Gorton, Samuel

Gorton, Samuel,

c.1592–1677, Anglo-American religious leader, founder of WarwickWarwick
, city (1990 pop. 85,427), Kent co., central R.I., at the head of Narragansett Bay; settled by Samuel Gortone 1642, inc. as a city 1931. Its long important textile industry, now closed, dated from 1794.
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, R.I., b. near Manchester, England. Seeking religious freedom, he emigrated to America (1637) but, because of his unorthodox religious teachings, was banished successively from Boston and Plymouth. At Portsmouth, R.I., he joined Anne HutchinsonHutchinson, Anne,
c.1591–1643, religious leader in New England, b. Anne Marbury in Lincolnshire, England. She emigrated (1634) with her husband and family to Massachusetts Bay, where her brilliant mind and her kindness won admiration and a following.
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 in ousting William CoddingtonCoddington, William,
1601–78, one of the founders of Rhode Island, probably b. Boston, England. He came to America in 1630 as an officer of the Massachusetts Bay Company and was its treasurer from 1634 to 1636. He supported Anne Hutchinson in the antinomian controversy.
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 (1639) but on Coddington's return to power was himself turned out. In 1642, Gorton bought Native American land south of Providence and founded Shawomet. Massachusetts authorities, with designs on that territory, jailed him (1643) for holding erroneous religious opinions. The earl of Warwick finally obtained for Gorton freedom from molestation on his land, which he renamed (1648) Warwick and on which he preached to colonists and Native Americans. His followers called themselves "Gortonites" for many decades after his death. His tenets included denial of the Trinity, denial of actual heaven and hell, and a belief that every man should be his own intercessor.
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Gorton, Samuel

(c. 1592–1677) colonist; born in Gorton, England. He came to Boston in 1637 and encountered resistance to his heretical ideas about church doctrine. He was imprisoned and banished several times before he sought redress in England. He returned (1648) with a letter from the Earl of Warwick ordering Massachusetts to leave him in peace. He moved to Shawomet, R.I., and renamed it Warwick.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.