Puritan Links to North America

Many of the main protagonists opposed to the personal rule of of Charles I were also involved in investment in trade companies and the founding of overseas puritan settlements in part to establish alternative communities where they and other like minded people could live as they wished.

  • William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke Patron of Thomas Herbert
  • William Fiennes Fiennes was an investor in the Providence Island Company along with John Pym and also the founding of colonies in New England
  • Thomas Rainsborough or Rainsboro had previously been associated with the Providence Island Company and visited the Providence Island Colony along with his brother. Rainsborough was a noted Leveller and argued strongly for their position in the Putney debates. Rainsborough was assassinated 30/10/1648 in Doncaster. Royalists were blamed at the time but there are questions regarding possible involvement of less radical Parliamentary factions.
  • Oliver St John was also an investor in the Providence Island company and spoke out against arbitrary taxation 'Ship Money'. St John later sided with the army during the 1647 debates, but was not excluded from Parliament after Pride's Purge - perhaps due to his personal friendship with Oliver Cromwell
  • Benjamin Rudyerd was a co founder of the Providence company and an MP in the Short Parliament. Excluded from Parliament during Prides Purge. Married to Elizabeth harington, daughter of Sir Henry Harington, who was related to the Earl of Pembroke. Note that Thomas Herbert had also acquired his connection through his relationship to the Earl of Pembroke

Note that many of the protagonists of the civil war on the Parliamentary side had links to the Providence Island company

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