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Pilgrim Fathers’ Memorial

Located at Scotia Creek in Fishtoft, 2.5 miles south east of Boston, and on the banks of The Haven, the Pilgrim Fathers’ Memorial marks the spot where a group of English Separatists, from Scrooby in Nottinghamshire, were arrested as they tried to flee to Holland.

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Protestant non-conformist religious beliefs flourished across England. One such belief was that of the Separatist Movement, who wanted the freedom to worship God away from the constraints of the Church of England.

When Elizabeth was succeeded by King James I, there was a clampdown on these non-conformist groups, it became illegal not to attend church and in 1604, the Separatist Movement was banned.

The English Separatists faced widespread persecution, and some decided to escape to Holland, a much more tolerant Protestant country.

In 1607, the Scrooby Separatists set sail from Boston to Holland. Unfortunately they were betrayed by the ship’s captain and arrested on board ship at Scotia Creek. They were taken to Boston Guildhall where they awaited trial at Lincoln’s Law Courts.

The Pilgrim Fathers’ Memorial commemorates this betrayal and arrest.

Eventually the Scrooby Separatists were released and did eventually manage to escape to Holland, from where they joined other separatists and set sail for the New World in 1620. They became known as the Pilgrim Fathers in the UK, and the Founding Fathers in the USA.

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