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Standish Fabric Fragments

Fabric fragments from the grave of Pilgrim Myles Standish.Fabric Fragment, 1656
Gift of Mary Jane Wakefield, 2007.064.001

The fragments of wool were recovered from the grave of Myles Standish who was buried in Duxbury’s Old Burying Ground in 1656.

Rev. Huiginn, who organized the 1891 exhumation, wrote in his book The Grave of Myles Standish and Other Pilgrims,

“Parts of the winding-sheet were found, and, as it were, of a veil or
lighter fabric about the head, while some thought they observed lines of color
running through the remnants of the winding-sheet.”

The account of the donor was that the fragments were part of the winding cloth or shroud, which would have been used to prepare the body for burial. In 2012, the fragments were treated and rehoused by a professional Textiles Conservator, who concluded that while the cloth dates to the period of 1656, likely it was part of some wool clothing, and not a burial linen.

Myles Standish, born circa 1584, was an English military officer hired to accompany the Pilgrims in 1620 as their military adviser. He played a leading role in the administration and defense of Plymouth Colony. He was one of the first settlers and founders of the town of Duxbury. He is buried at the Myles Standish Burying Ground.


Related Object: The Grave of Myles Standish and other Pilgrims by Rev. Eugene J. V. Huiginn, 1914, DRHS Collection.

Rev. Eugene J. V. Huiginn (1860-1927) was the minister of St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Duxbury from 1890-1892. He was fascinated with Pilgrim history and led the second dig at the grave of Myles Standish on April 25, 1891. This book describes his research and conclusions before and after locating the grave.



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Digging Duxbury

The quest for archaeological evidence of the Pilgrim past began with an 1833 dig, one of the earliest in U.S. history.

Coming to a Pilgrim Town

Coming to a Pilgrim Town

Duxbury’s Pilgrim history, combined with the town’s natural beauty, initiated a tourist boom.

Collecting in a Pilgrim Town

Collecting in a Pilgrim Town

The tourism boom brought another enterprise, the creation and sale of Pilgrim-themed souvenirs.

Lasting Legacy

Duxbury's Lasting Legacy

Duxbury never forgot its Pilgrim origins. How could it? The names continue to generate interest today.
All objects, text and materials in this digital exhibition are owned or copyrighted by the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society and may not be reproduced, copied or distributed without permission. © 2020, Duxbury Rural & Historical Society. All Rights Reserved. Please contact 781-934-6106 for more information.