This year, the United States looks back four centuries on an intrepid group of refugees who have found a dangerous home in New England. The Mayflower Pilgrims had been outlaws in England, members of an underground church known as brownists or separatists. They believed that the church should be a voluntary community and not a mandatory state religion. For their refusal to submit to the Church of England, they have faced raids, prison, exile and death for the past 60 years.
The pilgrims were not the first British settlers in North America. The officially recognized colony of Jamestown, Virginia, was 13 years old in 1620 and the Roanoake colony, founded in the 1580s, had disappeared. What is less known is that the Brownists themselves had undertaken an earlier expedition to North America...
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