Last updated 11 Sep 2021 in Spear–Johnson Family.
Born: 12 Jan 1587/88 in , Edwardstone, County Suffolk, England
Died: 26 Mar 1649 in , , Massachusetts Bay Colony, British America
Father: Adam Winthrop [2nd] (1548 – 1623)
Mother: Anne ____ (? – ?)
Married: Abt 1605
Child: Henry Winthrop (? – 1630)
Education: (Trinity College) Abt 1603 at , Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
General Notes and Anecdotes
Born into the gentry of England, John Winthrop was a member of the dominant class of his time. He entered Trinity College in Cambridge at 15, studied law, served as a justice of the peace, and was an attorney in the Court of Wards and Liveries from 1627 to 1629. For 20 years he was a country squire at Groton (England) and seemingly had no interest in the American colonies. [book-encyclopedia-brittanica-15-1979]
John was the primary driving force of strict Puritan orthodoxy in the settlements around Massachusetts Bay, though he was not without opponents, including the decision of the freemen in 1634 to elect a representative assembly to share in decisions, the criticisms of Roger Williams regarding church/state relations, the migration of colonists from Massachusetts Bay Colony to Connecticut Colony, and of course, Anne Hutchinson, a "mere woman" who had the audacity to attempt converting the entire colony to a religious position he thought blasphemous, and whom he succeeded in prosecuting and banishing. [book-encyclopedia-brittanica-15-1979]
From his arrival in the Massachusetts Bay in 1630 until his death in 1649, he was elected governor 12 times (elections were held every year). For the years he was not governor, he sat on the court of assistants or on the colony council. [book-encyclopedia-brittanica-15-1979]
Perhaps his most famous statement of some of these ideals can be seen in his famous sermon, "A Model of Christian Charity," also known as the "City Upon a Hill" speech. (The sermon was believed to have been written on board the Arbella during his 1630 voyage.) [book-encyclopedia-brittanica-15-1979]
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