ACCUSATIONS OF ANNE HUTCHINSON
History 1301: United States History I
December 6, 2017
In 1637, Anne Hutchinson was taken to trial and banished from her colony for speaking her mind about her take on the Puritan religion and its rights of salvation through the Covenant of Grace. As Anne battled John Winthrop in her case, she was faced with the decision of how her future would be determined by the outcome of her trial. She faced challenges throughout her lifetime that will impact history for years to come.
Anne Hutchinson was born in Lincolnshire, England during 1591 to her mother and father who were both seen as important figures in the town. Her mother was a midwife and her father a clergyman, teaching Puritan practices. The Protestant Anglican Church of England forced citizens to practice the Protestant religion due to the king’s favor of this religion compelling Anne and her family to practice their religion in quiet so that they would not be punished. Her father’s desire to have the freedom to practice the religion of his choice led to the reform movement that would attempt to bring down the Church of England and its forced religion practices. Following in the footsteps of her mother, Anne became a reputable midwife and a counselor who provided moral and spiritual support for those in need in their community. She married William Hutchinson, a prosperous merchant, and was the father of their twelve children and proved to be a loyal husband.
In 1634, Anne and her family became fed up with having to hide their religion so they decided to move to the Puritan colony of Massachusetts Bay. Anne practiced and taught the Puritan religion, but soon learned that her belief in salvation by the Covenant of Grace was not commonly shared in her new colony. She believed that a person was granted salvation by faith alone. Most of the inhabitants of the new colony believed instead that salvation was based on a Covenant of Works. They believed that a person was not automatically granted salvation, but instead needed to earn it through their actions. Anne felt so passionate about her faith of Covenant of Grace that she challenged the Puritan leaders pursuing the idea of a salvation based on works. On account of her challenging, she was sentenced to trial along with many others who believed in the Covenant of Grace and stood up for it. “Anne was prosecuted for claiming authority over the men and challenging their beliefs. Hutchinson was initially accused of sedition, or trying to overthrow the government by challenging colonial leaders, such as Governor John Winthrop, who were devout Puritans. An eloquent orator, Hutchinson ultimately claimed that her authority to challenge the Puritan leadership came from ‘an immediate revelation’ from G...