Sunday, April 25, 2010
Her Husband's Best Concordance
John Fiske (1601/1608-1677) served as a minister, schoolmaster, physician and poet, and his anagrams, such as those written in honor of John Cotton, are studied by students of American colonial verse today. Fiske married in 1635, and emigrated from Old England to New England with his wife Anne (née Gipps) in 1636 for which Anne's parents disowned her. That rocky start to their marriage was compounded by the death of Fiske's mother on the journey across the Atlantic, and the death of their infant child shortly after arriving in Massachusetts in the midst of the Pequot War. But the couple went on to spend 37 years together, and Anne was the mother of five children altogether. Her knowledge of the Scriptures, not unlike the "living libraries and walking concordances" that have been mentioned here before, was such that she was known as "her husband's best concordance," a worthy tribute to a crown conjugal.