Colonial Whips, Royal Writs and the Quaker Challenge

Elizabeth Hooton's Voyages through New England in the Seventeenth Century

in Journeys
Author: Susanna Calkins
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In their journeys to New England, Hooton and other Quakers tested both the colonial and royal authorities. When Hooton travelled to the colonies, she deliberately positioned herself within the developing philosophical, ideological and psychological transatlantic divide. With a royal permit in hand that enabled her to settle wherever she chose within the colonies, Hooton purposely attempted to live in the Bay Colony, where four Quakers had lost their lives at Boston Common. As such, Hooton personified the struggle for power between New England and the royal authorities, as each side attempted to mandate the extent and breadth of sovereignty in the colonies. Hooton used her journeys to New England to legitimate her authority to speak about colonial anti-Quaker legislation and to add her voice to a growing chorus attempting to shape royal policies. Ultimately, Hooton's journeys illustrate the gradual decline of royal power in the colonies. While the final break between England and the colonies would not occur for another hundred years, a contest for power that probed the extent of royal power was exploited and made evident by the journeys and experiences of Quakers like Elizabeth Hooton.


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