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Westerly Journeys


by Marilou West Ficklin, CGRS 1999

© Marilou West Ficklin, 1999 all rights reserved

The following lists and discussion suggest some family links between the infamous Ancient Exiled English Church in Amsterdam and the Pilgrim Fathers at Leyden. The lists are intended to evoke speculation.



The story, goes that a secret meeting of the Separatist Church in London was raided by the Queen's authorities one September night in 1592-3.

Those arrested that night consisted of the leadership of the Ancient Church: Francis Johnson, the leader,John Greenwood, the teacher, Daniel Studley, ruling elder and deacons, Christopher Bowman and Nicholas Lee. Greenwood was sent to Fleet where both he and the other famous Separatist, Henry Barrow awaited their trial for Sedition under the Act of Elizabeth 23. After their 'trial', commutation and finally rather surreptitious removal from prison, both men were hanged. Remaining members of the church faced banishment or death. Much of the congregation fled to Amsterdam in fear. A few years later, Francis Johnson, Daniel Studley, and Christopher Bowman were released from prison, the latter two fleeing to Amsterdam to the reconstituted Ancient Church in Exile.


Although all others arrested at Foxes have been accounted for, I have found no further mention of Nicholas Lee. Did he die in prison? Did he ever exist?

When Francis Johnson was released from the Clink Prison in 1596. Influential friends, including one named Charles Leigh, secured permission to send Francis and fellow Separatist, John Clark, onboard two ships bound for the New World. The authorities hoped in this way to 'get rid' of the Separatist threat and as a bonus, to use them to create a fishing colony which could benefit the kingdom financially. Unfortunately one of the ships hit the rocks off the coast of New Foundland and the entire expedition had to be aborted. Francis Johnson rejoined his the Ancient Exiled Church in Amsterdam. But no further mention is made of John Clarke.



When John Robinson and his Pilgrim congregation from Scrooby, England, arrived in Amsterdam they briefly associated themselves with the Ancient Church. But soon Johnson and his Church came under attack for outrageous, perverse and even criminal acts. At the same time it was torn apart internally over doctrinal disagreements. Robinson fearing guilt by association took his congregation to Leyden. Some of the disenchanted members of Johnson's Ancient Exiled Church defected to the Pilgrim congregation. Samuel Fuller, according to Willotson in Saints and Strangers was among them.

Sidebar regarding Studley and Bowman



Two objectives:

Who was Tryphosa/Trifasa Lee(Le)

She was the wife of Stephen Tracy--their betrothal is recorded in the records of Leyden.(Image) Beyond that the intriguing record of her life invites a lot of speculation--even that she couldl have been related to the vanished Nicholas Lee.

First of all, the targetted list of Pilgrim marriages (see below) shows that the Pilgrim Lees were associated by marriage with Samuel Fuller. (He married Bridget Lee, daughter of Josephine Lee and sister of Samuel Lee.) There is also a John Lee and a Jane Lee in Leyden.(See the marriage and guarantor lists.) Tryphosa Le is not known to be related to the other Lees.

The mystery of Tryphosa is enriched by the research of Robert Wakefield who presented an interesting scenario in "The Adventurous Tryphosa (Lee) Tracy", TAG:51, 71,242. Wakefield suggests that Tryphosa and her husband Stephen Tracy may have manipulated the system whereby cattle and land were allotted to Pilgrims in Plymouth Colony. According to his article, Tryphosa only pretended to sail to New England in 1623--and really stayed behind sending her husband to American with another woman. Tryphosa later stowed away, so to speak, on a supply ship with Edward Winslow. Wakefield attributes this ruse to the fact that she the Tracy's baby was only three months old when Stephen set sail for America and Tryphosa did not want to subject the infant to such a hazardous voyage. But of course this scenario leaves the door wide open to other speculation. The lives of all those related to the Pilgrims were precarious--especially if loved family remained behind in England. Covert activities must have been necessary to survival--but such conditions makes the pursuit of Pilgrim genealogy more challenging.

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Back to Lees


Zevenhuysen was a district in Leyden; Klocksteeg was a street etc.

The Pilgrim press continued to be a target of persecution by English authorities even after removal to Leyden. Thomas Brewer was the principal publisher of the press. He lived in Zevenhuysen on Klocksteeg. Therefore Pilgrims living in in that neighborhood may have special ties to one another. Polltax records.


