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  • "The Arbella was one of the first ships to cross in the Great Migration that carried about 20,000 English to New England between 1630 and 1640", says John Goff in a news article about this historic vessel. The Arbella crossed from Southhampton England to Salem between March 22 and June 12, 1630. She had 3 masts and weighed 350 tons. Among the noteworthy passengers were Gov. Winthrop, Richard Saltonstall, future Gov. Dudley and Anne Bradstreet (first published American poet). The ship was named for a prominent puritan, Lady Arbella Johnson, who was on board with her husband Isaac.
  • The ARBELLA was famous as the CHARTER SHIP for bringing to our shores the copy of the Massachusetts Bay Colony Charter signed by the English King.
  • The city of Salem built a replica of the Arbella for the 300th anniversary (Salem Tercentenary) of the famous voyage. It was the first historic tall ship replica done in this state, long before the Plymouth Mayflower II and the Boston Tea Party ship. It was berthed east of Pioneer Village on the beach, from 1936 until 1954.
  • The replica began as an 1870's lumber schooner, Lavolta. She was reconfigured with a high forecastle on the bow and a stern to look like Winthrop's original vessel. On June 12, 1930 an historical pageant took place at Pioneer Village reenacting Winthrop's arrival. More that 20,000 onlookers enjoyed the spectacle that day.
  • Unfortunately, due to minimal upkeep and a bad storm which heavily damaged the vessel in the 1950's, the vessel was removed from Salem in 1954.
  • A POEM "The Lady Arbella" was written by Lucy Larcom for the Winthrop Field Meeting. It is found in the Essex Institute Collection, Vol. 17, p. 221-223
  • Today in Salem we have some reminders of the original vessel the Arbella. Off of Bridge Street, northeast of the common lies Arbella Street, named for that vessel. At Pioneer Village, one of the cottages is named "Lady Arbella Cottage" after the prominent puritan Lady Arbella Johnson who sailed on the original ship in 1630.



See Also

  • Vertical File in Salem Collection - Arbella
  • "Remembering the astounding Arbella" Salem Gazette, Nov. 17, 2006, p.5
  • "Arrival of 'Arbella' was dramatic climax to a unique pageant" Salem Evening News, June 13,1930, p.1
  • "Aboard the Arbella: the ship that carried the colony's charter" by John Goff. Salem Gazette Mar 21, 2008
  • Vertical File in Salem Collection - Salem Tercentenary (1926)
  • Color Postcard courtesy of