- Raymond A. Craig
Wigglesworth, Michael (18 October 1631–10 June 1705), Puritan minister and poet, was born in Yorkshire, England, the son of Edward Wigglesworth, a tradesman, and Esther (or Hester, maiden name unknown). In 1638 the Wigglesworths left Yorkshire and persecution for religion for Charlestown, New England, and subsequently for New Haven, where the family spent the winter in a basement and where Michael became ill. Physical debility remained and affected the minister-poet throughout his life. Wigglesworth was sent to Ezekiel Cheever for his formal education at the age of eight, but he returned after two years to assist his injured father on the farm. Proving himself unfit for husbandry, Wigglesworth was returned to Cheever in 1644, who prepared him to enter Harvard three years later. Initially preparing to pursue medicine, he experienced conversion after three and one half years at Harvard and decided to enter the ministry instead, remaining at Harvard as a tutor and fellow until 1654, at which time he was offered the pulpit in Malden, Massachusetts....