Governor William Bradford
- Born: Mar 1588, Austerfield, Yorkshire, England 618
- Marriage: Alice Carpenter on 14 Aug 1623 in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, British American Colonies 62,616
- Died: 9 May 1657, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts at age 69 616
Noted events in his life were:
• Background Information. 618
From The signers of the Mayflower Compact and their descendants, 1899, pgs. 6-
Governor William Bradford, son of William and Alice (Hanson) Bradord, was born in Austerfield, England, March 1588. His father died in 1591, and the infant child was then received into the home of his grandfather, the first William Brandford mentioned in this line. After the death of the latter in 1596, he was adopted into the family of his uncle, Robert Bradford, who resided in the little village of Scrooby, two miles from Austerfield, and near the estate of the Brewsters.
Young Bradford was deeply impressed with the preaching of Rev. Richard Clifton and Rev. John Robinson, and united with their church. He was soon numbered with the "Separtists" and became one of their leaders. In the autunm of 1607, Bradford and other principal members of the Society made an agreement with a Dutch captain to embark at Boston, England, to go to Holland. The Captain betrayed them to the magistrates, and some were sent to their homes while others were sent to their homes. Bradford escaped in the spring of 1608 and joined his companions in Amsterdam. There he apprenticed himself as a silk weaver.
After moving to Leyden, he was eager and active in promoting the scheme or emigrating to an English colony. On 9 Dec 1613, William married Dorothy may, aged sixteen years old, in Amsterdam.
On 5 Sep 1629, Bradford was among the first hundred pilrims that left for America. He was among the men who signed the Mayflower compact before they landed at Plymouth. While engaged in the preparation for a final landing, Bradford's wife, Dorothy fell overboard from the vessel and drowned. The only child of this relationship was John Bradford, born in Holland.
William Bradford was elected governor of Plymouth upon the death of its first governor, John Carver. He was relected by the colonists for many years after. The colonists placed inplicit confidence in Governor Bradford as their leader. His friendly relationships with the local Native Americas helped during their early years when the settlers were suffering from starvation. He was able to enlist the help of these Natives who gave them corn and beans.
Governor Bradford wrote "A Diary of Occurrences" covering the first year of the colony from the landing at Cape Cod, 9 Nov 1620, until 18 Dec 1621. The manuscript of The History of Plymouth Colony was lost for many years, but was found in 1846 in the library of the Bishop of London at Fulham. It was sent to the governor of Massachusetts, 20 May 1897.
Governor Bradford married Alice Carpenter, the widow of Edward Southworth. In his will he says "my further will is that my dear and loving wife Alice Bradford, shall be the sole exequtrix of my estate, and for furture maintenance my is that my stake in the Kenebeck trade bee reserved for her comfortable subsistence as far as it will extend, and soe further in such way as may be judged best for her."
The children of Bradford and Alice Carpenter-Southworth were:
William b. 17 Jun 1648
Joseph, b. 1630.
• Family. 617
Besides his son, John, by his first wife, William & Mercy, children with Alice Carpenter Southworth, and Alice's two sons, Constant and Edward Southworth, their family also consisted of Joseph Rogers, Thomas Cushman, William Latham, Mannassah Kempton, Juliana Kempton, Nataniel Morton, John Morton, Ephraim Morton and Patience Morton. Joseph Roger was the son of Thomas Rogers who died in the first sickness at Plymouth. Robert Cushman's last request of Bradford was, "Have a care of my son as of your son," which Bradford fulfilled. William Latham came on the Mayflower as the boy servant of Governor Carver, and when Carver died, he became a member of the Bradford household. The Kempton and Morton children were the nieces and nephews of Alice Carpenter Southworth. Bradford was himself an orphan, and in his adult life, he was the father to many children whose own fathers died.
~Governor William Bradford and his son, Major William Bradford, pgs. 46-47
William married Alice Carpenter, daughter of Alexander Carpenter and Priscilla Dillen, on 14 Aug 1623 in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, British American Colonies 62.,616 (Alice Carpenter was born 3 Aug 1590 or 16 Dec 1593 in Wrington, Somersetshire, England 157, christened on 1 Sep 1592 in Brighton, Somersetshire, England 157 and died in 5 Apr-29 Mar 1670 in Plymouth, Massachusetts 157.)