Love Brewster was born circa 1610, in Leiden, Holland, the son of William and Mary Brewster. It is believed he was about nine when he came to Plymouth on board the Mayflower. He is my 9th great-grandfather on my grandfather Art Washburn Davis’ side of the family. I wrote about William and Mary Brewster here.
Love married at Plymouth on 15 May 1634, Sarah Collier (PCR 1:30). Sarah was the daughter of William and Jane Collier. She was baptized St. Olave, Southwark, Surrey, on 30 April 1616.
Jane and Love lived in Duxbury and raised four children there: Sarah, Nathaniel, William, and Wrestling. After Love’s sister Fear Allerton died, they also bought up her son Isaac.
I descend from their son William Brewster who married Lydia Partridge of Duxbury.
Love was included in the 1627 Cattle Division as part of the household of his parents William and Mary Brewster. In 1636 he was a Pequot War volunteer, but Plymouth’s soldiers weren’t needed. Love became a freeman in Plymouth Colony on 2 March 1635/6. He was, along with his father and others, an original settler of Duxbury, sometimes spelled Duxburrow and Duxborough. He volunteered for the Duxbury militia under Captain Myles Standish.
Early on Love and Sarah Brewster lived in an area called the Nook, a cove area, now known as Standish Shore. Love lived next to his father William Brewster, eventually moving in with his father as the latter aged. Love inherited the farm after his father died in 1644. Jonathan and Love were the only sons to survive William Brewster, and they divided their father’s 111 acres in Duxbury. Love received 43 acres on the east side of Eagle Nest Creek; Jonathan received more acres but it is thought that Love’s land was of better quality.
The location of William Brewster’s house, later Love’s home, is off what today is Marshall Street. Although there is some question, it looks like in 1646 Love sold part of the farm to Samuel Eaton, son of Mayflower passenger Francis Eaton. In Duxbury: Ancient and Modern, Henry Fish writes that Love Brewster moved next to his father-in-law William Collier’s house on Waiting Hill near North Hill and he shows the location on a map included with the book. Collier was the richest man in the colony.
In 1642, Love’s household must have been rocked by the conviction of his servant Thomas Granger for buggery with a variety of animals, including a mare, cow, two goats, diverse sheep, two calves and a turkey. Thomas, who is my 11th great-uncle, was sentenced to death by hanging after all of the animals were killed in front of him (according to Leviticus 20:15 the animals were unclean and not fit for work, food or clothing). Gov. Bradford described Granger as about 16 or 17 years old. Although sodomy and buggery were considered by the Pilgrims worse offences than premarital sex and adultery, there must have been public outcry as Thomas was the last man executed for a sex crime in the Colony. Aside from the horror of what happened to Thomas, losing such scarce and valuable livestock would have been a tremendous loss for Love Brewster. I’m assuming the animals belonged to Love, but I’m not sure about that.
In Bradford's 1651 accounting he says Love "lived till this year 1650 and died and left four children, now living."
Love Brewster died, presumably in Duxbury, between 6 Oct 1650 (when will was written) and "last day" January 1650/1 (inventory taken). He was about 40 years old.
Love Brewster's probate is recorded in the Plymouth Colony Wills and Inventories, Volume 1, folios 89, 90 and 91. The will was written 6 October 1650 and proved 4 March 1650/51. It mentions his wife Sarah and children Nathaniel, William, Wrestling and Sarah. All to receive a kettle, sons to each receive a gun. Wife Sarah was to receive the residue of his whole estate, goods, chattel, and land at Duxburrow for the bringing up of their children. His land was to go to eldest son Nathaniel after Sarah’s decease; if he should die then to William, then to Wrestling. His wife Sarah was to distribute his books. Land that was due to Love by purchase or for being a first-comer in 1620, should be equally divided by his three sons. Wife Sarah was to be executrix. Witnessed by Myles Standish.
An inventory of his estate was taken by William Collier (his father-in-law) and Captain Myles Standish on the last day of January 1650[/51] and totaled over 97 pounds, not including real estate. It includes a detailed account of household items such as a salt cellar, firkin, and candlestick; furnishings such as two cradles, two old stools, three chests, four featherbeds; clothing; faming tools such as three wedges and rakes; a large collection of books (presumably many inherited from his father) including two books of the commandments, a Bible, five books of Moses, Cotton’s Concordance, a dictionary, a book of Husbandry, a French dictionary, and a book on the Spanish Inquisition; and firearms including pistol, powder, shot, powder horns, pair of bandoliers, shot bag; livestock including three cows, a yearling, a sow, two “shoats,” three ewe sheep, poultry; bushels of wheat, rye Indian corn, peas, barley, oats, malt.
Sarah survived Love for thirty years, dying on 26 April 1691 at Plymouth in her 76th year. She had married, second, Richard Park/Parke of Cambridge sometime after 1 September 1656. Richard Park died in 1665.
There are no surviving headstones for Love and Sarah Brewster. It is quite possible they are buried at the Myles Standish Cemetery in Duxbury.
Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, 2000
Mayflower Families in Progress, William Brewster
Barbara Lambert Merrick, Mayflower Families in Progress, William Brewster of the Mayflower and his Descendants for Four Generations, 1997
Torrey’s New England Marriages
James Deetz and Patricia Scott Deetz, The Times of Their Lives: Life, Love and Death in Plymouth Colony, 2000
Mary B. Sherwood, Pilgrim A Biography of William Brewster, 1982
Lamont “Monty” Healy, Elder William Brewster and the Nook, 3-part series, Duxbury Clipper, June 26, July 24 and August 28, 2013 (Note: Mr. Healy’s excellent series of Duxbury Clipper articles are available for purchase on the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society website)