On the 8th of April 1630, prominent members of the Reverend John Cotton’s congregation of St. Botolph’s Church set sail on board a fleet of 11 ships led by the “Arbella,” named for Lady Arbella Johnson. They were leaving England to establish the Massachusetts Bay Colony and to realize their vision of founding a “City upon a Hill” under their chosen leader John Winthrop.
On 7 September 1630, they named their new Massachusetts Bay settlement Boston in recognition of the home town of many of them and in honor of of the Reverend John Cotton, the vicar at St. Botolph’s. The Puritan Path project commemorates in visual form twelve of these men and women who were prominent in the founding of the new colony.
Twelve stones are sited on either side of the footpath to the south of St. Botolph’s. They represent the men and women of John Cotton’s congregation who sailed to the New World between 1630 and 1634. A stone by the river wall portrays the Puritan vision. It is believed that this is the only English memorial celebrating their achievements and influence in the New World.