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The revered name of William Brewster takes center stage in the story of the Mayflower Pilgrims. Many Americans proudly trace their descent from this great man and yet very few know the name of his clergyman brother James, the Brewster who stayed behind in England.

In 1584, Archbishop Sandys appointed the Cambridge educated James Brewster to the position of Master of the Hospital Chapel of Mary Magdalene near Bawtry. Within a few short years Sandys would be dead and Brewster would be embroiled in a bitter court case accused for his part in misappropriating this Church property for his own enrichment. Historians would label James as a would-be thief and quarrelsome drunkard thus casting a stain upon his character for centuries to come.

Therefore on the scant occasions when mention is made that William Brewster had a brother, it is only ever in passing and never at length, lest the deeds of the one taint the other. And yet was James Brewster deserving of his sordid reputation?

In this book Sue Allan tells the reader more about James Brewster’s life and more importantly about the political and religious backdrop against which the Hospital Chapel affair ran its course. The author trusts that readers will come to their own conclusion as to the truth of the matter and the character of the man.

By Sue Allan

Published: 2014

Paperback, 85 pages

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