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John Robinson

Robinson, John, 1576?–1625, English nonconformist pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers in Holland. In 1592 he entered Cambridge; in 1597 he received a fellowship and was ordained. Soon thereafter he became curate of a church at Norwich. He was a member of the group of separatists at Gainsborough and a little later (c.1606) was in the company of the separatists gathered around William Brewster at Scrooby. He became their pastor and was a leader in the removal (1608) of the Scrooby group to Amsterdam. In 1609 he and his flock moved to Leiden, where they set up a church. Robinson actively encouraged the projected emigration (1620) to America and would have accompanied the Pilgrims had the majority of his congregation gone; with their settlement at Plymouth, Congregationalism was founded in the New World. Robinson was the author of a number of essays and polemics on the separatists' position.

See his works (ed. by R. Ashton, 1851); biography by W. H. Burgess (1920); C. Burrage, New Facts concerning John Robinson (1910).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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