Jonathan Brewster



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Jonathan Brewster
Born: 12 Aug 1593 Scrooby, Nottingham, England


Married: 10 Apr 1624 Plymouth, MA


Died: 07 Aug 1659 New London, CT    


William Brewster


Lucretia Oldham


1. William Brewster

2. Mary Brewster b. 16 Apr 1627

3. Jonathan Brewster

4. Ruth Brewster b. 03 Oct 1631

5. Benjamin Brewster b. 17 Oct 1633

6. Elizabeth Brewster b. 01 May 1637

7. Grace Brewster b. 01 Nov 1639

8. Hannah Brewster b. 03 Nov 1641

The oldest son of Elder William and Mary Brewster, Jonathan arrived at Plymouth in 1621 on the Fortune. The Brewster Book, a part of which contains family birth, marriage, and death records, was begun by Jonathan Brewster and continued by members of his family, and it is transcribed in MD 1:1 and continuing issues.

The first family entry is 'Johnnathan Brewster was borne at Scroby in Nottinghamshyre the 12th of August 1593 yeaes.' He lived in Leiden with his parents, and considerable informationon his life there can be found in Jeremy D. Bangs, 'Jonathan Brewster in Leiden Documents,' MQ 51:161, 52:6, 57. He was a ribbon maker and exporter in Holland, and in 1617 he formed a partnership with Thomas Brewer, who later became one of the Adventurers.

In this series of articles, Dr. Bangs effectively counters the claim of the Dexters that Jonathan Brewster had a wife and child who died in Holland. In Plymouth, Jonathan engaged in various activities, acting at times as an attorney, starting a ferry service, and engaging in coastal shipping to Virginia. In 1635 he was in charge of a trading post in Connecticut on behalf of Plymouth Colony, later returning to Plymouth. In 1652 he started his own trading post in Connecticut, and was censured by the local government for doing it without permission, but was allowed to keep his post. He was a close friend of Connecticut Gov. John Winthrop, Jr. and a fellow experimenter and scientist with his own laboratory at his trading post(Morison, Builders, p. 283). He married Lucretia Oldham, q.v., at Plymouth 10 April 1624 and they had William, Mary, Jonathan, Ruth, Benjamin, Elizabeth, Grace, and Hannah. (See also Barbara LambertMerrick, 'Jonathan Brewster and His Family,' MQ 52:72-83.)

Source: Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691 Part Three: Biographical Sketches: Love Brewster