Rev. Francis Marbury
chr.27 Oct 1555 St. Pancras Soper Lane, London, England
m. Abt. 1589
Facts and Events
Francis Marbury (sometimes spelled Merbury) (1555–1611) was a Cambridge-educated English cleric, schoolmaster and playwright. He is best known for being the father of Anne Hutchinson, considered the most famous (or infamous) English woman in colonial America.
Born in 1555, Marbury was the son of William Marbury, a Member of Parliament from Lincolnshire, and Agnes Lenton. Young Marbury attended Christ's College, Cambridge, but is not known to have graduated, though he was ordained as a deacon in the Church of England in January 1578. He was given a ministry position in Northamptonshire and almost immediately came into conflict with the bishop. Taking a position commonly used by Puritans, he criticised the church leadership for staffing the parish churches with poorly trained clergy and for tolerating poorly trained bishops. After serving two short jail terms, he was ordered not to return to Northamptonshire, but disregarded the mandate and was subsequently brought before the Bishop of London, John Aylmer, for trial in November 1578. During the examination, Aylmer called Marbury an ass, an idiot, and a fool, and sentenced him to Marshalsea prison for his impudence.
After two years in prison Marbury was considered sufficiently reformed to preach again, and was sent to Alford in Lincolnshire, close to his ancestral home. Here he married and began a family, but again felt emboldened to speak out against the church leadership, and was put under house arrest. Following a time without employment, he became desperate, writing letters to prominent officials, and was eventually allowed to resume preaching. Making good on his promise to curb his tongue, he preached uneventfully in Alford, and with a growing prominence was rewarded with a position in London in 1605. He was given a second parish in 1608, which was exchanged for another closer to home a year later. He died unexpectedly in 1611 at the age of 55. With two wives Marbury had 18 children, three of whom matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford, and one of whom, Anne, became the famous puritan dissident in the Massachusetts Bay Colony who had a leading role in the colony's Antinomian Controversy.