One of the founders of Plymouth Colony, William Bradford was born in Austerfield, Yorkshire, in 1590. As a member of a small group of religious nonconformists who separated from the Church of England in 1606, believing it to be beyond redemption, Bradford went with others of similar religious beliefs to Amsterdam in 1609. The group later moved to Leyden.
From Leyden, they voyaged on the Mayflower to America in 1620. After establishing the rules for their colony in the famous Mayflower Compact, the group established Plymouth Colony.
After the death in 1621 of John Carver, William Bradford was elected governor of the colony and held that post through 30 terms from 1622 to 1656. His responsibilities included supervising agriculture and trade, along with relations with various church bodies.
Sometime around 1630, Bradford began work on his classic work, Of Plimmoth Plantation, which although completed around 1651 was not published until 1856.