1612-1618 St. Botolph’s Boston

When members of the Boston Borough Council selected John Cotton to head their parish in July 1612, they had no way of knowing that by becoming their new vicar, Cotton’s life would be turned completely upside down. From the heights of the Cambridge academe, where a mastery of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew drew praise, Cotton moved deep into the fens of Lincolnshire to head a congregation of farmers, laborers, and tradesmen incapable of appreciating his academic and linguistic acumen. Years later, in a sermon to his Boston, Lincolnshire congregation, Cotton expressed remorse for the intellectual conceit he suffered upon first coming to Boston saying, “it is a wonder to see, when Scholars are admitted into the Ministry in their young times, how they despise the People, think themselves unmet to condescend to Peasants, but they will rather exercise their Gifts in the University.”1

By the summer of 1612, John Cotton was twenty-seven years old and one of the most distinguished Fellows at Cambridge University. Although his life had not been a cloistered one, he had little experience of the world outside the university. The daily routine of the university’s academic year had regimented his life for fourteen years. The only decision Cotton had so far faced was to leave Trinity College in 1603 and complete his Master’s Degree at Emmanuel College— and then, only because the small inheritance from his father made it possible.

In spite of having agreed to become Boston’s new vicar, Cotton was ambivalent as to whether or not it was the right decision. University life was all he had ever known. For Cotton, leaving Cambridge was as life-altering as had been leaving home at the young age of thirteen. He had yet to complete his Bachelor of Divinity Degree and knew nothing of Boston or its people. Despite these doubts, Cotton realized that if he had not accepted Boston’s offer, he would have violated the trust of his mentors, Richard Sibbes and Paul Baynes, — both of whom likely reminded him of Emmanuel College’s De Mora2 statute requiring Emmanuel men to leave college and head a church once they achieved a divinity degree.3

The Parish of Boston was formally established in 1486 when the Benedictine Convent of St. Mary at York was made Boston’s advowson.4 After Henry VIII established the Church of England and dissolved the monasteries, the Borough of Boston was granted a charter in 1545 and became its own advowson responsible for selecting and funding its own vicar.5  On April 6th, 1612, Boston Borough Council records state, “Mr. Thomas Wooll, the now vicar of Boston shall now forthwith be ffreely presented to the Parsonage of Skirbeck.” At the time, Wooll was under pressure from the Bishop of Lincoln to step down because of his refusal to conform to the Three Articles mandated by Archbishop John Witgift. Rather than surrender his livelihood, Wooll agreed to leave Boston’s St. Botolph’s Church for St. Nicholas Church in nearby Skirbeck. On May 28th, Boston Borough records show that Mr. Benjamin Alexander, the mayor’s chaplain, “hath yielded up his place… and is chosen vicar”.6 Soon after, however, on June 24th, Alexander resigned his post and Thomas Wooll was asked to head a delegation to go to Cambridge University and select a candidate to become Boston’s next vicar.7

Once at Cambridge, the delegation experienced considerable difficulty agreeing on a candidate due to an upstart within its ranks by the name of Peter Baron. Baron was the son a distinguished scholar from France that had earned his Doctor of Divinity at Cambridge University.8 Baron migrated to England with his father in 1573 and in 1576, matriculated to Peterhouse as a sizar.9 In 1585, Baron received his Master’s of Arts Degree in medicine and, in 1606, naturalized along with his wife.10 He then moved to Boston where he served as town physician until his death in 1630. In addition to his Boston medical practice, Dr. Baron leavened many of the chief men of the town with Arminianism11 — the Lutheran doctrine preached by his father.12

Though duly elected to Boston’s Borough Council in May 1609, Dr. Baron was not well received by the other aldermen. In addition to being French and Arminian, Baron insisted on being esteemed to the point where in August 1609, the Earl of Exeter, Lord Burghley, a friend of Baron’s father, interceded on his behalf by writing to mayor of Boston.13There are (as I hear) some few of the Aldermen far inferior to the Said Doctor Baron who refuse to give him place. I have there upon thought good hereby to write and advise you that your brethren the Aldermen would avoid further discontentment that he may hold his place in your town and if there is any opposition against him, I pray you send me their names that further action maybe taken to redress them.”14

As result of Burghley’s letter, Baron was elected mayor in 1610, and though he was no longer mayor in 1612, he was selected as one of the four Boston assemblymen to accompany Wooll to Cambridge to select a new vicar. At the time, the town of Boston was at odds with the Bishop of Lincoln, William Barlow, who viewed the people of Boston as being “a factious people, who were imbued with the puritan spirit.15 Barlow’s opinion was likely influenced by the clash of Dr. Baron’s Arminianism with Boston’s historical puritan bias for the teachings of John Calvin. Given his strong Arminian views, Baron likely opposed Wooll and Alexander and voted against Cotton, who later recalled, “When I was first called to Boston in Lincolnshire, so it was, that Mr. Baron, son of Dr. Baron (the divinity reader of Cambridge, who in his lectures there, first broached that which was then called Lutheranism, since Arminianism.) … And though he were a physitian by profession, (and of good skill in that art,) yet he spent the greatest strength of his studies in clearing and promoting the Arminian tenets.16 

As leader of the Boston delegation, Wooll conferred with Paul Baynes and Richard Sibbes— both of whom wholeheartedly endorsed Cotton as Boston’s next vicar. The delegation returned to Boston with this recommendation, and John Cotton was elected Boston’s new vicar at the next meeting of the Borough Council on July 5th 1612.17 The Bishop of Lincoln, however, opposed the council’s selection and refused to endorse Cotton.18 Samuel Whiting wrote of the incident, he (Cotton) found some obstruction from the Bishop of the Diocese, which was B. Barlow, who told him he was a young man, and unfit to be over such a factious people. Mr. Cotton, being ingenuous, and undervaluing himself, thought so too and was purposing to return to College again.”19

Cotton may have reconciled himself to the Bishop’s rejection because he preferred life at Cambridge and doubted his readiness for the priesthood. After all, he had no pastoral experience and had yet to perform a single baptism, marriage or funeral. What little preparation for the pulpit he received at Cambridge was entirely academic. Though he was renowned for his sermons, Cotton’s Cambridge audience was one of the most erudite in all of England. In contrast, the congregation in Boston, Lincolnshire consisted mostly of farmers, tradesmen, and laborers— few of whom could read or write.

