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What Led to the Puritan Emigration of the 1630's?

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One of the intriguing questions in studying our ancestors is the motivations behind their migrations. Why would they leave something that had been home to generations of their ancestors for the great unknowns of what awaited them in the Americas and the dangers of the trip? Well, here is the story, which, at times, reads like a soap opera!

Keep in mind that Martin Luther had started this whole ball of Protestant reform rolling in 1517, just 17 years before King Henry VIII created the Church of England with himself at the head, instead of the pope. Keep also in mind what the word Protestant means in the first place: one who protests. Also, keep in mind that John Calvin, the other great Protestant reformer, published his first works in 1536 at about the same time as the furor is going on in England with King Henry. So, what is happening in England is a small part of the world-wide picture of protestant reform. In fact, the reforms in England are certainly milder than what eventually happened in France and Germany, but that's another story. Even if your ancestors weren't Puritan, I hope you find interesting this short history of England from 1534 to 1660.


1547 1553 1553 1558 1588 1603 1607 1620 1625 1630 1642


End of the "Great" Puritan Migration 1660 Summary:
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Copyright, Norris Taylor, 1998