Lead: In 1637 the Massachusetts Bay Colony put religious reformer Anne Hutchinson on trial for challenging the authority and theology of the Church.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Hutchinson and her family had emigrated from England to the Massachusetts to escape what they felt was religious persecution. An intelligent and independent thinker, Anne began to hold a weekly discussion group in her home. She and her followers did not hesitate to criticize the colony’s religious and political leaders for what they perceived as the leaders’ narrowness on morality and religion. Anne held the dangerous view that God spoke to individuals rather than through the clergy or church officials. Believing Hutchinson to be a threat to order and peace, the Massachusetts General Assembly enacted a law stipulating that women could neither organize, lead, nor attend meetings. Undaunted, Anne refused to stop and John Winthrop, one of the founders and Governor of the colony, in 1637, brought her to trial for insulting churches and their ministers and not honoring the fathers of the Commonwealth.