GEMMS: Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons
NameJohn Higginson
Livedb. 1616-08-06 - d. 1708-12-09 (old)
Linked Manuscripts
Linked SermonsSermon on Deuteronomy 33:16 -- preacher (autograph: no)Sermon on John 16:33 -- preacher (autograph: no)
Linked Reports
Associated PlacesClaybrooke -- HomeGuildford -- PostHartford -- PostSalem -- PostSaybrook -- Post
Source of DataCatherine Evans
Biographical Sources ConsultedAppletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography, p. 198; ACAD (Venn); “Descendants of the Reverend Francis Higginson: First ‘Teacher’ in the Massachusetts Bay Colony of Salem, Massachusetts and author of ‘New-England’s Plantation’ 1630”, Thomas W. Higginson, 1910
Other NoteSon of Francis Higginson (ACAD Venn: HGN602F), he was born in Claybrooke, England and travelled to New England with his father, arriving in Salem on 29 June 1629. His father died in August 1630, and Higginson then supported his family teaching at the grammar school at Hartford and studied under Rev. Thomas Hooker. He has been considered a founder of Hartford, although it is uncertain when he arrived there and he does not appear to have ever had a home lot in the town. He was employed by the Massachusetts Colony to take down notes in short-hand of the proceedings of the synod in 1637. He was the chaplain at the Saybrook fort for four years. In 1641, he acted as assistant to Rev. Henry Whitfield in Guildford, and married Whitfield's daughter, Sarah Whitfield (1 November 1620 - 8 July 11675). He became minister of Guildford when Whitfield returned to England in 1651. Higginson intended to sail to England in 1659, but this trip was interrupted by poor weather and he accepted an invitation to preach at Salem for a year, eventually becoming the regular pastor of the church there, holding the post until his death. He married again following Sarah's death, to Mary Blakeman, widow of Joshua Aterwater (b. 1637 - 9 March 1709). He was an opponent of the Quakers, but in later life would regret this and would not participate in the witchcraft prosecutions. He was one of the most renowned preachers in New England, publishing several sermons and authoring the preface to Cotton Mather's "Magnalia".
GEMMS record createdJune 30, 2020
GEMMS record last editedJuly 07, 2020