EDWARD SOUTHWORTH was born about 1590 in Wrington, Somerset, England. ALICE CARPENTER was born at the same place on Aug. 3, 1590. They married in Leyden, Holland, on May 28, 1613, having gone there from England. His brother, Thomas, was best man or witness.
EDWARD was a silk maker in Leyden, one of the Pilgrim exiles who formed Rev. John Robinson's church. He was at Leyden in 1611, present on Nov. 4, 1611, at the marriage of Isaac Allerton and Mary Norris. And also at the marriage on Apr. 30, 1613, of his friend, Samuel Fuller, and Agnes Carpenter. ALICE was a witness for her sister at the later wedding.
The children of EDWARD and ALICE were born in Leyden. They then returned to London about 1620. It is quite probable the their intentions were to join their friends and fellow church members on the 1620 pilgrimage to America. But they did not go. Possibly, the reason the didn't go was the young age of their two sons. Or maybe EDWARD's own poor health. But, whatever the reason, they remained in London where EDWARD died in 1621. They were living on Heneage Street in the Aldgate section of London in 1620, as evidenced by a letter to EDWARD from Robert Cushman dated August 17, 1620.
ALICE came on the "Anne" in 1623. It arrived in Plymouth in July, 1623, accoompanied by the "Little James", bringing new settlers along with many of the wives and children that had been left behind in Leyden when the "Mayflower" departed in 1620.
On Aug. 14, 1623, she married Gov. William Bradford, second governor of the Plymouth Colony. They had three children, William, Mercy and Joseph Bradford.
Tradition reports that ALICE and William Bradford loved each other dearly, but that her father was unwilling for her to marry William and selected EDWARD SOUTHWORTH for his daughter as being the most desirable party from his social rank. This may have been, and the fact that she so readily came to William Bradford in 1623 would lend credence to this tradition.
Regardless of the actual circumstances, the fact is that after the death of EDWARD and after the drowning death of Bradford's wife, Dorothy, in Provincetown Harbor, ALICE came to America at the next opportunity in 1623 and a few weeks after her arrrival she became William Bradford's wife. At the time sixteen year old Thomas Cushman was a member of Bradford's family having been left in William's care while the father returned to England.
ALICE had left her two sons in England in the care of relatives, probably her aunt Julia who married
George Morton. The sons came to America in 1628, joining the Bradford family, including three sons by
wife ELIZABETH COLLIER
wife Elizabeth Reynor