Pynchon, John. Notes on sermons by George Moxon

Collection History

Please note that as of January 2022, the John Pynchon notes on sermons by George Moxon, 1640, and all future digital collections are now hosted on the library's new digital archive.

Rev. George Moxon (1602-1687) was born in Yorkshire, England, one of seven sons. He attended Wakefield Grammar School and then Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, graduating in 1623 with a BA in Theology. He was ordained in 1626 by Bishop Bridgeman, the Bishop of Chester. Rev. Moxon's first position was as Chaplain to Sir William Brereton of Handforth Hall. After running afoul of Archbishop Laud, Rev. 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 Rev. 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.

The digital collection below consists of Pynchon's notes on sermons preached by Rev. Moxon, largely recorded in shorthand. The original documents are held by the Wood Museum of Springfield History in Springfield, Massachusetts.

For additional information please see the finding aid


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 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.