Despite Barlow’s rejection of Cotton, the Boston Borough Council was not deterred and some of its members are said to have bribed the Bishop of Lincoln’s right-hand man, Simon Biby, aka Simon & Bribery, to secure the Bishop’s approval.20 Samuel Whiting wrote of this development, “some of Mr. Cotton’s Boston friends, understanding that one Simon Biby, was to be spoken with, which was near the Bishop, they presently charmed him; and so the business went on smooth, and Mr. Cotton was a learned man with the Bishop, and he was admitted into the place, after their manner in those days.21 Not long afterward, on July 13th, the Minutes of the Corporation of Boston reflect that Cotton had occupied the town’s vicarage,  “At this assemby the presentatcion to the Vicaridge of Boston is sealed & delivered unto Mr John Cotton Maister of Arts lately chosen viccar of this Burrough.22

It is worth noting that Cotton Mather’s Magnalia Christi Americana relates a different and somewhat anecdotal telling of Cotton’s selection as Boston’s vicar: “At this time the mayor of the town, with a more corrupt party, having procured another scholar from Cambridge, more agreeable to them, would needs have him preach before Mr. Cotton: but the church-warden pretending to more of influence upon their ecclesiastical matters, over ruled it.  However, when the matter came to a vote, amongst those to whom the right of election did charter belong, there was an equi-vote for Mr. Cotton and that other person; only the mayor, who had the casting vote, by strange mistake, pricked for Mr. Cotton. When the mayor saw his mistake, a new vote was urged and granted; wherein it again proved an equi-vote; but the mayor most unaccountably mistook again, as he did before.  Extremely displeased hereat, he pressed for a third vote; but the rest would not consent unto it; so the election of upon Mr. Cotton, by the involuntary cast of that very hand which has most opposed it.23

Although Dr. Peter Baron fits the role of the mayor in Mather’s story, he was not mayor of Boston in 1612, and the Boston Corporation minutes regarding Cotton’s election reflect none of the controversy found in Mather’s account. Mather’s account continues, “Settled now at Boston, his dear friend, holy Mr. Bayns, recommended unto him a pious gentlewoman, one Mrs. Elizabeth Horrocks, the sister of Mr. James Horrocks, a famous minister in Lancashire, to become his consort in a married estate.”24

Cotton’s marriage to Elizabeth Horrocks was an unanticipated consequence of becoming Boston’s new vicar. Earlier in June 1612, the Boston Selection Committee had made it clear to Paul Baynes and Richard Sibbes that the town of Boston sought a Cambridge graduate with a Divinity Degree and a wife. Though Baynes and Sibbes were confident Cotton could easily complete his divinity degree, they likely introduced him to Elizabeth Horrocks and cajoled him into considering marriage before they ever recommended him to Thomas Wooll as Boston’s next vicar. After fourteen years at Cambridge, Cotton had to abandon his life as a scholar and marry to become Boston’s new vicar. Much to his later surprise, however, marriage was the seminal moment of his life in which he was reborn to conjugal bliss with a woman whose warmth and erotic love transformed him forever.

Early in 1613, Cotton refurbished the Boston parish vicarage in preparation for married life with the hope that his bride-to-be would find it habitable. In recognition of his efforts, the Boston assembly awarded him a gratuity of twenty pounds for “…having been at great chardge with the reparyreing of the vicardidge and being now to take his Degree of Batcheller of Divinity…25  Cotton then occupied himself preparing a thesis in Latin to complete his Bachelor of Divinity Degree. His work, however, was interrupted when the Boston assembly requested his help in finding a new headmaster for the Boston Grammar School. Cotton responded by contacting a student he had tutored at Emmanuel College named BarJonas Dove.26  Dove matriculated a sizar in 1609 and was due to receive his bachelor’s degree on July 2nd at the same commencement Cotton was to receive his divinity degree. Later, on July 23rd with Cotton’s recommendation, the Boston Assembly “elected & chose” BarJonas Dove “to be schoolmaster of the ffree grammar school of Boston in room & place of Mr John Blackborne late school master there who hath surendred & yieled up his said place of schoole mastershippe”.27

Not long after Cotton occupied Boston’s vicarage, two prominent local families sought him out to request help placing their sons at Cambridge University.  Cotton again stopped work on his thesis to help facilitate the matriculation of Anthony Tuckney and Samuel Whiting to Emmanuel College.28  Both men cultivated lifelong relationships with Cotton and both were cousins of Cotton’s second wife, Sarah Hawkred.29 In 1633 when Cotton fled England for Massachusetts, Tuckney replaced him as Boston’s vicar, and later in 1636, Whiting joined Cotton in New-England. Not long after Cotton’s death in 1652, Samuel Whiting wrote the first account of Cotton’s life.30

The last week of June 1613, Cotton traveled from Boston to Cambridge to present and defend his Bachelor of Divinity thesis at Emmanuel College.  His thesis was a Concio ad Clerum31 on Matthew Chapter 5 Verse 13: You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost its savor, how shall it be salted? It is thereafter good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.32 Samuel Whiting wrote of Cotton’s thesis presentation and defense, “In handling of which, both the matter and the rhetorical strains, elegancy of phrase, and sweet and grave pronunciation, rendered him yet more famous in the University. And so did his answering of the Divinity Act in the Schools, though he had a very nimble opponent, Mr. William Chappel by name, who disputed with him.33 Chappell was a fellow of Christ’s College and widely acknowledged to be the greatest disputant at Cambridge.34 He was also known to be a zealous enemy of Calvinism. Norton says that Cotton performed so well “that in Cambridge the name of Mr. Cotton was much set by.35

On Tuesday, July 2, 1613, Cotton was awarded his Bachelor of Divinity Degree at Emmanuel College in Cambridge,36and the following day, Wednesday, July third, he and Elizabeth Horrocks were wed at Holy Trinity Church in Balsham— ten miles southwest of Cambridge.37 Though Elizabeth Horrocks and John Cotton married relatively late in life, they were well matched, as each was twenty-eight years old at the time. Cotton Mather said of the marriage, “… it was remarkable that on the very day of his wedding to that eminently virtuous gentlewoman, he first received the assurance of God’s love unto his own soul, by the spirit of God, effectually applying his promise of eternal grace and life unto him, which happily kept with him all the rest of his days:  for which cause he would afterwards say, ‘God made that day, a day of double marriage to me!’  The wife, which by the favour of God he had now found, was a very great help unto him, in the service of God; but especially upon this, among many other accounts, that the people of her own sex, observing her more than ordinary discretion, gravity and holiness, would still improve the freedom of their address unto her, to acquaint her with the exercises of their own spirits; who, acquainting her husband with convenient intimations thereof, occasioned him in his publick ministry more particularly and profitably to discourse those things that were everlasting benefit.38

