Rev. Henry Pratt

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Rev. Henry Pratt

Birthdate: (107)
Birthplace: Watford, Hertfordshire, England
Death: 1677 (102-110)
Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of John Henry Pratt and Joan Copshouse
Husband of Elizabeth Pratt; Mary Pratt and Ruth Pratt
Father of Matthew Pratt; Thomas Pratt; Bathesda Pratt; Phineas Pratt and Joshua Pratt
Brother of Thomas Pratt

Occupation: Puritan Minister
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. Henry Pratt

Alternate birth location: Born 1575 in St. Gregory, London England.

Married Mary Adams on 17 November 1600 in Clement, Eastchamp, London England.

Henry was imprisoned in England as a nonconformist minister, during the years following the Reformation when men began to evaluate for themselves what religion should be, rather than accepting whatever the Pope declared. There was an awakening of conscience and much debate and discussion when men became free to think for themselves outside of the confines of the Catholic Church. However, these men also began to even re-evaluate the Anglican Church, that had officially replaced the Catholic Church. In this new spirt of freedom of thought, the Puritans were one variant Protestant group who concluded that the Anglican Church should be reformed to be closer to its original simpler Christian roots. The ministers who wanted to "purify" the church were called Puritans. There were many other new forms of Protestant such as the Quakers, etc. However, the Anglican Church knew that excessive dissent was unworkable, because laws and church policies could not be made to satisfy all of these new variants.

During this era, over four hundred Puritan ministers were imprisoned in damp and gloomy jails in England for preaching the gospel contrary to the rules of the currently Established Church. While in prison, Reverend Pratt communicated with his family by writing to them with blood he drew from his arm for that purpose. Whether he died in jail, as did many of those devout prisoners, or whether he was released to live for a few years as an invalid from his injuries is unknown.

Many Pilgrims, Puritans, Quakers and other variant Protestants moved to Holland and then America to establish a separate geography to try out their new ideas. People of incompatible values and ideas could each better fulfill their own principles by living in separate geographical regions; and by coming to America, the Puritans had the opportunity to try to live the values they espoused.

Shortly after the Puritans sailed for America, the English Civil War broke out over changing and competing religious values and caused much death and destruction. Peace only returned to England when just one Anglican national religion was declared while the Catholic agitators would simply have to live elsewhere. Furthermore, the many Protestant variant denominations could remain, but had to stop threatening the Anglican Church. England continued to sprout numerous variations of Christianity and became a haven for many forms of religion as a result. The wisest course of tolerance was finally found: which was a combination of freedom of thought, but groups that thought too differently or were hostile were to each other, could better fulfill their religion by living in separate geographical regions, because only then could local laws reflect the values of each. If they were too different and lived in the same geo-politcal region there was no peace, because the laws were too unsatisfactory to too many. The English wanted people to enjoy freedom of conscience, and if each needs a different ecosystem of laws, separate geography was the answer. America was the place to go if you wanted to launch a new society as the geography had much wilderness. Many congregations were founded in England and then the group as a whole sailed for America where they founded many new towns. The English were always respectful of the varying religions of the many nations with whom they traded in the British Empire, which was one of the reasons of its great success. The freedom of thought that began with the Reformation of Northern Europe that spawned the Puritans, and in succession, also gave birth to the Age of Reason, then the Age of Enlightenment, the modern Scientific Revolution, and Industrial Revolution. All of these changes occurred within England and America due to the Reformation, which began the era of freedom of thought. Even failed ideas, such as Communism was also born of freedom of thought and could only be implemented by occupying a distinct geo-politcal region. In spite of strife, all things considered, historically the most tolerant of societies were the English and the Dutch, who were the founding peoples of the American nation and ideals.

  • Reference: "Ancestors and Descendants of Minnie Hale Gorton" by Carolyn C. Volpe, p. 108. and N.Orr.

Reverend Henry Pratt was the first cousin of Reverend William Pratt. A descendant of Reverend William Pratt, was Jared Pratt, who was the father of four of the twelve apostle founders of the Mormon Church. This means all descendants of this Henry Pratt are cousins of four of the founders of the Mormon Church.

According to Eleazer Franklin Pratt, Phinehas Pratt and some of his descendants written in 1897, several Pratt families of early England had distinctive coat-of-arms and she could not relate them to this Phineas. She thought the name probably came from Plats or Platts. However, in the modern era of genealogy, relationships are more readily identified.

Henry Pratt, father of Phinehas, was imprisoned for preaching the gospel contrary to the Established Church of England rules, as a Nonconformist minister. While incarderated he communicated with his distressed family by writing with blood he drew from his arm. Whether he died in jail or was released to die a few years later is not known.

Text: Pratt, Eleazer Franklin, Phinehas Pratt and some of his descendants : Boston: T.R. Marvin, 1897, 166 pgs. Heritage Quest on-line. [In 1897, he noted: early history of Phiineas as colonist and transcrtipt of his journal very good. Genealogy of family bibles very spotty and incomplete, numerous penciled corrections.] In today's world, we now rely on parish records, census records, court records and historical accounts, not just family bibles.

Reverend Henry Pratt, whose father was either John, or Grandfather John, was a Frenchman who bore the surname of Plat, or Platt, having fled from France at a time of political unrest. He became an armor-bearer to the monarch of England, and his name was subsequently changed to Pratt, which gets its derivation from the Latin root word meaning a flat, level surface, or meadow. Henry Pratt was a non-conformist minister who preached the Gospel contrary to the rules of the Established Church of England, and was imprisoned , along with over four hundred other religious teachers in gloomy, damp prisons in England. While there, Henry managed to communicate with his grief stricken family by writing to them with the blood he drew from his arm... It is not known wether or not Henry died in prison or was released as an incurable invalid due to the cruel treatment he received in prison **( Phineas Pratt's Descendents with Narratives and Biographies (1622-1980) by Priscilla Lorena Pratt Briggs)

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Rev. Henry Pratt's Timeline

Watford, Hertfordshire, England
January 1, 1593
Age 23
Buckinghamshire, , England
Age 23
Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, England
Age 23
London, Middlesex, England
November 15, 1595
Age 25
Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, England
Age 40
Age 107
Salisbury, Wiltshire, England