Rotherhithe announces speaker line-up for Mayflower 400 London Lectures

Feb 18, 2020

The Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Local History Society, which organises monthly illustrated talks in London’s most historic borough, has announced the full line-up of speakers and subjects for this year's Mayflower 400 London Lectures.

Michael Daniels, Society President, also revealed that the events will take place at Canada Water Theatre, which is conveniently located in the heart of the Rotherhithe peninsula - the home port and final resting place of the Mayflower and her master.

He said: "Our line-up features some of the leading experts in the Mayflower world but the talks will still be very accessible, with the first evening bringing us all up-to-speed and introducing the key themes to be investigated further in the lectures which follow. Join us on a journey of exploration as we discover the remarkable story of The Mayflower, from its early beginnings to its legacy and beyond."

The monthly evenings, which are open to all, will run from April to November 2020. Booking for April's free introductory talk is available now.

Charles Hackett, Chief Executive for Mayflower 400, said: "These talks are part of a national and international series of Mayflower 400 events across multiple locations in Britain, the US and the Netherlands, commemorating the 400th anniversary of this world-shaping voyage and its legacy. Rotherhithe is part of that international partnership and these lectures are a great way to explore our shared history."

Cllr Rebecca Lury, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, Equalities and Communities at Southwark Council, added: "The list of speakers and their local Mayflower-themed talks promise to help shine a light on Southwark's role in the story of the historic voyage.

"The Rotherhithe and Bermondsey Local History Society has done a great job organising these London Lectures and I'm happy that the council has been able to support them with this. I will certainly be stopping by and would encourage others to snap up tickets as well."

All lectures will take place at Canada Water Theatre, 21 Surrey Quays Road, Rotherhithe, London SE16 7AR (Canada Water tube (Jubilee, London Overground) is next door, while buses 1, 47, 188, 199, 225, 381, C10, P12 stop outside.

Entry costs just £3 (members free) and includes a glass of wine at the interval, unless indicated as free. Booking is essential and you is available online at or by calling 020 8692 4446.

Mayflower 400 London Lectures 2020 calendar

Click the links below to find out more


The Mayflower Compacted

Wednesday, 29 April (7.30-8.30pm, free event)

Rita Cruise O'Brien, author of The Mayflower: Myths, Truths and Legacies, introduces the Mayflower story and the importance of Rotherhithe in its early days.

The People

The Long Search for Freedom

Wednesday, 27 May (7.30-9pm)

Adrian Gray, author of From Here We Changed the World, discusses the origins of the people who became known as The Pilgrim Fathers.

The Money

Seafarers, Puritans and Beaver Hats

Wednesday, 24 June (7.30-9pm)

Nick Bunker, author of Making Haste from Babylon, investigates the role of money and The City behind the Mayflower's voyage.

A Local Walk in Rotherhithe

History, Art & The Mayflower by Blue Badge Guides

Wednesday, 29 July (7pm and 7.30pm departures, free event)

The Faith

“One of my horses could preach as well as the curate!”

Wednesday, 2 September (7.30-9pm)

James Evans, author of Emigrants: Why the English Sailed to the New World, considers the state of the clergy in England at the time and the establishment of new faith communities.

The Voyage

'One Small Candle’

Wednesday, 30 September (7.30-9pm)

Rebecca Fraser, author of The Mayflower Generation: The Winslow Family and the Fights for the New World, identifies the people who made the voyage and their fate in America.

The Legacy

The Making of the Mayflower Myth

Wednesday, 25 November (7.30-9pm)

Rita Cruise O'Brien, author of The Mayflower: Myths, Truths and Legacies, considers the myths and legacies of the Mayflower story.

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