Anne Hutchinson: Religious Enthusiast and ReformerAnne Hutchinson
Religious Enthusiast and Reformer
1591 – 1643 A.D.

Anne Hutchinson, the founder of the Antinomian party in the New England colonies, was the daughter of a Lincolnshire, England, clergyman named Marbury, and was born in 1590. In England she was interested in no preaching but that of John Cotton and her brother-in-law, John Wheelwright, and it was her desire to enter to ministry of the former, which induced her to follow him to New England.

She came to Boston with her husband, September 18., 1634, was admitted a member of the Boston church, and rapidly acquired esteem and influence. She instituted meetings of the women of the church to discuss sermons and doctrines, in which, with a ready wit, bold spirit, and imposing familiarity with the Scriptures, she gave prominence to peculiar speculations.

Her tenets were that the person of the Holy Spirit dwells in every believer, and that the inward revelations of the Spirit, the conscious judgment of the mind, are of paramount authority. Among her partisans were the young governor Vanc, Cotton, Wheelwright, and most the whole Boston church, while the county clergy were generally united against her.

She soon threw the whole colony into a flame. The progress of her sentiments occasioned, in 1637, the first synod in America. “The dispute,” says Bancroft, “infused its spirit into everything; it interfered with the levy troops for the Pequot war; it influenced the respect shown to the magistrates, the distribution of town lots, the assessment of rates; and at least the continued existence of the two parties was considered inconsistent with public peace.”

Accordingly, Mrs. Hutchinson was called before the court in November, 1637; and, being convicted of traducing the ministers and advancing errors, was banished from Massachusetts. She went with her husband to Rhode Island, and in 1642, after her husband’s death, removed into the territory of the Dutch beyond New Haven. Here, in 1643, her home was attacked and set on fire by the Indians, and herself and all her family, excepting one child, who as carried captive, perished.


Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.

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