Pilgrim Father character jug produced by Saxony in Germany circa 1970. The Pilgrims, who leaders were known as the Pilgrim Fathers, were the English settlers who traveled to America on the Mayflower and established the Plymouth Colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Pilgrims' leadership came from the religious congregations of Brownists, or Separatist Puritans, who had fled religious persecution in England for the tolerance of 17th-century Holland in the Netherlands. They held many of the same Puritan Calvinist religious beliefs but, unlike most other Puritans, they maintained that their congregations should separate from the English state church, which led to them being labeled Separatists. After several years living in exile in Holland, they determined to establish a new settlement in the New World and arranged with investors to fund them. They established Plymouth Colony in 1620, where they erected Congregationalist churches. The Mayflower Compact forms the handle of the jug.