The Pilgrim Fathers Memorial
, located on the north bank of The Haven
at the site of the former Scotia Creek, Fishtoft
, seaward of Boston
is a small granite
obelisk mounted on a granite block. It commemorates the Pilgrims
' first attempt at finding religious freedom in September, 1607
by escaping to Holland
They had chartered a Dutch vessel to transport them but the attempt was thwarted when the captain betrayed them to the local authorities. As trying to leave England without permission was illegal at the time, they were arrested and taken by boat to be imprisoned for a short while in Boston, probably in the town prison which was in the market place, near the parish church
. The hearing by the magistrates will have been in the Guildhall
, so that they are likely to have been imprisoned on that occasion in the cells there.
In 1608, some time after their release, they made a second, successful attempt from the Humber and spent 12 years in Leiden before eventually setting sail for the New World via Southampton and Plymouth.
The memorial was erected by the former Boston Borough Council
, on the 350th anniversary of the event. The ceremony was attended by several members of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, who made a generous donation towards the cost of the monument. Its design is a tapering shaft rising from a massive base-block, intended to symbolise the irresistible urge which drove a small band of men and women to leave their country and kinsfolk for conscience's sake. The material used typifies by its rugged strength the power and stability of their faith.
The inscription on the front of the memorial reads:
- "Near this place in September 1607 those later known as "The Pilgrim Fathers" made their first attempt to find religious freedom across the seas. Erected 1957"
There is also a Pilgrim Fathers Memorial in Southampton.