Mayflower Compact

Mayflower Compact

Signed by all 41 of the Mayflower's adult male passengers November 11, 1620 OS (November 21, 1620 NS).

In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc.

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620.

Signatories

MR. JOHN CARVER
MR. WILLIAM BRADFORD
MR EDWARD WINSLOW
MR. WILLIAM BREWSTER
ISAAC ALLERTON
MYLES STANDISH
JOHN ALDEN
JOHN TURNER
FRANCIS EATON
JAMES CHILTON
JOHN CRAXTON
JOHN BILLINGTON
JOSES FLETCHER
JOHN GOODMAN
MR. SAMUEL FULLER
MR. CHRISTOPHER MARTIN
MR. WILLIAM MULLINS
MR. WILLIAM WHITE
MR. RICHARD WARREN
JOHN HOWLAND
MR. STEVEN HOPKINS
DIGERY PRIEST
THOMAS WILLIAMS
GILBERT WINSLOW
EDMUND MARGESSON
PETER BROWN
RICHARD BRITTERIDGE
GEORGE SOULE
EDWARD TILLY
JOHN TILLY
FRANCIS COOKE
THOMAS ROGERS
THOMAS TINKER
JOHN RIDGDALE
EDWARD FULLER
RICHARD CLARK
RICHARD GARDINER
MR. JOHN ALLERTON
THOMAS ENGLISH
EDWARD DOTEN
EDWARD LIESTER

HISTORY

The Mayflower Compact is the written covenant of the new settlers arriving at New Plymouth after crossing the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower. It is the first governing document of Plymouth Colony and established the first basis in the New World for written laws.

Earlier New World settlements had failed due to a lack of government, and the compact was hashed out by the pilgrims, led by William Bradford, for the sake of their own survival. It was signed aboard ship November 11, 1620 OS (November 21, 1620 NS) by all 41 of the Mayflower’s adult male passengers.

Many of the settlers were fleeing religious persecution in Europe, desiring the freedom to practice Christianity according to their own determination, while others were simply in search of commercial success. About half the colony failed to survive the first winter, but the remainder lived on and prospered.