John Howland, Pilgrim Father

John Howland, Pilgrim Father from Fenstanton in Huntingdonshire, UK


John Howland in an effort to escape persecution from James I moved to Leyden in Holland along with other members of the Baptist faith. But there was no work for them, so poor and hungry they returned to England to sail to the new land. The journey was not an easy one on board the May Flower with the rest of the Pilgrim Fathers. Landing at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, here he settled and married fellow passenger Elizabeth Tilley of Bedfordshire, later he was joined by his two brothers Arthur and Henry.

He was the last surviving member of the Pilgrim Fathers who travelled on the May Flower, dying in 1673 aged approximately 80 years. It is claimed he is an ancestor of Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. The Pilgrim John Howland Society of America donated a bell to the parish church in his honour in 1981.