Friday, October 1, 2010

Conjugal Connections

By blood and by marriage, as well as spiritual kinship, many of the Puritans and Covenanters were bound together. Few family connections can rival that of the Reformationfrau, Wibrandis Rosenblatt (1504-1564), who had five husbands, four of whom were notable Reformers. But the conjugal connections between English and American Puritans make for a fascinating study as well. Consider the following family ties:

John Welsh of Ayr (1568-1622) married Elizabeth Knox, daughter of John Knox, the great Scottish Reformer (c. 1510-1572). King James I of England once told Elizabeth, "Knox and Welsh! the devil never made such a match as that." To which she replied, "It's right like, sir, for we never asked his advice."

George Hutcheson, Scottish Presbyterian (d. 1678), was among the group of expositors chosen by David Dickson to author a series of Biblical commentaries. He wrote expositions on the Gospel of John, Job, the minor prophets, and 45 sermons on Psalm 130. He wrote a manuscript commentary on the Westminster Confession which is lost to history. He was ejected for nonconformity in 1662 but returned to preaching in 1669 under the terms of an indulgence. He married Andrew Gray's (1634-1656, Hutcheson called Andrew Gray a "spark from heaven") widow, who was also the sister of Robert Baillie of Jerviswood (1599-1662), one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly (James Anderson, Ladies of the Covenant, p. 304). Robert Baillie had another sister who was married to James Kirkton (1622-1699), author of the celebrated The Secret and True History of the Church of Scotland (Ibid, p. 304).

Margaret Mure was married first to Zachary Boyd (c. 1585-1653), a notable minister in the Church of Scotland, and after his passing she married James Durham (1622-1658), one of Scotland's finest (Ibid, p. 118). Her sister Janet Mure was married to John Carstares (Carstairs) (d. 1686), biographer of James Durham and a worthy minister himself (Ibid, p. 124).

John Gordon (1599-1634), Scottish nobleman and beloved friend of Samuel Rutherford, married Lady Jane Campbell, sister of Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll, Covenanter leader and martyr (1607-1661).

William Whitaker, English Puritan divine (1548-1595), married the sister-in-law of Laurence Chaderton, English Puritan (c. 1536-1640) and one of the translators of the King James Bible. Whitaker's second wife was the widow of Dudley Fenner (c. 1558-1587), author of the first Puritan systematic theology.

Richard Alleine, English Puritan divine (1611-1681), was (it is believed) both the uncle and father-in-law of Puritan Joseph Alleine (1634-1668), who married his cousin and Richard's daughter, Theodosia Alleine, who later became Joseph's biographer. The life and letters of Joseph Alleine is a Christian devotional and biographical classic.

Henry Scudder, Westminster Divine (d. 1659?), was the father-in-law of John Tombes (c. 1603-1676), who, although he adhered to Presbyterian church government, was one of the most prolific writers in defense of credo-baptism of his age.

Oliver Heywood, Puritan divine (1630-1702), married (as his first wife) Elizabeth Angier, daughter of John Angier, Puritan divine (1605-1677). Heywood was also Angier's biographer.

Anthony Tuckney, Westminster Divine (1599-1670), was a cousin to Sarah Hawkredge-Story (née Hawkred), the second wife of John Cotton (1584-1652), the famous Puritan of Old and New England, and served as Cotton's assistant, eventually succeeding him as minister at St. Botolph's (Joel Beeke & Randall Pederson, Meet the Puritans, p. 156). "This describes Anthony Tuckney (1599-1670), Cotton's successor as vicar at Boston in 1633. When Tuckney was about eleven years old, his father, William, died, and he was placed in the care of his uncle Anthony Hawkred, husband of his father's sister. Hawkred's daughter, Sarah, in 1632 had become John Cotton's second wife. Thus, Sarah Hawkred and Anthony Tuckney were cousins, raised in the same household. As Cotton implies in calling Tuckney his 'brother of mine (by marriage),' Sarah Cotton apparently thought of Tuckney as her brother" (Sargent Bush, Jr., ed., The Correspondence of John Cotton, p. 210).

Sarah Hawkred-Story-Cotton was also the second wife of Richard Mather (1596-1669), patriarch of the Mather clan and one of the men behind the Bay Psalm Book. Richard's son, Increase Mather (1639-1723), later married his step-sister, Maria Cotton, daughter of Sara and John Cotton.

On September 15, 1702, two other notable American Puritan families became interwined through the marriage of Samuel Sewall, Jr. (1678-1751), son of Judge Samuel Sewall, Sr., American Puritan diarist (1652-1730), to Rebecca Dudley (1681-1761), daughter of Massachusetts colonial Governor Joseph Dudley (1647-1720). Joseph Dudley was the son of Massachusetts colonial Governor Thomas Dudley (1576-1653), as well as the brother of Anne Dudley, who married to Massachusetts colonial Governor Simon Bradstreet (1603-1697). Anne Bradstreet (c. 1612-1672) was one of the most famous colonial American poets.

Thomas Hooker, English-American Puritan and founder of Connecticut (1586-1647), was the father of Johanna Hooker, who would marry Thomas Shepard, English-American Puritan minister (1605-1649). Hooker's great-granddaughter, Sarah Pierpont, married Jonathan Edwards, New England Puritan (1703-1758).C

No comments:

Post a Comment