Francis Hutchinson

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Francis Hutchinson (2 January 1660 – 1739) was Bishop of Down and Connor and an published author, who debunked witch-hunting.[1]

Hutchinson was born in Carsington, Wirksworth, Derbyshire, the second son of Mary and Edward Hutchinson or Hitchinson (a family of the lesser landed gentry). He was taught history by his uncle, Francis Tallents, a Puritan clergyman, before beginning his studies at Katharine Hall, Cambridge[1] at the age of 18. He graduated B.A. in 1681 and M.A. in 1684,[2] a year after he was ordained by the bishop of London and was appointed Lecturer at the rectory of Widdington, Essex.

This living represented the lowest rung of the career ladder of the Church of England and Hutchinson remained there until appointed vicar of Hoxne, Suffolk in early 1690 by local Whig magnate, William Maynard.[citation needed]

Hutchinson wrote Historical Essay Concerning Witchcraft, whose second edition appeared in 1720 with a chapter attacking the witch-hunting in Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony in the late 1690s by debunking the charge of witchcraft. He died in 1739, aged 79, and was buried in Portglenone Parish Church, County Antrim.[citation needed]


This Francis Hutchinson should not be confused with the Francis Hutchinson who was connected with John Nelson Darby, Edward Cronin, and John Bellett in the movement of the late 1820s later known as "Plymouth Brethren".[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b  "Hutchinson, Francis". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  2. ^ "Hutchinson, Francis (HTCN677F)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.