(The Ancient English Church of London/Amsterdam and the Pilgrims of Leyden/Plymouth Colony)

The following table was mostly extracted from Dexter's "The England and Holland of the Pilgrims". The focus of the extraction was surnames associated with "Lee".


Henry Barrow -- Cambridge intellectual, acquainted with Robert Browne; proponent of 'Barrowism' emphasis on ruling elders. Arrested for sedition and hanged April 1592-3 Zechariah Barrow- Wool carder; Pilgrim lived in Zevenhuysen, betrothed June 16, 1616 to Joan Barrow (a cousin?)married July 7, 1;616; witnesses: John Crackstone,,Mos. Fletcher, Wyb. Pontus
John Greenwood -- Cambridge intellectual, acquainted with Barrow; teacher in Ancient English Church Arrested at Foxe's, and imprisoned at Fleet. Hanged April 1592-3. William Greenwood of Norwich; non-Pilgrim betrothed Nov. 24,1617 to Rachel Pettes; witnesses: Sam. Singleton, Robt & Marg. Hopkins
John Greenwood of London, Pilgrim. b. abt 1605. Matric. U. Leyden 7-9-1625; lived w/ John Keble; betrothed to, Bridget Robinson (dau. of John & Bridget) May 10, 1529; witnesses: Samuel Lee, Thomas Nash, Elizabeth Keble, &Bridget's mother.married May 26, 1629. Guaranteed by Samuel Lee.
Francis Johnson - leader, pastor, Ancient English Church Bishop; M2. Arrested at Foxe's, Lond 1592. Imprisoned Clink. Released1596 and sent on ship to Gulf St. Lawrence. Went to Amsterdam to resume leadership of Church. Died Thomas Johnson, Pilgrim, Wool-comber. M.1 Mary Elizabeth Golding (bet.) Mar 2 1640, mar. Mar 20, 1540 witnesses: Samuel Lee,. Anna Peck Spooner Powell Sold house to Anthony Clemens.
Jacob Johnson, Pilgrim m. Elizabeth ___;
Quiryn Johnson witnessed betrothal of Anthony Clement Mar 5, 1627 to Clara Jones
Andrew Johnson, non Pilgrim
John Clarke- Sailed with Francis Johnson et.al to New World and never mentioned again. Susannah Cleary Clarke, widow of Thomas Clark. John Lee and Thomas Mitchell testified on her behalf for her good standing Aug 15, 1622
Nicholas Lee - deacon, Ancient English Church, arrested at Foxe's London, ___ 1592. Only one of five arrested for whom there is no further record. May have died in prison John Lee (above); Could be same person as John van LeeWen Wen
Josephine Lee, Pilgrim, mother of John and Bridget Lee (wife of Samuel Fuller)..
Samuel Lee m1 Nash, m2. Sarah Thomas Talbot and was guaranteed by William Bradford;
Jane Lee, same as Jane Lyons, could be wife of Martin West
Charles Leigh, friend of Richard Hakluyt. Arranged for voyage to New World for Francis Johnson et. al. Referred to by Francis Johnson's brother as 'ye pastor's wife's cousin'.Could possibly be of same Leigh, Lee family as Nicholas Lee Other Le--variants: Le Leu (pilgrim)
John La Laing, John Lepelaer
Christopher Bowman - Deacon in Ancient English Church Survived imprisonment after arrest at Foxe's, Lond 1592 Became deacon again in Amsterdam. Accused of swindling Margaret Bowman, Pilgrim. Betrothed to Edmund Elias White August 14, 1629 but not married due to objection of former husband
Henry Ainsworth, teacher in the Ancient Church, who disagreed with and outlasted, Francis Johnson in Amsterdam and who maintained correspondence with Robinson's congregation. John Ainsworth--a Pilgrim who remained in Leyden. Guar. by Thomas Johnson and Samuel Lee, 1639 and wit. to betroth. of Samuel Lee in 1648.



Willotson, p. 84 says Samuel Fuller was denounced by Daniel Studley when Fuller ceceded from Johnson's congregation. (Links: see Fuller marriage to Lee in marriage list.)

