Pilgrims (Brownist English Dissenters)

Embarkation of the Pilgrims by Robert Walter Weir

Embarkation of the Pilgrims by Robert Walter Weir

Pilgrims (US), or Pilgrim Fathers (UK), is a name commonly applied to early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States. Their leadership came from the religious congregations of Brownist English Dissenters who had fled the volatile political environment in England for the relative calm and tolerance of 16th–17th century Holland in the Netherlands. Concerned with losing their cultural identity, the group later arranged with English investors to establish a new colony in North America. The colony, established in 1620, became the second successful English settlement (after the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607) and later the oldest continuously inhabited English settlement in what was to become the United States of America. The Pilgrims’ story of seeking religious freedom has become a central theme of the history and culture of the United States. (From Wikipedia)