Local Women descendants of William Brewster attend premier of Pilgrims Home documentary film by producer Jane Williams
On April 18, 2015 two local women, Gail Keuneke, and Benita Steyer, who are members of the Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, joined the Indiana General Society of Mayflower Descendants and attended a special ‘Director’s Cut’ screening of the film “In Search of Scrooby Manor” by film producer and director Jane Williams of Great Britain. Keuneke and Steyer discovered that they were both descendants of Elder William Brewster, Mayflower pilgrim, when they joined the Indiana Mayflower Society, Keuneke in 2014, Steyer in 2015.
The Fandango Media film “In Search of Scrooby Manor,” yet to be released to the public, stars Sue Allen, historian and author, and Julie Dunstan, current owner and resident of Scrooby Manor, Nottinghamshire, England. The film was first shown in the United States when director Williams attended the Fortieth General Congress of the Mayflower General Society in Plymouth, Mass September 2014.
Scrooby Manor belonged to the Archbishops of York, and briefly owned by King Henry VIII. William Brewster, Sr. lived in the manor, and was the Archbishop’s bailiff and postmaster. Scrooby of the 1600’s was located on the Great North Road highway for travelers and royal mail carriers. William Brewster as bailiff was required to keep horses and bags for post riders carrying mail, an inn or tavern, as well as stables for horses.
William Brewster of Mayflower fame was a Separatist that led a secret congregation of religious worshipers that met in Scrooby Manor. Though emigrating in 1600 was illegal, the congregation left England for the Netherlands to find religious freedom. They lived for several years in Leiden, until they decided to leave once again for an English colony where their children could grow up English yet practice religious freedom. That is where the Mayflower ship with its 102 passengers and about 30 crew members comes into the story. The Saints and Strangers, as they called themselves, traveled over two months in the 110 foot long ship, until they spotted land which is present day Cape Cod.
Though the story of the Mayflower and the pilgrims may be familiar to most Americans, it is not as well known in England. In Scrooby, England, residents are visited by Americans wishing to discover their Pilgrim roots. Travelers are not able to explore the interior of the Scrooby Manor, a private residence owned by David and Julie Dunstan. “In Search of Scrooby Manor, Pilgrims Home” the film by Jane Williams documents the personal history and stories of Scrooby Manor as told by Allen and Dunstan.
Sue Allen, author and historian has been given a personal glimpse inside Scrooby Manor. Sue Allen has researched and authored books on the pilgrims, more details about her books can be found on her webpage www.mayflowermaid.com. More information on the film “In Search of Scrooby Manor” may be found on the webpage www.fandangomedia.co.uk/pilgrim-home.
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