The Mayflower is an iconic ship in the history of America, but did you know it never returned to the New World after it left the Plymouth Colony on April 5, 1621?
Her captain, Christopher Jones, bought the Mayflower in 1607, together with several business partners. She was a cargo ship, capable of carrying up to 180 tons, and at different time carried lumber, tar, fish, French wine, Cognac, vinegar, or salt.
The home of Master Christopher Jones inHarwich, England, where a replica of the Mayflower is being built for the quadricentennial in 2020.
After returning from a voyage to Bordeaux, France, in May 1620, the Mayflower and its master were hired to take the Pilgrims to Northern Virginia. This was the first recorded trans-Atlantic voyage for both ship and Jones although several crewmembers had been to the New World before.
The Mayflower arrived back in England on May 6. Christopher Jones took the ship out for a few more trading runs, but he died a couple of years later in March 1622. His widow, Josian, inherited the Mayflower, and the ship was appraised for probate purposed in May 1624. At that time it was referred to as being “in ruins” and was only valued at 128 pounds sterling. The Mayflower was almost certainly broken up and sold off as scrap.
A sad end for this historic lady, but at the time the Mayflowers’s place in history had not yet been recognized.
The “Mayflower Barn” in Jordans, England, was identified in the 1920s as having been made from the remnants of the Mayflower. The evidence is entirely unconvincing, but that has not stopped it from becoming a tourist attraction nonetheless.