Though she was the daughter of an Anglican religious leader in England, Anne Marbury Hutchinson became a follower of nonconformist minister John Cotton. When Cotton's reformist ideas led him to the Massachusetts Bay Colony at Boston in 1633, Hutchinson, her husband, and their large family followed in 1634.
Hutchinson was in her early forties and a midwife when she arrived in Boston. She began hosting meetings of local women to discuss Cotton's sermons, and gradually, her views began to diverge from orthodox Puritanism and were deemed Antinomian. The key issue was the Covenant of Grace, which held that salvation was solely through the grace of God, versus the Covenant of Works, which held that good works and compliance with religious law was the path to salvation. Hutchinson was outspoken in her belief that good works were not indicative of God's grace.
Because she was a driving force in this philosophical schism, Hutchinson was seen as a threat to the theocratic hierarchy. In 1637 she was put in trial for heresy, and in 1638 she was banned from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and excommunicated from the church. Hutchinson and her family relocated to the colony at Rhode Island, a more liberal religious enclave.