Pilgrims or Dissenting Separatists left England and, before their historic voyage aboard the Mayflower to America, they sojurned first in Amsterdam in 1607 and after a short stay there, moved to Leiden in 1609. Leiden was home to many refugees at the time and its university played an important role for almost 300 years in the education of Religious Dissenters including many Quakers since it was one university that did not require students to swear an oath before obtaining their degree. (Quakers would not swear oaths since their belief was that their word was sufficient before God.) The Pilgrims remained in Leiden for 12 years and worked in the textile industry there. 400 years after their arrival in Leiden there is a major exhibition at the Wevershuis Museum focusing on the Pilgrims and their involvement with textiles. The exhibition runs until 13 September 2009 and is a MUST SEE. (While you are there visit the nearby Pilgrim Museum to see this interior.) Phone the Weverhuis Museum ahead and a special guided tour in English or French can be arranged for you, for a donation to the museum. Welcomes don't get any better than this!