The reason I picked this topic is because I admire Anne Hutchinson and the history of her
life and I strongly believe in the rights of the individual to freedom of thought, freedom of
speech, and the freedom to worship. She is a real hero because she faced adversity but she
refused to betray her ideals or ethics no matter what the cost was.
Anne Hutchinson, was born Anne Marbury, in Alford, Lincolnshire, England, in July,
1591, the daughter of Bridget Dryden and Francis Marbury, a deacon at Christ Church,
Cambridge. She was the second of 13 children. For years everyone in England had been
Catholic. Then, almost 100 years before Anne was born, King Henry VIII of England, the leader
at the time, left the Catholic Church. He wanted to divorce his wife, but the Catholic Church
would not let its members get divorced. Because he was determined to end his marriage, he
started a new church called the Church of England. He made himself head of this church and
from that time until today, the king or queen of England has also been the ruler of the Church of
England. The English people wanted a more relaxed and simple form of worship that would be
less formal than the Catholic Church. These people were known as the Puritans, because they
wanted a pure religion without the rules and ceremonies of Catholicism.
Several members of Anne's mother's family were Puritans, and her father, Reverend
Marbury, was accused of being a Puritan. He did not approve of the way the church selected
ministers. Some men became preachers because their families knew political rulers or because
they were wealthy. Reverend Marbury, on the other hand, had spent years going to school and
earning his degree at Cambridge University. In fact, he spoke against untrained ministers so
much that he was even thrown in jail and not allowed to preach for several years.
Because her father had always expressed his opinions, Anne Marbury grew up feeling
free to speak her mind. She often heard him disagree with the rules of the Church of England.
During the time that Rev. Marbury was not allowed to preach, he spent time farming his fields,
writing and teaching Anne about the Bible. Because her father was an educated man, he was able
to give Anne a better education than most young English girls received. Anne developed an
interest in religion and theology at a very young age. She found there were as many new
questions about faith as there seemed to be answers. She had grown to admire her father's ideals
and assertiveness, and wasn't afraid of questioning the principles of faith and the authority of the
Church, as is usually the case with anyone who has had the benefit of a good education.
At the age of 21, Anne married Will Hutchinson, and settled down in Alford, where she
took on the role of housewife and mother, while retaining a vivid interest in theology and the
Church. She and her family followed the sermons of John Cotton, a young Protestant minister
whose teachings echoed those of her father's, but were now more commonly accepted under the
increasingly popular banner of Puritanism.
As much as Anne's father had been criticized and condemned for his views, many
Protestants had grown increasingly concerned with the level of corruption within the Catholic
Church, and to a certain degree within the Protestant Church; a new reformist movement known
as Puritanism has evolved, thus named because it's main objective was to "purify" the National
Church of all Catholic influence.
One of the Church of England's ideas that most bothered Anne was called the Covenant
of Works. Under the Covenant of Works, church leaders made rules for people and believed that
the truly religious people were the ones who obeyed the rules. They believed that the only way
for people to get to...
Bibliography: Berkin,Carol, Miller, Christopher, Cherny, Robert, Gormly, James. Making America, A History
of the United States Volume I: To 1877. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003
Clark, Beth. Anne Hutchinson, Religious Leader. Avondale: Chelsea House Publishers, 2000.
LaPlante, Eve. American Jezebel, The Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson, The Woman who
Defied the Puritans. New York: HarperCollins Publisher Inc, 2004.
Mangal, Melina. Let Freedom Ring, Anne Hutchinson, Religious Reformer. Minnesota:
Capstone Press, 2004.
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