Thomas Hooker

Name
Thomas Hooker
Birth and death
1586 - 1647
Occupation
Profession details
Preacher and founder of the State of Connecticut
Related place
Author
Steve Webbe and Jonathan Seal

A preacher and minister, Hooker took up the position of rector at St. George's in Esher after graduating with a Masters degree from Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1611. The patrons of St. George's were Sir Francis Drake and Lady Drake. During his ministry at Esher, Hooker fell foul of the influential Lancelot Andrewes, perhaps for his criticism of Prince Charles' proposed match with the Spanish infanta, Maria.

Setting off for New England aboard the 'Griffin', he arrived in Boston on September 4th 1633 and became the first pastor of Newtown (now Cambridge, Massachusetts). By 1636 however, members of the Newtown church and community had become dissatisfied with what they considered to be inadequate land space for farming and subsequently fled. With Hooker at the helm they travelled to the Connecticut Valley, setting up the new English settlement of Hartford.

Hooker helped to construct the 'Fundamental Orders of Connecticut', which is considered to be the world's first written constitution, enshrining the principles of modern democracy. This became a prototype of the present government of the United States.

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