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John Davenport
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Birth: 1597
Warwickshire, England
Death: Mar. 15, 1670
Suffolk County
Massachusetts, USA

This stone marks the graves of the ministers of the First Church of Christ in Boston

"Appletons' cyclopaedia of American biography, Vol. II, New York, D. Appleton and Company, 1887"

"Davenport, John, clergyman, b. in Coventry, England, in 1597; d. in Boston, Mass., 15 March, 1670. His father had been mayor of the city. He was educated at Oxford, and became chaplain in Hilton castle, near Durham. Subsequently he preached in London, and later became minister of St. Stephen's church in Coleman street. Here he became celebrated not only for his high accomplishments as a preacher, but for very faithful discharge of his pastoral duties. In 1625 he returned to Oxford and passed his examinations for the B.D. and M.A. degrees. During the following year, in conjunction with Drs. Richard Sibbs and William Gouge, the lord-mayor of London, and others, he devised a plan to purchase 'lay impropriations," from the profits of which a number of ministers should be maintained over destitute congregations. But Archbishop Laud regarded it as favorable to the cause of non-conformity, and procured its condemnation, with the confiscation of the money to the kin's use. A few years later Davenport was summoned before the archbishop and subjected to considerable trouble and expense on account of his puritan principles. About this time John Cotton had resigned his charge, with a view of escaping to America, and Davenport, after an interview with him, became convinced of the desirability of withdrawing from the Established church. He then resigned from ST. Stephen's and near the end of 1633 removed to Holland, where he became the colleague of Rev. John Paget, pastor of the English church in Amsterdam;; but, as he objected to the promiscuous baptism of infants, he relinquished his pastoral work and conducted private classes until 1635, when he returned to England. Meanwhile he had been actively concerned in obtaining the patent of the Massachusetts colony, and had contributed both money and time in its aid. A favorable account of the success of the colony having reached him, he sailed on the "Hector," reaching Boston on 26 June, 1637. He was heartily welcomed, and was regarded as an important aid in sustaining the interests of religion. During August of the same year he sat with the famous synod of Cambridge. In March, 1638, with many of the families that had accompanied him from England, he sailed from Boston to Quinipiac, which they afterward named New Haven. The party reached their new home on 14 April, and on the following day, which was the Sabbath, Mr. Davenport preached under the branches of a large oak on "The Temptations of the Wilderness." In June of the following year "all the free planters" met in a barn for the purpose of holding a constitutional assembly. It was resolved that only church members should be burgesses, and Davenport was chosen one of the "seven pillars" to support the civil government. His carefulness in regard to the admission of members to the church gave him also the keys of political power. When the regicides, William Goffe and Edward Whalley, were flying in 1660, he concealed them in his own house for more than a month, and delivered a sermon, for the purpose of enlisting sympathy in their behalf, from the text "Make thy shadow as the night in the midst of noonday, hide the outcasts, bewray not him that wandereth." He continued in New Haven until 1667, when, on the death of John Wilson, he was invited to succeed him as pastor of the first church in Boston. This call he accepted, and was installed on 9 Dec., 1668. The "half-way covenant," which had been adopted by the synod held in Boston in 1662, provided that all persons who had been baptized in their infancy, and who, on arriving at years of discretion, would recognize their covenant obligations, should be allowed to bring their children for baptism. This Mr. davenport was unwilling to accept, and he vigorously opposed its execution; consequently some of the members withdrew from the first church, and were organizied into the "Old South church." The controversy continued between the two churches for many years, but Mr. Davenport died of apoplexy soon after it began, and was buried in the tomb of his friend, John Cotton. He published many sermons, theological tracts, and controversial pamphlets, and also "Instructions to Elders of the English Church" (1634); "Catechism containing the Chief Heads of Christian Religion" (1659); and "A Discourse about Civil Government in a New Plantation" (1673)."

Family links: 
  Elizabeth Wooley Davenport (1603 - 1676)*
  John Davenport (1635 - 1677)*
*Calculated relationship
Kings Chapel Burying Ground
Suffolk County
Massachusetts, USA
Maintained by: Graves
Originally Created by: Dirtnapper
Record added: Sep 10, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6767414
John Davenport
Added by: Cynthia G
John Davenport
Added by: John "J-Cat" Griffith
John Davenport
Added by: Dirtnapper
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my 9x great grandfather
- Sheila Pruett
 Added: Jan. 21, 2015

- Ellen Rainey
 Added: Dec. 13, 2014

- segarrison
 Added: Oct. 31, 2014
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