Detail of the portrait Reverend John Davenport, New Haven by Amos Doolittle, engraving, 1797 – Connecticut Historical Society

John Davenport (1597–1670)

Born in Coventry, England, in 1597, John Davenport trained for the ministry at Oxford, but became disillusioned with the Church of England. He followed in the paths of other influential Puritan ministers, such as Thomas Hooker, and sailed for the Massachusetts Bay Colony—arriving in June of 1637. The following spring he and a group of followers set out to establish a new colony on Long Island Sound. It became the Colony of New Haven. Davenport’s ideas greatly influenced both the physical and social structure of the colony until the Charter of 1662 combined New Haven with the Colony of Connecticut. Shortly after, Davenport left New Haven to accept an appointment at the highly influential First Church in Boston. He died in Boston in April of 1670.

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Yale University, Sterling Memorial Library, Manuscripts and Archives. “Guide to the John Davenport Papers, 1624-1669,” 2016. Link.
Amos Doolittle, 1754-1832. John Davenport. 1797. Line engraving on paper. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Link.
Connecticut Digital Archive. “John Davenport Collection,” n.d. Link.


Bremer, Francis J. Building a New Jerusalem John Davenport, a Puritan in Three Worlds. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012.
Davenport, John, and Isabel M. Calder. Letters of John Davenport, Puritan Divine. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1937.
M’Clure, Alexander W. The Lives of John Wilson, John Norton, and John Davenport. Boston, MA: Massachusetts Sabbath School Society, 1846. Link.
Calder, Isabel MacBeath. The New Haven Colony. New Haven; London: Yale University Press; H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1934.