Leiden University — Pilgrim Landmark in Leiden


Pieterskerk, Exterior, Leiden

Exterior of Pieterskerk. Image Source: Pieterskerk Leiden Facebook.

Pilgrim Fathers and Leiden University

One of the reasons the Pilgrims chose Leiden as their new home was the presence of Leiden University. After they settled in Leiden, William Brewster taught English there and John Robinson participated in religious debates.

Map of Leiden University

Brief History of Leiden University

This short description of Leiden University comes from Alexander Young’s “Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers of the Colony of Plymouth:”

The university of Leyden was established in 1575, the year after the memorable siege of that place. The Prince of Orange, wishing to reward the citizens for their constancy and valor, gave them the choice of two privileges — either an exemption from taxes, or a university; they chose the latter. It has been at times one of the most celebrated in Europe; and from its reputation the city itself was called the Athens of the West, and the North Star of Holland. Among its distinguished professors and scholars were Arminius, Episcopius, Grotius, Lipsius, Junius, Vossius, Descartes, Scaliger, Salmasius, and Booerhave

Leiden, Netherlands — Where the Mayflower Voyage Started for the Pilgrim Fathers

In 2020 the United States, England, and the Netherlands commemorated the 400-year anniversary of the Separatists — the Pilgrim Fathers — leaving Leiden after 12 years in exile. For the Pilgrim Fathers, the Mayflower journey to America started here. This video provides a quick overview of many of the historic sites in Leiden that are related to the Pilgrim Fathers.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations, including APA Style, Chicago Style, and MLA Style.

  • Article Title Leiden University — Pilgrim Landmark in Leiden
  • Date 1575–
  • Author
  • Keywords Puritans, Separatists, Pilgrim Fathers, Leiden
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date June 21, 2024
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update November 14, 2023