ORIGIN: Leiden, Holland

MIGRATION: 1620 on Mayflower


REMOVES: Marshfield by 1643

RETURN TRIPS: Made many trips on personal and colony business. Returned to England in 1646 and never returned to New England.


FREEMAN: As governor, appears at head of 1633 list of Plymouth freemen [PCR 1 :3]. In list of Plymouth Colony freemen of 7 March 1636/7 [PCR 1 :52]. In Plymouth section of 1639 Plymouth Colony list of freemen [PCR 8:173], then erased and entered in Marshfield section of same list [PCR 8: 177, 195].

FREEMAN: As governor, appears at head of "1633" list of Plymouth freemen [PCR 1 :3]. In list of Plymouth Colony freemen of 7 March 1636/7 [PCR 1 :52]. In Plymouth section of 1639 Plymouth Colony list of freemen [PCR 8:173], then erased and entered in Marshfield section of same list [PCR 8: 177, 195].

EDUCATION: Attended the King's School of Worcester Cathedral from April 1606 until April 1611 [Edward Winslow 2). Apprenticed to "John Beale, citizen and stationer, for the term of eight years," on 19 August 1613, but left his master in 1617 [Edward Winslow 3-4).

He had a hand in writing Mourt's Relation and also authored three other important pamphlets: Good Newes from new England, or A Relation of Things Remarkable in That Plantation (1624), Hypocrisie Unmasked (1646) and New England's Salamander (1647).

OFFICES: Governor, 1 January 1632/3, 5 January 1635/6, 5 June 1644 [PCR 1:5, 36, 2:71]. Assistant, 1 January 1633/4, 1 January 1634/5, 3 January 1636/7, 6 March 1637/8, 2 March 1640/1, 1 March 1641/2, 7 March 1642/3, 4 June 1645, 1 June 1647, 7 June 1648, 4 June 1650 [PCR 1:21, 32, 48, 79, 2:8, 15, 33, 40, 52, 56, 83, 115, 123, 153].

In Marshfield section of 1643 Plymouth Colony list of men able to bear arms [PCR 8:196].

ESTATE: In the 1623 Plymouth division of land Edward Winslow was granted four acres as a passenger on the Mayflower [PCR 12:4]. In the 1627 Plymouth division of cattle Edward Winslow, Susanna Winslow, Edward Winslow and John Winslow were the sixth through the ninth persons in the third company [PCR 12:10].

In the 25 March 1633 Plymouth tax list "Edward Wynslow, Gov[erno]r," was assessed £2 5s., and the same amount in the list of 27 March 1634 [PCR 1:9, 27].

In his will, dated 18 December 1654 and proved 16 October 1655, "Edward Winslowe of London, Esquire, being now bound in a voyage to sea in the service of the commonwealth," bequeathed to “Josia my only son” the entire estate "he allowing to my wife a full third part thereof for her life"; to "the poor of the Church of Plymouth in New England £10 and to the poor of Marshfield where the chiefest of my estate lies £10"; "my linen which I carry with me to sea to my daughter Elizabeth"; residue to "my son Josias, he giving to each of my brothers a suit of apparell"; "son Josias my executor"; "my four friends Dr. Edmond Wilson, Mr. John Arthur, Mr. James Shirley & Mr. Richard Floyd" overseers "for the rest of my personal estate in England" [MD 4:1-2; Waters 179, citing PCC 377 Aylett]. BIRTH: Baptized Droitwich, Worcestershire, 20 October 1595, son of Edward and Magdalen (Oliver) Winslow [NEHGR 4:297, 21:210; TAG 42:52].

DEATH: At sea near Hispaniola 8 May 1655 "aged 59 years, 6 months, and 18 days" [NEHGR 4:297].

MARRIAGE: (1) Leiden, Holland, after 12 May 1618 [NS] Elizabeth Barker [Plooij XXXV; Leiden Pilgrims 290; MD 22:66-67]. She died Plymouth 24 March 1620/1 [Prince 189].

