- Frank Shuffelton
Hooker, Thomas (07 July 1586–07 July 1647), Puritan minister, an architect of the New England Way, and a founder of Hartford, Connecticut, was born in Marfield, a village in Leicestershire, England, the son of Thomas Hooker, a steward for the Digby family, and his wife, whose name is unknown. He probably attended the grammar school that had been endowed by Sir Wolstan Dixie in nearby Market Bosworth, since at Cambridge he held a Dixie Fellowship, restricted to relatives of Sir Wolstan or graduates of his school. Before going to Cambridge, he may have taught school briefly in Birstall, Leicestershire. He matriculated at Queens College, Cambridge, in 1604, although he soon transferred to Emmanuel College, which had already acquired a reputation for the Puritan sympathies of its members. He received his B.A. in 1608 and his M.A. in 1611. He subsequently served as lecturer and catechist at Emmanuel College until 1618. As a fellow at Emmanuel he experienced a spiritual rebirth that validated his career as a Puritan minister and provided the substance for many of his popular sermons that were collected and published during his lifetime. He apparently preached at Emmanuel a series of sermons on the nature of the conversion experience....