Though Cotton had been ‘born again’ prior to leaving Cambridge in 1612, he experienced an even more profound rebirth once married and later proclaimed, “God made that day, a day of double marriage to me!39 Lane C. Belden writes, “Here was another Puritan whose marriage had provided him the clearest taste of God’s love. Being joined in matrimony to Elizabeth Horrocks, he knew himself simultaneously espoused to Christ. She represented the Beloved to him in such a way that she almost become the bridegroom to his bride. Perhaps more than another Puritan preacher, John Cotton understood his self-identity as a minister to be molded by his role as Christ’s bride.40

The transformative love John Cotton experienced in marriage filled his sermons with ‘connubial and oral images, full of sexual innuendo’.41 Jesper Rosenmeier says of the role eroticism played in Cotton’s life,42 “The crucial erotic constraints that Cotton and other puritans sought, the sharp divisions they drew between spiritual-erotic and libidinal-erotic, indicate not a fear of sexuality but of sexuality unbounded by spirituality.43 Cotton’s sermon on The Song of Songs44likened ‘the lips of the sensual bride’ receiving ‘the kiss of the Beloved’ to that of receiving revelation of Christ’s love.45He described his ministry as the breasts of Christ from whom the faithful suckle the milk of the Word.46  This same metaphor47 is reflected in the title of his well-known catechism, Milk for Babes Drawn Out of the Breasts of Both Testaments- Chiefly for the Spiritual Nourishment of Boston Babes in Either England.48Cotton’s catechismremained in print for over two hundred years and was included in most editions of The New-England Primer— the most widely used grammar school textbook in America from 1640 to about 1850.49

With a devoted partner at his side, Cotton’s transition from academic to pastoral life was made easy, as the Boston community was quick to embrace his new wife and she them. Elizabeth Horrocks relocated to Boston from an area of Lancashire west of Manchester that is home to Wigan, Winstanley, Bolton and Horrocks Fold.50 Her father, Christopher Horrocks, was a fuller from the Parish of Bolton le Moors.51 She had two siblings— an older sister named Cecily and younger a brother named Thomas.52 Her uncle, Rev. Alexander Horrocks,53 was vicar of Deane Parish in Bolton and had graduated from Christ’s College, Cambridge with a Master of Arts degree in 1608.54 While her uncle was a student at Christ’s College, Paul Baynes served as a Fellow and was likely one of Alexander’s tutors.55  As a result, it is more probable that Elizabeth Horrocks was introduced to Paul Baynes by her uncle, Alexander Horrocks, than by the Rev. James Horrocks mentioned by Mather in his Magnalia Christi Americana.56

Although Cotton lacked pastoral experience prior to moving to Boston, during his first full year as Boston’s vicar, he conducted over sixty baptisms, thirty marriages, and one hundred burials.  Over the twenty years Cotton served as vicar of Boston, he annually averaged one hundred baptisms, thirty-five marriages and one hundred and twenty burials.57Being present at the most significant life events of his congregation enabled Cotton to integrate intimately into the Boston community. One of the first pastoral duties Cotton performed in Boston was the August 1612 baptism of an infant named John Leverett.58 Three months later, Cotton buried the infant, John Leverett.59 Again in 1613, a month or so after his July marriage, Cotton baptized an infant named Jane Leverett— only to bury her the following day.60 It was not uncommon for burials to follow baptisms in seventeenth-century England, as infant mortality then averaged fourteen percent.61 Both infants were the children of Thomas Leverett and his wife, Anne Fitche.62  The Leverets had married in Boston on the 29th of October 1610. Thomas Leverett apprenticed with a Mr. Anderson before becoming a freeman of Boston in 1619 and later served as both coroner and alderman of the borough of Boston.63 Cotton baptized a total of thirteen Leverett children— though only three survived and eventually accompanied their parents to Massachusetts with Cotton in 1633.64 One of the three, John Leverett, later served six terms as Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and his son, John Jr., served as President of Harvard College from 1708 to 1724.65

In October of 1613, the Corporation of Boston again sought Cotton’s help overseeing the Boston Grammar School. Earlier in June, he had recommended BarJonas Dove to fill the position of School Master; now he was asked to help approve the selection of a new school usher.66 The Boston Grammar School had been endowed by Queen Mary in 1555 and was established for boys who were bonâ fide inhabitants of Boston to provide them with instruction in Greek, Latin, French, German, mathematics, and a ‘sound English education’ for fifteen shillings per quarter. The town required that the master and usher of the school “be graduates of one of the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, or Durham and members of the Established Church.67  As reflected in the minutes of the Corporation of Boston on October 12th 1613, “Mr Doctor Baron, Mr Cotton, Mr Ingoldsbye & Mr Wooll or any three of them are appoynted to make triall whether Mr. Hummaby be a fitting & sufficient man to exercise the place of the Usher of the Grammar school within this Borroughe & to confeere with him to know whether he will conforme him selfe to teach after such rules as Mr Dove the cheife Schoolmaster doth.68  Helping oversee the Boston Grammar School provided Cotton with valuable experience, as later in 1635, he established North America’s first public school in Boston, Massachusetts.

In November 1613, John Cotton conducted wedding vows for Mary Hawkred and Thomas Coney.69 Doing so, he united the two Boston families that overtime became most prominent in his life. Mary Hawkred was the daughter of Anthony Hawkred, a prosperous Boston merchant, who served both as alderman and mayor of Boston. Cotton first officiated for the Hawkred family a year earlier at the December 27th burial of their infant son, William.70 Attending the burial were Anthony, his wife, Isabel, and his daughters: Mary, age sixteen; Sarah, age eleven; and Elizabeth, age seven. Also in attendance was Hawkred’s thirteen-year-old ward, Anthony Tuckney, whose father’s Will requested, “…I desire my godbrother, Mr. Anthony Hawkred, take upon him the education & guardianship of my son…”71  Anthony Tuckney was a half-nephew of Hawkred’s wife, Isabel. Soon after Cotton moved to Boston, the Hawkred Family solicited his help placing young Tuckney at Emmanuel College; now, a year later, he presided over their daughter Mary’s wedding.

