When the Puritans stepped ashore at the present day Plymouth, Massachusetts on 15 November 1620, they were but the final link of a four hundred year old chain of events starting with King John of England in the early 1200?s.
"Wycliffe's Plymouth Rock" starts with an act of vassalage by King John who resigned the entire kingdom of England to the Pope in Rome, thereby starting a split in the relationship of church and state in England. Shortly after, a Doctor of Divinity, John Wycliffe, did the unthinkable; he translated the Bible into the language of the masses ? English. The scriptural genie was out of the bottle. Wycliffe?s followers, the Lollards picked up the baton and ran with it starting a pre-reformation movement in England, one hundred-fifty years before Martin Luther.
The followers of the Lollards, the New Learners, continued ?getting in the face? of the Roman Catholic Church and the persecutions started; imprisonments, tortures and finally burnings at the stake.
With the installation of Queen Mary ? Bloody Mary, the tortures and burnings reached their zenith, first by the Church of Rome, then by the Church of England. Finally, the new Lollards, the Puritans, came on the scene, but also suffered persecutions causing them to flee England for the Netherlands. It is from here the Puritans made their exodus to America.