ORIGIN: Billericay (Great Burstead), Essex

MIGRATION: 1620 on the Mayflower



CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: He refused to kneel at holy communion at Easter, 1612 [Martin Bio 10]. On 3 March 1619/20 Christopher Martin of Billericay was cited for "suffering his son to answer me ... that his father gave him his name" [NEHGR 21:77, citing Archdeaconry Court at Chelmsford].

BIRTH: By about 1582 based on date of marriage.

DEATH: Plymouth 8 January 1620/1 ("Saturday the 6th of January [1620/1] Master Marten was very sick, and, to our judgment, no hope of life. So Master Carver was sent for to come aboard to speak with him about his accounts; who came the next morning" [Mourt 43-44]; 'January 8 this day dies Mr. Christopher Martin" [Prince 182]).

MARRIAGE: Great Burstead, Essex, 26 February 1606/7 Mary (__) Prowe[r], widow of __ Prowe[r] [Martin Bio 3 and plate facing 10]. She died in Plymouth the first winter.


  1. NATHANIEL, bp. Great Burstead 26 February 1609[/10] [Martin Bio 3]; apparently alive at Great Burstead in 1620 [Martin Bio 7].

ASSOCIATIONS: Christopher Martin's servant, [step-son] SOLOMON PROWER, was cited in the Archdeaconry Court of Chelmsford for answering improperly "unless I would ask him some questions in some catechism" [NEHGR 21 :77]. This unfortunate Solomon died Christmas Eve 1620 at Plymouth: "December 24, this day dies Solomon Martin [sic], the sixth and last who dies this month" [Prince 168].

COMMENTS: As a stranger to the Leiden company, Christopher Martin, stated by Bradford to be "from Billerica in Essex," was chosen as the "treasurer agent" for the Mayflower and Speedwell and provided supplies in a very overbearing and brash manner [Bradford 44]. Cushman wrote "Mr. Martin saith he neither can nor will give any account of it, and if he be called upon for accounts he crieth out of unthankfulness for his pains & care, that we are suspicious of him, and flings away, & will end nothing. Also he so insulteth over our poor people, with such scorn and contempt, as if they were not good enough to wipe his shoes" [Bradford 55].

In his listing of the passengers on the Mayflower, Bradford included "Mr. Christopher Martin and his wife and two servants, Solomon Prower and John Langmore," and in his accounting of this family in 1651 we learn that "Mr. Martin, he and all his died in the first infection, not long after arrival" [Bradford 442, 445].

Mr. Christopher Martin who was active in the early settlement of Virginia must have been a different man, as he was still ·of record in Virginia when the Mayflower man was already dead [private communication from William Thorndale].

BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1982 R.J. Carpenter published a pamphlet which thoroughly traces what is known of Christopher Martin in English court and ecclesiastical records [Christopher Martin, Great Burstead and The Mayflower (Chelmsford, Essex, 1982), cited above as Martin Bio].

The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony 1620-1633

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