When the Church Was the State: The Puritans and the Origins of American Liberties with Fr. W. Patrick Edwards

A Joint Presentation of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Rogers Memorial Library, and the Southampton Historical Museum

Southampton was founded in 1640 by those seeking refuge from the religious intolerance they had experienced living among the Puritans in Massachusetts. When Governor John Winthrop, the leader of the Puritans, left England in 1630 to found the Massachusetts Bay Colony, it was to establish a government set under God’s laws, ruled by love. Their charter was revoked in 1684 in part due to the tyranny and superstition that had come to characterize Puritan rule.

The theocracy had failed in its mission, and bigotry, fear and suspicion had become widespread. Fr. Patrick Edwards, a scholar and teacher of American religious history, will examine the causes of Puritan dysfunction and how its abuses and failures precipitated changes in colonial attitudes that led to many of the liberties and rights that the American Revolution established for its citizens.

Free admission.
Location:  Southampton Historical Museum
17 Meeting House Lane
(631) 283-2494