The Pilgrims called their new home New England and started to build their very first house on Christmas Day 1620. It was very cold with lots of snow. Sadly, half of the people from the Mayflower, became sick and died in that first winter.
In Spring, the sun started shine. It warmed up the ground and the snow began to melt. The Pilgrims could now plant crops and when they began to grow, everyone was happy.
In the Autumn, the Pilgrim Fathers worked hard to gather all the crops that they had planted. Because there was plenty of grain, they knew they would have enough to eat through the next cold winter.
"Let us thank God for this life-giving food," they said. So the Pilgrims organised the first Thanksgiving Party. They invited all their friends and the local people, who had helped them during that first cold winter. They all rejoiced together.
This journey to America took place four hundred years ago. Ever since that time, the Pilgrims and the Mayflower, have been remembered throughout America in the annual Thanksgiving holiday.
Can you help complete the sentences on the next few pages?
In 1620 life was very hard in England. The Pilgrims were badly treated because they didn’t agree with ____________ and his religion. King James England The Mayflower died New England Thanksgiving America King James Move a word to complete the sentence. Move the ship to find the correct word.
America The Pilgrims wanted a better life. They decided to leave ____________ and travel to _____________. King James England The Mayflower died America Thanksgiving America England Move the ship to find the correct words. Move the words to complete the sentence.
They travelled on a ship called __________ When they got to America, the Pilgrim Fathers named the land _______________ King James England The Mayflower died New England Thanksgiving America The Mayflower New England Move the ship to find the correct words. Move the words to complete the sentence.
Sadly, more than half of the Pilgrims __________ that first winter in America. The pilgrims that did survive were grateful to God for saving them. Each year, after the harvest they had a special meal. Americans still celebrate this meal today. It is called _______________ King James England The Mayflower died New England Thanksgiving America died Thanksgiving Move a word to complete the sentence. Move the words to complete the sentence. Move the ship to find the correct words.
Can you tell me? What did the people call themselves? What was the ship called? Where did they go? What is the special holiday called? Desperate Crossing - Youtube video