Rev. Hull Part 3 – Integrity Comes with a Price (1643 -1665)

Portrait of King Charles I in his robes of state 1636 by Anthony van Dyck

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:

Rev. Joseph Hull 1642 – 1662

Oliver Cromwell, by Samuel Cooper

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:

Rev. Hull Timeline 1653-1665

The Nonconformist’s Memorial by Edmund Calamy, D.D. 1775

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.

Poppies, Isles of Shoals, Childe Hassam 1891

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.

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19 Responses to Rev. Hull Part 3 – Integrity Comes with a Price (1643 -1665)

  1. Christopher Kirkpatrick Hull says:

    Wow what a phenomenal research you have done!! I

  2. I’ve been reading about the Rev. Joseph Hull via a number of online sources, and this three-part post is hands down the best writeup I’ve found about him. Very well done.

    My wife is descended from both Hull _and_ the Rev. John Lathrop, so as you might imagine I’m interested both in them as individuals and in what transpired between them. You make that clearer than anything else I’ve found.

    • Rachelle says:

      Thank you so much for the kind review! That is great that your wife has both Rev. Hull and Lathrop as ancestors. It’s the complex ones that keep the energy in our research. I have found some good resources on Rev. Hull (most recent publication – Pilgrims: New World Settlers and the Call for Home by Susan Hardman Moore). But I have always wished that the NEHGS would do a class on the internal politics of early settlement using Hull as an example. Maybe Robert Charles Anderson will do that in the future!

  3. Dana T. Parker says:

    I wholeheartedly concur with the previous comments on your fine blog. You have definitely made sense out of Rev. Hull’s peripatetic nature, and put it in perspective. Thanks!

    In searching Google Maps, I think I have been able to pick out the Hull monument on Rt. 6A across from the Lothrop Hill Cemetery in Barnstable. No luck though on the Hull monument that is supposed to be on Rt. 6A at the County Farm Access Road. Is this location correct? Anyone seen the monument?

    • Rachelle says:

      So happy you enjoyed my blogs on Hull! No, I haven’t gotten any official word or picture that confirms those 2 locations. It may be that the area is overgrown or that the Google map truck didn’t get close enough to identify the marker on County Farm Access Road. I really need to get back to Massachusetts to look for myself!

  4. Kelly says:

    Wow…first interesting character that I have identified on my tree & so appreciate the arduous research detailed here! Rev Joseph Hull appears to be my 9th gr grandfather as confirmed by genetics & shared trees

    • Rachelle says:

      Yes, I completely agree about Rev. Hull being one of the most interesting characters on my tree as well. It was a volatile time and he represents the type of issues people confronted. He just wasn’t the type to “go along with it!”

  5. Fran Miller says:

    Hi, Rachelle! Thank you for the fascinating story about the man who was also my ancestor, the Rev. Joseph Hull. All I had was a bunch of dates but you made them come to life! I appreciate that you published your work for the rest of us to find. Sincerely (Cousin) Fran in Bear, Delaware

    • Rachelle says:

      I am so glad that you enjoyed the “unauthorized” biography! Rev. Hull continues to be one of my favorite ancestors. Good luck in your research, Cousin Rachelle

  6. Connie Hull says:

    I found this very interesting although I have known a lot of it this was even better. You did a superb job of this. I am also a direct descendant of Rev. Joseph Hull, also of William and Mary Dyer… They were both here about the same time. William Dyer was also a friend of Roger Williams and was in RI too. All seemed to have suffered religious persecution. Anyway I have really been finding this family history so very interesting and seeing lots of cousins on this site so fun. Hi every one.. 🙂

    • Rachelle says:

      Many thanks…so glad you enjoyed it. Yes, there are a lot of cousins who have found this blog and Rev. Hull continues to be one my top 2 ancestors that get the most “hits”. I attribute this to his many children who were as equally prolific!

      • Connie Hull says:

        Ah yes, they were. Wow! It has been a long time since I was on this site. I just found it again.

  7. Linda Lyons says:

    You missed the whole St. Buryan, Cornwall episode here. More confusion before he was “ejected” there too. What is clear is that Rev. Joseph was a pain-in-the-ass everywhere he went–he always had difficulties.

    I am descended from his son Hopewell Hull who moved to New Jersey. There are sure a lot of us.

    The record of his 1633 second marriage to Agnes HUNT at St. Cuthbert’s, Wells, Somerset has just surfaced.

