History Note

George Moxon (1602-1687) was born in Yorkshire, England, one of seven sons. He attended Wakefield Grammar School and then Sussex College, Cambridge, graduating in 1623 with a BA in Theology. He was ordained in 1626 by Bishop Bridgeman, the Bishop of Chester. Moxon’s first position was as Chaplain to Sir William Brereton of Handforth Hall.  After running afoul of Archbishop Laud, Moxon and his family left England for New England, settling first in Dorchester and then moving to William Pynchon's new settlement, Springfield, to serve as the community's first minister. In 1652 Moxon and his family returned to England.

John Pynchon (1625?-1703), the son of Springfield founder William Pynchon, was fourteen or fifteen when he recorded Moxon’s sermons in 1640.  Pynchon was born in Springfield, Essex County, England. He and his father came to New England and settled in Dorchester in 1630. He moved west to what would become Springfield, Massachusetts, with his father in 1636.

Originals are held by the Wood Museum of Springfield History in Springfield, Massachusetts. Please see the finding aid for more information.

Digital Materials

Sermon notes, 1640


This collection contains notes taken by adolescent John Pynchon (1625?-1703) on sermons preached by George Moxon (1602-1687) in Springfield, Massachusetts. The notes were taken in March and April, 1640, by Pynchon. The notes are recorded in John’s own “short writing.” In addition to full words, numbers, and abbreviations, John made use of a cypher of his own invention, which included symbols for more than 120 words.

Full-text transcription [pdf] of these notes, prepared by David M. Powers, is also available.