Sam Stone

Samuel Stone was a 17th century Puritan Minister who, together with Thomas Hooker, established the American town of Hartford, Connecticut.

Samuel Stone was born on 18th July 1602, the third son of John and Sarah Stone (nee Rogers), who lived in Fore Street, Hertford. He was baptised on 30th July of that year at All Saints Church and lived on the site now occupied by Baroosh, formerly Barclays Bank.

In 1620 he left the town to study at Emmanuel College in Cambridge, from where he graduated. He was ordained on 8th July 1626 at Peterbough and a year later became curate at Sisted, Essex. Shortly aftwards his wife, Hope (nee Fletcher) gave birth to their first daughter, Sarah.

Stone was a Puritan. The Puritans were Protestants who wanted to purify the Church of England of its' ceremony and other aspects that they thought were Catholic. They wanted the powers of the lordly bishops reduced and condemned priestly vestments, church ornaments and music. They wanted the church restored to its' ancient purity and simplicity. This attitude put them in confrontation with The Crown and they were supressed.

In 1620, the same year that Samuel Stone left Hertford for Cambridge, a band of Separatists called The Pilgrim Fathers crossed the Atlantic in The Mayflower and founded the settlement of New Plymouth.

Thirteen years later, in 1633, another ship named Griffin made a similar journey, with Samuel Stone on board, together with his friend Thomas Hooker. They arrived in Boston on 4th September 1633 and a few weeks later Stone became Teacher of Church. The following year he became a Freeman.

An area some 100 miles to the South-West had long been inhabited by native Algonquin Indians. At the same time as Stone and Hooker were arriving in Boston, the Dutch were establishing a fort and trading post called House of Hope, located at the end of the navigable portion of the Connecticut River.

In 1636, Thomas Hooker and Samuel Stone led their congregation from New Towne (now Cambridge, MASS) and formed a colony at House of Hope, making peace with the local Indians and renaming the town they called Saukiog as Hartford.

In the following years Stone's wife, Hope, had two more daughters - Rebecca and Mary. Hope died in 1640 and in the following year he married again to Elizabeth Allen.

Samuel Stone died on 20th July 1663, aged 61.

A statue commemorating Stone's life stands on Mill Bridge. An identical statue can also be found in front of the Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford, Connecticut, where Stone is buried.

Last updated 7th April 2020