The Rev. Peter Bulkeley (1583–1659) was an influential early Puritan preacher who left England to find greater religious freedom in the American colony of Massachusetts. He was a founder of Concord, sat in judgment at the trial of Anne Hutchinson, and was named by his descendant Ralph Waldo Emerson in a not very flattering poem about the founders of Concord, Hamatreya.
Born to wealth in Odell, Bedfordshire, Bulkeley was a fellow at St. John’s College in Cambridge before succeeding his father, Edward, as rector at St. Odell, from 1620 to 1635. He also picked up his father’s nonconformist beliefs and got in increasing trouble with Anglican authorities. Finally, when he refused to wear a surplice or use the Sign of the Cross during a visit by the Archbishop, he was kicked out of the church.[...]