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The Hutchinson Players





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The Hutchinson Players


As I do understand it, laws, commands, rules and edicts are for those who have not the light which makes plain the pathway. He who has God's grace in his heart cannot go astray.

Anne Marbury Hutchinson is sometimes called the first feminist. Born in England in 1591 she came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony with her husband William, a textile merchant, and her children in 1634. Anne was a midwife and nurse. She and her husband were considered a prominent family in the community. A deeply religious, educated and outspoken women, Anne began holding weekly meetings for the local women to contemplate and discuss religious issues. Her charisma and intelligence drew even the local men to her following. This presented a threat to the leading politicians, ultimately bringing her to trial. She was excommunicated from the church and banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Anne took her family to Rhode Island to join with Roger Williams who had also been banished for his religious beliefs.

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John Cotton Reverend John Cotton - Born in 1584 England, he was acclaimed for his preaching and biblical scholarship. Cottn was followed by many, including Anne Hutchinson and her husband to the Massachusetts Bay Colony where his renowned reputation continued. Following Cotton's spiritual advice, Anne Hutchinson was accused of holding Opinions that cannot be borne,... whereupon Cotton abandoned his pupil and using political opportunism he urged that she be disciplined for lying rather than her beliefs.

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Reverend John Wheelwright More soon to come.

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Sir Henry Vane More soon to come.

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Roger Williams Roger Williams sailed to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. He became the pastor of the church of Salem until it became clear that his views were at odds with the Massachusetts authorities. Williams believed in the separation of church and state, and disagreed with the commonly held Puritan concept that the English king had the right to grant Indian lands to the settlers. Ironically, his greatest opponent, John Winthrop, also had great admiration for him. It was Winthrop who sent a letter to Williams in the dead of a 1636 winter night informing him that the General Court had decided to send him back to England and that soldiers led by John Underhill were on their way to take him away. Williams was able to evade them and with the help of the Wampanoag Indians survived the winter. He eventually bought land from the Narragansett Indians and founded what is today Rhode Island. It was here that Anne Hutchinson and her family settled after being turned out from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

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Reverend Hugh Peter Reverend Hugh Peter was persecuted and briefly imprisoned in England, he arrived in New England with Sir Henry Vane in October 1635. As pastor of the Salem church, he set out to repair and unify the parish from the damage he considered done by his predecessor, Roger Williams. Hugh Peter considered himself a peacemaker with strong orthodox leanings and passionately opposed any radical theological beliefs. He was one of the first to take offense and question Anne Hutchinson on her controversial views about his and his fellow ministers preaching and publicly hailed John Cotton after his shift in support for Hutchinson after her sentencing. At her excommunication trial Hugh Peter concluded to Anne Hutchinson . . . you have stept out of your place. You have rather been a husband than a wife, a preacher than a hearer, a magistrate than a subject . . .

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Thomas Dudley Inexorably opposed to Hutchinson, Deputy Governor Thomas Dudley aggressively prosecuted Anne at her trial and antagonistically questioned John Cotton. When Coddington appeared to be making progress while defending Hutchinson, it was Dudley who cut it short saying We shall all die fasting! At Hutchinson's excommunication Dudley continued to taunt Cotton along with making cutting comments aimed at Anne, most likely contributing to Reverend Cotton's abandonment of his most devoted follower.

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John Winthrop John Winthrop arrived in New England in 1630 as the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Dedicated to the success of the Colony with a fervent resolve and commitment, he was beleaguered with opposition, tension and controversy caused by external events as well as 17th century social mores. He feared that political/religious disharmony within the colony would leak back to England where they were already demanding the charter. Intensely opposed by the envious Thomas Dudley and his followers as being too lenient and confronted by a fundamental split in the religious beliefs of the colony spearheaded by a woman, he led the court that banished Anne Hutchinson from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He wrote copiously in his journal and documented the conflict in A Short Story of the Rise, Reign, and Ruin of the Antinomians, and Libertines that Infected the Churches of New England.

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More soon to come.

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