Hull was born in Crewkerne, Somerset, and graduated from Oxford in 1614. He was ordained in 1619, and served as teacher, curate and minister of Colyton, Devonshire. He became disaffected from the Church of England, and was expelled from the church in 1635.
He led his congregation to what is now Weymouth, Massachusetts. Apparently his "liberal views" led to his dismissal from his parish, and he moved to Hingham, where he served as its representative in the General Court (Massachusetts legislature). He was the political and religious opponent of Gov. John Winthrop, with the "very contentious" Hull apparently siding more with the Anglicans than the Puritan governor. Winthrop eventually expelled Hull from the colony.
Hull moved to the Plymouth Colony, and then to Barnstable. A memorial tablet was dedicated there in 1939 (the 300th anniversary of the town's founding) marking the site of his home there, and the rock from which he preached still stands in the middle of the highway there.
Hull came into disfavor in the Plymouth Colony. He moved to Yarmouth, Massachusetts, and later to Accominticus (present-day York, Maine), becoming minister there. However, a Puritan minister was sent there to replace him, and he returned to England. He remained there for a decade, when he was ejected from the parish. He returned to America, settling at the Isles of Shoals in New Hampshire, where he preached until his death in 1665.
- Weymouth Historical Society, History of Weymouth Massachusetts, Vol. I, p. 72, Wright and Potter Printing Company, Boston, 1923, reproduced on Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild Web site, "The Rev. Hull Company", Retrieved 6 Feb. 2011.
- Hull, Amy Eleanore E., Rev. Joseph Hull and Some of his Descendants, Stonebraker Bros., Baltimore, MD, 1904.
- Cook, Lawrence, "The Exodus of the Joseph Hull Company", 1991, Origins of the Bicknell Family in North America as Descended from Zachary Bicknell (1589-1635) website, retrieved 6 Feb. 2011.
- Behling, Sam, "Rev. Joseph Hull", Ancestry.com, retrieved 6 Feb 2011.
- donparrish.com, "Notes for Rev. Joseph Hull", retrieved 6 Feb 2011.
- Crane, Ellery Bicknell, Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts, Vol. II, pp. 169-170, Lewis Publishing Co., New York, NY, 1907, retrieved 6 Feb 2011.