ANNE HUTCHINSON


Anne Hutchinson, born Anne Marbury in the small town of Alford in Lincolnshire, England on July of 1591. She was the daughter of Bridget Drydin and Fancis Marbury, a deacon at Christ Church, Cambridge. Anne developed an interest in religion and theology at a very young age. On August 9, 1612, Anne married William Hutchinson at the age of twenty-one. In 1634, Anne Hutchinson arrived in Boston from England with her husband and seven children. The town’s women welcomed her for her talents as a midwife. She held religious meetings in her home insisting that there was nothing humans could do to encourage God to make them saints. According to Anne, any minister who taught otherwise could not be a saint himself. She was believed to be someone who claimed to be free from obedience to moral law because she seemed to maintain that saints were accountable only to God and not to any worldly authority. Because her critics objected to her teaching of mixed groups of men and women, Anne was arrested for advocating the overthrow of the government. Hutchinson’s “crime” was expressing religious beliefs that were different from the colony’s rulers. In the year of 1637, it was against the law, especially for women. During her trial, Anne stood by her religious views and gave the court a lively defense. She used the Bible and the men’s own words to skillfully defend herself. She stated that holding meetings in her home to discuss religion had been a common Puritan practice in England. The court found her guilty and banished her from the colony. In the spring of 1638, Hutchinson left and moved to Rhode Island.


My choice on Anne Hutchinson was because I found her interesting. Anne was not afraid to talk about her religious beliefs. Even though women were subordinate to men, she taught men and women. I admire her for believing in the rights of the individual to freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and freedom to worship. It must have been difficult for women to live under Puritan rule in the American colonies when women were not even allowed to think for themselves. She was not only a hero in her time, but she was a mother, a wife, a leader, and possibly the first American feminist.