The Creation Story


Anne Hutchinson’s life straddled a defining period in European and later, American, history. Born in Alford, England in 1591, her lifetime saw the founding of the New World in Virginia, Puritan separatists in New England, and further fracturing of the mother country as a result of religious and socioeconomic turmoil.

The daughter of ‘radical’ Puritans, who fought to cleanse the Church of England of all practices not outlined in the Bible, including many Catholic traditions. Hutchinson was well-educated at a young age, able to read, write, and recite the Bible at will. While her father, Francis Marbury, softened his approach to the Crown and the Church of England throughout his adult life, his daughter, Anne, continued a hard-line attitude. She married a fellow puritan, William Hutchinson, in 1612. Quite unusually for the time, Hutchinson, according to available accounts, publicly and privately interacted with his wife without ‘paternalistic’ friction of any sort, especially given her stature as the more powerful figure of the pair.

It was in the early years of Anne Marbury’s marriage to Hutchinson that the two found an admiration for the famous preacher, John Cotton, who was posted as a minister in the nearby town of Boston. Cotton fled England for Massachusetts in 1633, threatened with jail time for his preaching. Hutchinson, receiving messages from God, sailed to Boston the next year with her family. Even on the journey to the new colony, she argued with one of her fellow passengers, a reverend, on the nature of being saved spiritually. Unheard of for the time, Hutchinson began to overstep gender boundaries before she even set foot in the New World.


Image –

Winship, Michael P., The Times and Trials of Anne Hutchinson: Puritans Divided, (2005)


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