    • Rachelle says:

      Linda, you are right I haven’t done any more research on Hull in the last few years (too many other ancestors not documented!) and don’t have the St. Buryan information. What book/article did you find that in? Also, marriage record to Agnes? I know Rev. Hull was contrary, but there is something endearing about his sanctimonious attitude in the midst of all that religious chaos. He just had the wrong beliefs in the wrong place. Look at what Winthrop achieved and he certainly not shy and retiring about his religious convictions! I really would have loved to see Hull and Winthrop in the same room…..

    • Margaret Carson says:

      Hi Cousin Linda!
      I too a descended from his son Hopewell Hull, he was my 8th great grandfather. His daughter Ruth Hull Blackford 1684-1748 was my 7th great grandmother. I have found that Hopewell had 3 daughters named Ruth, the first 2 dying in childhood before my 7th great grandmother was born. Take care and stay safe.
      Maggie Carson

  8. Carol Poole says:

    Thanks for these wonderful posts about Rev. Hull! My ancestor Edward Poole came over to Weymouth MA as part of the Hull company, and named one of his own sons Joseph–I wonder whether this was in honor of Joseph Hull. Your research is impressive, and you’ve put together the most coherent story I’ve found of Rev. Hull’s career and life. I think that Rev. Hull was a real nonconformist. Unlike most Puritans who studied at Cambridge he was an Oxford man. Unlike Gov. Winthrop and a lot of the leaders in New England, Rev. Hull was a West Country man; from what I’ve read of the cultures of West Country vs. East Anglia at the time, the people from the west of England were averse to hierarchy and more independent-minded than the Puritans from the east. Hull kept getting in trouble for being too liberal about religious freedom of conscience. My ancestor Edward came over as a servant to George Allen/Allyn and family, who were Anabaptists and eventually settled in Rhode Island–which gives a sense that the Hull party was diverse. (Also interconnected; Edward Poole’s wife’s uncle married a Hull.) I find Rev. Hull endearing too, for caring so much, and trying, and being stubborn in places where it wasn’t very prudent. It’s sad that he found more of a home back in England during the Cromwell era only to lose it, but at least he found a home of sorts on the Isle of Shoals. Fascinating times they lived in!

    • Rachelle says:

      Many thanks for your kind comments. I think you bring out some interesting points about Rev. Hull’s character that I had never considered and that make me want to go back to researching this branch again. So, I am related to George Allen through his daughter Rose who married Joseph Holloway. These folks were all connected in some way when there were so few of them there in the early years of immigration. I think your ancestors were smart to go to Rhode Island…it was hard to have any other beliefs in this society. I look forward to hearing anything else you find out about our connections!

  9. Carol Poole says:

    Thanks, Rachelle! My brother and I (his name is John, I think he may have written to you as well since I sent him a link to your blog) have been researching our ancestor Edward Poole for a few years, now. We went to England in 2011, visited towns where he, Joseph Hull, and others lived, and also visited the harbor at Weymouth where they sailed. This past summer John and I went to Weymouth, Mass., looked for landmarks and spent hours in the library, trying to find out more about those times. Edward didn’t settle in Rhode Island with your ancestor George Allen; once his seven years of servanthood were done, Edward moved back to Weymouth, and settled on a five-acre plot next to a relative of George Allen’s–probably, we guessed, a gift from the Allen family for his service. Edward stayed in Weymouth all his life, worked as a sawyer, never joined the church, but his children married the children of church members, so we figure Edward preferred to keep his religion private, but managed not to scandalize his neighbors. I can’t remember where I’ve picked up all of this information, much of it from Weymouth historical society sources and early town records. Learning about West Country mores and culture, and how they differed from those of East Anglia, we picked up some things by traveling in the West Country and visiting museums, etc., and some by reading. Albion’s Seed by David Hackett Fischer gave fascinating background, though he doesn’t zero in on the subculture of West Country Puritans–but he does explain how West Country folks in general came from different cultural roots in England than people from the North and East. Another book I read was Frank Thistlethwaite’s Dorset Pilgrims My brother might have a clearer recollection of sources than I have. Happy researches–and please let me know, too, if you learn more!

  10. Rachelle says:

    Thanks for the recommendation of the Thistlethwaite’s book. I will pick that up. I read Albion’s Seed quite a few years ago and loved it too. The other book I have on my shelf to read (but haven’t gotten to…too many to count!) is Pilgrims: New World Settlers & The Call of Home by Susan Hardman Moore. She discusses all the difficulties of migrating to the New World and all the pilgrims that went back to England. Hull is mentioned quite a few times.

    You must have a had a wonderful trip to England! I would love to see the churches where Rev. Hull preached and towns he lived in. Thanks for all the ideas!

    P.S. Yes, your brother did comment on the blog…and I will answer him next!

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