MP hopes East Budleigh Conant 400 project can boost tourism and education

PUBLISHED: 15:48 09 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:48 09 March 2020

Roger’s descendant Jeff Conant, a resident of California, with the mill stone outside the Church Hall, East Budleigh, during a 2016 visit to the UK. It’s all that remains of his ancestors’ mill, demolished in the early 20th century. Picture: Michael Downes

Roger’s descendant Jeff Conant, a resident of California, with the mill stone outside the Church Hall, East Budleigh, during a 2016 visit to the UK. It’s all that remains of his ancestors’ mill, demolished in the early 20th century. Picture: Michael Downes

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East Devon’s MP has paid tribute to a group of East Budleigh residents who have set up a link between their village and an American city founded by a Devon-born settler four centuries ago.

The Conant 400 project in East Budleigh has been set up to coincide with Mayflower 400, the organisation which is commemorating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers in the New World.

The 1620 voyage was followed during two decades by many other groups of people in a phenomenon known as the Great Puritan Migration.

Among them was Roger Conant, the youngest son of an East Budleigh miller who sailed to America in 1623 and three years later founded the city of Salem, Massachusetts.

Simon Jupp, MP for East Devon said; "East Devon should be proud of its pilgrim, Roger Conant.

"He was a leader with vision.

"I congratulate members of East Budleigh's Conant 400 project for their initiative in developing transatlantic links which I hope will benefit local tourism and education."

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