Speedwell


The Speedwell is the less remembered ship in the Pilgrims’ voyage to the New World. Before boarding the Mayflower, many Pilgrims rode the Speedwell from the Netherlands to England. The ship planned to sail to America with the Mayflower, but was unable to. The Speedwell began to leak on its way to England. When it arrived, they tried multiple times to fix the leak but the ship simply was not ready for a long voyage, so they left it behind. All of the cargo from the Speedwell was moved onto the Mayflower, as were some of the travelers. Many, however, were tired from the journey and decided to return home.

This ship was built in 1577 and was originally called the Swiftsure.

Martin Pring sailed a ship of the same name to America 17 years before this ship embarked on its journey.


There are different theories as to why the ship leaked! Some say its mast was too big, others say it had a loose board.
The Speedwell was later auctioned in London, fixed and sailed by its new owners.

Only 11 passengers from the Speedwell boarded the Mayflower, while 20 others returned to England.