Excerpts from “The Examination of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson at the Court at Newton” 1637

“Mr. [John] Winthrop, Governor: Mrs. Hutchinson, you are called here as one of those that have troubled the peace of the commonwealth and the churches here; …you have spoken divers things, as we have been informed, very prejudicial to the honour of the churches and ministers thereof, and you have maintained a meeting and an assembly in your house that hath been condemned by the general assembly as a thing not tolerable nor comely in the sight of God nor fitting for your sex, and notwithstanding that was cried down you have continued the same.”

This excerpt is from a trial transcript on the case where Anne Hutchinson was disturbing the peace in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. John Winthrop was the governor of this colony and was writing to Anne Hutchinson. The Hutchinson family arrived in Boston, but three years later was expelled from this colony. Anne Hutchinson was gained followers both male and female as she held prayer meetings and criticized the colonies’ ministers.  In 1620 one of the first settlers, the Pilgrims, to come to America landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts. After them followed the Puritans who established a colony called the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Roughly 20,000 Puritans migrated to this colony from Europe looking for religious freedom during the 1630s-40s. Anne Hutchinson is an example of a women who spoke her mind even though society at that time believed that she as a female shouldn’t be able to speak against such powerful people such as ministers.

Sources: Trial Transcript 1637, “The Examination of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson at the Court at Newton” 1637

4 Replies to “Excerpts from “The Examination of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson at the Court at Newton” 1637”

  1. Maybe you could emphasize more the reason for leaving Europe, like how they believed the society was corrupt, or the want to acquire more land. Also, I am not sure if this is just for me but when I click on your links they are all broken.


  2. There is a connection to immigration here – who is in the “in” group and who is not – but I think you need to draw it out more explicitly.

    What is the difference between an immigrant and a colonizer? When do the Puritans become “native born Americans?” Or are they foreign born Britons?


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