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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

Church Membership

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Anne Hutchinson

Anne Hutchinson is sometimes referred to as the first American feminist but she was more than that. She was also a pioneer in religious freedom and freedom of speech in a time when women were subjugated to men, were not allowed to talk in public and when there was little tolerance for opposing religious beliefs regardless of gender.

The story of Anne Hutchinson takes place in the 17th century during what has become known as "the Great Migration" of British puritans seeking relief from religious persecution. During the period of 1630-1640 thousands from the middle ranks of English society sailed across the Atlantic landing at present day Salem. They soon relocated to what is today the Boston area and settled the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The colonists were united by the persecution they had faced in England and in the words of their leader, Governor John Winthrop, a sense of religious mission to build "a city on a hill".

Feeling spiritually deprived because Reverend John Cotton, her favorite preacher, had migrated to New England to avoid pesecution in England, Anne Hutchinson and her family followed him and arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634.

Ironically, three years after her arrival Anne Hutchinson was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony at the court in Newtown and the next year, in 1638 excommunicated from the Boston church. She was accused of "errors" of religious opinions and was convicted of conspiracy and of undermining the most central tenets of the church. Conservative from a modern perspective, she was seen as an "agent of Satan", a witch, a Jezebel.

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