Richard Bidwell b 1587

Richard is probably the father of John Bidwell with his first wife, but the records do not list a son.
Richard died in Windsor CT in 1647.

According to the Bidwell Family History 1587-1982 Vol I, Richard and John Bidwell sailed on the ship "Mary and John", the first of the fleet of 1630 to arrive in Nantasket, Massachusetts.


The following information is from Roots Web site

Richard's father was

  • John Bidwell born about 1550 and died about 1615 in England. (65)
    He married Mary Gray about 1575 in England; born about 1555; died about 1610 in England. (55)
    They had the following children:
    • Richard Bidwell

See the Dorchester Atheneum for further information on the Mary and John.


The following information is from
The Mary and John II Tour to England 1988 The Mary and John Genealogy Video Series, Volume 2

Prior to Henry Wolcott's trip, the pilgrims sailed to America in the Mayflower in 1620 and planted a colony at Plymouth. Ten years later it was still small and isolated.

In 1625, Charles I became King of England. He was very unpopular and was beheaded nineteen years later.

By 1630, so many English had become discontented with Charles' monarchy that it led to the "Great Migration" of that year with many families leaving England to make their way to the freedom for their religious beliefs that they hoped to find in America.

The first group to leave that year sailed in ten ships that made up the Winthrop fleet under the command of Gov. John Winthrop. These ten ships carried one thousand men, women, and children plus their cattle and provisions.

Then on March 20, three weeks after the Winthrop fleet sailed, the Mary and John, a Mayflower-type ship under the command of Captain Squib, sailed from Plymouth in Devon to what is today Boston Harbor. The 400 ton ship carried 140 passengers, their livestock, and 75 tons of provisions. They made landfall on May 30.

The Mary and John was twice the tonnage of the Mayflower. The top deck carried livestock, the ship's galley, and the captain's and crew's quarters. The second deck carried the passengers fitted into its space of 25 by 60 feet, barely 10 square feet per person. The hold carried a minimum of rock ballast and the provisions. The ship had no steering wheel, instead it used a rudder and the captain called out directions from the top deck to the helmsman in the bottom aft of the ship.

The man who recruited passengers for both the Winthrop fleet and the Mary and John was the Rev. John White, pastor of the Holy Trinity and St. Peter's churches in Dorchester. He concealed the passengers' Puritan connections for their own protection. Rev. White also helped form the Massachusetts Bay Company, having never traveled himself to America.

Most of the Mary and John passengers came from the areas of Dorcet, Somerset, and Devon in the southeast of England. Many came from the cities of Dorcetshire, Bridport, Exeter and Crewkerne. As they arrived in Dorcetshire, they were housed in the new hospital, an alms house and spent their last day there fasting and praying. The next day, March 20, they set sail for America.