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Ezekiel Richardson in the
Anne Hutchinson Affair
Another such expulsion was Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson (and her husband's brother-in-law, John Wheelwright). She believed, and preached, that salvation could be realized through faith and belief alone, without the aid of the church. This affair paralyzed the Colony for nearly a year and a half, from October 1636 to March, 1638. She apparently was a gifted speaker and had a lot of followers. But Governor Winthrop certainly wasn't one of them. Her teachings were considered an attack on the rigid moral and legal codes of the Puritans, as well as the authority of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This affair has drawn much attention among historians ever since.
In 1637, she was tried by the General Court of Massachusetts, presided over by Winthrop, on the charge of "traducing the ministers". The trial was a travesty of justice; Hutchinson was found guilty, excommunicated, and banished from the colony.
After she was expelled from the colony, she moved to Rhode Island for awhile, then to New York, where she and all but one of her family were killed by Indians in 1643.
This is what John Adam Vinton had to say in Ezekiel Richardson's
biography in the Richardson Memorial, 1876:
|"He (Ezekiel Richardson) was a follower of Anne Hutchinson and John Wheelwright in the Antinomian Controversy of 1637, as were most of the members of the Boston church, and was one of the eighty or more persons who signed the Remonstrance in Mr. Wheelwright's favor, presented to the General Court on the ninth of March in that year. At the session of the General Court held in November following, he and several others desired that their names might be erased from that paper, which the Court had judged to be of seditious tendency. Thus acknowledging his fault, he was exempted from the censure inflicted by the court; in other words he was not disarmed, as were nearly all of the Remonstrants."|
Sounds to me like he just backpedalled so he wouldn't get run out of town, too. (He had a wife and a family in a raw land, after all.)
From the Journal of John Winthrop (Abridged Edition, edited by Dunn
& Yeandle, p. 137):
|".... And after many speeches to and fro, at last she was so full as
she could not contain, but vented her revelations; amongst which this was
one, that she had it revealed to her that she should come into New England,
and she should here be persecuted, and that God would ruin us and our posterity
and the whole state for the same. So the court proceeded and banished her;
but because it was winter, they committed her to a private house where
she was well provided, and her own friends and the elders permitted to
go to her, but none else.
The court also ordered, that the rest, who had subscribed the petition, (and would not acknowledge their fault, and which near twenty of them did,) and some others, who had been chief stirrers in these contentions, etc, should be disarmed. This troubled some of them very much, especially because they were to bring them in themselves; but at last, when they saw no remedy, they obeyed."
Footnote: Ironically, our little section of the family are cousins
to Anne Hutchinson. She is a Spencer descendant and, in fact, is a direct
line ancestor to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and George Bush. (Ancestry of
American Presidents, Boyd, Pg 171.)
Sequel - the Story of Anne Dyar and William Robinson:
To show you how serious the Puritans were, here is the story of Anne Dyar and William Robinson, who were hanged for refusing to leave the colony when banished.
History of the United States by George Bancroft (6 Volumes), Volume 1, Part 1 The English People Found a Nation in America, Chapter 19 The Place of Puritanism in History
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