The Hickmans and The Mayflower Pilgrims
Although wealthy and well-connected, William Hickman and his redoubtable mother, Rose, who owned the Old Hall from 1596, did have something that put them outside of the establishment. Something they kept quiet about – their religious beliefs.
William and Rose were ardent Puritans. They were protestants in the firmly protestant England of Queen Elizabeth I, but they were unhappy within the Church of England. For them the English Church was still too Catholic in practice and as Puritans they wished to reform the church from within. Consequently they are believed to have become sympathetic to the more radical “Separatists” – a group of English religious dissenters who were considered to be enemies of the Crown. Separatists formed covert networks to worship in secret and to help those trying to flee the country to escape fines, prison or worse. There is plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest that the Hickmans allowed the Separatist congregation of local preacher John Smyth to worship in secret in the Old Hall. This was a very dangerous path because the monarch was supreme head of the Church and to oppose the monarch was regarded as treason.
Eventually some of the Separatists in the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire areas later became “Mayflower Pilgims” and as religious dissenters, sailed across the Atlantic in the Mayflower in 1620.
To find out more about the Mayflower Pilgrim and Mayflower 400 please visit http://www.mayflower400uk.com