Robert Cushman

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<br>Robert Cushman (1578 &ndash; 1625) was one of the Pilgrims. He was born in the village of Rolvenden in Kent, England, and was baptized in the parish church there on February 9, 1577/78. He spent part of his early life in Canterbury on Sun Street. Cushman married Sarah Reder on 31 July 1606. He was excommunicated for not recognizing the official church and as a consequence spent time in a cell of Canterbury's West Gate Towers. In 1611 he was one of a group of Pilgrims who fled to Holland because of differences with the official church over their practise of religion. In 1620 he returned to Canterbury and at 59 Palace Street arranged the leasing of the Mayflower for the Pilgrims to use on their voyage to America.

He did not complete the initial trip to the New World with the other Pilgrims on board the Mayflower, as the ship he was travelling on, the Speedwell, developed leaks and had to return to England. He instead took a different ship to the New World.

Cushman sailed to Plymouth, Massachusetts in the fall of 1621 aboard the Fortune, but returned shortly thereafter to England to promote the colony's interests. There, he published an essay concerning the Lawfulness of Plantations, which was appended to Mourt's Relation. This document is of interest to modern scholars because of its treatment of the economic reasons for emigration.

Unfortunately, before he could return to the New World, he succumbed to an outbreak of plague in London, in the spring of...
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