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Important Terms, People, and Events


Antinomianism  -   · A belief in Massachusetts Bay supported by Anne Hutchinson, which held that when God intervened to save someone that person became possessed by the Holy Spirit and therefore ceased to operate of his or her own free will.
Arminianism  -   · The belief that a person could choose his or her destiny–therefore in direct opposition to the Puritan belief of predestination.
Arbella -   · The 350-ton flagship of the flotilla that brought Winthrop and the other settlers over to New England in 1630. Named for Lady Arbella, wife of Isaac Johnson, the highest-born person in the group.
Body of Liberties  -   · The body of laws written by Nathaniel Ward, which laid out the legal code and rights for the Massachusetts Bay Colony, also known as the Massachusetts Magna Charta.
Boston -   · The economic and social capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Charlestown -   · The small settlement across the harbor from Boston. Named for King Charles I.
Church of England  -   · The Church founded by Henry VIII in 1544 after his break with the Roman Catholic Church.
General Court -   · The governing body of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which was composed of the governor, deputy governor, and eight assistants.
Gray's Inn -   · One of the most prestigious Inns of Court in London. It is where Winthrop studied law.
Groton -   · The old monastery that John Winthrop's grandfather, Adam Winthrop bought in 1544.
Jamestown -   · The first permanent settlement in the New World in modern-day Virginia. Two earlier settlements at Roanoke had failed.
Massachusetts Bay Company -   · The company that funded the expedition to settle Massachusetts Bay. It never became profitable.
Model of Christian Charity  -   · Sermon delivered by John Winthrop while aboard the Arbella, which laid out the religious virtues of the new colony.
Pequots  -   · The tribe of Indians in New England that warred with Massachusetts Bay in the late 1630s. The entire tribe was killed by 1640.
Pilgrims  -   · A group of Puritan religious separatists who fled to Holland from England and eventually settled in Massachusetts in 1620.
Plymouth -   · The settlement in southern Massachusetts founded by the Pilgrims in 1620.
Puritanism  -   · The faith of Winthrop and his fellow settlers, who repudiated the corruption of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. It called for the abolition of church hierarchies as well as the elaborate ceremonies performed by both churches.
Salem -   · Small settlement near Boston where Winthrop and his fellow emigrants originally landed. Later, the settlement hired Roger Williams much to the consternation of the rest of the colony.
Trinity College -   · College within Cambridge University where John Winthrop studied. His father, Adam Winthrop audited the college's finances for many years.


William Blackstone  -  One of the first to settle on the peninsula later named Boston. He encouraged Winthrop to move the settlement there.
Anne Browne -  John Winthrop's mother. She died in England the year before he emigrated.
Charles I -  Despotic king of England from 1625 until he was executed by Parliament in 1649.
Tomasine Clopton -  Winthrop's second wife. She died along with her infant child one day after their first wedding anniversary.
Elizabeth I  -  Protestant queen of England from 1558–1603.
Mary Forth -  Winthrop's first wife and the daughter of a Essex nobleman. They married in 1605, and she bore him six children before she died in 1615.
John Endecott  -  One of the Massachusetts Bay colony's main leaders. Endecott was a soldier by training who had a quick temper. On one occasion he assaulted a colonist who had not shown him proper respect.
Thomas Dudley  -  Deputy governor under Winthrop. Dudley briefly served as governor in 1634–1635 and 1640–1641. He served in England as steward for the Earl of Lincoln.
Anne Hutchinson  -  Hutchinson's beliefs in Arminianism and Antinomianism and her weekly study sessions where she taught those beliefs to dozens of Bostonians touched off the greatest showdown between civil and religious authority in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Isaac Johnson  -  One of the leaders of the original expedition and the largest sharholder in the Massachusetts Bay Company. His wife was the highest born Puritan to emigrate in Winthrop's party, and the emigrant's flagship was named for her. Their death in Charlestown prompted Winthrop to move the settlement to Boston.
Samuel Maverick  -  One of the first settlers of Massachusetts Bay. Maverick Built an elaborate house on the Mystic River. His elaborate house on the Mystic River convinced Winthrop that people could thrive in New England.
Margaret Tyndal -  Winthrop's third wife and close confidant, from 1618 until her death in 1647. She was the daughter of the wealthy landowner Sir John Tyndal of Great Maplested in Essex.
Nathaniel Ward  -  A lawyer in Massachusetts Bay tasked with drawing up its first legal code. Ward had practiced law for thirty years in the Old World, and he arrived in the new colony in 1634 when he was fifty-five years old. He settled in Ipswich, where he served as pastor for two years. Ward wrote the Body of Liberties.
Roger Williams -  A charming and persuasive pastor who entered into a showdown with Winthrop and other members of the General Court on charges of heresy.
Adam Winthrop -  A London cloth merchant and John Winthrop's grandfather. He bought the family's Groton estate in 1544.
Adam Winthrop, Jr. -  A lawyer and John Winthrop's father. Moved the family to the Groton estate after Adam Sr. died, where he supervised John Winthrop during his first years running the estate.
John Winthrop, Jr. -  John Winthrop's son, born in 1606. He later served as governor of Connecticut.
Henry Vane -  Supporter of Anne Hutchinson and governor in 1636, as a replacement for Winthrop.

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Not a word

by mpmundorf, September 26, 2012

Irregardless is not a word. Or rather, it's an incorrect term used to mean "regardless". The prefix "ir" negates the "regardless" part.

1649 not 1949

by libervir, November 15, 2015

"Unfortunately, in the winter of 1949, John Winthrop found himself in failing health."

1649 not 1949