|Winslow Family Home in England, "Kerswell"|
|Second entry for November 1594 for St Bride's Church is for Edward and Magdalene|
From London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812
|Copperplate map of London surveyed between 1553 and 1559|
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain
Edward and Magdalene would go on to have a large family:
- Edward (passenger on the Mayflower 1620)
- John (passenger on the Fortune 1621, my 8th great grandfather, married Mayflower passenger Mary Chilton)
- Kenelm (also my 8th great grandfather, in Plymouth Colony by 1630 where he married Ellen Newton who had arrived on the Anne 1621)
- Gilbert (passenger on the Mayflower 1620 but returned to England)
- Josiah (another early Plymouth settler by 1631)
By the late 1500's Edward Winslow was one of the men who extracted and sold the famous Droitwich salt. A method of evaporation would have been used to get the salt from the brine and the end product would have been in high demand for preservation of food. This afforded Edward and Magdalene a comfortable lifestyle for their growing family. The family home was named "Kerswell" and was a very attractive and comfortable dwelling near the small village of Kempsey, not far from Droitwich. It has continued to be inhabited as a beautiful home into the current century. Although the homeowners no doubt tire of Winslow descendants from North America returning "home" expecting to find a museum or other public place, this is definitely a private residence. It was suggested by them that at some point some of these descendants could consider purchasing the home with that in mind. However, with special prior arrangements having been made by my husband as a surprise for me, the owners very graciously allowed us inside on our visit in 2004 - a special treat indeed!
|The author inside Kerswell 2004 - touching the beams that Edward touched|
Photo courtesy Graham Barnard
No records have been found for the date of Edward's death, but it is thought to be around 1620. Edward's eldest son Richard from his first marriage was undoubtedly the son who inherited all the father's assets under English primogeniture.
Edward's other sons had all started to make lives of their own. Several seemed to be caught up in varying degrees of Puritan zeal. Son Edward, in particular, was active in illicit printing of Protestant Separatist religious tracts and went to Leiden, Holland, as part of the group that went there seeking religious freedom. He and brother Gilbert joined that group when it headed to America on the Mayflower. Edward became one of Plymouth's leading men, acting as the colony's Governor for a period of time. He often represented the Colony in its dealings with England and returned to England to serve with Oliver Cromwell. He died of yellow fever near Jamaica in 1654 while acting as commissioner of a British naval mission against the Spanish.
|1650 Portrait of Edward Winslow, son of the Edward of this Story|
Did some of Edward Winslow's Droitwich salt make its way to America aboard the Mayflower or the Fortune with his sons? Although there is no record of this, it would stand to reason that such a necessary commodity might well indeed have been included in the cargo.
- Wikipedia article about Edward Winslow (the son) accessed 25 August 2015
- BBC, "The History of Salt Production at Droitwich Spa" accessed 24 August 2015 at http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/herefordandworcester/hi/people_and_places/religion_and_ethics/newsid_8473000/8473037.stm
- Wikipedia article about John Winslow accessed 1 September 2015
- Willison, "Saints and Strangers" 1945, pages 450-451
- Colket, Meredith B, "Founders and Patriots - Founders of Early American Families (Emigrants from Europe 1607 - 1657)", 1975
- Stratton, "Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620 - 1691", page 376