Little Buc's & Giles Hopkins's Blog: Thursday, February 13, 2020

Submitted by Little Buc on Thu, 02/13/2020 - 17:00
Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem, Parlement of Foules
hamlet play cover
Ester howland
valentine card


Little BucAhoy, Followers!  Ahoy, Giles! 

Giles HopkinsGood Morrow, Followers!  Good Morrow, Little Buc! 

Little BucTomorrow is not only the day that we reach our final port, it’s also Valentine’s Day!  Was Valentine’s Day celebrated in England in the 1600s?

Giles HopkinsIt is highly unlikely that the Pilgrims would have celebrated Valentine’s Day or any holiday except the Sabbath. 

I do know that the modern origins of Valentine's Day come from England. Have you ever read Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem, Parlement of Foules, written way back in 1382? 

For this was on Seynt Valentynes day,
Whan every foul cometh ther to chese
his make,
Of every kinde, that men thynke may;
And that so huge a noyse gan they make,
That erthe
and see, and tree, and every lake
So ful was, tha unnethe
was ther space
For me to stonde, so ful was al the place.

Little BucNo, I definitely haven’t read that poem until now – and I have absolutely NO idea what it all means.

Giles HopkinsThe entire poem is about seven hundred lines long.  That is just one stanza.  I just wanted to point out that in 1382, people were discussing St. Valentine’s Day in England.  Perhaps you are familiar with William Shakespeare's play Hamlet which he wrote between 1599 and 1601, just two decades before Mayflower’s voyage.  This story of the Prince of Denmark not only mentions Saint Valentine's Day, but also uses the phrase “to be your Valentine”.  Ophelia sings a song called, Tomorrow Is Saint Valentine’s Day.  Shakespeare included it in his text. 

Little Buc: So even if the Pilgrims didn’t celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, they were aware of it.

Giles HopkinsThere’s actually an interesting connection between Mayflower and Valentine’s Day.  Esther Howland is credited with making and selling the first American-made Valentine cards in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1849

Little Buc: 1849?  Do the math, Giles!  Esther couldn’t possibly have been a Mayflower passenger. 

Giles HopkinsYou’re right, Giles!  But she was a descendant of John Howland who was a Mayflower passenger.

Now, I have a surprise for you Giles – and it isn’t a candy heart or a bouquet of flowers.  It is a family tree from a cadet!

Giles HopkinsWhat?  Another family tree that links a cadet on the TS Kennedy with a passenger on the Mayflower?  Who is the cadet?  Who was the Mayflower passenger?

 Little BucCalm down, Giles!  I will tell you!  4/C Cadet Seamus Donahue Scott from Chicago, Illinois was eager to share his family tree with me.  He knew that you’d be very surprised. 

Giles Hopkins: I am so excited!  Which Mayflower passenger is Cadet Scott related to?

Little BucThe Mayflower passenger was George Soule.  What can you tell our followers about him?

Giles Hopkins: Historians have been unable to discover the year that George Soule was born.  It’s a mystery!  They do know that he traveled on Mayflower as a servant to Edward Winslow and his family and he was one of forty-one men to sign the Mayflower Compact.  Historians believe that he was born between 1600 and 1602. 

Little BucSo he was approximately 18-20 years old during the voyage.  That narrow it down a bit.  

Giles Hopkins: George married Mary Buckett who arrived in Plymouth on a later voyage.  The couple had nine children - Zachariah, John, Nathaniel, George, Susanna, Mary, Elizabeth, Patience, and Benjamin.

Little Buc: Did George and Mary live out their lives in the Plymouth?

Giles Hopkins: No.  Soon after Zachariah was born, they moved to the town of Duxbury

Little BucWe talked about Duxbury on January 27th when we discussed John Alden and Priscilla Mullins.

Giles Hopkins: I’d love to see a copy of the family tree!

Little BucHere is a link to the family tree!  William Delmar Scott is Séamus’ grandfather. William Scott was born in Iowa in 1928

Giles Hopkins: So interesting!  When I get back to my cabin I am going to take a closer look with my magnifying glass.

Little BucGiles, you mentioned that George Soule signed the Mayflower Compact.  What was that?

Giles Hopkins: The Mayflower Compact was an agreement that was signed by passengers while the ship was anchored in Provincetown harbor - before the expedition crew went ashore.  

The Mayflower Compact was the first document to establish self-government in the New World. This document remained active until 1691.  At that time, the Plymouth Colony became part of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Little BucStudents participating in Follow The Voyage – Share The Experience may have worked together to create a list of classroom rules at the start of the school year.  Some teachers might have asked their students to add their signatures to the bottom of the document.  That’s similar to how the Mayflower Compact was created. 

Giles Hopkins: It is similar.  The Mayflower Compact, however, wasn’t a list of specific rules.  It was simply a promise that everyone would work together to create fair laws that were for the good of the entire colony.  The signers declared their loyalty to God and their home country of England.

Here is an image of Mayflower contact and an enlargement of George Soule’s signature.  Because we do not have the original Mayflower Compact, his signature must have come from a will or a probate that he witnessed. 

Little BucAlthough cadets do not have to sign a document prior to beginning Sea Term, they are provided with an online version of the Sea Term Manual.  This 50-page booklet contains everything that cadets need to know about Sea Term.  The booklet begins with a letter from Captain Campbell.  Some of the topics addressed in the booklet are the goals and objectives of Sea Term, ship’s regulations, the daily routine, safety procedures, conduct and discipline, customs and traditions, and shipboard dining arrangements. 

Giles Hopkins: The Mayflower Compact was nearly as comprehensive, but then again, it was handwritten with a quill pen. 

Little BucIt would take forever to copy a Sea Term Manuel with a quill pen.

Giles Hopkins: I am looking forward to arriving in Tampa tomorrow.  Florida has a strong branch of the Society Of Mayflower Descendants.  In fact, there are seventeen colonies of Mayflower descendants in the state of Florida.  Won’t the descendants be surprised if they happen to see a Pilgrim doll exploring the city of Tampa.

Little BucYes, Tampa, here we come!  Happy Thursday, Followers!  Good bye, Giles!

Giles Hopkins:  Fare thee well, Followers!  Fare thee well, Little Buc!


family tree
Cadet Scott's Family Tree

george soule's signature
book about george soule
george soule's grave