Sunday, October 16, 2016

American Biography - Governor & Widower Wm Bradford woos his 1st love Widow Alice Carpenter Southworth to join him in Plymouth Colony


The widow Alice Carpenter Southworth (c 1590-3-1679) was the daughter of Alexander Carpenter, a Pilgrim who chose to stay in Holland; and she was the widow of Edward Southworth, a silk worker & religious Separatist who left England to settle in Holland, where he died in 1621.

In Holland, young Alice Carpenter had been courted by both William Bradford (1590-1657) & Edward Southworth. According to family tradition, Alice's parents urged her to marry Edward, as he was supposedly related to royalty. Alice & Edward were married in Leiden, Holland, on May 28, 1613. They had 2 sons, Constant born in 1615, & Thomas born in 1616.



William Bradford (1590-1657), born in Yorkshire, England, had become attracted to the thinking of the Separatist church. Puritans wanted to Reform the Church of England; the Separatists believed the Church was beyond redemption due to teaching unbiblical doctrines.

When King James I began to persecute English Separatists in 1609, Bradford fled to the Netherlands, along with many members of the congregation. These Separatists went first to Amsterdam, before settling at Leiden. Bradford, rejected by Alice Carpenter, married his first wife, Dorothy May on December 10, 1613, in Amsterdam. While at Leiden, he supported himself as a cordoroy weaver.

It was the intention of the growing young Southworth family to sail for the British American colonies along the Atlantic; and they were in London, for several months before the Mayflower embarked for Plymouth in 1620. For some reason, perhaps because Edward was ill, the Southworths did not sail with their friends on the Mayflower. Edward died in 1621.

The young Bradford family did make the voyage. While the Mayflower was anchored off Cape Cod in Provincetown Harbor, and William had gone exploring for a site to settle, his wife Dorothy May Bradford, somehow fell off the brig & drowned on December 7, 1620, leaving Bradford a widower with one son, John, born about 1617.

When widower William Bradford, learned that Edward Southworth also had died, he wrote to Alice back in England asking her to marry him. She arrived on the ship Anne on July 14, 1623, leaving her boys behind with relatives. On August 14, 1623, Alice and Governor Bradford were married by Assistant Governor, Isaac Allerton.

The marriage of William Bradford & Alice Carpenter Southworth was noted in a letter written by Captain Emmanuel Altham of the ship Little James to his brother back in England, Sir Edward Altham on September, 1623. Alice had arrived on the ship Anne, and Altham had arrived 10 days later on the Little James. The ships set sail for Plymouth at the same time, but parted company at sea. Both vessels were carrying some of the wives and children of persons already in the colony, who had been left behind in Leiden, when the Mayflower departed in 1620.

"Upon the occasion of the Governor's marriage, since I came, Massasoit was sent for to the wedding, where came with him his wife, the queen, although he hath five wives. With him came four other kings and about six score men with their bows and arrows - where, when they came to our town, we saluted them with the shooting off of many muskets and training our men. And so all the bows and arrows was brought into the Governor's house, and he brought the Governor three or four bucks and a turkey. And so we had very good pastime in seeing them dance, which is in such manner, with such a noise that you would wonder...

"And now to say somewhat of the great cheer we had at the Governor's marriage. We had about twelve pasty venisons, besides others, pieces of roasted venison and other such good cheer in such quantity that I could wish you some of our share. For here we have the best grapes that ever you say - and the biggest, and divers sorts of plums and nuts which our business will not suffer us to look for."


By June of 1624, Governor Bradford & his bride had son William, who would later become Deputy Governor of the colony. Bradford would remain governor of the colony for 31 years, being re-elected each year. Although he was not university educated, he spoke several languages, including Greek & Hebrew. Alice would have access to his library, which was extensive. She would be there as Bradford kept a handwritten journal detailing the history of the first 30 years of Plymouth Colony. Large parts of this journal were published as Of Plymouth Plantation.

