William Hutchinson (1586–1641): was a
- London Merchant (1615)
- Migrated with large family to Massachusetts (1634)
- Original Founder of Portsmouth Colony (1638)- Rhode Island
- Treasurer of Porstmouth (1638)
- 2nd Chief Magistrate of Portsmouth (1639)
William Hutchinson was born 14 August 1586 in Alford, Lincolnshire, England to Edward Hutchinson (1564-1631) and Susanna Wheelright (1564-1646) and died 1641 Aquidneck Island, Portsmouth, Newport County, Rhode Island of unspecified causes. He married Anne Marbury (1591-1643) 9 August 1612 in Church of Saint Mary Woolnoth on Lombard Street, London, Middlesex, England.
Born into a prominent Lincolnshire family, William Hutchinson was the grandson of John Hutchinson (1515–1565) who had been Sheriff, Alderman, and Mayor of the town of Lincoln, dying in office during his second term as mayor. John's youngest son, Edward (1564–1632), moved to Alford and with his wife, Susanna, had 11 children, the oldest of whom was William, who was baptized 14 August 1586 in Alford.
William Hutchinson grew up in Alford, where he was the warden of his church in 1620 and 1621, and after becoming a merchant in the cloth trade he moved to London. Here he became close to an old acquaintance from Alford, Anne Marbury, the daughter of Francis Marbury and Bridget Dryden, and the couple was married on 9 August 1612 at the Church of Saint Mary Woolnoth on Lombard Street in London. Anne's father was a clergyman, school master, and Puritan reformer who was educated at Cambridge.
Hutchinson and his wife raised a large family in Alford, as he prospered in his business. The couple had 14 children in England, one of whom died in infancy, and two of whom died from the plague. The Hutchinsons, particularly Anne, became very enamored with the preaching of the Reverend John Cotton who was the vicar of Saint Botolph's Church in the town of Boston, about 21 miles from Alford.
The Hutchinsons made the day-long round trip to Boston whenever they could to hear Cotton preach, but Cotton had strong Puritan sympathies, and when Archbishop William Laud began cracking down on those whose opinions differed from those of the established Anglican church, Cotton was forced into hiding, and then had to flee the country to avoid imprisonment. Mrs. Hutchinson was distraught to lose her mentor, and the Hutchinsons would have sailed with Cotton to New England aboard the ship Griffin in 1633, but Mrs. Hutchinson's 14th pregnancy kept the family from leaving. However, with the intention of following Cotton to New England as soon as they could, the Hutchinsons sent their oldest son, 20-year old Edward, under the care of Cotton. William Hutchinson's youngest brother, also named Edward, was also aboard the same ship with his wife.
Settlement of Portsmouth
He was one of the signatories of the 1637 Portsmouth Civil Compact founding Portsmouth, Rhode Island, the 2nd settlement in the new colony of Rhode Island. This group, most of were caught up in the events of the Antinomian Controversy from 1636 to 1638, had followed the family of dissident preacher Anne Hutchinson and her family from Massachusetts Bay Colony seeking religious freedom. This document was the first compact to declare both political and religious separation.
On 7 March 1638, before leaving Boston, William Hutchinson and other supporters of his wife signed an instrument, sometimes called the Portsmouth Compact, agreeing to form a non-sectarian government that was Christian in character. The group of signers considered going to New Netherland, but Roger Williams suggested they purchase some land on the Narragansett Bay from the Indians, which they did. They settled on the island of Aquidneck (an island called Rhode Island, whose name was later given to the entire colony and state), and formed the settlement of Pocasset, renamed Portsmouth in 1639.
- Life of William Hutchinson - Wikipedia
- Life of Anne Marbury Hutchinson - Wikipedia
- Francis Marbury List of Famous Descendants
- Edward Hutchinson List of Famous Descendants