As mentioned in the last post, we are looking at different periods that relate to lives of Thomas and Margaret. And the period right around the arrival (+/- 50 years) is a current focus.
And, motivation for leaving is always a concern. This post looks at an issue that culminated around the time of Thomas' great-grandfather. The influence from the particular conflict was deep. In fact, about that time, over a century of conflict came to an end.
Of course, after the peace, turmoil continued which we'll get into. For now, let's consider the case of the bickering cousins. In a sense, all the conflicts on UK (and related areas on the continent) soil were of this type. However, this one had very close cousins at each other's throat (extreme sibling rivalry -- gosh, are we any better today?).
So, it was a blood war, but not between rival clans. No, it was cousins vs cousins. There is not any reason to see this as unusual, as we'll also look at many conflicts between brothers before we're done.
War of the Roses
So, this image has a list of people who were beheaded during the period of the War of the Roses. It's not a short list, by any means (see the Wikipedia page). The two images on the side are the following: Choosing of the roses (below) and The execution of Edmund Beaufort, 4th Duke of Somerset (above). Edmund is in both of these paintings. He's on the right of the Choosing scene and the main character in the other. But, this is only a list of the noble class victims. There were many other casualties, such as the Two Princes. Too, what was the havoc wrought upon the general populace, of all of the classes?
This is one little example. Does England look to be a pleasant place to be? One can appreciate the dreams of freedom that pushed people off its shores, even if these were illusory at the time (did you know that there were early hippies - Merry mount). Yet, there was a less oppressive nature in group that came with Thomas and Margaret than later (of course, about now, we need to mention that Plymouth's involvement will be covered, to boot). It was not long before a hammer was sent over (another whole story). One can also understand the appeal of the Quaker point of view which figured heavily in Thomas' later life through the influence of his last wife and in the lives of some of the progeny.
So, we've barely kicked off a look at origins with a brief touch on motivations.
As said before, whatever the motive, Thomas came here, raised a family thereby leaving a legacy, supported the founding of the civilization that became the U.S., and has tales to tell about his life and character. It is for us to discover these and preserve them for posterity.
06/15/2013 -- John Farmer wrote that Thomas was from Scotland. Origins are, and will be, a focus.
03/31/2013 -- The recent Gardner's Beacon issue looks at priors. On the War of Roses, not only were the participants blood relatives, they were Christian, ostensibly. So, an Easter thought is in order: was not their behavior as far from what Christ would have wanted as was possible? Then, again, how close to such an ideal was the Crusader behavior of their ancestors?