By Adrian Moss
The passengers who sailed to America on the Mayflower were a mix of the religious separatists who had left Leiden on the Speedwell and economic migrants who had sailed from London on the Mayflower. The two ships rendezvoused at Southampton where provisions for the journey and for the first year were loaded.
After being repaired for leaks a number of times the Speedwell was abandoned. As many people as possible transferred to the Mayflower and they continued their voyage to the New World.
The financing of the Speedwell was by Merchants underwriting the fees for the Mayflower passengers. The Speedwell had been paid for by the Separatists. They had also paid for their own food and provisions. The Mayflower and the cost of supporting the the settlement had been paid for by Merchants. The passengers would repay the loan over a number of years based on the trade goods their work generated. Initially the investors thought that gold would be found, timber, fish and fur where the other products they anticipated being exported.
Listen below to Tom Bartlett, a descendant of John Howland, a passenger on the Mayflower talk about one of the Merchants that helped finance the settlers. John Beauchamp was born in Cosgrove, Northamptonshire in 1592.