John Davenport, who cofounded the colony of New Haven, has been neglected in studies that view early New England primarily from a Massachusetts viewpoint. Francis J. Bremer restores the clergyman to importance by examining Davenport's crucial role as an advocate for religious reform in England and the Netherlands before his emigration, his engagement with an international community of scholars and clergy, and his significant contributions to colonial America. Bremer shows that he was in many ways a remarkably progressive leader for his time, with a strong commitment to education for both women and men, a vibrant interest in new science, and a dedication to upholding democratic principles in churches at a time when many other Puritan clergymen were emphasizing the power of their office above all else.
Bremer's enlightening and accessible biography of an important figure in New England history provides a unique perspective on the seventeenth-century transatlantic Puritan movement.
Francis J. Bremer is professor of history emeritus, Millersville University of Pennsylvania. He has been a fellow at Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England and at Trinity College, Dublin. He is the author of Puritanism: A Very Short Introduction and a biography of John Winthrop.