Mayflower Compact Transcript

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William Jackson

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Mayflower Compact : 1620


Agreement Between the Settlers at New Plymouth : 1620


IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. 


IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620.


Signatures


Mr. John Carver,

Mr. William Bradford,

Mr Edward Winslow,

Mr. William Brewster.

Isaac Allerton,

Myles Standish,

John Alden,

John Turner,

Francis Eaton,

James Chilton,

John Craxton,

John Billington,

Joses Fletcher,

John Goodman,

Mr. Samuel Fuller,

Mr. Christopher Martin,

Mr. William Mullins,

Mr. William White,

Mr. Richard Warren,

John Howland,

Mr. Steven Hopkins,

Digery Priest,

Thomas Williams,

Gilbert Winslow,

Edmund Margesson,

Peter Brown,

Richard Britteridge

George Soule,

Edward Tilly,

John Tilly,

Francis Cooke,

Thomas Rogers,

Thomas Tinker,

John Ridgdale

Edward Fuller,

Richard Clark,

Richard Gardiner,

Mr. John Allerton,

Thomas English,

Edward Doten,

Edward Liester.

Modern Translation

"Agreement Between the Settlers at New Plymouth : 1620"


"IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc."


In the context of the day "dread" was a term implying great respect. It was considered proper (and was quite common) for one to speak of a monarch in lofty terms such as this. Revered actually means honored, or venerated. They had this great admiration toward King James because of his decision to authorize a new translation of the Bible into English so anyone who spoke the language could read it for themselves, which angered the Roman Catholic authorities. In 1604, England's King James I authorized a new translation of the Bible aimed at settling some thorny religious differences in his kingdom—and solidifying his own power. The New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition (NRSV-CE) is a Bible translation approved for use by the Catholic Church, receiving the imprimatur of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1991.


"Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia."


See Google results about the King James Version of the Bible KJV Bible 1611 Edition (Book). They have come to the New World with the Word of God in hand to build the first Colony in Virginia. Today the area "northern Parts of Virginia" is known as Massachusetts.


"Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid."


They are pledging allegiance to God and each other in order to more efficiently achieve their mission. Their "Body Politick" is not Republican or Democrat, it is a collective effort in unity under the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.


"And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience."


They are acknowledging the need for Natural Law and other laws that will be agreed on from time to time, for the Good of the Colony.


"IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620."


Our names at Cape-Cod is a reference to a bas-relief sculpture of the signing of the Mayflower Compact. Also called basso-relievo. A new memorial bas-relief showing the signing of the Mayflower Compact was created by Cyrus E. Dallin in 1921. The memorial is on Bradford street in Provincetown directly below the Pilgrim Monument located at 72 Allerton Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The 81-foot-tall (25 m) monument was commissioned by the Pilgrim Society. The term anno Domini is Medieval Latin and means "in the year of the Lord" but is often presented using "our Lord" instead of "the Lord", taken from the full original phrase "anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi", which translates to "in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ".

Note: John Smith was not on the Mayflower. While a John Smith as a Mayflower passenger was not to be, we should recall the contributions that he made in the entire movement westward by English migrants. His explorations, his map, and his writings were a guiding hand in this movement, and in the Plymouth settlement in particular.


The Mayflower set sail from England in July 1620, but it had to turn back twice because Speedwell, the ship it was traveling with, leaked. After deciding to leave the leaky Speedwell behind, Mayflower finally got underway on September 6, 1620.

The Ship

The Pilgrim ship Mayflower was a typical English merchant ship of the early 17th century - square-rigged and beak-bowed, with high, castle-like structures fore and aft that served to protect the ship's crew and the main deck from the elements.


But having on her stern such structures as the 30-foot high, square aft-castle made the Mayflower extremely difficult to sail against the wind.


This awkward superstructure configuration of the Mayflower, making it unable to sail well against the North Atlantic Prevailing Westerlies, especially in the Fall/Winter season of 1620, is the direct cause of the ship's voyage from England to America taking over two months.


The Mayflower's return trip to London in April–May 1621, with the same strong winds following this time, took less than half that time.


By 1620, the Mayflower was an aging ship, nearing the end of the usual English merchant ship working life in that era of fifteen years. No dimensions of its hull can be exact since this was an era many years before such measurements were standardized.


Very likely Mayflower measured about 100 feet in length from the forward end at the beak of her prow aft to the tip of her stern superstructure. She was about 25 feet at her widest point, with about 12 feet of keel below the waterline.

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