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The Hutchinson Players


The word literally means 'against the law'. It was used to describe Anne Hutchinson and her followers in a derogatory manner and had connotations of licentious behavior and heretical doctrine.

puritan vs Puritan
The word puritan is used in a general sense to describe intangible characteristics such as character, conscious leanings or allegiance to certain religious beliefs as opposed to Puritan which implies something distinctly set such as membership in an organization or establishment. The puritans were in agreement about the need for further cleansing of the church institutions through evangelical means and held a basic set of common beliefs, but there was never an official institution of puritanism.

Puritan Beliefs

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Anne Hutchinson

Follow the links to discover the story of our early history that is filled with personal intrigue, political jealousy and manipulation, religious obsession and civil unrest.

How did the Antinomian Controversy begin?

What did Anne Hutchinson do to warrant such punishment?

What threat did she pose?

Who else was persecuted? . . . And who wasn't?

What happened to Anne Hutchinson and her family?

What impact did Anne Hutchinson have on history?

Contrary to the convictions of the ruling magistrates and orthodox ministers, the split in the Massachusetts Bay Colony didn't begin with the arrival of Anne Hutchinson. There were inherent problems within the community religious and civic organization not to mention the diverse demographics of the earliest settlers that opened the way for the two year period known as the "Antinomian Controversy".

The Massachusetts Bay Colony needed to place blame on an individual making the problem personal rather than systemic.

But where to point the blame?

Anne Hutchinson and many of her followers were banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but others contributed to the crisis who were not singled out for prosecution or punishment.

Reverend John Cotton, always careful with his words and able to nimbly slip through the hands of any reproachment, is considered by some to be the cause of the religious aspect of the controversy. There were other opposing ministers whose beliefs and preaching was not very far from that of the Hutchinson followers but who managed to keep a low profile.

Then there is also Sir Henry Vane, a young, handsome aristocrat who was governor from May 1636 to May 1637 when the Antinomian controversy began to assume disastrous implications. Vane had arrived in early 1636 and was gone soon after Winthrop was elected governor once again in May 1637. Vane sat at Anne Hutchinson's side and was one of her staunchest supporters, but was able to leave the colony unscathed.

One last figure and perhaps the most perilous threat to the precarious stability of the colony was Captain John Underhill, head of the Massachusetts Bay Colony militia. Ultimately banished and excommunicated, his story is riddled with delusion, duplicity and arrogance. And yet, paradoxically, his resentment and contempt of the ruling orthodoxy never stopped him from pursuing a life-long attempt at reconciliation with the Massachusetts Bay Colony to restore his honor.

Follow the links to discover the story of our early history that is filled with intrigue, political manipulation, religious obsession and civil unrest.

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