John Cotton and the Lawes of New England

As a dissenting religious movement within the Church of England, the Puritans sought to create a model religious community in the New World: The Massachusetts Bay Colony!

John Cotton, son of a prominent lawyer and an influential New England Puritan leader, drafted the first law code for the colony in 1636.

He was advised by magistrates to “make a draft of laws agreeable to the word of God, which may be the fundamentals of this commonwealth.”

Cotton’s published “abstract” became known informally as “Moses His Judicials.”

Formally educated in Hebrew, Cotton drew heavily from passages in Deuteronomy, Exodus, and Leviticus.

His abstract was never adopted exactly as written, but the impact of Cotton’s code greatly influenced Massachusetts law and law for the New Haven Colony, which became Connecticut.

Engage with the Bible—in all its impact and influence!

Share

More Book Minute Features

December 11, 2017

The Wyman Fragment

A fragment may be just a small piece, but in the case of the Wyman fragment, dating from the third century, a highly significant piece. It’s a glimpse...
December 06, 2017

Read the Book: A New Year’s Resolution

It’s that time of year when we start thinking about losing weight, working out, and generally making decisions to—uh—make better decisions? “New Year’...
December 15, 2017

A Christmas Classic : The Lion, the Witch, and th...

“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” known by many children and adults around the world from the Disney movie released in December 2005, has becom...