At the time, Mary Hawkred was seventeen and Thomas Coney, twenty-three. Coney was a steward of the borough of Boston and was then filling in as town clerk, while the regularly appointed town clerk, Sir Thomas Middlecott, served a year term as mayor.72 Later in 1620, Coney was permanently appointed town clerk and remained Boston’s town clerk until he resigned in 1647.73 Cotton again conducted marriage vows for the Hawkreds and Coneys a decade later in 1624 when he wed Elizabeth Hawkred and John Coney, the younger siblings of Mary Hawkred and Thomas Coney.74Two generations later, their grandson, John Coney, achieved fame in New-England as Boston’s leading gold and silversmith. He passed his craft on to a young French Huguenot apprentice named Apollos Rivoire, who, in turn, passed it onto his son, Paul Revere.75 Later in 1629, Cotton facilitated the matriculation of Thomas and Mary Coney’s son, Samuel, to Emmanuel College.76 Eventually, after having officiated at Hawkred baptisms, marriages, and burials for nearly two decades, Cotton married into the Hawkred family in 1632 after his beloved wife, Elizabeth Horrocks, died from a virulent form of malaria— known locally as fen fever or tertian ague.77

The following year, in June 1614, tragedy struck the Hawkred family when its matriarch, Isabel Hawkred, died soon after giving birth.78 Cotton first baptized their new son, John, and then ten days later, buried his mother, Isabel.79 A few months later, Cotton baptized the firstborn son of Thomas and Mary Coney. Thomas Coney was Cotton’s chief contact with the Boston Borough Council and was responsible for paying Cotton his monthly stipend. Boston Borough records reflect that John Cotton struggled to make ends meet. As a result, the Borough Council voted an increase to his stipend in 1614. “Wheras Mr Cotton the Viccar being a Worthye man and well deserving both for his learning & life & his meinteinance of the Viccaridge very small & twoe litte to meinteine him it is thefore agreed that he shall have for the ffurther augmentacon of his liveiry the somme of £20 payed him yearlye dureing the pleasure of this house at ffowre tearmes of the yeare by eaven porcons the ffirst payemt therof to beginn the 24th of June next yearlye out of teh ereccon landes parte wherof was hertofore ymployed towardes the Meintenance of a preacher to assiste the Viccar.80 Cotton’s salary now totaled £100 per annum.

Although Dr. Peter Baron originally opposed Cotton’s selection as vicar, the two seem to have eventually come to respect each other. I coming among them a young man (as having gone to Cambridge in the beginning of the thirteenth year of my age, and tarrying there not above fourteen years in all, before I was sent for to Boston), I thought it a part both of modesty and prudence, not to speak much to the points at the first, amongst strangers and ancients; until afterwards, after hearing of many discourses in public meetings, and much private conference with the doctor, I had learned at length where all the great strength of the doctor lay. And then observing such expressions as gave him any advantage in the opinions of others, I began publickly to preach, and in private meetings to defend, the doctrine of God’s eternal Election, and the Redemption (ex gratia) only of the Elect; and the impossibility of the fall of a sincere believer, either totally or finally from the estate of grace. Hereupon, when the doctor had objected many things, and heard my answers to those scruples which he was wont most plausibly to urge; presently after, our public feasts and neighbourly meetings were silent from all further debates about Predestination, or any of the points which depend thereon, and all matters of religion were carried on calmly and peaceably. Insomuch, that when God opened my eyes to see the sin of Conformity (which was soon after), my neglect thereof was at first tolerated without disturbance, and at length embraced by the chief and greatest part of the town.81

Cotton was now a “thirty-year-old minister whose tastes had been shaped almost exclusively by the academy, whose habit of mind was cautious observation and hesitancy before decision, who character was shy and patient.82 As news of Cotton spread, new parishioners were attracted to Boston. One newcomer remarked, “His hospitality did exceed all that I ever heard of, his heart and door were ever open to receive all that feared God.83  When Cotton’s notoriety came to the attention of the office of the Bishop of Lincolnin 1615 , representatives were sent to assess Cotton and reported that he was “a young man not past some 7 or 8 years Mstr of arts; but, by report a man of great gravity and sanctity of life, a man of rare parts for his learning, eloquent and well spoken … not only with his parishioners at Boston but with all the Ministery and men of account in those quarters that grave and learned men out of an admiration of those good graces of God in him, have been and upon every occasion still are willing to submit their judgements to him, in any point of controversie as though he were some extraordinary Paraclete yt could not erre.”  It was also noted that Cotton’s morning sermons lasted close to six hours and his afternoon worship lasted five hours- during which “there were as many sleepers as wakers, scare any man but sometimes was forced to winke and nod.” In the end, the Bishop’s party found Cotton’s sermons were “poysned with some errour or other” and, as a result, Cotton was sanctioned for nonconformity.  Later, after Thomas Leverett swore before the diocesan court that Cotton was a ‘conformable man’, Cotton was allowed to return to the pulpit.84

Though Leverett swore before the diocesan court that Cotton conformed, Cotton feigned conformity and sympathized with the puritan cause. The term puritan was coined in a pejorative sense by the Church of England to brand extremistall those who desired to purify the Church of any Roman Catholic tradition or influence. Puritans viewed the remnants of Catholicism in the Church like music, stain glass, religious images, surplices, and anointed priests as obstacles to communion with God.85 They tended to interpret Scripture literally and attached as much reverence to the Old Testament as they did to the New. Puritans referred to themselves as the ‘godly’ in the Calvinist sense of being ‘saints eternally elect’. Puritan hearts hungered for sermons, and sermons played an important role in their worship. For the Church of England and the Crown, the most alarming aspect of puritanism was its insistence on the right of puritan congregations to run their own affairs without the episcopal supervision of the Bishops.86 

Cotton’s religiosity, however, had less to do with puritanism than it did with John Calvin’s concept of predestination that claims each of us is preordained to either eternal damnation or eternal salvation.87 The Church of England’s position on predestination, authored by Archbishop John Witgift in the Lambeth Articles of 1595, affirmed Calvinism. Between 1560 and 1625 the doctrine of predestination was accepted without question by virtually all of the most influential clergymen in England, puritan and nonpartisan alike.88 Although Cotton’s struggle with predestination started once he attended William Perkins’ lecture in 1602, his struggle was not unique, as many lived in angst over election to damnation since unconditional election is one of five tenets of Calvinism.89

As told by Samuel Clarke, Cotton resolved his struggle with predestination a few months before he was selected Boston’s new vicar in July 1612 — “…hearing Dr. Sibs (then Mr. Sibs) preaching a Sermon about Regeneration, wherein he shewed, First, what Regeneration was not, and so opening the state of a meer Civil man, Mr. Cotton saw his own condition fully discovered, which (through Gods mercy) did drive him to a stand, as plainly seeing himself, destitute of true Grace, all his false hopes, and grounds now failing him: and so he lay for a long time, in an uncomfortable despairing way: and of all other things this was his heaviest burden, that he had wittingly withstood the means, and offers of Grace and mercy which he found had been tendered to him; thus he continued till it pleased God to let in a word of Faith into his heart, and to cause him to look unto Christ for his healing, which word also was dispensed unto him by the same Doctor Sibs, which begat in him a singular, and constant love to the said Doctor, of whom he was also answerably beloved.90

