Thomas Hooker

1586-1647. Puritan clergyman and founder of Connecticut. Born in Leicestershire, he was educated at Cambridge, where he was converted to Puritanism. His popularity as lecturer at St. Mary's, Chelmsford, forced authorities to retire him, and in 1630 he fled from England to Holland. Persuaded to emigrate to Massachusetts, he became pastor at Newtown (Cambridge) in 1634. Restiveness led the congregation to move to Connecticut in 1636, against the wishes of the Massachusetts officials. In 1638 he was the primary figure in the creating of the Frame of Government for communities around Hartford. Virtual dictator of Connecticut thereafter, and perhaps the most powerful pulpit orator of his day, Hooker was an expositor who dealt eloquently with Puritan fundamentals of religious experience and moral duty. His writings were chiefly sermonic, but his Survey of the Summe of Church Discipline (1648) was a notable work on Congregational polity and social theory.