Monday, December 9, 2019

Anne Marbury Hutchinson's church at Alford

© 2019 Christy K Robinson 

Anne Marbury (m. William Hutchinson of Alford) is the ancestor of millions of people over the last 400 years. She's also a pioneer of religious liberty in America, which makes her an honored "founding mother" to much of Western society.

Her father, Francis Marbury, was vicar of Alford's St. Wilfrid church (in northeastern Lincolnshire) in the late 1500s, and when he was silenced for his non-conforming preaching, he taught school to the boys of Alford. His daughters were educated at home, and Anne was the recipient of his teachings in justice, logic, and spiritual matters, which she carried with her in the Bible classes she led in England, on the ship Griffin in 1634, and in New England. She defended herself in two trials: the first for sedition in the autumn of 1637, and the second in March 1638 for heresy. Anne Hutchinson was the catalyst for a large group of families who left Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded a new, civil body politick (a secular government) in Rhode Island.

Two Facebook friends of mine, historian Adrian Gray, and Rev. Ros Latham, have provided photos of the church and schoolroom at Alford. 

Inside the old school room above the church porch at Alford. It is claimed that Captain John Smith of Virginia fame spent part of his education here, possibly in the care of Francis Marbury - who was the father of the very famous (in America) Anne Hutchinson, whose radical religious views caused some chaos in Massachusetts. Anne certainly benefited from her father's education and was unusually well educated for a woman of her day....hence the trouble!

Photo and caption by Adrian Gray, a Cambridge University historian, author, and manager of
Pilgrims and Prophets Heritage Tours.

St. Wilfrid church is the center of the community in Alford, Lincolnshire, where Anne and William Hutchinson baptized their large brood of children, and where three of their children were buried. Many other Marbury and Hutchinson relatives lived and died at Alford over several generations.
Church photos by Rev. Ros Latham, Priest in Charge, Alford group of churches.

St Wilfrid Church of England, south face of the church in Alford, Lincolnshire. The classroom is located over the south door at the center of the photo.

The south porch and entrance door to St. Wilfrid's, with the classroom over the arch.
The south and west windows would have provided light for reading and writing.

"The C16 gabled south porch is surmounted by a parvise room. [Parvise is derived from "paradise" and means the space outside and around a church, particularly a room over a church porch.]
It has moulded plinth, stepped corner buttresses, moulded parapet with pinnacles. The continuously moulded outer arch is 4 centred with moulded hood. The upper chamber is lit by single 3 light windows to the south and west, both with deep chamfered reveals. In the porch is a cambered doorway in the west wall leading to the parvise. The inner south doorway has engaged angle shafts with floriate capitals and a filleted roll moulded head, moulded hood with C19 stops. The door is contemporary with a design of panel tracery to the upper part, and an ogee headed wicket with early lock plate and latch."

Church interior, facing east into the chancel, which was built starting in about 1289AD.
It would be fascinating to know who was buried beneath the tiles of this church, and how many
thousands of people were buried in the churchyard during various waves of plagues and epidemics.

Learn more about Anne Hutchinson's extraordinary life and legacy
in this contemporary biography by Christy K Robinson.

Click this link to the book at Amazon:
Anne Marbury Hutchinson: American Founding Mother


  1. Facebook comments from “Descendants of Rhode Island Founding Families.”

    Anne Hathaway: My 9th great grandmother!
    Blair Cashmon: my 10th great grand
    William F. Hathaway: My 8th great grandmother!
    Linda B Schiller: Ann is my 8th great grandmother!
    William F. Hathaway: Hi cousin!
    Barbara Varhol: My 10th Great grandmother.
    Judy Williams: Anne is my 11 great grandmother. We are all cousins!
    Anne Hathaway: Hello cousins, did not know was related so many people!

  2. Facebook comments from “Descendants of Rhode Island Founding Families.”

    Ginger Peace Phelps: I’m a descendant of Frances Marbury through Anne’s sister Katherine who married Richard Scott. They were early settlers in Rhode Island.

    Mike Scott: Hi cousin. To think that Katherine started out over 100 miles from Richard makes one wonder how they found one another in early 1600's England.. was it the economy, political/religious unrest that caused them to be on the move? Then they do meet, wed and decide to hop the boat to Boston in 1634, pretty amazing, all of them.

    Ginger Peace Phelps: I suspect it was for religious reasons. Her father is a described as a dissident pastor and the Scotts settled in Rhode Island because they were Quakers.

    Mike Scott: Believe they were Quaker converts after settling in RI

    Christy K Robinson: The Scotts arrived in Boston on the same ship as William and Anne Hutchinson, and moved to Providence as original settlers with Roger Williams in about 1636. Quakerism didn't make it to America until 1656--BUT it's possible (not proven) that Richard Scott visited England in 1654 and came back to Providence being "convinced" as a Quaker, which would make him the first Quaker in America (if true). If that rumor is not true, the Scotts were still among the first handful of Quakers and almost certainly hosted the Quaker missionaries from 1656 on. PS: I love your middle name, "Peace."

    Ginger Peace Phelps: Christy K Robinson, I’m a descendant of their daughter Catherine Jenckes who married John Olney. Actually Peace is my maiden name. My grandfather Peace came to the US in 1906 from England.

    Sharon Anthony Connors: Me too ! I am also descended from her sister Rebecca Maxson.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this Christy!


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