Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

27 August 1640 A.D. Henry Dunster, Elected 1st President of Harvard

27 August 1640 A.D. Henry Dunster, Elected 1st President of Harvard.

August 27, 1640 A.D. (480-481). Henry Dunster becomes Harvard’s first President.  (November 26, 1609 (baptized) – February 27, 1658/1659)

Shortly after his arrival in Boston/Cambridge, MA, Henry Dunster was elected as the first president of Harvard College (later called University).

Mr. Dunster was born in 1609 in Bury, England.  He took a BA/MA at Cambridge University and was ordained to/in the Church of England.  According to Mr. Rusten, he became “disheartened by the corruption in the church and the persecution of Christians who did not conform to the Church of England.”  Hence, he fled to the colony in Massachusetts.

He was elected as Harvard’s President. He used the pattern of Eton and Cambridge as models. He was skilled in Oriental languages and Latin. He set rules of administration and admission, set requirements for degrees, strengthened the curriculum, erected buildings, and attracted students.

However, he was troubled by a growing persecution of a growing movement: Baptists. In 1653, he became a Baptist. He tendered his resignation to Harvard, but it was refused.

Results? He refused to have his fourth child baptized. He preached a series of sermons against infant baptism. On one occasion, he interrupted a church service in Cambridge when a child was being baptized.  A Grand Jury found him guilty of “disturbing public worship” (481).  He was admonished publicly. On October 24, 1654, his resignation from Harvard was accepted.

He became a Baptist pastor in Scituate in Plymouth Colony for his last five years.

He bequeathed legacies to several people at Harvard.

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