Contact | Join | Shop


Affluence & Style

"I give to my loving sister Elizabeth Corwin my pocket watch... I give unto my brother Peregrine White my Spanish rapier & buff belt with silver clasps."

- Will of Josiah Winslow, 1680

By the mid-17th century, people in Plymouth enjoyed more comfortable and more colorful lives. Luxury became evident among the wealthier and more established families. Portraits and furniture show this affluence clearly. When former governor Edward Winslow and his son Josiah visited London in 1651, Edward and Josiah, with Josiah’s bride, Penelope Pelham, had their portraits painted in stylish clothing.


Penelope was born in England to a Puritan family with aristocratic connections. Her father Herbert was among the founders of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The Pelhams moved to Massachusetts in 1638 but returned to England in 1646. Herbert Pelham's involvement in New England affairs continued and he worked in London with Plymouthean Edward Winslow.

Penelope married Winslow's son Josiah in London around 1651. The couple returned to the Winslow estate in Marshfield in Plymouth Colony where they lived in comfort with their growing family. During the 1670s, Penelope enjoyed high status as wife of the Colony's governor. She outlived Josiah by 23 years.

Trade networks and the development of local industries meant that people could buy more goods. Importation acts limited the colonies' direct trade with other countries but the New England colonies had access, through England, to diverse goods from around the world.

Tin-glazed earthenware dish
made in Holland, c1690.

Boston craftsmen and entrepreneurs began to produce many finished goods on this side of the Atlantic. Many of these products were sold to Plymouth colonists.

Home | About Us | Visit Us | Collections & Exhibitions | Education | About the Pilgrims | Beyond the Pilgrim Story | Thanksgiving
Museum Events | Shop | Join | Donate | Sponsors | Site Map | Links | News Room | Contact Us

Pilgrim Hall Museum
75 Court St, Plymouth, MA 02360 | Phone (508) 746-1620