Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 8 >> Dance Of Death to Dean >> Davenport

Davenport

church, haven, john, civil and england

DAVENPORT, John, American Puritan clergyman: b. Coventry, England, 1597; d. Boston, Mags., 15 March 1670. Educated at Oxford, he became chaplain of Hilton Castle, near Durham, later was made minister of Saint Stephen's Church, London (1616-33), and there attained a considerable reputation as a preacher. His Puritanical principles and views ere long brought him into conflict with Archbishop Laud, and in 1633 he withdrew from the English Church, and removed to Holland, where he became colleagUe of the Rev. John Paget, pastor of the Puritan church at Amsterdam. In 1636, however, he returned to England, where he was very active in obtaining the charter of the Massachusetts colony. He arrived in Boston in June 1637, sat with the synod of Cambridge in August, and in March 1638 sailed with the band of colonists that founded New Haven (Quinnipiac). Here he was extremely influential in civil as well as ecclesiastical affairs. He was minister there for 30 years, and aided in establishing the sys tem of civilpolity, which began by the declara tion that Call of them would be ordered by the rules which the Scriptures held forth to them?' On 4 June 1649, holding their constituent as sembly in a barn, the °free planters') resolved that church members only should be burgesses, and Davenport was chosen one of the "seven pillars)" to support the ordinance of civil government. He exhorted the governor to judge justly, and the °cause that is too hard for you to bring it to me?' Annual elections were ordained, and God's word established as the only rule in public affairs. In his careful

ness in regard to the admission of members to the Church, he held in reality also the keys of all political power. When the messengers of the king, who had come to New England in pursuit of Goffe and Whalley, the regicide judges of Charles I, approached New Haven, he hid the fugitives in his house, and preached to his congregation from Isaiah xvi, 3 and 4; °Hide the outcasts: betray not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab: be thou a covert to them from the face of the After the death of Wilson, the pastor in Boston, in 1667, he removed there to succeed him. He was installed in December 1668. His election caused a division in the congregation. Those who opposed his views on the covenant) withdrew and or ganized the Old South Church. The contro versy went on for many years. Among his publications are (Discourse About Civil Gov ernment in a New Plantation Whose Design is Religion' (1663) ; (The Knowledge of Christ Indispensably Required of All Men Who Would be Saved' (1653) ; Catechism, contain ing •the Chief Heads of Christian Religion) (with Hooke 1659) ; 'The Saints' Anchor Hold' (1661) ; Power of Congregational Churches Asserted and Vindicated' (1672). He was also an editor of the works of Dr.

John Preston, for some time leader of the English Puritans. Consult Mather, 'Magnalia) (1702), and Dexter, 'Sketch of the Life and Writings of Davenport' of the New Haven Colony Hist. Soc., Vol. II, New Haven, 1877).