Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Rev. Thomas Hooker

Male Abt 1586 - 1647  (~ 61 years)


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  • Name Rev. Thomas Hooker  [1
    Born Abt 1586  Marefield, Tilton, Leicestershire Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 7 Jul 1647  Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Buried Central Church burying ground, Hartford, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I19249  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others
    Last Modified 15 Nov 2017 

    Father Thomas Hooker,   b. of Marefield, Tilton, Leicestershire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1635 
    Family ID F11928  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Susannah Garbrand,   b. Abt 1592,   d. 17 May 1676, Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 84 years) 
    Married 3 Apr 1621  Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Children 
     1. Samuel Hooker,   b. Abt 1633,   d. 6 Nov 1697, Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 64 years)
    Last Modified 15 Nov 2017 
    Family ID F11927  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • From Wikipedia:

      Thomas Hooker was a prominent Puritan colonial leader, who founded the Colony of Connecticut after dissenting with Puritan leaders in Massachusetts. He was known as an outstanding speaker and an advocate of universal Christian suffrage.

      Called today "the Father of Connecticut," Thomas Hooker was a towering figure in the early development of colonial New England. He was one of the great preachers of his time, an erudite writer on Christian subjects, the first minister of Cambridge, Massachusetts, one of the first settlers and founders of both the city of Hartford and the state of Connecticut, and cited by many as the inspiration for the "Fundamental Orders of Connecticut," which some have called the world's first written democratic constitution establishing a representative government.

      From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

      After leaving Cambridge, Hooker gave occasional sermons in his home county of Leicestershire, but his first settled post-academic position was as rector of St George's in Esher, Surrey. The patrons of that church were Sir Francis Drake and Joan, Lady Drake. Hooker became an important counsellor to Lady Drake, who was spiritually distraught, believing she had committed the unpardonable sin. Despite her previous care by several puritan ministers, including the venerable John Dod, it was Hooker, apparently drawing on the experience of his own recent spiritual struggles, who succeeded in bringing her relief. The case was witnessed by one Jasper Heartwell, a London barrister, whose pseudonymous Trodden Down Strength (1647) records the story, up to the moment of Lady Drake's death on 18 April 1625 in a state of assurance of her salvation.

      On 3 April 1621 Hooker had married her woman-in-waiting, Susannah Garbrand, in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, Joan Drake's birthplace. [...]

      Like many other puritans, Hooker was increasingly opposed to the English church's ecclesiastical hierarchy and to the use of 'human inventions' -- scripturally unauthorized ceremonies -- in the church's forms of worship. Still, his overarching message was one of spiritual encouragement. In the market town of Chelmsford, his audience included the full range of society. Hooker intentionally 'chose to be where great numbers of the Poor might receive the Gospel from him.' 'His lecture was exceedingly frequented' as 'his ministry shone through the whole county of Essex' (Mather, 1.304). His audience included 'some of great quality among the rest', the most prominent being 'the truly noble Earl of Warwick' (ibid., 1.304–5), a friend and protector of puritans, including, eventually, Hooker and his family. As Mather further notes, Hooker developed a reputation for special power in the 'Use' or 'Application' section of his sermons, the final, and often very long, section where the biblical exegesis and rational explanations of the text were 'brought home' through practical admonitions to the congregation.

      Hooker's great popularity among his listeners was based on this ability to speak the language of the people while conveying the high truths of scripture. Since his ministry in England and later in New England was always focused on encouraging his listeners to think positively and actively about realizing God's 'promise' of salvation in their own lives, he stayed close to the experiences of their lives in the figures of speech that characterized his preaching. He preached in a plain style, eschewing the use of classical languages, in which he was fluent, enlivening his sermons instead with such dramatic tools as imagined dialogue, 'character' sketches, and invitations to his listeners to imagine themselves in real-life situations to which he gave deep spiritual meaning.

  • Sources 
    1. [S101] The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Volumes 1-3 and The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England,1634-1635, Volumes 1-7, by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1996-2011.

    2. [S76] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-ongoing).