Pilgrim Father

Dorking’s Pilgrim Father

William Mullins House – William Mullins is one of Dorking’s most famous sons.

William Mullins sailed on the Mayflower with his family in 1620.

He was born in West Street around 1572, a respected and prosperous shoemaker who followed his father’s trade. The house now known as Nos 58-61 West Street, Dorking, was built c.1550, and dominated the commercial heart of the town.  In 1612 it was bought by William Mullins and is believed to be the only known home of a Pilgrim Father to have survived intact.

There is no evidence that the family were Dissenters or in any way disaffected. Mullins decided to sell up and join the proposed emigration to the New World of a group of English Separatists exiled in Holland. His reasons for risking his family and his capital on a dangerous voyage to Virginia are a complete mystery.