(2) Plymouth 12 May 1621 Susannah (_) White, widow of WILLIAM WHITE ("The first marriage in this place, is of Mr. Edward Winslow to Mrs. Susanna White, widow of Mr. William White" [Prince 190]). (For the argument that Susannah's maiden surname was not Fuller, see the sketch of WILLIAM WHITE.) She died between 1654 and 1675 [MF 5:6].


With second wife

  1. Child, b. and d. 1622 or 1623 (in a letter dated 30 October 1623 Edward Winslow wrote that "[m]y wife hath had one child by me, but it pleased him that gave it to take it again unto himself; I left her with child at my departure ... but hope to be with her before her delivery" [NEHGR 109:243]).
  2. EDWARD, b. say 1624; living in 1627; no further record.
  3. JOHN, b. say 1626; living in 1627; no further record.
  4. JOSIAH, b. after 22 May 1627 (not in cattle division); m. by 1658 Penelope Pelham, daughter of Herbert Pelham (eldest known child b. Marshfield 13 March 1658 [MarVR 5]; in his will of 1 January 1672/3 Herbert Pelham makes bequests to "my daughter Penelope Winslow" and "my son Josias Winslow" [NEHGR 33:291, 293; TAG 18:144]).
  5. ELIZABETH, b. say 1631; m. (1) by about 1656 Robert Brooks [MD 1:238-40]; m. (2) Salem 22 September 1669 George Curwin (called "loving sister Corwin" in brother Josiah's will [MD 1 :238-40, 5:82-85; NEHGR 150:193]).


COMMENTS: Bradford describes his fellow Mayflower passenger as "Mr. Edward Winslow, Elizabeth his wife and two men-servants called George Soule and Elias Story; also a little girl was put to him, called Ellen, the sister of Richard More" [Bradford 441]. In 1651 Bradford reported that "Mr. Edward Winslow his wife died the first winter, and he married with the widow of Mr. White, and hath two children living by her marriageable, besides sundry that are dead" [Bradford 444].

Edward Winslow was a valued agent for Plymouth Colony, as is evident from the pages of Bradford's history, and for Massachusetts Bay Colony as well. He was in the service of Cromwell's Commonwealth when he died in the West Indies om 1655. All these aspects of Edward Winslow's life are portrayed in great detail in Jeremy Bangs's biography of the man.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1850 Lemuel Shattuck published a "Genealogical Memoir of the Descendants of Edward Winslow, Governor of Plymouth Colony," which included in a footnote a list of birth and baptismal dates for Edward and his siblings [NEHGR 4:297-303]. Savage objected to this list of dates [Savage 4:598-99], but in 1866 William S. Appleton examined the original parish registers of Droitwich and in 1867 published the results of his research, which were in agreement with the 1850 article [NEHGR 21:209-11].

From 1965 through 1970 John G. Hunt published seven short, intriguing articles on the Winslow family, examining the ancestry of the five brothers, both on the paternal and maternal sides [TAG 41 :168-75, 42:52-55, 186-87, 43:239-41; NEHGR 121:25-29, 122:175-78, 124:182- 83].

The standard genealogy of the Winslows, now considerably out of date, was published in 1887 and 1888 by David P. and Frances K. Holton [The Winslow Memorial, 2 volumes (New York 1877, 1888)]. The bulk of these two volumes is devoted to the descendants of Kenelm Winslow, who had far more posterity in the male line than his four brothers combined.

Edward Winslow has been treated by Ruth C. McGuyre and Robert S. Wakefield in the fifth volume of the Five Generations series of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants [MF 5:3-27].

In 2004 Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs published Pilgrim Edward Winslow: New England's First International Diplomat, A Documentary Biography [Boston 2004], replete with complete transcriptions of many of Winslow's writings. Nearly half of this volume covers the last decade of Winslow's life, after he left Plymouth.

The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony 1620-1633

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