Hooker, Thomas

Hooker, Thomas,

1586–1647, Puritan clergyman in the American colonies, chief founder of Hartford, Conn., b. Leicestershire, England. A clergyman, he was ordered to appear before the court of high commission for nonconformist preaching in England and fled (1630) to Holland. In 1633, Hooker immigrated to Massachusetts, where he was pastor at Newtown (now Cambridge). He had a dispute with John CottonCotton, John,
1584–1652, Puritan clergyman in England and Massachusetts, b. Derbyshire, educated at Cambridge. Imbued with Puritan doctrines, he won many followers during his 20 years as vicar of the rich and influential parish of St. Botolph's Church, Boston, Lincolnshire.
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 and apparently was discontented with the strict theological rule in Massachusetts. After a group of settlers had been sent ahead in 1635, he and many of his flock moved in 1636 to found Hartford, where he was pastor until his death. Hooker was one of the drafters of the Fundamental Orders (1639), under which Connecticut was long governed and which represent his political views. He also promoted a plan for the New England ConfederationNew England Confederation,
union for "mutual safety and welfare" formed in 1643 by representatives of the colonies of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven.
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Bibliography

See biography by G. L. Walker (1891, repr. 1969).

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Hooker, Thomas

(1586–1647) religious leader; born in Leicestershire, England. He emigrated to Holland (1630) and then to Massachusetts in 1633. After falling out with the leaders of the Massachusetts Bay colony, he led a group of his parishioners to Connecticut and helped to establish Hartford. His political ideas were embodied in the Fundamental Orders (1639), which was Connecticut's first constitution.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.