Anne's Expulsion and Move to Rhode Island



Anne was allowed to stay under house arrest until March 1638. During the trial, Anne was pregnant with her fifteenth child and the courts felt winter was too harsh a time to release a family into a new environment. She was also forced to endure one last trial before she was banished. The trial occurred at Thomas Welde's house in March. Welde was a local minister. A council listened to a list of "twenty-nine gross errors" Anne committed. It was during this trial that John Cotton turned against her. She was supported only by a son, Edward, and a friend, Edward Savage. The trial centered around a statement made by a minister, Hugh Peter. He believed Anne had "behav[ed] more like a man rather than a woman. . ." because of her meetings and preaching. The trial finally ended and Anne's beloved minister was asked to pronounce the sentence of expulsion from the church. Cotton, however, could not do it and persuaded John Wilson to read the verdict (Anne 5). Anne was not going to allow the court to have the last word. After Wilson completed his short speech, Anne replied, "'The Lord judgeth not as man judgeth. Better to be cast out of the church than to deny Christ'" (Behling 4).

Therefore, when spring came, Anne and William took their family and some 60 followers to Rhode Island. Fellow outcast Roger Williams helped William buy Aquidneck Island from the Narragansett Indians (Anne 6). In March 1638, the group settled the island's first town, Pocasset. In 1639, it was renamed Portsmouth (Behling 4).

The Hutchinsons lived in Rhode Island successfully. In 1642, William died and the size of the Massachusetts Bay Colony appeared ready to overtake Rhode Island. Anne, fearing persecution once again, moved her family to New York (Anne 6). In August 1643, Anne's home was attacked by nearby Mohegan Indians. Five of Anne's children were murdered; one daughter escaped. Anne was also mortally wounded.

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