Damnable Heresy

A biography of William Pynchon (1590-1662)

Damnable Heresy tells the fascinating story of a Puritan entrepreneur and pioneer in early New England who is notable for two things:

  • He had remarkably positive relationships with Native peoples.
  • And he wrote the first book banned (and burned) in Boston in 1650.

This volume explores his origins in Essex, England, his life as colonizer and merchant during the first generation of English settlers in Massachusetts (where he was a founder of both Roxbury and Springfield), and his respectful policies and practices regarding Native peoples. It also considers his theological musings, which involved some unique variations on standard Puritan themes and resulted in his problematic treatise.

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