In the 1600s, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was a hotbed of religious and political dissent. At the forefront of this dissent was Anne Hutchinson, a courageous Puritan woman who dared to question the colony’s religious authority. Her questioning ultimately led to her ex-communication from the colony and banishment from Massachusetts. But Hutchinson didn’t give up easily. She continued to fight for what she believed in, even when it meant going against everything she had been taught. Here is everything you need to know about this fascinating woman.
Early Life and Conversion
When was Anne Hutchinson born? Anne Hutchinson was born in England in 1591. She married William Hutchinson when she was 18 years old and followed him to America in 1634 when he decided to join the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Shortly after settling in Boston, Anne began attending meetings with the colony’s religious leader, John Cotton. She was so impressed with Cotton’s sermons that she converted to Puritanism.
Moves to America
In 1634, Anne and her family immigrated to Massachusetts. They settled in Boston, where Anne quickly became involved in religious life. She attended church services and Bible study groups regularly and soon began hosting her own meetings at her home. These meetings became very popular, sometimes attracting up to 60 people- more than three times the size of an average congregation at the time!
The Controversy Begins
It wasn’t long before Anne began questioning some of the Puritan teachings she had been exposed to. In particular, she took issue with the idea that only men could be religious leaders. She also questioned the colony’s practice of rewarding those who led successful lives with earthly rewards like wealth and prestige. Anne believed that true piety came from within and could not be measured by such superficial things.
Excommunication and Banishment
Anne’s views quickly caused controversy within the colony. The colony’s leaders summoned her to appear before them several times to defend her position. But Anne refused to back down. In 1638, she was tried and found guilty of heresy. She was excommunicated from the colony and ordered to leave Massachusetts.
Hutchinson didn’t give up easily, though. She appealed her case to the governor of Connecticut, who ruled that she should be allowed to stay in Massachusetts provided she no longer spoke out against the colony’s religious authorities. But Anne refused to be silenced and continued to speak her mind freely. As a result, she was once again tried and found guilty of heresy in 1643. This time, she was banished from Massachusetts for good.
Anne Hutchinson was a brave woman who stood up for what she believed in, even when it meant going against everything she had been taught. She paid a heavy price for her beliefs, but she never stopped fighting for what she thought was right. Her story is an inspiration to us all.