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Table of Contents
See the fact file below for more information on the Governor William Bradford or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Governor William Bradford worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Born on March 1590 in Austerfield, Yorkshire, William Bradford saw the height of the Protestant Reformation in England. As a young boy, he became a member of the left-wing Puritan movement.
- In search of religious freedom, he joined a nonconformist group and migrated to Holland.
- By 1620, he led an expedition of Pilgrims to the New World. His group made up about half of the Mayflower passengers.
- While on the Mayflower, Bradford was one of the framers of the Mayflower Compact which later became the foundation of the government in Plymouth.
MAYFLOWER AND THE MAYFLOWER COMPACT
- The Mayflower was a ship full of Pilgrims who set sail at the beginning of colonial America. They were transported from England to Plymouth, Massachusetts in the New World, where the first permanent English settlement was established.
- While on board, the Pilgrims and other settlers who sought to establish a settlement in northern Virginia signed a compact which detailed rules for self-governance. However, when the ship landed in Massachusetts and not Virginia, the passengers felt that the compact was void and was out of the Virginia Company’s jurisdiction.
- On November 11, 1620, 41 of the adult male colonists signed the compact. One of the famous colonists who signed was Myles Standish.
BRADFORD IN THE COLONY
- 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 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. He served a total of thirty years as governor.
- Bradford’s strong leadership was just what the colony needed to survive.
- He worked to keep 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 Pilgrims’ struggles to survive in the early years and also gives great insight into the daily lives of the colonists. It covers much of the history of the Pilgrims up until 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 is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Governor William Bradford across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Governor William Bradford worksheets that are perfect for teaching students 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.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Governor William Bradford Facts
- Governor Bradford
- Mayflower Compact
- The Mayflower
- Bradford and the Colony
- First Thanksgiving
- In a Foreign Land
- Starving Time
- Say the Truth
- Saints and Strangers
- Bradford’s Lesson
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Link will appear as Governor William Bradford Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 22, 2019
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.