Cotton Mather described Cotton’s conversion as follows, “Mr. Cotton became now very sensible of his own miserable condition before God…  that after no less than three year’s… the grace of God made him a thoroughly renewed Christian, and filled him with a sacred joy, which accompanied him to the fulness of joy forever.  For this cause, as persons truly converted unto God have a mighty and lasting affection for the instruments of their conversion; thus Mr. Cotton’s veneration for Dr. Sibs was after this very particular and perpetual: and it caused him to have the picture of the great man in that part of his house where he might oftenest look upon it.91

After attending Sibbes’ lectures at Holy Trinity Church and meeting with him to discuss salvation, Cotton reported that God had been pleased to convert him.92 Not long after Cotton’s conversion, Mather relates that John Preston attended a sermon preached by Cotton and was, in turn, converted. “Some time after this change upon the soul of Mr. Cotton, it came unto his turn again to preach at St. Maries;  and because he was to preach, an high expectation was raised, through the whole university, that they should have a sermon, flourishing indeed… Hereupon Mr. Cotton resolved that he would preach a plain sermon, even such a sermon as in his own conscience he thought would be most pleasing unto the Lord Jesus Christ; and he discoursed practically and powerfully, but very solidly upon the plain doctrine of repentance….The famous Dr. Preston, then a fellow of Queen’s College in Cambridge, and one of great note in the university, came to hear Mr. Cotton… before the sermon was ended… he found himself “pierced at heart” – his heart within him was now struck with such resentments of his own interior state before the God of heaven, that he could have no peace in his soul, till with a wounded soul he had repaired unto Mr. Cotton; from whom he received those further assistances, wherein he became a spiritual father unto one of the greatest men of his age.”93

Cotton’s conversion by Sibbes and his shift to Sibbes’ plain evangelical style of preaching was affirmed when John Preston knocked on Cotton’s door to tell him how his sermon had enabled “God to speak effectually unto his heart.94 Prior to his conversion, Preston had studied music, medicine, and astronomy and “thought it below him to be a minister” as he “held the study of Divinity to be a kind of honest silliness”.95 After his conversion, Preston and Cotton became friends for life. Thereafter, Preston made annual trips to Boston to visit Cotton and regularly sent him near fledgling students for finishing.96

John Preston matriculated a sizar at King’s College, Cambridge in 1604. He then transferred to Queen’s College in 1606, was made a Fellow in 1608, and then experienced conversion by John Cotton in 1612.97 Over the next decade, Preston’s fame and influence reached unparalleled heights when his meteoric career climaxed in 1622 after a remarkable two year period during which he was appointed chaplain to Prince Charles, succeeded John Donne as Preacher at Lincoln’s Inn, and succeeded Laurence Chaderton as Master of Emmanuel College.98 The following year in 1623, a Royal Mandate granted him a Doctor of Divinity when James I asked him to accompany Sir Arthur Chichester to Cologne in the hope of negotiating a settlement to the Palatinate War.99 Preston remained Master of Emmanuel College until he died of tuberculosis in July 1628 at the age of forty.100

In light of the tenets of Calvinism, conversion surpassed ordination in importance for Preston, Cotton, Sibbes, and Baynes. Their mutual affirmation of election to sainthood reinforced each individual’s conviction of his election and sustained their advocacy of Calvinist principles.101Thus, Baynes, Sibbes, Cotton, and Preston formed a successive line of spiritual kinship or godly mafia in which Paul Baynes begat Richard Sibbes, who with William Perkins, begat John Cotton, who begat John Preston, who begat Thomas Shepard and so on.102Francis Bremer writes, “Knit together by the thread of grace and a legacy of shared experiences, members of this communion formed a network of friends who were determined to maintain their unity as they labored together to advance the reform cause.  Brought together by shared doctrines or temperament, the puritans of early Stuart England formed a fellowship of faith that set them apart from their peers.”103

Though separated from his Cambridge peers, Cotton did not leave them behind and maintained an active network of godly friends his entire life. John Preston’s annual visits enabled Cotton to keep in touch with academia and provided him with a steady stream of graduates for pastoral finishing. Cotton expanded his godly network to members of his Boston congregation by creating an elite circle of the godly within the larger congregation. “There were some scores of godly persons in Boston in Lincoln-shire … who can witnesse, that we entered into a Covenant with the Lord, and one with another to follow the Lord in the purity of his worship.”104Cotton justified his action based on the second verse of the second chapter of

Among Cotton’s Boston inner circle were Richard and Baruch Wittingham.105 Richard Whittingham bequeathed John Cotton £10 and forgave him a £6 debt in his will and last testament in 1615 which also stipulated “towards the relief of poor scholars £5 to be paid to Mr. Cotton to be distributed by him.” Richard also left twenty shillings each “To Mr. Symon Broadstreet of Horbling … and to his son Samuell.106 

By 1615, John was drawing a salary of one hundred pounds a year and was well respected as a teacher and scholar in his parish.  During this year he first practiced nonconformity but did so in a somewhat covert way.  His method was identifying the elect, forming them into a tight group in order to participate in ceremonies that were not offensive to Puritans.  This group, consisting of the well-to-do portion of the parish and became a congregation within a congregation that entered a covenant with the Lord and each other “to follow after the Lord in the purity of his Worship.”

This congregation soon drew protests from those outside the elect and these protests soon reached the bishop’s court in Lincoln and led to Cotton’s suspension as vicar of St. Botolph’s.  However, Rev. Cotton had friends in the magistrate that used their “charms and pious subtlety” to advocate their vicar a conforming minister and got him reinstated to the pulpit at St. Botolph’s.

Meanwhile, John Preston’s career was rising rapidly at Cambridge’s Queens College.  Preston continued to highly regard John Cotton and began sending the vicar of St. Botolph’s some of his best and brightest Cambridge students to join the Cotton household for seasoning under John’s private tutelage.  Several of these students were destined to become influential during Oliver Cromwell’s protectorate.

Francis J. Bremer says, “John Cotton fully incorporated his pupils into the life of his household.  Every morning and evening they gathered with his family and servants for Scripture readings and prayer.  Sabbath observance began on Saturday evening and ended with a psalm and prayers after Sunday supper.”

John Cotton soon opened his home tutorials to the public and started lecturing Sunday afternoon and on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.  In the 1620s some noblemen were involved in a fen-draining project near Boston. Though Royalist Protestants, they admired the now famous Boston preacher, John Cotton, and attended his lectures.  Among these well-wishers were Edward Sackville (the Earl of Dorset), Dudley Carleton (the Viscount of Dorchester) and Robert Bertie (the Earl of Lindsey).

