William Bradford (Plymouth soldier)
Major William Bradford (a.k.a. William Bradford IV and William Bradford the Younger) (16 June 1624 – 20 February 1703) was a political and military leader in Plymouth Colony in the late 1600s.
Major Bradford was the son of Governor William Bradford and his second wife, Alice Carpenter Southworth. Born four years after the Pilgrims arrival in 1620, William was his father's second child, but the first born in the new world, as his older half-brother John Bradford had been left behind in Leiden, Netherlands.
He held the rank of major in the militia and was the commander of the military forces of Plymouth Colony during the King Philip's War. He commanded the Plymouth Regiment at the Great Swamp Fight on 19 December 1675. During the battle his eye was wounded.
He later served as the deputy governor of Plymouth Colony under Governor Thomas Hinckley from 1682 to 1686 and from 1689 to 1692 when the colony was merged with the Massachusetts Bay Colony to form the Province of Massachusetts Bay. Bradford was suspended from office during the governorship of Sir Edmund Andros from 1686 to 1689.
Major Bradford was married three times (1st: Alice Richards; 2nd: Sarah Griswold; 3rd: Mary Fitch) and fathered at least fourteen children from the three marriages.
He is buried in the Burial Hill Cemetery in Plymouth, Massachusetts.