Puritans in America

Puritans in America

The Puritans Colonising America

The Puritans Colonising America

With what was seen as growing Catholic corruption in the Church of England, the Puritans flocked to the New World both before and after the Commonwealth period.

Boston Common Founders Memorial

Boston Common Founders Memorial

Founder's Memorial

Founder’s Memorial

Boston was founded on 7 September, 1630 (O.S.) by Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony seeking to establish what the Governor John Winthrop called “a city upon a hill”, id est a new religious kingdom in the Americas, divorced from the corruption of Old Europe.

Early Map of Boston

Early Map of Boston

Map of Boston in 1630

Map of Boston in 1630

The Puritan colonists found Boston and its harbour to be an ideal location to found their new religious settlement. It would quickly become the capital of the Bay Colony and also a centre of education and knowledge in New England.

Puritan Control of England

Puritan Control of England

Puritan Trial of a Royalist Family

Puritan Trial of a Royalist Family

After the execution of King Charles I, the Puritans under Oliver Cromwell transformed the Kingdom of England into a Commonwealth which was essentially a military dictatorship under the Lord Protector Cromwell, who ruled for life. During this period Puritans continued to migrate to the New World colonies and bring English culture and Puritan educational ideals with them.

Higher Education and the Old World

Higher Education and the Old World

Oxford University

Oxford University

Higher education in England dates back to the at least the 11th century with classes being taught at Oxford. In the intervening six centuries many prominent leaders passed through the hallowed halls of the ancient universities of Oxford and Cambridge. It was here that the Puritan leaders who would found Boston and Harvard were educated and, like the grammar schools, based their New World designs for education off of the Old World’s.

Cambridge University

Cambridge University

Higher Education in Boston

Higher Education in Boston

Holworthy Gate to Harvard Yard

Holworthy Gate to Harvard Yard

John Harvard, Namesake of Harvard University

John Harvard, Namesake of Harvard University

In following with the established tradition of higher education in England, the Puritans established a college in 1636, that would be chartered 14 years later in 1650, that strived to emulate the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge. Much like the grammar schools of the New World took much of their inspiration from those of the old, so too did Harvard College follow suit in curriculum and structure as the universities of old.

View of Harvard Yard

View of Harvard Yard

Grammar School

Grammar School

Boston Latin School est. 1635

Boston Latin School est. 1635

Like the schools in England, Eton, Harrow, Westminster, et cetera, the Puritan colonists wished to establish an enduring system of proper education that would be in line with their beliefs that all people should at least be able to read and write so as to understand the Bible and know the word of God.

Secondary Education in Old England

Secondary Education in Old England

The City of Westminster Near London, Site of the Westminster School

The City of Westminster Near London, Site of the Westminster School

Institutions of secondary education existed all throughout England and their histories stretched back centuries. Many of the educated Puritan leaders who sought to create an educational system based on that of their home land would have looked to these institutions for inspiration as to structure, fees, and curriculum.

Harrow School, and English Public School

Harrow School, and English Public School

Eton College, an English Secondary School

Eton College, an English Secondary School