The Mayflower voyage and beyond: Unravelling facts from fiction

Dr Kathryn Gray talks to Dr Kenneth Cohen about some of the artefacts from the Smithsonian collection that are connected to the Mayflower

This year in Plymouth UK, we opened our Mayflower exhibition, called Legend and Legacy, an exhibition that seeks to resituate the Mayflower crossing within its historical moment, and track the legacies of that moment. 

Importantly, it’s a loans exhibition, with borrowings from UK, European and US institutions, including branches of the Smithsonian.

In this video, Dr Kenneth Cohen is talking about objects from the Smithsonian collection that help us unravel some of the facts from the fictions of the Mayflower voyage and its legacies.  

Dr Ken Cohen

When you think about landing on a ship, you’re probably trying to steer away from rocks, rather than land on them, so the notion that the Pilgrims disembarked from the Mayflower straight onto Plymouth Rock are pretty slim.

Rock piece from the Mother Rook. Mayflower Legends and Legacies

Mayflower 400

2020 commemorates the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's pioneering voyage to America in 1620. The University is working in partnership to commemorate this historic voyage.

Find out more about Mayflower 400

Mayflower ship