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John Davenport

1597-1670. New England pastor. Born at Coventry and educated at Oxford, he became vicar of St. Stephen's in Coleman Street, London. He was of Puritan sympathies and helped to procure the charter of the Massachusetts Company in 1629. He was also one of the twelve London feoffees who formed a committee to buy up lay impropriations and use the income to finance a Puritan preaching program. In 1632 he entertained John Cotton who was on his way to America. Becoming a Nonconformist, Davenport fled to Holland in 1633, and after a brief return to England, sailed with Theophilus Eaton to New England in 1637, where finally he became pastor to an independent colony at what is now New Haven, where Eaton was governor. In 1661 they sheltered the English regicides Edmund Whalley and William Goffe. Davenport opposed the Half-Way Covenant* and the absorption of the New Haven colony by Connecticut. In 1667, against the wishes of his church, he accepted a call to become minister of the First Church of Boston, which could not get the services of John Owen.