So, poor Rev. Hull continues to be in the nexus of the political and religious events of his time. In Massachusetts, when Gov. John Winthrop isn’t running the theocratic government of the “city upon the hill”, he is consolidating power and moving to control Plymouth and Maine. In England, Charles I believes in the divine right of kings and is fighting for complete authority over Parliament and strict adherence to his Church. When the King and Parliament cannot reach agreement, the English Civil War starts and many Puritans return to England to participate.
Rev. Hull is in the middle of it all and the best way to illustrate that is to use the timeline below:
With the establishment of the Commonwealth, Rev. Hull is able to return to the ministry in Launceston, Cornwall. The irony continues for Hull as he thrives under the Commonwealth and Cromwell, when he was maligned under the more conservative Puritans of New England. Unfortunately, Cromwell dies in 1658 and the monarchy is reestablished with Charles II in 1660.
The timeline helps to see how historical events continue to impact Rev. Hull and his family:
The Restoration began with Charles II returning to England and taking the throne in 1660. And in 1662, The Act of Uniformity was passed by Parliament that required that all state officials and ministers to take an oath to use the Book of Common Prayer that specified all prayers and rites. It also required that ministers be ordained within the structure of Church of England. Rev. Hull along with 2,000 other ministers who were forced out by the religious restrictions are documented in Edmund Calamy’s book The Conconformist’s Memorial published in 1775.
It appears that Rev. Hull probably left for New England sometime between 1660 and 1662, as he is mentioned as being a minister in Dover, New Hampshire in 1662.
Finally, at some point he decided to return to the Isle of Shoals in Maine, where in the 1640’s he had been an itinerant minister to the fishermen who lived there. He died there November 19, 1665. I had thought I had never heard of the Isle of Shoals, but was delighted to find out that the paintings I so love by Childe Hassam were painted during his summers there. Rev. Hull always seemed to live his life against the tide. In some ways it is fitting that he died on a desolate, but beautiful island. I hope he finally found peace.