m. bef 1555
m. est 1586
Facts and Events
James Chilton (c. 15561620) was a Leiden Separatist passenger on the historic 1620 voyage of the ship Mayflower and was the oldest person on board. Upon arrival in the New World, he was a signer of the Mayflower Compact. James Chilton was one of the earliest to die that winter, perishing within the following month.
James was a tailor and freeman of Canterbury in 1583. James Chilton and wife had seven children born in Canterbury, Kent, before moving about 1600 to Sandwich, Kent, where he had his last three children baptized. In 1609, his wife (unfortunately called simply "___ Chilton wife of James Chilton,") was charged by the Archdeaconry Court with attending the secret burial of a child (they opposed the "popish" burial ceremonies of the Church of England). It was presumably not long before the family left for Holland. In 1619, James Chilton (aged 63) and his oldest daughter Isabella were caught in the middle of an anti-Arminian riot in Leiden, and he was hit in the head with a stone, requiring the services of the town surgeon Jacob Hey.
James, his wife, and his youngest daughter Mary came on the Mayflower in 1620. James, at the age of 64, was the oldest person to have made the Mayflower's voyage. James died on 8 December 1620 onboard the Mayflower, which was then anchored off Provincetown Harbor--one of six passengers to die in the month of December. His wife also died sometime the first winter, but daughter Mary survived.