Anne Hutchinson of Alford (1591-1643) Christian leader and poet.
Anne Hutchinson was a Christian; she was born in Alford in 1591. She lived in Alford for 22 years after a period in London. Her father was an Anglican minister (Revd. Francis Marbury) who moved from Alford to London in 1605.
After his death, Anne moved back to Alford and married her lover, Will Hutchinson, who was a tailor in Alford.
Will was a good businessman, churchwarden and governor of Alford Grammar School. Will and Anne had fourteen children.
Anne was devoted to God. She was helped in her spiritual journey by John Cotton, who was a pastoral leader in Boston.
To escape persecution for his beliefs, John Cotton went to North America. Anne wanted to go also; she persuaded Will to go with her. He handed over his Market Place business to Anne's brother, John.
The Hutchinson family sailed from London in 1634 with other Christians from Alford. One hundred passengers were crammed on the 'Griffin.' By God's goodness, they survived the stormy 3,000 mile sea journey. When they arrived, on September 18, 1634, John Cotton was there to meet them.
At that time, Boston was only a little larger than Alford. Anne was joined in 1636 by her brother-in-law, the Revd. John Wheelwright formerly the vicar of Bilsby. He founded the community of Exeter, New Hampshire.
As they got established, Anne helped the poor and nursed the sick, while Will became a leader in local society.
She became one of America's first woman preachers. She held meetings for women which were banned from men's meetings. Anne spoke out about the harsh teachings of judgement.
In 1638, they left Boston to go to New Hampshire, where they founded a new town named Portsmouth, which became noted as a refuge for the persecuted.
In 1642 Will died. Anne moved the family home first to Long Island, then to New York. In the late summer of 1643, the settlement where the Hutchinsons lived was attacked by Indians. Anne and five of her six children were killed. Susanna, nine years old, was captured; four years later she was returned.
Anne's great great-grandson Thomas became Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts.back to History Index