Hutchinson, Anne (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search


HUTCHINSON, Mrs. ANNE (1590?–1643), religious enthusiast, born in 1590 or 1591, was the daughter of Francis Marbury (d. 1610), a noted preacher, who, after officiating for a while in Lincolnshire, was preferred successively to the rectories of St. Martin Vintry, St. Pancras, Soper Lane, and St. Margaret, New Fish Street, London. About she married William Hutchinson of Alford, Lincolnshire. In 1633 her eldest son Edward accompanied the Rev. John Cotton to Massachusetts, and in September of the following year he was joined by his parents, Mrs. Hutchinson being a devoted admirer of Cotton's preaching. She was well versed in the scriptures and theology, and maintained that those who were in the covenant of grace were entirely freed from the covenant of works. She also pretended to immediate revelation respecting future events. Under pretence of repeating the sermons of Cotton, she held meetings twice a week in Boston, which were attended by nearly a hundred women. There was a wide difference, she asserted, between Cotton's ministry and that of the other Massachusetts clergy. The latter could not hold forth a covenant of free grace, because they had not the seal of the Spirit, so were not able ministers of the New Testament. In the dissemination of her doctrines she received vigorous support from her brother-in-law, the Rev. John Wheelwright. Her adherents, called antinomians, included Captain John Underbill, William Coddington, and other influential men; and when Cotton expressed disapproval of some of her views, they tried to elect Wheelwright as his associate. The agitation seriously affected the peace of the infant colony; it interfered with the levy of troops for the Pequot war; it influenced the respect shown to the magistrates and clergy, the distribution of town lots, and the assessment of taxes. On 30 Aug. 1637 an ecclesiastical synod at Boston condemned Mrs. Hutchinson's doctrines, and in the ensuing November the general court arraigned her for not discontinuing her meetings as had been ordered. After two days' trial, during which she defended herself with ability and spirit (cf. the report in Hutchinson's Massachusetts Bay, vol. ii. Appendix), she was sentenced to banishment, but was allowed to winter at Roxbury. Along with her husband she accompanied William Coddington's party, who settled on Aquidneck, now Rhode Island, in 1638, and founded a democracy. In 1642 William Hutchinson died, and his widow moved into the territory of the Dutch settling near Hell Gate, West Chester, co. New York. There in August or September 1643 she was murdered by Indians, together with her servants and all her children except one son, to the number of sixteen.

Her surviving son Edward (1613-1675) had left Boston in 1638, but returned some years afterwards, and from 1658 to 1675 was deputy to the general court. He was also a captain of militia. In July 1675, after the disastrous beginning of Philip's war, he was sent to Brookfield to negotiate with the Nipmuck Indians, and was with several of his comrades murdered by them.

[Savage's Genealog. Dict. ii. 513; Winthrop's Hist. of New England (Savage); Welde's Short Story…of the Antinomians (1644); Hutchinson's Massachusetts Bay, i. 55-7, 66, 70-3; Diary of Thomas Hutchinson, edited by P.O.Hutchinson, ii. _445,460-4; Massachusetts Hist. Soc. Coll. vii. 16, 17, ix. 28, 29; Ellis's Life of Mrs. Hutchinson in Sparks's Library of Amer. Biog. vol. xvi.; Walker's Hist. of the first Church at Hartford.]

G. G.