WILLIAM MULLENS was a shoemaker from Dorking, Surrey, England, south of London. His house at (now) 58-61 West Street still stands today.
WILLIAM, his wife and two children were among the group of 102 Pilgrims who set sail from England in September, 1620. The members of the group were mostly "Separatists" (Puritans who had separated from the Church of England). To avoid being arrested by the government of England, many fled to the Netherlands in 1608. After a few years they became dissastisfied and felt things might be better in a new land.
So they secured financial backing in London, and in 1620 left the Netherlands in a small ship called the Speedwell. The ship stopped in England, and the expedition was joined by other English people who also hoped to better their lives. The group left England in the Speedwell and a larger ship, the Mayflower. The Speedwell proved unseaworthy, and the fleet returned to England twice. Finally, in 1620, the Mayflower sailed alone from Plymouth, England. On board were 102 passengers, 41 members from Leyden, Holland and 61 members who had joined in England. Because the Mayflower carried passengers from both ships, the conditions were much more crowded than originally planned.
A rough passage of 65 days brought the Mayflower to Cape Cod on November 20 (November 10 based on the calendar in use at the time). The group had promised to settle somewhere within the limits of the Virginia Colony, but errors in navigation along with adverse winds caused the Mayflower to follow a more northerly course, and land at Cape Cod. The ship anchored in Provincetown Harbor inside the tip of Cape Cod on November 21.
For almost a month, several small groups explored the area around Cape Cod Bay, while the rest remained aboard. One of the groups landed at Plymouth on December 21, 1620. They found a stream with clear water, some clear land, and a high hill that could be fortified. The site was once an Indian village, but it had been wiped out by smallpox in 1617. The Pilgrims decided this would be their home, and so the Mayflower sailed across Cape Cod Bay and anchored in Plymouth harbor on December 26.
The first winter was difficult, with inadequate food, strenuous work and severe weather. The colony lost half of its members that first winter, including WILLIAM, ALICE and their son, Joseph.
The last name of ALICE is unknown. She has been said to have been the daughter of Nicholas Atwood, but
this idea has been proven wrong.
|children by first marriage|
husband _____ Blunden
|children by second marriage to ALICE|
husband JOHN ALDEN