Here, off Bayard's Cove, the Mayflower ( 180 tons) with London colonists and the Speedwell (60 tons) with Leyden pilgrims - some 122 people in all - lay at anchor from August 23 (new style* to about August 31 1620. These ships sailed from Southampton on August 15. They put in at Dartmouth to repair the leaking Speedwell. They sailed from Dartmouth for America.
When about 300 miles W. S. W of Land's End, the unseaworthiness of the Speedwell made it necessary to put back to Plymouth, Devon, on September 7. The Speedwell was abandoned and on September 16 the Mayflower alone set sail again for America with 102 passengers. Their spiritual leader was Elder William Brewster. The Mayflower cast anchor in Cape Cod, New England on November 21 1620, in, what is now Province town, arriving at Plymouth on December 26.
On November 21, the Mayflower Compact, a charter of self-government - the first American Constitution - was made law by 41 signatories. Thus Dartmouth took part in establishing civil and religious liberty.
This plaque was presented by
The General Society of Mayflower Descendants (USA 1897)
Waldo Morgan Allen, Governor General
During their first pilgrimage - 152 by plane - to the Netherlands and England between September 22 and October 6, 1955.
335 years after the sailing of the Mayflower.
* A reference to the calendar reforms of the 17th century