Pynchon, William,c.1590–1662, American colonist and theologian, b. England. An original patentee and assistant in the Massachusetts Bay Company, he migrated to America in 1630, where he helped found Roxbury and served as treasurer of the colony (1632–34). In 1636 he settled, and was commissioned to govern, a plantation at the confluence of the Connecticut and Agawam rivers, which he called Agawam but which was renamed Springfield in 1641. Through a flourishing fur trade he increased an already considerable fortune. While visiting England (1650), he published The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption, which expressed his liberal views of the atonement. The book was denounced as heretical and ordered burned in Massachusetts. Relenting somewhat but refusing to retract all of his opinions, Pynchon left his property to his son John and other children and returned permanently (1652) to England.
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Pynchon, William(c. 1590–1662) trader, colonist; born in England. Emigrating to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, he would add to his wealth in the New World by fur trading and land dealing. In 1635 he was appointed as one of the commissioners to govern a new settlement at present-day Springfield, Mass. He served as a magistrate of Connecticut from 1636 to 1637, but following a conflict with Thomas Hooker, he supported the claims of the Bay colony to Springfield. From 1638 to 1652 he practically governed Springfield and he increased his already considerable wealth.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.