Dexter (Dexter, p. 625) suggests that Thomas Mitchell, b. abt, 1560 may have been with Johnson. He also suggests (p. 609) that Jean de la Cluse may have been an elder or deacon in Ainsworth's congregation which separated from Johnson's at the time of the scandals. (Links: see Samuel Lee to 'Ainsworth' in guarantor list)

Further reading of Dexter's Appendix reveals a John Lee born about 1578 who was associated with Thomas Mitchell among the Leyden Pilgrims. Together they filed an affidavit in 1629 regarding the widow of Thomas Clarke.(Dexter, p. 623). ().

Works by Young, Clark and many others describe the evolution of various Separatist movements in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.



Robinson House: Purchased by John Robinson, 1611
			Other residents:  Servants Hardy (Ref. Le Leu, Spooner)
			Purchased by William Jepson, 1630
			Passed to Martha Jepson, 1635
			Sold by guardians, Jennings and van Lee Wen, 1639
Thomas Brewer House:  Purchased of  Johan La Laing, 6/17/1617 
			(Brewer  b. abt 1580. ,matric. U. Leden 1615; m. ? who d. 1618
			Other residents in house:  Fairfields, Tracys (Tryphosa Lee)
			and Willis (Willets?)
Anthony Clement House:  Other residents in house-- Rogers

Allerton Res.

Elsewhere in Zevenhuysen:  Pilgrims Price, Pontus, Chandle ,Dunham, Barrow,  
Non Pilgrims:  John Smith of Yarmouth, Say Weaver; m2. Alice Knights: betrothed Oct 20, 1618, mar. Nove 20, 1618;
 witnesses: John and Anna Lepelaer
			Robert Smith
			Roger Smith (b. 1587)
			Josephine Browne
			Albert Garretson
			Susannah Halton, widow of ___Clement

The Poll Tax Register of 1622 for Zevenhuysen near the intersection of Pieterskerkhof and Kloksteeg is the focus of the following speculation: No attempt is made to organize or unscramble this maze of connections.

The Robinson, Brewer and Clement residences were located in this vicinity. Some of this material is taken from Dexter and others from more recent articles in NEHJR and TAG. (See sources below).

Thomas Brewer, the printer-activist associate of William Brewster, shared his home with Willets, Fairfields and Tracys. The Willets and Fairfields are related as shown in the marriage charts. What is the relationship of Stephen Tracy of Great Yarmouth and his wife Trifasa Le to Brewer and the Willis-Fairfield group?



Looking over all the possible connections suggested by intermarriages and associations for the surnames West, Thomas, Lee, and Tracy--some curious theories might be advanced:

Wiltshire was an ancestral home for the surname, Wests. Roger Simmons came from Sarum (Salisbury. Forty years later in Plymouth Colony the granddaughter of Stephen and Trifasa would marry a West from Sarum brought to the colony by a Mr. Thomas of Marshfield. The Marshfield Thomases had a close connection to Plimouth Colony, a William Thomas having brought many of the colonists to Marshfield. Undoubtedly the Marshfield Thomases were related to the Thomases of Leyden. The Thomases of Leyden were related by marriage to the Lees and possibly even to Tryphosa as indicated by various associations with persons such as Anthony Clement, Rose Jennings and Martin West.

Was Trifasa related to Samuel and Bridget Lee, the children of Josephine Lee? Was Josephine the widow of Nicholas Lee? Did they descend from a common ancestor. There were other Lee's in Leyden among the Pilgrims--John, mentioned above, and Jane. But if Tryphosa's surname 'Le' in the Leyden records was just illegible and stood for some other name, or if it later was shortened and anglicized to Lee, Tryphosa might have been related to any of the following:

If so, and if Susannah Clark was related to John Clark, associate of Francis Johnson, then perhaps Tryphosa Lee was related to someone in the old Ancient Church. The presence of the Fairfields and Willets supports this. John Jennings and John van Lewen together became guardians of Martha Jepson related by marriage to the Willets and Woods of Norwich and Yarmouth. The Jennings were from Colchester as were the Fairfields. Daniel Fairfield and Roger Simmons were betrothed at the same time and place to two Willets sisters. Furthermore the Martha Jepson was the sole Jepson survivor when her guardians sold the Robinson house in 1629. Altogether Zevenhuysen contained the Allertons, Chandlers, Pontus, Price, Barrow and Dunham. Specifically on Peterskerkhof lived: Allerton, White, Fuller, Jessop; on Kloksteeg: Robinson, Clement, Brewer. Non pilgrims in the district included: Browne, Garretson, Smith and Halton (widow of Clement). In the household of the Robinsons had lived the servents, Hardy.


