The Pilgrims were Separatists who broke away from the Church of England to continue the work of the Reformation. One of the English Separatist congregations emigrated to Amsterdam in 1608 to escape religious persecution. The next year they moved to Leiden, where, enjoying full religious freedom, they remained for almost twelve years. Discouraged by economic conditions in 1617, the congregation voted to emigrate to America. A small ship, the Speedwell, carried them to Southampton, England, where they joined another group of Separatists and were to pick up a second ship. After some delays and disputes, the voyagers regrouped at Plymouth, England aboard the Mayflower.
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