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Nathaniel Ward

c.1578-1652. English Puritan clergyman and author. Born at Haverhill, Suffolk, he graduated from Cambridge, and after practicing law for a short time, turned to the ministry (1624-33). In 1634 he went to America because of persecution for Puritan views and became minister of a congregation at Ipswich. Although ill-health forced him to retire from the active ministry, his law degree from Cambridge made him extremely useful to New England's Massachusetts Bay Colony. He had a prominent part in writing the Body of Liberties (1641), the first codification of Massachusetts law. He is best remembered for his pseudonymous The Simple Cobler of Aggawam (1647). This was a satirical rebuke of English Puritans for yielding to the pressures of toleration. He returned to England in 1647 to participate in the Civil War.

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