Wigglesworth, Michael

Wigglesworth, Michael,

1631–1705, American clergyman and poet, b. England, grad. Harvard, 1651. His family emigrated to New England in 1638. A devoted minister at Malden, Mass., he also practiced medicine and wrote didactic poetry. His Day of Doom (1662), a ballad of Puritan theology, was extremely popular and was followed by God's Controversy with New England (written c.1662; printed 1873), Meat out of the Eater (1670), and lesser writings. Replete with vivid biblical imagery, Wigglesworth's verse reflects his dedication to his austere faith.


See his Diary, 1653–57, ed. by E. S. Morgan (1951, repr. 1970); The Day of Doom (ed. by K. B. Murdock, 1929); memoir by J. W. Dean (2d ed. 1871); biography by R. Crowder (1962).

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Wigglesworth, Michael

(1631–1705) Protestant clergyman, poet; born in Yorkshire, England. He emigrated to Massachusetts as a boy, graduated from Harvard in 1751, and was a fellow and tutor at Harvard before being ordained in Malden, Mass., in 1656. His epic poem "Day of Doom" (1662) has been described as conservative Calvinist theology in readable form; it was an early American best-seller. He continued his pastorate in Malden, and also practiced medicine there to the end of his life.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.