Countries unite to mark Mayflower 400 celebrations

Charles Hackett, of Mayflower 400, with delegates from the USA, the Netherlands and the Wampanoag nations
Charles Hackett, of Mayflower 400, with delegates from the USA, the Netherlands and the Wampanoag nations

Representatives of four parts of the world were united to outline their plans next year for the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the iconic ship, the Mayflower.

The United Kingdom got together with the United States of America, the Netherlands and the Wampanoag nations, who are American Indian people in North America, to share their perspectives on a pivotal moment in 1620 that defined the course of world history.

In this country, the Mayflower 400 project will mark the voyage of the Mayflower carrying Pilgrims from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts to help to found the modern USA.

The project will feature events and activities across Lincolnshire, north Nottinghamshire and south Yorkshire. A new Pilgrims Gallery will also open at Bassetlaw Museum in Retford, telling the story of the Pilgrims in this area, addressing core themes of tolerance, freedom and migration.

Charles Jackett, chief executive officer of Mayflower 400, was among those who met to discuss the commemoration programmes.

He said: “We were all united in our passion to mark the anniversary and to celebrate shared values of freedom, democracy, humanity and the future.

“This project explores centuries of shared history between Britain, Holland and America.”

For the USA, Brenton Simons, chief executive officer of the New England Genealogical Society, said: “The story of what happened in 1620 is foundational to the story of our democracy and has widespread ramifications.

“We are dedicated to helping our members and the public connect to this important moment in American history.”

THE story of the Pilgrims has become a central theme in the history and culture of the United States.

They were the first English settlers in Plymouth, Massachusetts after religious congregations of Puritans fled the volatile political environment in England aboard the Mayflower ship in 1620.

Initially, they sought the relative calm and tolerance of the Netherlands, but were concerned that they might lose their identity if they stayed. So, they established a new colony in America that became the second successful English settlement there.