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Anne Hutchinson was born in 1591 in Lincolnshire, England.

Her father being a Puritan


Minister taught her about Christianity, the bible, how to read and most importantly, the
importance of criticizing unjust churches. He was on multiple occasions thrown in jail
and placed under house arrest for criticizing the Anglican church, though once Anne was
born he seemed to be less vocal worrying about his children. Her father died and she
married her childhood friend William Hutchinson in 1612. She wasn’t content to tend to
the home however and worked as a midwife and herbalist and taught Bible Study on the
side. Anne was well learned and not just someone that was able to read when a lot of
women weren’t able to. She also was very persuasive, an asset that local Puritan
minister John Cotton took advantage of to help spread his message of his particular
brand of Puritanism. Puritanism was certainly not accepted but it was allowed for some
time until 1630 when King Charles I through the Anglican Church of England began
protestant persecution. This persecution so intense that protestants felt their only
response was to flee the country. Anne was one of these individuals fearing for her
safety that decided to flee.

However fleeing was far from a simple matter. The large groups of fleeing protestants to
the new colony of Massachusetts made the King Charles worried about their allegiance
to the crown. In an attempt to stop anti-crown feelings and behaviors, King Charles
banned emigration to Massachusetts and also threatened Massachusetts if they
continued to deny the crown’s power. Hutchinson, her husband and her 10 children
decided to escape anyway. Anne reading the bible received a revelation that detailed
their plan of escape. Following said plan they escaped successfully and fled to Boston in
1634. Anne at this time joined a group of women healers. She created what would be
the core focus of her philosophy that god is not attainable only through a preacher but
each individual has the capacity to have personal revelation, as she had had when she
escaped England. Her most contentious teaching however, was that she taught that
one’s behavior did not have an impact on whether an individual went to heaven. This
would be the cause of much contention to the Puritans as this went in direct violation of
their teachings. Anne began preaching expanding on these ideas and people flocked
men and women alike. Someone teaching that works were not needed to get into
heaven were unheard of, let alone a woman teaching these ideas. The Puritan
leadership didn’t respond so kindly to her teachings and were worried that if individuals
believed their works didn’t matter and that personal revelation was guaranteed, then
the use for ministers would decrease and the colony would descend into chaos. The
minister whose teachings she once held dear, joined with other colony ministers to
Anne from holding meetings in her house. Anne however would not be deterred and
decided to continue the meetings in the face of this opposition.

In 1637, she was called to court. She was questioned about her knowledge of the bible
which having been taught the bible since being a child, she succeeded easily. Later,
however, she explained her teachings of personal revelation and of God speaking
personally to her. The ministers present saw this as clearly a threat to the religious
control that they had created and banished her as a heretic. She wasn’t the only one as
her family and her supporters were also forced to leave to the Rhode Island colony. This
wasn’t the end of her harassment by the Massachusetts colony as she gave birth to a
disabled stillborn child. In her sorrow, rumors were spread that she gave birth to a
demon and in her capacity as a healer that also worked as a midwife, that she had never
given birth to a normal child but just demons. This would continue up to 1642 when her
husband William died and Anne and her children were forced to flee to New
Amsterdam. However, she didn’t know that the local governor had created tension
between colonists and the local tribe. She was reportedly kind to the local Indigenous
tribe but the tension had grown too great She would only live a year more, being killed
in 1643 in a raid by Indigenous Siwanoy warriors, along with the rest of her family save
for her child Susanna who was captured and later ransomed to family in Boston.

Anne was is important being one of the first to attempt to go against the grain of what is
considered typical occupations for a woman along with not being afraid to speak against
authority. Women in many Pagan societies had had a special connection with the Divine
and Hutchinson is an extension to that believing that men weren’t the only ones that
could speak to God and a woman could do it just as well. If her father had never taught
her, this wouldn’t have even been an option but given her opportunity she took the
chance and ran with it. It would be sometime before a woman would have the type of
courage that she had to speak her truth in so public a manner in the American colonies

History.com Staff. “Anne Hutchinson.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009,


www.history.com/topics/anne-hutchinson.