Christian Churches of God

No. 264z



The Dutch Connection of the Pilgrim Fathers

(Edition 1.1 19980919-20000419)

This paper examines the general history of the Pilgrim Fathers and their ties to Holland. The persecution that prompted their move to the United States of America is explained.



Christian Churches of God




(Copyright ã 1998 Christian Churches of God, Ed. Wade Cox)

(Summary by Donovan Schricker, Ed. Wade Cox)

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The Dutch Connection of the Pilgrim Fathers

There is a very small margin if one ever exists between politics and religion. How much difference has there been through the ages between religion and politics? History if it becomes the justification of religion, is a monumental lie when it is written to prove an idea or to defend politics.

We have a commission to tell the truth concerning history. This means that we have the obligation to research history and consider all the facets involved. It is clear that we then uncover facts that are not always appreciated very much. Especially when the truth closes in.

We know that the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches have written history to justify their religions and to condemn all the others, especially the Sabbath-keeping churches.

The Pilgrim Fathers fled from persecution in England to Holland in 1608 and stayed there for almost 12 years. They went there because they kept the Sabbath, and in Holland there were also Sabbath-keeping groups in those times.

The Dutch waged a war for freedom of religion and economy with the Spaniards from 1568 till 1648 with an armistice from 1609-1621. As the armistice was going to end in 1621, the Pilgrim Fathers feared that the Spanish Inquisition would then persecute them.

Because of that the Pilgrim Fathers left the Netherlands. The left on the Mayflower and the Speedwell. They returned to England as the Speedwell proved unseaworthy for the trip to America. They all continued on the Mayflower for the remainder of the journey.

One of the important influences in this period of Netherlands’ history is the execution of Johan van Oldenbarnvelt in The Hague on 13 May 1619. This execution of a highly respected man for political reasons, however in a religious disguise, in which the freedom of worship was involved, must have worried the Pilgrim Fathers greatly.

This event must have influenced their decision to leave the country, where they were living in freedom, and migrate to America via England and the Mayflower. Over the centuries there have been extensive contacts between the Sabbatarians of England and Netherlands. The Sabbatarians of the Netherlands have also had a profound influence on the renewal of Sabbatarianism in England of the 16th century.

The Pilgrim Fathers were Sabbatarians of the Brownist groups. They founded the colony in America and in a few short years the Trinitarians that followed them persecuted them again, forcing their removal to Rhode Island from the original colony.