Anne Hutchinson's Social Authority In Early Boston

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A German-born science writer once asked, “Aren’t there any other women expect those but players Betsy Ross and Molly Pitcher who had a part in your country’s development?” The story of Anne Hutchinson would tell him otherwise. She was a prophet, spiritual advisor, mother of fifteen, and an important contributor in a fierce religious controversy that shook the infant Massachusetts Bay Colony. Anne Hutchinson may bare a mention in every textbook of American history, but we “Americans know little about her save, her name, and the skeleton of her story”. She has never been widely understood or her achievements appreciated and recognized. Not only did Hutchinson make for a religious awakening, but she made strides for women. This was a time where …show more content…
She was born in the Alford, Lincolnshire, England, a daughter of Bridget Dryden and the nonconforming Anglican clergyman Francis Marbury. As she was the among the oldest she developed domestic leadership and the use of herbal medicines early in life. She was also aware of religion at a young age learning to challenge old ways, as did her father. Francis was ordained a deacon at Christ Church, Cambridge. Her father used every chance to tell his congregation that people preaching in the churches, at these times, were unfit to guide their congregations’ souls. During this time, bishops of the Established church were inclined to be tolerant of any rebellious voice, but his was seen as as too profane. He was sent to prison again and again, after trying to preach the meaning of the Bible in a new way. All of Anne’s life she saw this frustration of the threatening powers of the Church and she too would similarly challenge the “officialdom” a generation later. But it wasn’t until Anne and her husband went to St. Botolph’s in Lincolnshire to hear the charismatic preaching of John Cotton, that she found her voice. Anne went in need of a spiritual nourishment, finding the influential speak, John Cotton, who changed the course of her life from then on. She followed Cotton to Massachusetts Bay, where they both became the center of religious and political …show more content…
This brought a separation in the Puritan community. In 1636 those who supported her, would vote for Henry Vane as the colony’s governor, whom attended Hutchinsons’ meetings. The victory was quickly over as Vane was defeated by John Winthrop. Once Winthrop was in position he sought to discredit and denounce Hutchinson, eventually charging her with sedition, the act of inciting people to rebel against authority. As she was brought to trial in 1637 Winthrop accused her of violating the 5th commandment to “honor they father and thy mother,” implying that she had defied authority. He also condemned her for teaching men, which was a violation of the Puritan’s rule that women should not be leaders. She professed to violating such rules and said but that God had revealed himself directly to her saying, “He hath let me see which was the clear ministry and which the wrong.” According to the Puritan Doctrine it was in violation, that commands came only from God. She was then banished from the colony soon after her church trial. It was said in an article in Harvard Magazine, that before her trial her friend and mentor, John Cotton turned his back on her, saying her teachings were, “promiscuous and filthie”, as men and women came together without the relation of marriage, and that this practice would “eat out the very bowels of religion.” During the church trial, the leaders tried to

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