John Davenport

John Davenport (1597 - 1669)

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Rev. John Davenport
Born in Coventry, Warwickshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusettsmap
Profile last modified | Created 8 Jul 2011
This page has been accessed 1,351 times.

Categories: Coventry, Warwickshire | English Immigrants to America | Hector, sailed 1637 | Antinomian Controversy | Portsmouth, Rhode Island | Signers of the New Haven Fundamental Agreement | New Haven, New Haven Colony | New Haven, Connecticut Colony | Congregational Ministers | Church of England Priests.



John Davenport, Congregational clergyman and founder of New Haven, attended Merton and Magdalen Colleges, Oxford, and began preaching at a private chapel in 1615.

He married Elizabeth in England prior to 1619. [1]

He was appointed lecturer and curate of St. Lawrence Jewry Church in London in 1619 and five years later was chosen vicar of St. Stephen's. Doubts about his religious orthodoxy almost prevented Davenport from serving in this post, but the intervention of powerful friends and his own declaration that he was not a Puritan satisfied the London authorities. By 1629, however, Davenport clearly identified with the Puritan cause and contributed 50 pounds to the Massachusetts Bay Company. Three years later he thought seriously about emigrating, and in 1633 when William Laud, archenemy of the Puritans, became Archbishop of Canterbury, Davenport resigned his position and fled to Holland.

Son John Jr born in April 1635 at The Hague, Holland.[2]

In 1637, with the encouragement of John Cotton in Massachusetts and his friend Theophilus Eaton (1590-1657/58), a prosperous London merchant, Davenport decided to sail to America. Eaton joined him, as did a number of families from St. Stephen's parish. Although the members of the Davenport-Eaton company hoped to prosper economically in the New World, religious considerations were paramount among these strict and doctrinaire Puritans who hoped to establish a biblical commonwealth in New England.

The company arrived in Massachusetts in June 1637. Davenport and Eaton quickly became dissatisfied with the land offered them and discouraged by the Anne Hutchinson Antinomian Controversy. They decided, therefore, to establish an independent colony at Quinnipiac, the site of a good harbor.

Davenport and Eaton removed to the site of New Haven in April 1638. Eaton became governor of the new colony, and Davenport was installed as minister of the New Haven church. The colony grew to include the towns of Milford, Guilford, Branford, Stamford, and Southold, Long Island, but never prospered as its founders intended. The restoration of Charles II to the English throne put the tiny commonwealth that lacked any legal foundation in imminent danger. New Haven's cause was scarcely aided by the sanctuary it gave to regicides Edward Whalley and John Goffe, reputedly secreted for a time in Davenport's own home. Davenport unsuccessfully opposed the absorption of New Haven into Connecticut--as prescribed by the Charter of 1662. With the battle lost, Davenport felt that his life's work had failed, and in 1667 he accepted the pastorate of the First Church in Boston. The New Haven church opposed his dismisal, and he was only installed in Boston a few months before his death in March 1669/70.

John Davenport was an eminent scholar and theologian justly acclaimed for his crucial role in the founding and early history of New Haven.

The ministry of the Rev. John Davenport, 1639-1668, The First Church of Christ in New Haven


9 Apr 1597 Holy Trinity, Coventry, Warwickshire, England


Passenger on ship "Hector" 1637.


15 Mar 1669/1670 Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts


Kings Chapel Burying Ground, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts Findagrave 6767414



See also:

  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 01 July 2018), memorial page for John Davenport (1597–15 Mar 1670), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6767414, citing Kings Chapel Burying Ground, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Graves (contributor 47171280) .

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No known carriers of John's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Rev. John Davenport
Rev. John Davenport

Rev. John Davenport
Rev. John Davenport

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On 1 Jul 2018 at 21:17 GMT Victoria (Pierson) Crosley wrote:

I have added the Find A Grave memorial for John on this page. It was appearing on Elizabeth's profile page, and causing an error on the error report.

On 8 Jul 2014 at 20:42 GMT Philip Smith wrote:

Davenport-1861 and Davenport-598 appear to represent the same person because: they are the same person but need work on father.

Wikipedia has his father as Henry,but it is not supported.' check Anderson.

John is 8 degrees from William Brewster, 15 degrees from Skye Driggs and 14 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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