Alice sent to England for her children Constant & Thomas Southworth who arrived at Plymouth sometime after 1627. They would join their mother & stepfather plus the 3 children from their marriage: William, Mercy & Joseph.

William & Alice would have a long marriage together, from 1624 until Bradford died in 1657. After Bradford's death, the widow Alice actively took part in selling & transferring parcels of land in the towns of Plymouth, Sandwich, & Yarmouth.

Alice died in 1670. Her death was noted in the Records of Plymouth Colony. "On the 26th day of March, 1670, Mistris Allice Bradford, Seni'r, changed this life for the better, haveing attained to fourscore years of age, or therabouts. Shee was a godly matron, and much loved while shee lived, and lamented, tho aged, when shee died, and was honorabley enterred on the 29th day of the month aforsaid, att New Plymouth."

The Will of Alice Carpenter Southworth Bradford

"The Last Will and Testament of mistris Allice Bradford senir of Plymouth Deceased ; exhibited to the Court held att Plymouth in new England the 7th Day of June Anno Dom 1670 on the oathes of Nathaniel: Morton and Leift: Ephraim Morton; as followeth;

"I Allis Bradford senir of the Towne of Plymouth in the Jurisdiction of New Plymouth widdow : being weake in body but of Disposing mind and perfect memory blessed be God; not knowing how soone the Lord may please to take mee out of this world unto himselfe : Doe make and ordaine this to be my last Will and Testament; in manor and forme as followeth; Impr I bequeath my soule to god that gave it and my body to the Dust in hope of a Joyfull resurrection unto glory; Desiring that my body may be Intered as neare unto my Deceased husband; mr Willam Bradford: as Conveniently may be; and as for my worldly estate I Dispose of it as followeth;

Imprs I give and bequeath unto my Deare sister Mary Carpenter; the bed I now lye on with the furniture: therunto belonging and a paire of sheets and a good Cow and a yearling heiffer and a younge mare

Item I give and bequeath unto my son mr Constant Southworth my Land att Paomett: viz all my Purchase land there: with all my rights privilidges and appurtenances therunto belonging; To him and his heires and assignes for ever;

Item I give and bequeath unto my said son Constant Southworth and unto my son mr Joseph Bradford: the one halfe of my sheep; to be equally Devided betwixt them; and the other halfe to my son Captaine Willam Bradford

Item I give unto my said son Joseph Bradford my paire of working oxen and a white heiffer;

Item I give unto my honored frend mr Thomas Prence one of the bookes that were my Deare husbands Library; which of them hee shall Choose;

Item I give unto my Deare Grand child Elizabeth Howland; the Daughter of my Deare son Captaine Thomas Southworth Deceased; the sume of seaven pounds; for the use and benifitt of her son James howland

Item I give unto my servant maide Mary Smith a Cow Calfe to be Delivered her the next springe if I Decease this winter; and if I Doe not Decease this winter; my will is that shee have one Delivered to her out of my estate in som short time after my Decease;

all the rest of my estate not Disposed of all reddy by this my last Will and Testament; as above said;

I give and bequeath unto my sonnes mr Constant Southworth Captaine Willam Bradford and mr Joseph Bradford to be equally Devided amongst them in equall and alike proportions;

In Witnes that this is my Last Will and Testament I the said Allice Bradford have heerunto sett my hand and seale; this twenty ninth day of December anno Dom one Thousand six hundred sixty nine.

Inventory of Alice Carpenter Southworth Bradford

Plymouth Colony Inventory of the goods of Alice Carpenter Southworth Bradford, deceased 1670. Inventories were valued in pounds (L), shillings (s) and pence (d). There were 12 pence (or pennies) to a shilling and 20 shillings to a pound.


