For reasons of space, the notes to this book chiefly comprise references to primary sources, most of them unpublished. Because so many may be unfamiliar even to experts in the field, I have given full details of all of them. I have mentioned secondary works by modern scholars only when it seemed entirely necessary.
Nevertheless, I wish to record my debt to some excellent books that have provided indispensable assistance. Within their pages readers will find more information, and alternative views, about the very early history of New England and the origins of the Pilgrims. Each book contains a bibliography and notes that will take the reader in most of the directions he or she might wish to travel.
With regard to Puritanism, and the wider religious history of England in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the most comprehensive recent survey is Felicity Heal’s Reformation in Britain and Ireland (Oxford, 2003). It should be used in conjunction with the opening chapters of Michael Braddick, God’s Fury, England’s Fire: A New History of the English Civil Wars (London, 2008). An equally important book is Alexandra Walsham’s Providence in Early Modern England (Oxford, 1999), especially chapter 3. A brilliant analysis of the way in which people interpreted their experience in religious language, it supplements the description of the origins of Separatism contained in Making Haste from Babylon.
Sooner or later, every student of the period must turn to Professor Patrick Collinson. First published in 1967, his book The Elizabethan Puritan Movement remains a classic of English historiography. His concise treatment of Elizabeth I in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is essential too: by far the best account of that overexposed celebrity. For those seeking to understand two complicated subjects—Calvinism and Separatist attitudes to the Church of England—Collinson supplies an eloquent shortcut, in chapters 2, 3, 6, and 7 of his collection of essays From Cranmer to Sancroft (London, 2006). They supersede most earlier work on these vexed issues.
There are so many penetrating books about the politics of the period between 1580 and 1630 that a full list would require a volume of its own. John Guy’s My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary, Queen of Scots (London, 2004) covers far more than its title suggests. However, if readers want to know more about the 1580s, they might try Blair Worden’s controversial but fascinating book about Sir Philip Sidney, The Sound of Virtue: Philip Sidney’s Arcadia and Elizabethan Politics (New Haven, CT, 1996).
For later decades, Ronald Hutton supplies a road map through the jungle in his Debates in Stuart History (Basingstoke, UK, 2004). I also recommend Conrad Russell’s Parliaments and English Politics, 1621–1629 (Oxford, 1979), another modern classic, and Kevin Sharpe’s Personal Rule of Charles I (New Haven, CT, 1992). I do not agree with everything Sharpe says, but his account of the crisis of 1628 and 1629 is essential. So are Richard Cust’s excellent biography, Charles I: A Political Life (Harlow, UK, 2005), and Roger Lockyer’s Buckingham: The Life and Political Career of George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham, 1592–1628 (London, 1981).
American historians have produced an immense body of work dealing with the first Puritan settlements. To my mind, the finest literary account of early New England is still Charles Francis Adams Jr.’s Three Episodes of Massachusetts History, published as long ago as 1892. A man who fought at Antietam and Gettysburg before coming home to regulate railroads in his state, Adams had some excellent credentials to write the book in question. For those who prefer something more recent, free from Adams’s errors, Francis J. Bremer gives us a splendid start in his John Winthrop: America’s Forgotten Founding Father (Oxford, 2003). So does David Hackett Fischer in Champlain’s Dream (New York, 2008), another book that does much more than it says on the label.
With more direct relevance to the Pilgrims, by far the most reliable narrative can still be found in the first volume of C. M. Andrews’s Colonial Period of American History (New Haven, CT, 1934). It should be read alongside the elegant book by Bernard Bailyn, The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge, MA, 1955). They provide a solid introduction before one opens William Bradford’s history of the Plymouth Colony.
The best edition of that is contained in the annotated volumes published by the Massachusetts Historical Society: William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation, 1620–1647 (Boston, 1912). However, because the society’s edition is hard to find except in university libraries, in my notes I have preferred to cite Samuel Eliot Morison’s 1979 edition. Morison made small mistakes in his own annotations, but none of them were fatal.
Besides Andrews and Bailyn, and other books mentioned in my notes, the American works to which I have turned most often have been Virginia DeJohn Anderson, New England’s Generation: The Great Migration and the Formation of Society and Culture in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge, UK, 1991); Karen Ordahl Kupperman, The Jamestown Project (Cambridge, MA, 2007); Mark A. Noll, America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln (New York, 2002); Daniel K. Richter, The Ordeal of the Longhouse: The Peoples of the Iroquois League in the Era of European Colonization (Chapel Hill, NC, 1992); Neal Salisbury, Manitou and Providence: Indians, Europeans, and the Making of New England, 1500–1643 (New York, 1982); and David A. Weir, Early New England: A Covenanted Society (Grand Rapids, 2005).
However, to my mind some of the most relevant American scholarship in recent years has come from archaeologists and scientists. I am referring especially to Professor David R. Foster and his team at Harvard University’s Harvard Forest project. Their research can be found in David R. Foster and John D. Aber, eds., Forests in Time: The Environmental Consequences of 1,000 Years of Change in New England (New Haven, CT, 2004). An excellent account of New England salt marshes can be found in the essential textbook by Professor Mark Bertness of Brown University, Atlantic Shorelines: Natural History and Ecology (Princeton, NJ, 2007). I also recommend two recent publications that deal with the interaction between ecology, geography, Native American culture, and the arrival of European colonists. The first is by Lisa Tanya Brooks, The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast (Minneapolis, 2008). The second is an article by W. Jeffrey Bolster, “Putting the Ocean in Atlantic History: Maritime Communities and Marine Ecology in the Northwest Atlantic, 1500–1800,” American Historical Review (Feb. 2008).
I cannot count the number of times that I have delved into the Web site of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, www.newengland ancestors.org. For biographical facts about the Mayflower Pilgrims, another excellent source is the Web site maintained by Caleb Johnson, at www.mayflowerhistory.com. Johnson sets high standards of accuracy, both on his Web site and in his privately printed book, The Mayflower and Her Passengers (2006).
I have a last intellectual debt to repay. For many years, much of the best work in the field of North Atlantic history has come from French scholars, whether in metropolitan France or in French Canada. My text and notes refer to Bernard Allaire, Laurier Turgeon, and three La Rochelle historians of a much earlier generation: Marcel Delafosse, Étienne Trocmé, and François de Vaux de Foletier. Behind them lie the great masters of modern historical writing: Lucien Febvre, Marc Bloch, and Fernand Braudel. My account of the voyage of the Mayflower owes much to another French historian, Alain Cabantous. I adapted the title of his book Le ciel dans la mer: Christianisme et civilisation maritime (XVIe–XIXe siècle) (Paris, 1990) for the title of the first part of my own.
Since the 1970s, Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs has plowed a deep but perhaps a lonely furrow, as a historian committed to using careful archival research to enhance our understanding of the Pilgrims and the Plymouth Colony. His wide learning in art history and theology have assisted him greatly in the task. In September 2009, when Making Haste from Babylon was entering its final stages of preparation, Dr. Bangs published his important book Strangers and Pilgrims, Travellers and Sojourners: Leiden and the Foundations of Plymouth Plantation (General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Plymouth, Massachusetts, 2009). Although it appeared too late for me to use it as a source, Strangers and Pilgrims provides additional perspectives of the highest value.