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Anne Hutchinson

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Birth:

1591, Alford, Lincolnshire, England

Early Life of Anne Hutchinson:

Hutchinson’s father was a deacon at Christ Church, Cambridge. He was outspoken and actually jailed for speaking out against individuals he felt were ministers for the Church because of politics. Her father provided her education, and she was extremely well read.

Marriage:

Hutchinson married William Hutchinson, a merchant. They were sympathetic to Puritanism and they immigrated to America as persecution against Puritans grew. They settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634. She was the mother of 15 children.

Growth as a Religious Leader:

Anne Hutchinson attended services with Puritan leader John Cotton. She would then host meetings with women at her home. Over time, men began to attend including Governor Henry Vane. One of her big concerns with the Boston church was its espousal of the idea that works could save a sinner. She believed in the idea the only thing that could save a person was grace. These criticisms of the church were seen as a threat.

John Winthrop vs. Anne Hutchinson:

Preacher John Winthrop was unhappy with Hutchinson and her criticisms of the church and its authority. When Winthrop became governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637, he brought charges against her stating that she was teaching that individuals were not bound to follow church law since only faith was necessary for salvation. She denied this. However, she was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony because during her testimony she stated that God revealed true and false preaching to her.

Rhode Island Colony:

Hutchinson left Massachusetts with sixty followers and her family. She moved instead to the Rhode Island Colony where she helped found Portsmouth.

Death:

Anne Hutchinson’s husband died in 1642. After his death, she and her family moved to Long Island. In 1643, she and her entire family except for a 10-year-old daughter were slaughtered in a massacre by Native American Indians.

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