Who was John Winthrop and what role did he have in "Witch of Blackbird Pond"?I believe he might of been mentioned once, but I can't find where.

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

John Winthrop was one of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and its governor for twelve terms.  He had received a charter from England, and arrived with seven hundred settlers in the New World in 1630.  He died in 1649, thirty-eight years before the time the events of "Witch of Blackbird Pond" are supposed to have occurred, and I could find no mention of him in the book.

Despite the fact that he does not appear to have a direct role in the narrative, it can be argued that Winthrop had a significant influence on the environment in which the story takes place.  He was a staunch Puritan, and the Massachusetts Colony, like the Connecticut Colony of the story, was founded along strict religious lines.  Winthrop was known as a good leader, but he did not abide religious dissent; in an atmosphere similar to that in which Hannah Tupper and Kit Tyler were persecuted for their religious differences, it was he who banished the famous Anne Hutchinson from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for her radical beliefs. 

Before establishing the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Winthrop obtained a Charter from England granting the new settlement the power of self-government.  It was similar to the Charter that Matthew Wood and his compatriots sought so desperately to preserve in the face of British efforts to negate its priviledges.

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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

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