Chapter 15: ecclesiastical History.
As stated more at large in chapter II., Cambridge was originally designed to be a fortified town, the seat of government, and the residence of the rulers. It was agreed, Dec. 28, 1630, that all the Assistants, except two, should build there “the next spring, and to winter there the next year.” Dudley and his son-in-law, Bradstreet, were the only Assistants who fully performed what was promised. Apparently there were very few inhabitants in the town for a year and a half, until Aug. 14, 1632, when “the Braintree Company,” otherwise called “Mr. Hooker's company,” were directed by the Court to remove thither. Under such circumstances, it is not surprising, that, contrary to the usual custom, a church was not immediately organized, and a house erected and dedicated to the service of God. There is no evidence within my knowledge that meetings were held in Cambridge for religious worship, before the arrival of “Mr. Hooker's company;” and for a whole year afterwards, until Mr. Hooker himself arrived, this flock probably had no pastor nor stated teacher. Meantime, Prince says,1 on authority of a manuscript letter, that in “this year (1632) is built the first house for public worship at Newtown (after called Cambridge) with a bell upon it.” No notice of the erection of such a house is found on the records of the town; yet the fact that it had been erected seems to be recognized in an agreement made Dec. 24, 1632, “that every person undersubscribed shall meet every first Monday in every month, within the meeting-house2 in the afternoon, within half an hour after the ringing of the bell.” The connection between Mr. Hooker and the “Braintree company” is related by Mather, and more concisely by Dr. Holmes: “The recent settlers of Newtown had, while in England, attended the ministry of the Reverend Thomas Hooker, who, to escape fines  and imprisonment, for his nonconformity, had now fled into Holland. To enjoy the privilege of such a pastor, they were willing to migrate to any part of the world. No sooner, therefore, was he driven from them, than they turned their eyes towards New England. They hoped that, if comfortable settlements could be made in this part of America, they might obtain him for their pastor. Immediately after their settlement at Newtown, they expressed their earnest desires to Mr. Hooker, that he would come over into New England, and take the pastoral charge of them. At their desire, he left Holland; and, having obtained Mr. Samuel Stone, a lecturer at Torcester, in Northamptonshire, for an assistant in the ministry, took his passage for America, and arrived at Boston September 4, 1633. . . . . Mr. Hooker, on his arrival at Boston, proceeded to Newtown, where he was received with open arms by an affectionate and pious people. He was now chosen pastor, and Mr. Stone teacher, of the people at Newtown; and on the 11th of October, 1633, after solemn fasting and prayer, they were ordained to their respective offices.” 3 Under this date, Winthrop says,— “A fast at Newtown, where Mr. Hooker was chosen pastor, and Mr. Stone teacher, in such manner as before at Boston.” 4 As he says nothing concerning the organization of the Church at that time, it would seem probable that it had been constituted previously, but at what precise date does not appear. From the same authority we learn the name of the Ruling Elder of this church, in September, 1634: “At this court, Mr. Goodwin, a very reverend and godly man, being the elder of the congregation of Newtown, having in heat of argument, used some unreverend speech to one of the assistants, and being reproved for the same in the open court, did gravely and humbly acknowledge his fault, &c.”