The other ship that carried Congregationalist
on their 1620
journey to America. Well, at least
The Speedwell was one of the two ships the Separatists had fitted out
for their journey. Her first task was to sail across the English
Channel to Holland and pick up a group of Separatists who had been living
in Leiden. This task was performed without problem, and
Speedwell and her larger companion, Mayflower (yes, those
Separatists), left Southampton on their way to America on July 20, 1620.
Apparently the refitters had given her too much mast, because soon after
leaving Southampton, Speedwell developed severe leaks that forced
the two ships to put in at Dartmouth. After three weeks of repairs there,
the two ships set out again. Speedwell still leaked too badly for the Atlantic
crossing, and the ships put into Plymouth where most of the passengers
were transferred to Mayflower, and some decided to skip the
journey. Mayflower left Plymouth on September 16 and the rest
I found a site about Leigh-on-Sea
which said a ship named Speedwell
had been built there in 1579
, but she was a 105-ton ship, where another
site said the Pilgrims' Speedwell
was a 60-tonner. It may
or may not be the same ship. 60 years is a long time for a ship of
that period to last. Mayflower
was only 10 years old in 1620, and
needed a severe overhaul at the time.
Apparently, the Speedwell eventually made it to America. A few
other sites mention that a ship named Speedwell, captained by a
"John Chappell", left Southampton for Virginia in 1635, with 59 passengers,
and several of them claim she was the Pilgrims' Speedwell.
A final note: It appears that you can visit Speedwell, as she has been restored (not a replica) and sits in Plymouth (England) Harbour.