John Robinson


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Robinson, JOHN, clergyman ; born presumably in Lincolnshire, England, in 1575 ; educated at Cambridge, and in 1602 became pastor of a Dissenting congregation at Norwich. The church was persecuted, and in 1607 the members attempted to leave England and seek an asylum in Holland, but were prevented by officers of the law, who kept the whole company under arrest for some time. In 1608 most of them made their escape in small parties and joined each other at Amsterdam. The next year they went to Leyden, where they organized a church, and remained eleven years. In 1617 another removal was contemplated, and the pastor favored emigration to America. Agents went to England and made arrangements for such emigration, and late in 1620 a portion of the Leyden congregation, under the spiritual leadership of Elder William Brewster, reached the New England coast. Robinson intended to follow with the remainder of the congregation, but he died in Leyden, in March, 1625, before the consent of the English merchants who controlled the enterprise could be obtained. Not long afterwards the remainder of his congregation and his two sons followed the passengers in the Mayflower. See BREWSTER, WILLIAM ; PILGRIMS.



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