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George Soule History

GEORGE SOULE OF THE MAYFLOWER George Soule House George Soule house at Plimoth Plantation George Soule Signature
Signature of George Soule Compiled by Tim Stay How we are related: Jesse Stay, son of Joseph Charles Stay, son of Mary Cornelia Woodbury, daughter of Catherine Haskell, daughter of Samuel Haskell, son of Benjamin Haskell, son of Joseph Haskell, son of John Haskell, son of Patience Soule, daughter of George Soule of the Mayflower Since this account begins with George Soule the Pilgrim, it is worthwhile to first review how the Pilgrim band originated. After the Church of England was established, a Separatist Church was founded in 1602 in Gainsborough, England. An offshoot group from the Gainsborough church emerged in Scrooby, England, with William Brewster, William Bradford, and John Robinson being prominent among these non-conformists. Persecuted under King James I, they finally migrated to Amsterdam, Holland in 1608 after several failed attempts to escape England. After a year, they settled in nearly Leyden, Holland, where they remained for twelve years. Then they looked to America for a place of permanent settlement where they could have spiritual freedom as well as maintaining their English language and traditions. Upon Captain John Smith's return from his voyage to New England, Prince Charles I gave the names of English towns to points along the New England coast, one such location was Plymouth, the site of the Pilgrim settlement. Preparations for the trip to America were arranged in London; property had to be liquidated, and a patent for colonizing had to be secured. The Pilgrims entered into a Articles of Agreement with the Merchant Adventurers, who were a group of London business men financing the expedition. Two vessels were secured: the smaller Speedwell in Holland under Captain Reynolds and the larger Mayflower in London under Captain Jones. The Speedwell left Delft-Haven, Holland, in July, 1620, with 30 people aboard, including William Bradford, William Brewster, John Carver, Edward Winslow, Issac Allerton, Samuel Fuller, John Howland, and soldier Miles Standish. The Speedwell sailed to Southampton, England, where the Mayflower awaited with 90 passengers. It is in London that George Soule probably joined the Pilgrim group as an indentured servant to Edward Winslow, who at 26 years old, had accompanied the Speedwell from Holland. After several failed attempts to sail both vessels, first from Southampton and then from Dartmouth, England, the leak-ridden Speedwell was abandoned. The Mayflower finally set sail from Plymouth, England, on September 16, 1620, with 102 passengers onboard. After a long stormy trip, the Mayflower dropped anchor off Provincetown Harbor on November 21, 1620, but not before the Mayflower Compact was signed to guarantee individual freedom within the bounds of a governing society. George Soule was one of the original 42 signers. The search of a permanent settlement lasted for a month, and finally in December, 1620, the Mayflower sailed to Plymouth, where land was cleared, homes were built, and the new Plymouth Colony was begun. George Soule the Pilgrim, was born in England between 1593 and 1600 and died in Duxbury, Massachusetts, before January 22, 1679. Despite extensive research into George Soule's background, his parentage and birthplace are still undiscovered, although there is some evidence to support Eckington, Worchester, England, as George Soule's home town [3]. George Soule joined the pilgrims probably in London and sailed with the Mayflower as an indentured servant to Pilgrim Edward Winslow. While still in the harbor off Plymouth, George signed the Mayflower Compact in November, 1620. George married Mary Becket, who arrived in Plymouth before July 31, 1623, on one of the two ships, the Anne and Little James. George Soule became a prominent leader, business man, and office holder in Plymouth. He was among a group of 58 "Purchaser of Old Comers" who took on the responsibility of paying off the debt of the colony to the financiers. He acquired extensive land holdings in and around Plymouth, residing in Plymouth and nearby Duxbury, Massachusetts. He was repeatedly elected representative of Duxbury, Plymouth Colony. George Soule was among a group of volunteers to defend against the attack of the Pequot Indians at Connecticut, although the uprising was quailed before the group was asked to travel to Connecticut. From his residence at "Powder Point", Duxbury, he frequently served as one of the selectmen and civil magistrates. George Soule and his wife Mary had nine children: Zachariah, John (c 1632), Nathaniel (c 1637), George, Susanna, Mary, Elizabeth, Patience, and Benjamin. John married Esther Nash; Nathaniel married a Miss Rose. One of George’s daughter, Patience, married John Haskell. George Soule sold his lands in Plymouth and removed to Duxbury before 1645, in which year he was one of the deputies from that town to General Court at Plymouth, and an original proprietor at Bridgewater. In 1668 he gave his lands in Middleboro’ to sons-in-laws John Haskell and Francis Walker of Duxbury and their wives Patience and Elizabeth.

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