Mayflower Provisions

by admins on December 21, 2008


Most items brought on the Mayflower were practical.  The Pilgrims probably relied on the advise in “Provisions lists” written by earlier settlers to Virginia.  These lists gave the amount of clothing, tools, household implements and food that each colonist needed to survive for a year in America.  Ironware, such as the Standish pot, is mentioned, as are swords and muskets.  A sturdy chest, like the Brewster chest, would be a practical means of storage.





“Bring good store of clothes and bedding with you.  Bring every man a musket… Bring paper and linseed oil for your windows, with cotton yard for your lamps.”

Edward Winslow

Mayflower passengers had little space for purely personal possessions.  They had to make hard choices.  The Peregrine White cradle, the Brown tankard, the Allerton-Cushman cup, the Warren napkin – these are among the very few, but highly prized, private belongings that came on the Mayflower.



A Catalog of such needefull things as every Planter doth or ought to provide to go to New-England


Victuals for a whole yeere for a man…


8 Bushels of meale

2 Bushels of Otemeale.

1 Gallon of Aquavitae

1 Firkin of Butter

2 Bushels of pease.

1 Gallon of Oyle.

2 Gallons of Vinegar.






1 Monmouth Cap.

1 Wast-coat.

1 Suit of Frize.

2 Paire of Sheets.

3 Falling Bands.

1 Suit of Canvas.

3 Paire of Stockings.

1 Paire of Blankets.

3 Shirts.

1 Suit of Cloth.

4 Paire of Shooes.

1 Course Rug.


7 Ells of Canvase to make a bed and boulster.





1 Armor compleat.

1 Sword.

1 Bandilier.

60 Pound of Lead.

1 Long peece.

1 Belt.

20 Pound of Powder.

1 Pistoll and Goose shot.





1 Broad Howe.

1 Shovell.

1 Felling Axe.

1 Grindstone.

1 Narrow Howe.

1 Spade.

1 Gimblet.

1 Pickaxe.

1 Steele Handsawe.

2 Augers.

1 Hatchet.

Nayles of all sorts

1 Whipsawe.

4 Chissels.

2 Frowes.



1 Hammer.

1 Broad Axe.

1 Hand-Bill.




Household Implements.


1 Iron Pot.

1 Gridiron.



1 Kettel.

2 Skellets.

Wooden Platters.


1 Frying pan

1 Spit.

















Also there are divers other things necessary to bee taken over to this Plantation,
as Bookes, Nets, Hookes and Lines, Cheese, Bacon, Kine, Goats, &c.

From: New England’s Plantation, or, A short and True Description of the Commodities and Discommodities of that Country. by Reverend Francis Higginson, London, 1630.

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