(1606–63), after receiving a B.A. (1624) and an M.A. (1627) from Cambridge and serving as a private chaplain in England emigrated to New England (1635) because of his Puritan sympathies. He immediately assumed an important place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, becoming a “teacher” in the Ipswich church, a leading opponent of the Antinomians, a moving force in the drafting of the Cambridge Platform, and later pastor of the First Church of Boston and an overseer of Harvard. His scholarship and commanding manner gave him his prominence, which he lost in the later part of his life through his bigoted insistence on the persecution of the Quakers and his failure to aid the colony when sent as an agent to Charles II. His writings include Responsio ad Guliel (1648), a Latin treatise on New England church government; A Discussion of that Great Point in Divinity, the Sufferings of Christ (1653), an attack on the heresy of William Pynchon; Abel Being Dead Yet Speaketh; or The Life and Death of … John Cotton (1658), considered the first separately published biography of an American; and The Heart of N-England Rent at the Blasphemies of the Present Generation (1659), an attack on the Quakers.
From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.