Mayflower 400 Play - Historical Research

Mayflower 400 Play - Historical Research Project

This page presents material from a Historical Research Project as part of the background to creating the Mayflower 400 play, A New World Odyssey. The project ran from January to April 2020 supported a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The project brief 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 research group were tasked with finding as much information as possible about six pairs of individuals who lived or worked in the Parish of Redenhall with Harleston during that period.

This material, along with more general background facts about the social and political circumstances in which these individuals would have operated, were collated into Information Packs on each pair of historical figures.  The packs were given to local residents of Harleston and district who were organising and performing in ‘living history’ re-enactments in six yards and alleyways around the town.  These performances were originally scheduled for July 2020, however, due to the Coronavirus outbreak they may be delayed until later in the year.

A selection of the research material which relates to Harleston, Redenhall and the surrounding parishes during the first few decades of the 17th Century will be published each month from May 2020. 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.

We will include contextual material about important local and national events which impacted on the town. Information about some of the people and families who were residents in the town, some wealthy and others impoverished, who played important roles in the history of their communities will be added once the living history re-enactments have taken place.

VOLUNTEERS

Julie Craven
Pat Douglas
Margaret Griffiths
Robert Halliday
Gordon Lascelles
Janine Lascelles
Stephen Poulter (Project Lead)
David Seddon
Jill Tan

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

All written content for this site has been written by the volunteers working on the Mayflower 400 Play - Historical Research Project as a result of the grant given to the project by the Heritage Lottery Fund, made possible with money raised by National Lottery players. The copyright for their work remains with the original authors.  Special thanks to Nicky Stainton and Eileen Ryan for originating the idea for the living history re-enactments, providing the original project brief, passing on all sorts of useful contacts, and giving continuous constructive feedback on all aspects of the incoming research. Robin Twigge was kind enough to provide us with a room at the Swan Hotel for all of our volunteer meetings which was much appreciated. Kate Jewell provided her expertise by running a fascinating workshop for us on 17th century wills and inventories as well as transcribing a range of original deeds and manuscripts to assist in our research efforts.

USEFUL LINKS

Norfolk Record Office
www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk


Norfolk Heritage Centre at the Norfolk Millennium Library
www.norfolk.gov.uk/libraries-local-history-and-archives/researching-family-and-local-history/norfolk-heritage-centre 

 

Suffolk Record Office
www.suffolkarchives.co.uk


Gressenhall Workhouse & Farm
www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/gressenhall-farm-and-workhouse 


Norfolk Heritage Explorer
www.heritage.norfolk.gov.uk 
 

Seventeenth Century 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.

Historical Background

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.

Events

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.

Next Research Events

...

Mayflower Play and Walk: Living History Re-enactments

Encounter working men and women from Harleston’s 17th century history in some of the yards and alleys around the town centre. Hear them talk about their life and occupation, the state of the nation and local gossip about the ‘Founding Fa...

...

Mayflower Play: A New World Odyssey

The first Thanksgiving, New England, 1621. Fifty men, women and children from the Mayflower voyage gather for a grand feast. But what are they celebrating? Survival after a gruelling ocean crossing and a merciless winter? The freedom to ...

POSTPONED

...

Mayflower Play: A New World Odyssey

The first Thanksgiving, New England, 1621. Fifty men, women and children from the Mayflower voyage gather for a grand feast. But what are they celebrating? Survival after a gruelling ocean crossing and a merciless winter? The freedom to ...

POSTPONED

...

Mayflower Play: A New World Odyssey

The first Thanksgiving, New England, 1621. Fifty men, women and children from the Mayflower voyage gather for a grand feast. But what are they celebrating? Survival after a gruelling ocean crossing and a merciless winter? The freedom to ...

POSTPONED

...

Mayflower Play: A New World Odyssey

The first Thanksgiving, New England, 1621. Fifty men, women and children from the Mayflower voyage gather for a grand feast. But what are they celebrating? Survival after a gruelling ocean crossing and a merciless winter? The freedom to ...

POSTPONED

People and Family

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.

To find out more about the Mayflower Research Project please send an email to Nicky Stainton at nmstainton@gmail.com

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