Impr 8 Cowes 20 00 00
Item 2 yearlings 01 10 00
Item a 2 yeare old steer 01 10 00
Item a steer of 4 yeare old 02 10 00
Item 1: 2 yeare old heiffer 01 10 00
Item 1 old horse and three mares 10 00 00

Item 17 sheep and 2 lambes 07 00 00

In the New Parlour Chamber
Item 1 bed a bolster and 2 pillowes 03 10 00
Item 1 green rugg and 1 Coverlid & 2 blanketts 03 00 00
Item a bedsteed & Curtaines and vallence 02 00 00
Item 2 Chaires 00 15 00 Item 3 wrought stooles 00 11 00
Item one Table and Carpett 01 05 00
Item a Carved Chest 01 00 00

In the outward Parlour Chamber
a bedsteed and Curtaine and vallence and settle 01 10 00

In the old parlour Chamber
Item a smale bed 2 blanketts 1 Coverlid & a pillow 03 10 00
Item 1 old green Cloth Goune 00 10 00
Item 8 yards of hommade Cloth 01 04 00
Item 2 Chestes 00 10 00
Item 2 Iron beames 1 hogshead 1 barrell and other old lumber 01 05 00

In the studdy in bookes
Item mr Perkins two of them 01 00 00
Item 3 of Doctor WIlletts on genises exodus & Daniel 01 00 00 Item Guicksarraden 00 10 00
Item the history of the Church 00 08 00
Item Peter Martirs Comon places 00 15 00
Item Cartwright on remise Testament 00 10 00
Item the history of the Netherlands 00 15 00
Item Peter Martir on the Romans 00 05 00
Item Moors workes on the New Testament 01 00 00
Item Cottons Concordance 00 08 00
Item Speeds history of the world 01 00 00
Item Weams Christian Sinnagogue & the protracture of the Image of God 00 08 00
Item the Meathod of Phisicke 00 02 00
Item Calvins harmony and his Coment on the actes 00 08 00
Item Downhams 2cond: prte of Christian warfare 00 03 00
Item mr Cottons answare to mr Williams 00 02 00
Item Taylers libertie of Prophesye 00 01 06
Item Gouges Domesticall Dutyes 00 02 06
Item the Institutions or reasons Discused & observations Divine and morall the synode of Dort and the Appologye 00 06 00
Item mr Ainsworth workes the Counterpoison & the tryall 00 02 00
Item mr Ainsworth on Genises exodus & livitticus 00 04 00
Item Calvin on Genises 00 02 06
Item Dike on the Deceightfulnes of mans hard 00 01 06
Item Gifford refuted 00 00 06
Item Dod on the comaundements and others of his 00 03 00
Item 53 smale bookes 01 06 06
Item Calvin on the epistles in Duch: and Divers other Duch bookes 00 15 06

Item 2 bibles 01 00 00
Item the actes of the Church 00 05 00
Item 3 of mr Bridgg: his workes 01 00 00
Item the Lives of the fathers 00 03 00
Item a skin of buffe 00 15 00

In the old Parlour
Item 1 feather bed 1 bolster 2 ruggs and a blankett 03 00 00
Item a bedsted & settle Curtaine and vallence 01 10 00

Item a Court Cubbert 01 00 00
Item a Table and forme and 2 stooles 01 05 00
Item 1 great lether Chaire 00 08 00
Item 2 great wooden Chaires 00 06 00
Item 1 great winscott Chist and a Cubbert 01 00 00
Item 2 boxes and a Deske and a wrought stoole and an old Case of bottles 00 12 00
Item 2 guns and a paire of bandaleers 01 00 00

The plate
Item the great beer bowle 03 00 00
Item another beer bowle 02 00 00
Item a wine Cupp 01 00 00
Item a salt 02 15 00
Item a trencher salt & a Drame Cupp 00 15 00
Item silver spoones 02 09 00
Item a silver dish 01 15 00 Item 2 blanketts 00 10 00


Item 1 Diaper Table Cloth and a Dozen of Diaper Napkins 02 00 00
Item another Diaper Table Cloth and 7 Diaper Napkins 01 10 00
Item 2 holland Table clothes 00 15 00
Item 1 old Cubbert Cloth 00 03 00
Item 4 pillow beers 00 08 00
Item 5 towells 00 05 00


