The Mayflower Compact was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was written by the Separatists, also known as the “Saints”, fleeing religious persecution from James VI and I. They traveled aboard the Mayflower in 1620. (read more)
- November 11, 1620 – Pilgrims sign Mayflower Compact
In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.
Although the original document has been lost, three versions exist from the 17th century: printed in Mourt’s Relation (1622), which was reprinted in Purchas his Pilgrimes (1625), hand written by William Bradford in his journal Of Plimoth Plantation (1646), and printed by Bradford’s nephew Nathaniel Morton in New-Englands Memorial (1669). The three versions differ slightly in wording and significantly in spelling, capitalization and punctuation.
Note: All occurrences of long s, ſ or , have been replaced by modern s.
|IN the name of God, Amen. We whose names are vnder-written, the loyall Subiects of our dread soveraigne||In ye name of God Amen· We whose names are vnderwriten, the loyall subjects of our dread soueraigne||In the Name of God, Amen. We whose Names are under-written, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Soveraign|
|Lord King IAMES, by the grace of God of Great Britaine, France, and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, &c.||Lord King James by ye grace of God, of great Britaine, franc, & Ireland king, defender of ye faith, &c.||Lord King James, by the grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defendor of the Faith, &c.|
|Having vnder-taken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian Faith, and honour of our King and Countrey,||haueing vndertaken, for ye glorie of God, and aduancemente of ye Christian faith and honour of our king & countrie,||Having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our K[i]ng and Countrey,|
|a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the Northerne parts of VIRGINIA, doe by these presents solemnly & mutually in the||a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Northerne parts of Virginia· doe by these presents solemnly & mutualy in y||a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the Northern parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents solemnly and mutually, in the|
|presence of God and one of another, covenant, and combine our selues together into a civill body politike, for our better||presence of God, and one of another, couenant & combine our selues togeather into a ciuill body politick; for our better||presence of God and one another, Covenant and Combine our selves together into a Civil Body Politick, for our better|
|ordering and preservation, and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by vertue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame||ordering & preseruation & furtherance of ye ends aforesaid; and by vertue hearof, to enacte, constitute, and frame||ordering and preservation, and furtherance of the ends aforesaid: and by virtue hereof do enact, constitute and frame|
|such iust and equall Lawes, Ordinances, acts, constitutions, offices from time to time, as shall be thought most meet||such just & equall lawes, ordinances, Acts, constitutions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete||such just and equal Laws, O[r]dinances, Acts, Constitutions and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet|
|and convenient for the generall good of the Colony: vnto which wee promise all due submission and obedience.||& conuenient for ye generall good of ye colonie: vnto which we promise all due submission and obedience.||and convenient for the general good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.|
|In witnesse whereof we haue here·vnder suscribed our names. Cape Cod 11. of November, in the yeare of the raigne of our||In witnes wherof we haue herevnder subscribed our names at Cap-Codd ye ·11· of Nouember, in ye year of ye raigne of our||In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our Names at Cape Cod, the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our|
|soveraigne Lord King IAMES, of England, France, and Ireland 18. and of Scotland 54. Anno Domino 1620.||soueraigne Lord king James, of England, france, & Ireland ye eighteenth and of Scotland ye fiftie fourth. Ano: Dom. ·1620||Soveraign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty fourth, Anno Dom. 1620|
|John Carver||Edward Tilly||Digery Priest (sic)|
|William Bradford||John Tilly||Thomas Williams|
|Edward Winslow||Francis Cooke (sic)||Gilbert Winslow|
|William Brewster||Thomas Rogers||Edmund Margeson|
|Isaac Allerton||Thomas Tinker||Peter Brown|
|Miles Standish||John Ridgdale||Richard Bitteridge (sic)|
|John Alden||Edward Fuller||George Soule|
|Samuel Fuller||John Turner||Richard Clark (sic)|
|Christopher Martin||Francis Eaton||Richard Gardiner|
|William Mullins||James Chilton||John Allerton|
|William White||John Craxton (sic)||Thomas English|
|Richard Warren||John Billington||Edward Doten (sic)|
|John Howland||Joses Fletcher (sic)||Edward Leister|
|Stephen Hopkins||John Goodman|