John Carver is another Cambridge graduate, educated
at King’s College. Deacon of the church, chief organiser of the London congregation of Saints, he is the dynamic wealthy
London merchant who actually arranged the charter of the Mayflower. He joined the Leyden group in 1610 and returned
frequently to England to organise the deals and backing necessary for the settlement in Virginia. He has become the natural
leader of the expedition and is due to become the first Governor of the colony.
William Bradford, a fustian
maker from Austerfield in Yorkshire is emigrating with his wife Dorothy. He spent months in prison in England for his beliefs
before fleeing to Holland in 1607 and becoming an apprentice to a French protestant silk manufacturer, then moving on to Leyden.
He is another born leader, and will succeed to the Governorship of the colony when Carver dies in 1621.
It is now 5 August. Preparations
are complete, so with passengers, poultry, pigs and cattle safely stowed aboard the two ships leave Southampton, sailing westwards
along the English Channel before making their way out into the grey-green waters of the Atlantic. However, any sad thoughts
about having seen the last of old England are dispelled when the Speedwell starts taking in water, forcing Reynolds
to signal to the Mayflower that they must seek the nearest port for urgent repairs.
Their haven turns out to be the beautiful harbour
of Dartmouth in Devon, which they reach by 13 August. There, the Speedwell is beached and the hull inspected. Seams
have sprung apart and will have to be caulked, that is sealed using boiling tar. Rotten timbers have to be replaced. All these
repairs mean of course, that no one can stay aboard whilst they are carried out. The nervous Saints have
to seek accommodation in houses such as the one shown in this scene (still standing today) but
the voyagers are lucky because they are welcomed by the townsfolk. Dartmouth is a port where some of Raleigh’s ships
were built or were based and where other ship owners send their vessels out to fish off the American coast . No problems.
The Speedwell is repaired in six days.