Studley and Bowman

Meanwhile Daniel Studley and Christopher Bowman were organizing the congregation in Amsterdam. While the congregation struggled to restructure their lives in a foreign country, the beginnings of controversy began to divide the young church. The power of the elders was at issue. Some opted for a democratic organization others for strict control by the elders. The more serious contention was that members has a duty to inform on one another--each person was a moral judge against the behavior of his/her fellow members. The leadership was accused of more than it's share of immorality. Daniel Study was accused of immoral acts of the most serious nature including child abuse. Christopher Bowman was accused of financial improprieties against the elderly.

back to Sedition

Partial Bibliography:

Henry Martin Dexter, Morton Dexter, The England and Holland of the Pilgrims,( London, 1906; rpt. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc.,1978).

Leyden Archives, Betrothal Book, B, photocopies received from staff, 1995

William Bradford Manuscripts 1639-1646 in The Story of the Pilgrim Fathers, 1606-1623, ed. Edward Arber (London: Ward & Downey Ltd., 1897; rpt. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Co.)

Henry W. Clark, History of English Nonconformity (New York: Russell & Russell, 1965)

Robert S. Wakefield, "The Adventurous Tryphosa (Lee) Tracy", The American Genealogist, Vol. 51, pp. 71, 242.

Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers, ed. Alexander Young, pp. 415-457 photocopies received 1994 from staff, Plimouth Plantation, no publication details provided.

George F. Willotson, Saints and Strangers (New York: Reynal S. Hitchcock, 1945).

Note. The history of Brownism/Barrowism/Holy Discipline shows their roots to be with Cambridge intellecturals. The first in congregations organized in Norwich, then Middleburg in Holland, and finally in London. There are many Pilgrims whose former address was given as Norwich, Norfolk and London. Of course Robinson had himself preached in Norwich before joining Robinson and Brewster at Scrooby. But perhaps it was not a clear-cut issue. Perhaps the lines between 'churches' was blurred, movement between them fluid.

back to sources



Family Histories
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  Charles Cameron & Caroline Beardsley (MI)
  Varnum Card & Rosetta E. Hatch (IN)
  Elisha Bryan & Margaret Garrison(NY)
  Isaac Bryan & Sally_____(NY)
  Jacob B Bryan & Maria Clark(NY)
  William W. Bryan & Jane Viehl (NY)
   Andrew Cady & Sarah Hibbard
  Samuel V. Calhoun & Verlinda Dawson (PA)
  Hezekiah Coleman & Elizabeth Belew (SC)
  Jarret Coleman & Mary___ (SC)
  Isaac Conn & Docia Coleman (GA)
  George Dawson & Narcissa Dawson (PA)
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  James Griffith & Mary Elizabeth Hall(MD)
  Joseph Griffith & Catherine [Burson] (OH)
  Charles Hagaman & Harriet Stone (NY)
  Charles Hagaman & Harriet Stone (NY)
  William B. Harris & Elizabeth Hibbard
  Bronson Hatch & Elizabeth Stone (NY)
  Uriah Clayton Herr & Lillian Painter(PA)
  James Henderson & Nancy Dean (MS)
  Alexander Boardman Hibbard (NY-CA)
  Charles H.Hibbard & Marie J.Osborn (NY)
  Enoch Hibbard & Sally Stone (NY)
  Lewis M. Hunt & Caroline Hagaman (NY)
  George Hudson & Frances J Hagaman(NY)
  Henry Knickerbocker & Caroline West
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  David Reed and Elizabeth Pletcher (PA)
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  Enos Stone & Sallyl Bronaugh (Mrs.)
  Oringh Stone & Elizabeth Mabee (NY)
      see also Stone descendants
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  John Van Rensselaer(NY-CA)
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      see also John West, Solon IA
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