Historical nugget unearthed
Tony Watts, resident of Redhill and former Wrington Journal editor wrote to say he "accidentally came across a reference to someone baptised in Wrington who was on the Mayflower." To see her details, which led him to this conclusion, look at
and spool down 9 sections to William Bradford, and look for his second wife, Alice Southworth (née Carpenter). This reference led Tony to ask if there were "any relatives out there ?"
He corrected this impression shortly afterwards by writing this note for the local press:
Wrington’s link to the founding fathers
A chance find on the internet has unearthed a Somerset village’s link to America’s founding fathers.
Alice Carpenter Southworth, who was baptized at Wrington Church in 1590, sailed to Plymouth on “The Anne” in 1623, three years after the Mayflower, as the widow of Edward Southworth, and “soon thereafter” married William Bradford by then the Governor of the Colony.
Bradford remained Governor for most of his life until his death in 1657, while Alice outlived him, reaching the ripe old age at that time of 80. Their eldest son, also William, became Deputy Governor. Bradford’s place in history has also been secured by his historic log, which charted the journey and early days of the settlement.
Redhill resident, Tony Watts, who discovered the connection, is asking if anyone locally has more information on Alice (Carpenter) Southworth, and her connections with the area. “Wrington’s most famous residents have always been John Locke and Hannah More, but there may well be another important person with Wrington connections.
“Reading some of the early records it appears that Alice was a leading member of the community. Their wedding was certainly a major event attended by the local chief and his queen who brought along several buck and a turkey for the festivities.
“After she was widowed she owned large tracts of land, which she proceeded to sell as the colony grew. That must have made her one of the wealthier women in the country at that time. When she died, she left her land holdings to her eldest son, Constant Southworth, while her animals, goods and chattels were valued at £162 a significant sum at the time.”
If anyone has more details of Alice Carpenter, or knows of any living local descendants, Tony Watts can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
This was shortly followed by an e-mail from another local resident, Cordelia Pegg:
"When we visited Boston some years ago we went to Plimouth Plantation which is a living museum near where the Mayflower is berthed. The Plimoth 'dwellers' (all acting their part) are fantastic at keeping in role and have old English accents. When a friend visited he was asked by a dweller where he came from and he said nonchalantly ' Oh you wouldn't know, its a little village in Somerset called Wrington'. To his surprise the dweller said, in role, without blinking an eyelid, 'Oh yes William is from Wrington, you must talk to him....' The actors certainly knew their characters' histories."
Plimoth Plantation has a web site www.plimoth.org/
We're grateful to both our correspondents, and await further information with anticipation ! - Ed