Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
William Bradford (1590-1657) was a founder and longtime governor of the Plymouth Colony settlement. Born in England, he migrated with the Separatist congregation to the Netherlands as a teenager.
For more information on William Bradford read the key facts below or alternatively you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- William Bradford was the governor of the Plymouth Colony.
- He was born in 1590 in Austerfield, England.
- He is best known for leading the Pilgrims and founding the Plymouth Colony
- William Bradford’s parents were William and Alice Bradford.
- His father, a wealthy farmer and landowner, died when William was still a baby.
- His mother died when he was seven.
- William was brought up by his uncles, where he worked on the farm and read the Bible.
- Against the will of his uncles, William began to attend Separatist church meetings around the age of 12.
- Separatists were people who wanted to “separate” from the Church of England to form a more pure church.
- At that time, it was illegal in England to practice any religion other than the Church of England.
- William began to secretly meet with other Separatists at William Brewster’s house.
- In 1607, the Church of England had many of the Separatists arrested.
- Some of them were sent to prison while others, like William Bradford, were fined.
- The Separatists decided to move to the Netherlands where they could worship freely.
- When William was eighteen, he moved to the Netherlands along with many other Separatists.
- While in the Netherlands, he married Dorothy May.
- They had a son named John.
- Around that time, the Separatists decided to start their own colony in the New World.
- William and Dorothy decided to make the trip to America, but they left their son John behind with his grandparents.
- Bradford and his wife sailed across the Atlantic on the Mayflower in 1620.
- The group of travellers were called the Pilgrims because of their quest to find religious freedom in the New World.
- Upon arrival, Bradford signed the first set of laws for the colony called the Mayflower Compact.
- Bradford volunteered to be on the first expeditions to find a place to settle.
- He was part of the group that discovered Plymouth Harbor, where the Pilgrims built Plymouth Colony.
- Unfortunately, upon his return, Bradford learned that his wife had fallen off the Mayflower and had drowned.
- The first winter at Plymouth Colony was brutal because around half of the original settlers died that first year from disease or starvation including the first governor, John Carver.
- That spring, William Bradford was elected the new governor of Plymouth Colony.
- Bradford served a total of thirty years as governor.
- His strong leadership was just what the colony needed to survive.
- He worked at keeping the peace with the local Native Americans and allotted farmland to all of the settlers.
- Bradford was also a writer.
- He wrote a detailed history of the Plymouth Colony titled
- Of Plymouth Plantation.
- This document is one of the best records of the Pilgrim’s struggles to survive in the early years.
- It also gives great insight into the daily lives of the colonists.
- It covers much of the history of the Pilgrims up until the year 1647, twenty seven years after they arrived at Plymouth.
- Bradford married his second wife, Alice Southworth, in 1623, and they had three children together.
- Famous descendants of William Bradford include actor Clint Eastwood, chef Julia Child, inventor George Eastman, Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist, and academic Noah Webster.
- He presided over what many historians consider to be the first Thanksgiving celebration in the autumn of 1621.
- One of Bradford’s partners in leading the colony was Captain Myles Standish, who handled the defense and military aspects of the colony.
- Bradford performed the first marriage ceremony at Plymouth Colony in 1621.
- William Bradford died in Plymouth on May 9, 1657.
Governor William Bradford Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Governor William Bradford Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about William Bradford (1590-1657) who was a founder and longtime governor of the Plymouth Colony settlement. Born in England, he migrated with the Separatist congregation to the Netherlands as a teenager.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Gov. William Bradford Facts
- Know Gov. William
- The Mayflower Compact
- Growing Up
- True or False
- First Winter
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Governor William Bradford Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 22, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.