John Winthrop Refugee From England

In 1626 King Charles I, led the persecution of Protestants by the Anglican church of England. Puritans fled in large numbers, fleeing from the Anglican religious views because they felt as the religion followed the same guidelines as the Roman Catholic faith. John Winthrop was one of the first few to flee from in England to Boston. While still in England John didn’t know he would be the future governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

John Cotton, a Puritan minister preached that mercy is preordained by God, but Damnation is determined by earthly behavior.

Cotton was questioned of his preaching by the British courts on his views of church reform. Cotton fled to the Boston area in 1633 along side of many other Puritans. British authorities closed its borders so that fleeing emigrants could not leave under the threats of prosecution.

The king viewed the Massachusetts colony was in opposition to his rule. It was the year 1634, Anne Hutchins, along with her husband and ten children arrived into a “New World” from England which was known as the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Fleeing from the persecution by the Anglican church of England. Anne became affiliated with a group of other women who worked in the same field of interest assisting with childbirth, treating illnesses, and healing individuals. It was not until she became more with healing group, that Anne established an interest in religious philosophy that became a huge part of her love for spreading the gospel of American Preaching.

Meanwhile, Anne started having weekly meetings in her home preaching to other women of the colony.

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Eventually the wife’s husbands started attending the meetings also. Anne was a firm believer in whoever worshiped God through a personal relationship, would have eternal life. Anne’s preaching of her views was that she believed that heaven was attainable to everyone who worshipped god directly through personal connection. She also believed that behavior and sin, did not affect the destination of Heaven. Anne’s beliefs were a direct violation of the Puritan rules. A little after one year of preaching, Anne started receiving negative criticism from the Puritan leadership, the ones who only believed that only men were to preach. They also believed that Anne’s preaching was too dangerous for the Puritans to hear.

Anne’s preaching was challenging the male dominated religious authorities of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Living in Massachusetts Bay Colony you had to abide by the Puritan guide lines or suffer the penalties of being a delinquent to the colony. Travelers who settle in the Massachusetts Bay Colony were required to attend Puritan church. Even though, if you are a non-Puritan member you had no voting rights in the church elections nor civil elections. There was no chance of becoming a Puritan member with full rights unless born into the faith either. Anne and her husband were already Puritan members, once they were moved and established in their new territory, they immediately started attending church. Once venturing out on her own to preach, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony John Winthrop caught wind of what she was doing and insisted on her being tried for not abiding by the Puritan laws, trying to expand out on her own after receiving permission from John Cotton. John was Anne’s main influence with the American preaching in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Upon arrival in the Boston area, John made his mark on engineering the congregational structure of the church in the “New World”. Cotton had Anne in his inner circle for spreading the preaching. While helping the healing group, Anne discovered her religious views. These views were seen as highly inappropriate by the re-elected governor John Winthrop and the magistrates of the colony. Anne’s preaching was thought of as promoting dissension in the colony. It was believed that Anne was encouraging people to act against the church and colonies rule. John Winthrop accused Anne of multiple rules broken by her actions. The magistrates seen a woman preaching faith, while harboring, giving comfort to a faction was dangerous to the colony and its rule of order. John Winthrop and John cotton both rose in opposition fearing that Anne was becoming a church separatist. Cotton gather with the colony clergy to come to a resolution designed to end religious dissidence. Apart of Cotton and the clergy resolution was that meetings in Anne’s home was forbidden.

Anne ignored the rule of the court and continued to preach to her followers. While pregnant in 1637 Anne was called to court on the religious rules she broke. John Cotton and John Winthrop both was in general court testifying against Anne. While in court Anne proved to the men that her Biblical prowess was up to par. Anne’s statement of history and her philosophy sealed the courts decision on her fate with the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In her statement she spoke directly to God concluded with a prophecy of the fail of the court and colony. The men of the colony seen that Anne made a challenge of their authority. With the courts discussion, Anne and her family was banished from the colony along with thirty other families that continued to follow Anne and her preaching’s. Anne was sentenced to house arrest through the winter months, In March 1638, thirty families plus the whole Hutchinson household left the island of Aquidneck and founded Portsmouth. After her stillbirth in June the men of Massachusetts keep trying to harm Anne and her family.

The ministries of the colony included John Cotton would preach on how her still birth was her punishment by God for her actions with in the colony. Other preachers would claim that she never gave birth to a normal child in general. Some would also give descriptions of these child as demons, clawed like creatures. In 1642 Anne’s husband passed away, the minsters of the Massachusetts colony set out to force Anne to renounce her beliefs on religion and that the Massachusetts colony would soon take over the territory. Anne and her remaining children moved shortly after to Long Island Sound, a part of the Dutch Colony of New Amsterdam. On a late afternoon in 1643, Anne’s family was attacked by a pack of Siwanoy warriors at their home. Anne and fourteen other people were killed by axe and burned. John Winthrop kept a check on Anne’s movements after being banished. He held his grudge after her death and even prayed strongly in his prayers that the devil was dealt with justice the way event unfolded. During the time of the attack Anne’s nine-year-old daughter was captured by the Siwanoy tribe and later on adopted by the chief. The chief renamed her as “Anne-Hoeck”. She stayed with the tribe for the next nine year to later to return to Boston and marrying a settler.

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John Winthrop Refugee From England. (2022, May 09). Retrieved from

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