©  by Barry A. Cotton


  • Cotton, John, Sr. A Practicall Commentary, or an Exposition with Observations, Reasons, and Vses Upon the First Epistle Generall of John, London: Printed by R.I. and E.C. for Thomas Parkhurst to be sold at the Three Crownes at the lower end of Cheapside., 1656.  96
  • The intention of Emmanuel College founder, Sir Walter Mildmay, was that the college be devoted to the sole purpose of sending preachers out to the parishes of England. The statutes founding Emmanuel College included a De Mora (delay) Statute that essentially prohibited Emmanuel graduates from delaying entry to the priesthood by staying at University and it required them to leave the college once they obtained their Bachelor of Divinity degree.
  • Puritans and Puritanism in Europe and America. Edited by Francis J Bremer and Tom Webster, ABC-CLIO, 2006.
  • Under English law, an advowson is the right of an avowee (patron) to nominate an appointee to the bishop of the diocese. Thus an advowson has the right to appoint a person to parish priest – subject to episcopal approval. Most commonly such rights were held by the lords of large aristocratic estates.
  • Lewin, Stephen. 1895. A Concise Sketch of the History of St. Botolph’s Church, Boston, in the County of Lincoln. Horncastle: W.K.Morton. 16
  • Boston Corporation Minutes, May 28, 1612- Pages 105
  • At this assemblie Mr Benjamin Alexander the preacher within this Borough hath yealed upp his place of the maiors Champline and Mr Wooll hath likewise yealded up his place of a vicaridge and Mr Benjamin Alexander is chosen vicar in Mr Woolls Rome and he to have the same stpend and allowance the late Vicar hade and Mr. Alexander to pay his ffirst fruits himselfe without any Allowance of this house towards the same.
  • Boston Corporation Minutes, June 24, 1612- Pages 106-107
  • Allsoe at this assemblie Mr Benjamin Alexander being heartofore chosen Vicare of this Borough hath yealed upp the same and requested that this house would provide a new Vicar for this Borough which surrender this house is willinge to accept accordingly.
  • At this assemblie Mr Wooll, Mr Jankinson, Mr Dresby, Mr Doctor Barron & Mr John Camocke are requested to goe to Cambridge for to provide this Borough of a ne vicar and this comapany after such Choyce made to give allowance or disallowance of such as they shall soe commend.
  • The father, also named Peter Baron, earned a Doctor of Divinity at Cambridge in 1576. Later he was ordained by John Calvin in Geneva and was appointed a professor of divinity at Cambridge University largely due to the influence of Lord Burghley.
  • The term sizar is thought to derive from sizes or the apportionment of food and drink at college tables which sizars were obliged to serve in return for the larger share of their college tuition. Sizars assigned to fellows or fellow-commoners as waiters and valets were termed private or proper sizars.⁠ They dined on leftovers from the high table and often shared beds in crowded conditions that necessitated taking turns sleeping. Put simply, sizarswere the lowest level students at Cambridge University and they paid the least to attend, which was five shillings tuition per term.
  • 10 Venn, John. 2015. “Alumni Cantabrigienses.” Cambridge University Library. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • 11 Cotton, John, Sr. The Way of Congregational Churches Cleared, Literary Licensing, LLC, 2014.
  • 12 Arminius taught that Calvinist predestination and unconditional election made God the author of evil and insisted that God’s election was an election of believers and therefore was conditioned on faith. Furthermore, Arminius argued, God’s exhaustive foreknowledge did not require a doctrine of determinism.
  • 13 Lord Burghley, Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter, was the son of William Cecil, Lord High Treasurer under Elizabeth I. He served as MP for Lincolnshire, first in the House of Commons and later in the House of Lords.
  • 14 Page 37 Boston Corporation Minutes, Nov 22, 1609 – Coppie of the Letter sent ffrom my Lord Exiter tougheinge Mr Doctor Baron one of the Aldermen
  • After my very harty Comendacons beinge given to understand that one Mr Peeter Baron Doctor n Phisicke is lately chosen one of the Aldermen of Your Towne of Boston beinge a man (as I am credably informed) of very good part both for his learneinge sufficyency and carriadege, and haveinge had (before his eleccon to that romme) his place at meeteings in your towne above any of the Aldermen next unto the Deputy Recorder Notwithstandeinge that the greater part of the sufficyentest Aldermen & Comon Councell of the Towne are contented to yeald it to him, Theare are (as I heare) some few of the Aldermen farre infoerior to the Said Doctor Baron whoe refuse to give him place I have there uppon thought good hereby to write and advise you, since it will much tend to the indignity of your Towne to seeke to bringe him to a lower rowme by beinge of your Company than hee formerly held amongst you Duputy Recorder & some of your bretheren the Aldermen would take such speedy order for avoydeinge all further inconveince & discontnetment that may arise as that he may quietly take & hold his place in your Towne next the Recorder oas afeoresaid, wherein if you shall finde any opposiscion to bee made by any of those persons that seeme to withstand him I pray you to cerifie mee theire names That such further course maybee taken for redresse of theire Copntention as shalbee requisite & epedient And so wisheing you all unity & mutuall love amongst you I leave you to Gods protection,    Burghley this Xth of August 1609
  •          To my very loveinge ffrends the Maior of Boston for the time beinge the Deputy Recorder & the rest of the Aldermen theire.
  •                    Youre loveinge ffrend
  •                    Exeter
  • 15 Thompson, Pishey. 1856. The History and Antiquities of Boston. 414
  • 16 Ibid. 414-415
  • 17 Page 108 Boston Corporation Minutes, July 5, 1612: At this assembly Mr John Cotton Maister of Arts is now elected and Chosen Vicar of this Borrough in the Rome & place of Mr Wooll the late incombetn theare for that Mr Alexander uppon whom the vicaridge was purposed to have been bestowed hath yeilded up the same and he is to have his presentation forthwith sealed and to have the same stipend & allowance that Mr Wooll the late Vicar theare had at the same time he departed with the same.
  • 18 Thompson, Pishey. 1856. The History and Antiquities of Boston. London: Longman and Co.; Simpkin and Co. 414
