Bill Cole's Puritans, Plagues, and Promises, Part 3

Author and passionate genealogist William "Bill" Cole was in the Chapter House studio to talk more about his latest book, Puritans, Plagues, and Promises. You'll want to listen to our part 1 podcast and part 2 podcast if you haven’t already.

That conversation covered Bill’s ancestors and their involvement in the Puritan Movement, which was an important piece of Christian history. Along the way, we also talked about King Henry VIII, the Church of England, the dreaded "Star Chamber," and religious freedom.

Here in Part 3, we talk about his ancestors in the families Cole, Clarke, and Collier. Bill describes his ancestors’ lives in Southwark, where London Bridge meets the south bankside of the River Thames. Bill’s 9th great-grandmother, born Jane Yates in 1587, survived 4 plagues and 17 childbirths. William Collier, Jane’s husband, was a successful merchant who invested in the Mayflower and supported Plymouth Colony. Bill describes Mayflower’s troubled voyage and his two ancestors on the ship who helped establish Plymouth Colony. This offers a rare glimpse of the Mayflower story from of two sides: the passengers and the investors. His two Mayflower ancestors, Stephen and Constance Hopkins, were joined by the Collier family and the Cole brothers in Plymouth Colony in the 1630s. Trials, tribulations, political turmoil, economic incentives including land ownership, and religious freedom all intersect with the promises offered by life on a pristine continent.

It’s a story that’s both personal and yet sweeping in the scope of English and American history. Join us!