Ship model, the "Mayflower" 1620 galleon, N Allen, Australia, 
The "Mayflower" is highly significant as the ship transporting the English Separatists (Pilgrim Fathers) to North America in 1620-21. The trans-Atlantic journey took 66 days marked by disease from which two died.
The Pilgrims were to settle at the mouth of the Hudson River, at the Northern edge of the Virginia Settlement, but bad weather had driven the ship further north to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Half of the settlers died in their first winter there, before moving permanently ashore, when the "Mayflower" set sail to return to England.
Senior Curator, Transport
Researched by Rob Mayrick, Museum Volunteer
The ¬?Mayflower¬? was primarily a cargo ship involved in trade, often in wine, between England and other European countries. From 1609 to 1622 she was based at the docks of Rotherhithe, London. Master of the ship Christopher Jones commanded a crew of 25 to 30, with the ship¬?s dimensions estimated at between 27 to 33 metres, and width of about 7 metres.
In September 1620, the ¬?Mayflower¬? transported 102 passengers from Plymouth England to Plymouth Massachusetts. About half of the passengers were Puritan Separatists (Pilgrims) who were departing England because their religious beliefs were being suppressed by the English Church. The remainder were people seeking a new life in the American colonies.
Initially there were to be two ships the ¬?Mayflower¬? and the ¬?Speedwell¬?, a ship that had originally brought some of the Puritans from the Netherlands to Southampton. After setting out, however, the ¬?Speedwell¬? developed a leak and had to return to Portsmouth. In a second attempt, the two ships reached the Atlantic beyond the English Channel but had to return to Plymouth because of another leak in the ¬?Speedwell¬?. It was later discovered that there was actually nothing wrong with the ship and it was suspected that some crew members had sabotaged the vessel to escape from commitment to a long contract.
The ¬?Mayflower¬? then left Plymouth alone on her trans-Atlantic voyage. The journey took 66 days marked by disease from which two died. The destination was the mouth of the Hudson River at the northern edge of the Virginia Colony, which had been established at Jamestown in 1607. The Pilgrims had permission from the London Company to settle in the Virginia Settlement. However, bad weather drove the ship off course further north, and it finally anchored inside the hook tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown Harbour to spend the winter. By springtime the following year, only 53 passengers and about half of the crew had survived, having suffered scurvy, pneumonia and tuberculosis. On 31 March, 1621 all the surviving passengers moved ashore at Plymouth, and on 15 April the ¬?Mayflower¬? returned to England.
It is believed that in 1623 the ship was dismantled for scrap timber at Rotherhithe.