A Story of Edward Winslow -the Pilgrim & Kenelm's Brother

With the only picture of a Mayflower Pilgrim- Edward Winslow

The Eighth of May, west from 'Spaniola shore,
God took from us our Grand Commissioner,
Winslow by Name, a man in chiefest Trust,
Whose Life was sweet, and conversation just;
Whose Parts and Wisdome most men did excell:
An Honour to his Place, as all can tell.
(A shipmate's poem)

One of the first to step upon the shores of the new land, Edward Winslow was elected governor of Plymouth in 1633. He was called a printer of London and is believed to be the principal author of Mourt's Relation (1622) and the author of Good News From England, A Relation of Things Remarkable in That Plantation (1624), Hypocrisie Unmasked (1646) and New England's Salamander (1647). Embarcation of the pilgrims from Delft-Haven in Holland, July 21st O.S. 1620

He returned to England several times, and in 1624, his first trip, brought back the first cattle of the colony. In 1635 he was jailed in Fleet Prison, London, for seventeen weeks--persecuted for solemnizing marriages as a magistrate. Winslow was the son of Edward and Magdalene (Oliver) Winslow, and the eldest of five sons, all of whom came to Plymouth. His first wife, Elizabeth Barker "dyed in the first winter," and he remarried Susanna White, widow of William White, a fellow Mayflower passenger and who also died in 1621. Of five known children, Josiah ("Josias") and Elizabeth were the only surviving children mentioned in his will. Mayflower Families Through Five Generations,V, General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1991.

Edward Winslow was twenty-five years old when he arrived at Plymouth in 1620, and he was thirty-seven when he became governor some twelve years later. One of only two men to alternate as governor with Bradford (the other being Thomas Prence) during the 1630s and 1640s, he was probably the most aristocratic of the Mayflower passengers in upbringing, and certainly in outlook (his correspondence with Bay Governor Winthrop shows a thorough underlying belief that some by birth were intended to govern). Winslow became the colony's main emissary to England, and he engaged in numerous diplomatic and trade negotiations with the other New England colonies. In 1646 he was chosen by Governor Winthrop and the Bay Colony magistrates to go to England as their representative to defend the Bay General Court from the charges being made to Parliament by William Vassall and Robert Child . At the time Bradford ended his History, Edward Winslow was still alive in England, and the last words of the History are "So as he Winslow hath now bene absente this 4 years, which hath been much to the weakning of this govermente, without whose consente he tooke these imployments [that is, Parliamentarian service] upon him," a double lament.

While in England for the last time, Winslow accepted employment in Oliver Cromwell's government and in December of 1654 was appointed commissioner, along with Admiral William Penn and General Robert Venables, of the ill-fated expedition to the West Indies to capture he island of Hispaniola from the Spanish. After the defeat at Santo Domingo, Edward Winslow died of a fever on the voyage fromHispaniola to Jamaica and was buried at sea. "He fell sick at sea betwixt Domingo and Jamaica and died the eighth day of May, which was about the sixty-first year of his life."