Mayflower 400 in Harleston


2020 marks the 400 year anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to America. Celebrations are taking place throughout major towns and cities across England to commemorate the occasion.  Harleston had a role in this significant chapter in world history.

There were a mere 102 passengers on board the Mayflower ship, and four of them came from Harleston. There were only 41 signatories to the the legal document, created to establish their rules of governance. This was called the ‘Compact’ and became the foundation for the American Constitution. Two of the signatories were from Harleston, Samuel and Edward Fuller. You may see references to them in street names.

Harleston have joined the international celebrations and will promote Harleston as a wonderful place to visit and live. There will be a programme of events and activities . The international celebrations begin in September 2020, and run until Thanksgiving 2021.

We will provide regular updates on these activities and articles about Mayflower, the Pilgrims and their journey.

Look out for the logo to find official 'Mayflower 400 in Harleston' events and activities.  These have been approved by Harleston's Future and are part of our Harleston programme.

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American singer, songwriter and artist, Jeffery Lewis, presents the Mayflower history with this wonderful song and comic book illustrations.

From the Pilgrims' reasons for leaving Europe to the treacherous journey across the Atlantic, this short video provides a quick and entertaining summary of the Mayflower.

Next Mayflower Events

Mayflower 400 Historical Research

Historical research was carried out as part of the work to create the Mayflower play.  The project ran from January to April 2020 supported a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The Project breif was to carry out research into Harleston during the period between the accession of James I in 1603 through to the eve of the English Civil War in 1640. The researchers were tasked with finding as much information as possible about six pairs of individuals who lived or worked in the Parish of Redenhall cum Harleston during that period.


​​The research material, along with more general background facts about the social, political and political circumstances in which these individuals would have operated, were collected into Information Packs on each pair of historical figures and given to local residents of Harleston and district organising and performing in ‘living history’ re-enactments in six yards and alleyways around the town scheduled for July 2021. 


On a monthly basis from May 2020 a selection of the Project’s research will be published on our website which relates to Harleston, Redenhall and the surrounding parishes during the first few decades of the 17th Century. Included are transcripts of original documents, Wills and Inventories along with a wealth background information about everyday life, community infrastructure and hierarchies, religious beliefs, and local politics in this period.

To find out more about Mayflower 400 in Harleston' please send an email to