Item 3 holland sheets 01 10 00
Item 2 paire of Cotten and linnine sheets 01 15 00
Item 19 Cotton and linnine Napkins 00 15 00
Item a paire of pillowbears 00 04 00
Item a nother paire of pillowbears 00 02 06
Item 5 shets 01 10 00
Item in shiftes and other wearing linnine 03 00 00
Item a Dingcastor hatt 01 05 00
Item her wearing Clothes and a little peece of bayes 12 00 00

Item a wicker baskett;
galley potts & glasses & such smale thinges of Little vallue 00 05 00

In the great Parlour
Item 2 great Carved Chaires 01 04 00
Item a Table and forme and Carpett 01 05 00
Item 10 Cushens 01 00 00
Item a Causlett and hedpeece 01 10 00
Item 4 great lether Chaires 01 04 00
Item in glasses and earthen ware 00 04 00
Item a Case and five knives 00 05 00
Item a rest & some other odde thinges 00 02 00

In the Kitchen
Item 24 pewter platters and a brim bason 07 00 00
Item 2 fflaggons: 2 quart potts & 3 pint potts 01 00 00
Item 6 smale pewter Dishes and a smale bason 00 10 00
Item 7 porrengers 00 06 00
Item 6 pewter plates 00 09 00
Item 2 pewter Candlestickes & a saltseller 00 06 00
Item 3 Chamber potts and three smale sawcers and pewter funnell; 00 09 00
Item 2 pyr plates 00 06 00
Item a tinning pan and 2 Coverings and a lanthorne 00 02 00
Item 1 great Jugg and 5 smallers ones 4 earthen pans and 2 earthen potts 00 00 12
Item 2 ffrench kettles 01 10 00
Item an old warming pan 00 03 00
Item 1 little ffrench kettle 00 03 00
Item 2 brasse kettles 00 15 00
Item a Duch pan 00 04 00
Item 3 brasse skilletts 00 04 00
Item 1 old brasse skimer and Ladle 00 01 00
Item 3 brasse Candle stickes and a brasse pestle and Mortor 00 09 00
Item a paire of Andjrons 00 10 00
Item a Chafeing Dish and a stew pan 00 10 00
Item 1 Iron skillett and an Iron kettle 00 10 00
Item 2 Iron potts 00 16 00
Item 2 paire of pothangers and 2 paire of pott hookes 00 08 00
Item 2 paire of tonggs and 2 fier shovells 00 05 00
Item 2 spitts and a gridjron and an Iron Driping pan 00 10 00
Item a paire of Iron rakes 00 10 00
Item 4 Dozen of trenchers 00 02 06
Item a box Iron 2 gallon glasse bottles and three pottle bottles 00 05 00

Item a spining wheele
a bucking tubb
2 pailes
2 kinmnells
two bowls
4 smale wooden Dishes
1 tray
2 Burchen trayes 00 16 00
Item Scales & waightes with an Iron beame 00 07 00
Item 2 beer barrells 00 04 00
Item a prsell of sheepes woole 00 03 00
Item 2 smale swine 00 10 00
Item in Mony 00 16 00
Item a silver bodkin 00 04 00
Item in provision 01 10 00
Item one halfe hogshed and a small prsell of salt 00 03 00
Item one paire of oxen in Mr Joseph Bradfords hand

Sume Totall 162 17 00

Captaine William Bradford and Mr Joseph Bradford haveing the Cattle after named in theire Costody when the estate was prised;
Did give in the number and kind of them upon theire oathes as followeth:
Item 4 Cowes 2 Calves one oxe 4 yeare old; one heiffer and hee was of two yeare old and 14 sheep besides lambes; sworne to these were in Captaine Bradford Costody June 1670
Item 2 oxen 4 Cowes 2 yearlinges one two yeare old steer 1 horse 2 mares 2 young Calves were in Mr Joseph Bradfords Custody and hee was sworne to this June 1670.



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