Rev. Francis Marbury

Wife: Bridget Dryden
13 children, including
Anne Marbury Hutchinson
Father: William Marbury
Mother: Agnes Lenton
Show Pedigree
Francis Marbury was born in 1556 in England. In the early 1500s, King Henry VIII had broken away from the Catholic Church in order to divorce his wife Catherine and had established the Anglican Church. Queen Elizabeth I had later come to the throne, positioned herself as the head of the Church of England, and defeated the Spanish Catholics. England became a country of great religious activity, with Anglican bishops and ministers taking dominant positions in the government and courts. People loyal to the queen were pressing for church rites, teachings, and rituals that would clearly separate their new church from Catholicism. In this atmosphere, some small groups wanted to change the church even more, to rid it of any formal ritual that would suggest a relationship with the Catholics. These people were called Puritans.

Francis Marbury married Elizabeth Moore, who had three children before she died. Francis became an Anglican minister. About 1571, he began to teach and preach at the church in Northampton near the Dryden estate. Although Marbury had been educated at Cambridge University, he soon found that many of the Anglican ministers were not well educated but appointed to their positions by the ruling bishops for political reasons. The young minister so openly opposed this lack of an educated clergy that in 1578 he was arrested and sent to jail. After he was released, Marbury, now a widower, chose to move from Northampton. He married Bridget Dryden and they settled in Alford in Lincolnshire, about 125 miles from London. There Francis supported his growing family by preaching and teaching at St. Wilfred's Church.

John Dryden, poet
Bridget's older brother Erasmus Dryden later became the grandfather of the famous English poet John Dryden (see pedigree chart). Many in her family were Puritans, and at least one relative had been imprisoned in the Tower of London for suggesting religious reforms. The Dryden ancestry traces back through English nobility and the royal lines of Alfred the Great and Charlemagne.

Bridget bore Francis thirteen children, the second of whom was Anne. Later to become the famous Anne Hutchinson, defender of religious freedom, she was born in July 1591. At the time, her father was again in trouble over his quarrels with the Anglican leaders. They accused him of being a Puritan and, even though he won his trial, he was forbidden to preach again for several years. This was a benefit for Anne, for now her father could spend his time tending the fields near their home and teaching his young daughter. Anne learned to read through the Bible and an account of her father's first trial, which he had published.

Bridget Marbury spent much of her time helping others. She was a skilled midwife, and assisted the women of the community whenever they were giving birth. As she grew older, Anne accompanied her mother on these goodwill visits, and in time she herself became a midwife.

Anne moved to the American Colonies, where she and her youngest sister Katherine were destined to play an historic role in the theocratic village of Boston, by demanding religious freedom and the right to assemble peaceably. Francis and Bridget had provided the upbringing necessary for these girls to play such a vital role.