Weʼve raised £0 to Help fund the archeological dig and urgent restoration needed at the site of the 12th Century Chapel of St Mary Magdalene, Bawtry, England.
- Bawtry, United Kingdom
- Closed on Tuesday, 10th October 2017
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After liaising with local author and historian Sue Allan, it has been established that the Chapel of St Mary Magdaline is believed to be the final resting place of many important members of the Morton Family.
The Morton’s were, for many generations, the premier family at Bawtry and once held the Manor of Harworth (Now within the Parish of Bawtry, England).
In 1584, James Brewster (younger brother to William Brewster of the Mayflower) was appointed to the position of Master of the Hospital Chapel. This is significant, given that George Morton (Sometimes abbreviated to Mourt) was an incredibly important character within a group known collectively today as the Pilgrim Fathers.
The answer to the true proven ancestory of George Morton linking him to Bawtry lies (literally) beneath the floor of the current chapel.
Morton family members are known to have continued to have been interred within the Hospital Chapel after the Elizabethan Religious Settlement of 1558 despite subsequent laws that had legally denied them from receiving such rites of passage.
Much of the information we have learned has come directly from Sue Allan and her collection of historical research.
In order to better understand the grounds for our belief of the historical significance of the chapel, please feel free to visit pilgrimfathersorigins.org and / or conduct your own research.
During Dr Henry Morton Dexter's visit to Bawtry in in July 1851, he writes of speaking with an eye witness of an earlier excavation, whereby bones were unearthed from beneath a stone slab within the chapel and reinterred beneath the current chapel floor.
The picture below which is believed to date to 1828, shows a bricked up doorway which is possibly a previous entry to the Morton Family Crypt.
The building is currently at risk of structural damage owing to many years of damp.
It is our belief that once the bones are exposed by means of a suitable archaeological dig and DNA tested. A comparison with a surviving descendant of the Morton bloodline providing evidence of an indisputable link would allow us to seek considerable funding to preserve the site and ensure its accessibility for all, whilst preserving the combined history and heritage of the American and British people.
The below image is the Chapel as it is today, post 1930's restoration, but once again showing signs of the ravages of time making the need for restoration and preservation a major priority.
The 400th Anniversary of the Pilgrim Father is due in 2020. It would be great to confirm our history, and once again place Bawtry back in the hearts of the British and American Morton descendants, whilst making it an accessible place to visit and commemorate.
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