Excerpts from "The Examination of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson at the Court at Newton" (1637)
Mr. [John] Winthrop, Governor: Mrs. Hutchinson, you are called here as one of those that have troubled the peace of the commonwealth and the churches here; ...you have spoken divers things, as we have been informed, very prejudicial to the honour of the churches and ministers thereof, and you have maintained a meeting and an assembly in your house that hath been condemned by the general assembly as a thing not tolerable nor comely in the sight of God nor fitting for your sex, and notwithstanding that was cried down you have continued the same.
Gov.: Why do you keep such a meeting at your house as you do every week upon a set day?
Mrs. H.: It is lawful for me to do so, as it is all your practices, and can you
find a warrant for yourself and condemn me for the same thing? The ground of my taking it up was, when I first came to this land because I did not go to such meetings as those were, it was presently reported that I did not allow of such meetings but held them unlawful and therefore in that regard they said I was proud and did despise all ordinances. Upon that a friend came unto me and told me of it and I to prevent such aspersions took it up, but it was in practice before I came. Therefore I was not the first.
Deputy Governor, Thomas Dudley: ...About three years ago we were all in peace. Mrs. Hutchinson, from that time she came hath made a disturbance, and some that came over with her in the ship did inform me what she was as soon as she was landed. I being then in place dealt with the pastor and teacher of Boston and desired them to enquire of her, and then I was satisfied that she held nothingdifferent from us. But within half a year after, she had vented divers of her strange opinions and had made parties in the country... But now it appears by this woman's meeting that Mrs. Hutchinson hath so forestalled the minds of manyby their resort to her meeting that now she hath a potent party in the country. Now if all these things have endangered us as from that foundation...why, we must take away the foundation and the building will fall.
Mrs. H.: If you please to give me leave I shall give you the ground of what I know to be true. Being much troubled to see the falseness of the constitution of the Church of England, I had like to have turned Separatist... The Lord knows that I could not open scripture; he must by his prophetical office open it unto me. So after that being unsatisfied in the thing, the Lord was pleased to bring this scripture out of the Hebrews. He that denies the testament denies the testator, and in this did open unto me and give me to see that those which did not teach the new covenant had the spirit of antichrist, and upon this he did discover the ministry unto me; and ever since, I bless the Lord, he hath let me see which was the clear ministry and which the wrong. ... Now if you do condemn me for speaking what in my conscience I know to be truth I must commit myself unto the Lord.