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Home> News> Famous Doncastrians>

Doncaster News and Features: Famous Doncastrian: William Brewster

William Brewster (c. 1566 or 1567 10 April 1643) was a Mayflower passenger and a Pilgrim colonist leader and preacher. He was likely born in Doncaster and raised in Scrooby.
William Brewster, Pilgrim Father
He was the son of William Brewster and Mary (Smythe) (Simkinson) and he had a number of half-siblings. His paternal grandparents were William Brewster and Maud Mann. His maternal grandfather was Thomas Smythe.

In 1620 Brewster joined the first group of Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower on the voyage to North America. Brewster was accompanied by his wife, Mary Brewster, and his sons: Love Brewster and Wrestling Brewster.

When the colonists landed at Plymouth, Brewster became the senior elder of the colony, serving as its religious leader and as an adviser to Governor William Bradford. Brewster's son Jonathan joined the family in November 1621, arriving at Plymouth on the ship Fortune, and daughters Patience and Fear arrived in July 1623 aboard the Anne.

As the only university educated member of the colony, Brewster took the part of the colony's religious leader until a pastor, Ralph Smith, arrived in 1629. Thereafter, he continued to preach irregularly until his death in April 1644.

He has 4 islands named after him and a town in Massachusetts.

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