  • 19 Whiting, Samuel. “Concerning the Life of the Famous Mr. Cotton, Teacher to the Church of Christ at Boston in New England.” In Chronicles of the First Planters of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, From 1623-1636, Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1846. 422-423
  • 20 It is interesting to note that Alexander Young’s Chronicles of the First Planters of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay from 1623 to 1636 footnotes that “this same Simon Biby helped restore Richard Mather to his parish at Toxteth” in November 1633 after he had been suspended for Nonconformity the preceding August.
  • 21 Ibid. 423
  • 22 Bailey, John F., ed. 1981. Transcription of Minutes of the Corporation of Boston: Vol II (1608-1638). Vol. 2. Boston, Lincolnshire, UK: History of Boston Project. 108
  • 23 Mather, Cotton. 1855. Magnalia Christi Americana. Vol. I. Hartford: Silas Andrus and Son. 257
  • 24 Mather, Cotton. 1855. Magnalia Christi Americana. Vol. I. Hartford: Silas Andrus and Son. 258
  • 25 Bailey, John F., ed. 1981. Transcription of Minutes of the Corporation of Boston: Vol II (1608-1638). Vol. 2. Boston, Lincolnshire, UK: History of Boston Project. 127
  • 26 Venn, John. 2015. “Alumni Cantabrigienses.” Cambridge University Library. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • 27 Bailey, John F., ed. 1981. Transcription of Minutes of the Corporation of Boston: Vol II (1608-1638). Vol. 2. Boston, Lincolnshire, UK: History of Boston Project. 131
  • 28 Venn, John. 2015. “Alumni Cantabrigienses.” Cambridge University Library. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • 29 Hawkred- alternately appears in The Parish Registers of Boston in the County of Lincoln as Hawcred, Acroide, Akroid, Haucridge, Hawckred, Hawcrick, and Hawkrit. The surname appears repeatedly as Hawkred in theTranscription of Minutes of the Corporation of Boston: Vol II (1608-1638). I have chosen to render the name as Hawkred in this work, even though publications of the New England Historic and Genealogical Society render it Hawkredd.
  • 30 Whiting, Samuel. “Concerning the Life of the Famous Mr. Cotton, Teacher to the Church of Christ at Boston in New England.” In Chronicles of the First Planters of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, From 1623-1636, Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1846.
  • 31 Discourse to the Clergy
  • 32 Cotton’s Latin Thesis was Vos estis sal terrae. Quod si sal evanuerit, in quo salietur? Ad nihilum valet ultra, nisi ut mittatur foras, et conculcetur ab hominibus.
  • 33 Whiting, Samuel. “Concerning the Life of the Famous Mr. Cotton, Teacher to the Church of Christ at Boston in New England.” In Chronicles of the First Planters of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, From 1623-1636, Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1846.
  • 34 William Chappell served as John Milton’s tutor at Christ’s College 1625-1626.
  • 35 Norton, John. Abel Being Dead Yet Speaketh: or the Life and Death of … John Cotton, Late Teacher of the Church of Christ, at Boston, in New England, London: Tho. Newcomb for Lodowick Lloyd, 1658. 33
  • 36 Commencement at Cambridge is traditionally held on the first Tuesday of July.
  • 37 Cambridgeshire Archives. n.d. Records of the Parish of Holy Trinity, Balsham: Marriages 1558-1994.
  • 38 Mather, Cotton. 1855. Magnalia Christi Americana. Vol. I. Hartford: Silas Andrus and Son. 258
  • 39 Ibid. 258
  • 40 Lane, Belden C. 2011. Ravished by Beauty: the Surprising Legacy of Reformed Spirituality. New York: Oxford University Press. 114
  • 41 Ibid. 114
  • 42 Rosenmeirer titled his work, Spiritual Concupiscence. Concupiscence is defined as strong sexual desire or lust.
  • 43 Rosenmeier, Jesper. 2012. ‘Spirituall Concupiscence‘: John Cotton’s English Years, 1584-1633. Boston, Lincs.: Richard Kay Publications.
  • 44 Cotton, John, Sr. 1642. A Brief Exposition of the Whole Book of Canticles, or Song of Solomon. London: Philip Nevil.
  • 45 Song of Songs 4:3
  • 46 Lane, Belden C. 2011. Ravished by Beauty: the Surprising Legacy of Reformed Spirituality. New York: Oxford University Press. 114
  • 47 Although John Cotton evoked suckling breasts as a metaphor to illustrate God’s grace, it is ironic to note that his first real experience with breastfeeding took place in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a ship bound for New-England when his second wife, Sarah Hawkred, gave birth to his first child-  a son they named Seaborn. At the time, Cotton was nearly fifty years old. Tragically, his beloved first wife, Elizabeth Horrocks, died childless after eighteen years of marriage and appears to have been infertile as Cotton’s fertility was confirmed when he fathered six children with his second wife, Sarah.
  • 48 Cotton, John, Sr. 1646. Milk for Babes. Drawn Out of the Breasts of Both Testaments. Chiefly, for the Spirituall Nourishment of. London: Henry Overton.
  • 49 Avery, Gillian. 2000. Origins and English Predecessors of the New England Primer. American Antiquarian Society.
  • 50 Bailey, J E. 1883. “Jeremiah Horrox.” The Observatory 6 (November):  319
  • 51 Adams, Oscar Fay. 1908. “Our English Parent Towns: Maldon.” Edited by F. Apthrop Foster. The New England Historical and Genealogical … 62 (245). Boston: 167
  • 52 Thomas Horrocks was born in Bolton in 1614. He attended school at Bolton and was admitted as sizar to St. John’s College, Cambridge, 9 April 1631. He took his B.A. degree in 1634 and M.A. in 1638. He was master of the Free School, Rumford, rector of Stapleford Tawny, and in 1650 was presented with the living of All Saints, Maldon  This he held until the restoration of Charles II, when he was ejected and cast in the dungeon of the town prison. Also in 1650, he was made executor of his uncle’s (Alexander Horrocks ) will. He was several times indicted for holding conventicles. Later, he became a preacher to the Anabaptists of Hertford. He died at Battersea about 1687.  Taken from Our English Parent Towns- Maldon by Oscar Fay Adams, Esq., of Boston, April 1908, Page 167
  • 53 Horrocks, Alexander. Will of Alexander Horrocks, Last Will and Testament,1650.  (See Appendix)
  • 54 Clegg, James. Annals of Bolton, Bolton Chronical Office, 1888. 235
  • 55 Venn, John. 2015. “Alumni Cantabrigienses.” Cambridge University Library. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • 56 For the period 1580 to 1640, I have been unable to locate a single Rev. James Horrocks in Lancashire Church Records and a thorough search the records of Oxford and Cambridge has failed to produce a James Horrocks that graduated between 1580 and 1620. The only James Horrocks found was a cousin of Elizabeth Horrocks’s father who lived in Toxteth Park and apprenticed to the famous watchmaker, Thomas Aspinwall, who later married James Horrocks’ sister and named James Horrocks executor of his Will.
  • 57 Cotton’s pastoral workload for the twenty years he served as parish vicar was compiled and analyzed by the author from The Parish Registers of Boston in the County of Lincoln. by Besant, Frank. 1915. Edited by C W Foster. Vol. II. Horncastle: Lincoln Record Society.
  • 58 Besant, Frank. 1915. The Parish Registers of Boston in the County of Lincoln. Edited by C W Foster. Vol. II. Horncastle: Lincoln Record Society. 51
  • 59 Ibid. 54
  • 60 Besant, Frank. 1915. The Parish Registers of Boston in the County of Lincoln. Edited by C W Foster. Vol. II. Horncastle: Lincoln Record Society. 54
  • 61 Payne, Lynda. 2015. “Health in England (16th–18th C.).” Children & Youth in History. http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/primary-sources/166.
  • 62 Ibid. 45
  • 63 Thompson, Pishey. The History and Antiquities of Boston, London: Longman and Co.; Simpkin and Co., 1856. 429
  • 64 Besant, Frank. The Parish Registers of Boston in the County of Lincoln. Vol. II, Lincoln: Lincoln Record Society, 1914. 45
  • 65 Leverett, Charles Edward. A Memoir Biographical and Genealogical, of Sir John Leverett, Knt., Governor of Massachusetts, 1673-79, Boston: Crosby, Nichols and Company, 1856.
  • 66 An usher is an assistant teacher in archaic British usage
  • 67 Thompson, Pishey. 1856. The History and Antiquities of Boston. London: Longman and Co.; Simpkin and Co. 284-285
  • 68 Bailey, John F., ed. 1981. Transcription of Minutes of the Corporation of Boston: Vol II (1608-1638). Vol. 2. Boston, Lincolnshire, UK: History of Boston Project. 137
  • 69 Besant, Frank. 1915. The Parish Registers of Boston in the County of Lincoln. Edited by C W Foster. Vol. II. Horncastle: Lincoln Record Society. 57
  • 70 Ibid. 54
  • 71 Brayton, John A. 2007. “Additions to the Ancestry of Sarah (Hawkredd) (Story) (Cotton) Mather of Boston, Lincolnshire.” The Genealogist 21 (1). Rockland, ME: 108–28. 198
  • 72 Bailey, John F., ed. 1981. Transcription of Minutes of the Corporation of Boston: Vol II (1608-1638). Vol. 2. Boston, Lincolnshire, UK: History of Boston Project. 121-122
  • 73 Thompson, Pishey. 1856. The History and Antiquities of Boston. London: Longman and Co.; Simpkin and Co.413
  • 74 Holman, Mary Lovering, and Harriet Grace Scott. Ancestors and Descendants of John Coney of Boston, England, and Boston, Massachusetts, Rumford Press, 1928.
  • 75 Triber, Jayne E. A True Republican, Univ of Massachusetts Press, 2001. 6-8
  • 76 Venn, John. “Alumni Cantabrigienses.” Cambridge University Library, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
  • 77 Tertian ague was a form of malaria prevalent in the costal marshes of England during the 16th and 17th centuries according to Dobson, Mary J, and Richard Smith. 2003. Contours of Death and Disease in Early Modern England. Cambridge University Press.
  • 78 Isabel Hawkred was 44 years old when she died after giving birth to a son, John.
  • 79 Besant, Frank. 1915. The Parish Registers of Boston in the County of Lincoln. Edited by C W Foster. Vol. II. Horncastle: Lincoln Record Society. 61
  • 80 Ibid. 153
  • 81 Cotton, John, Sr. The Way of Congregational Churches Cleared, Literary Licensing, LLC, 2014.
  • 82 Ziff, Larzer. The Career of John Cotton, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1962. 46
  • 83 Bagley, George S. Boston: Its Story & People, Boston, Lincs.: The History of Boston Project, 1986. 71
  • 84 Ibid. 71
  • 85 Durant, Will, and Ariel Durant. 2011. The Story of Civilization VII: the Age of Reason Begins. Simon and Schuster.
  • 86 The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1563 following the Act of Uniformity defined the doctrine of the Church of England in response to controversies that during the English Reformation. Articles 19 through 39 are known as ‘The Anglican Articles’ that established the Episcopal Polity of the church.
  • 87 Calvin, John. 1816. Institutes of the Christian Religion. Vol. III. Philadelphia: Philip H. Nicklin and Hezakiah Howe. Chapter 21
  • 88 Durston, Christopher, and Jacqueline Eales. 1996. The Culture of English Puritanism, 1560-1700. Edited by Christopher Durston and Jacqueline Eales. Macmillan. 7
  • 89 The other four tenets of Calvinism are: total depravity of the human condition, limited atonement, conversion by irresistible grace and perseverance of the saints.
  • 90 Clarke, Samuel. 1662. “The Life and Death of Mr. John Cotton, Who Died an. Christi 1652.” In A Collection of the Lives of Ten Eminent Divines, 55–84. London: William Miller at the Guilded Acorn. 58
  • 91 Mather, Cotton. 1855. Magnalia Christi Americana. Vol. I. Hartford: Silas Andrus and Son. 255
  • 92 Dever, Mark. 2000. Richard Sibbes. Mercer University Press. 30
  • 93 Mather, Cotton. 1855. Magnalia Christi Americana. Vol. I. Hartford: Silas Andrus and Son. 256
  • 94 Moore, Jonathan D. 2007. English Hypothetical Universalism: John Preston and the Softening of Reformed Theology. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. 5
  • 95 Ball, Thomas. The Life of the Renowned Doctor Preston (Authored 1628). Edited by E W Harcourt, London: Parker and Co, 1885. 7
  • 96 Mather, Cotton. 1855. Magnalia Christi Americana. Vol. I. Hartford: Silas Andrus and Son. 261
  • 97 Venn, John. “Alumni Cantabrigienses.” Cambridge University Library, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
  • 98 Lincoln Inn is one of four institutions that constitute the Inns of Court.  The other three are the Inner Temple, the Middle Temple and Grey’s Inn.
  • 99 Moore, Jonathan D. English Hypothetical Universalism: John Preston and the Softening of Reformed Theology, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2007.
  • 100 Ball, Thomas. The Life of the Renowned Doctor Preston (Authored 1628). Edited by E W Harcourt, London: Parker and Co, 1885. 94 and 167-176
  • 101 Bremer, Francis J. 1994. Congregational Communion. Boston: Northeastern University Press. 256
  • 102 Bendall, Sarah, Christopher Brooke, and Patrick Collinson. 1999. A History of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press 191-192
  • 103 Bremer, Francis J. 1994. Congregational Communion. Boston: Northeastern University Press. 5
  • 104 Cotton, John, Sr. Way of Congregational Churches Cleared 1648, Kessinger Publishing, 2003.
  • 105 Richardson, D, K. G. Everingham, and D. Faris. Plantagenet Ancestry: a Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004.  418-420
  • 106 Maddison, Rev A R. Lincolnshire Wills: Second Series a.D. 1600 – 1617, Lincoln: James Williamson, 1891. 117-119