The Massachusetts Bay Colony enjoyed a high level of social harmony that was rooted by their common beliefs. However, even in this very small and strong community, dissension soon peeked its ugly head. Quakers, who were known as a group of Separatists that were referred to as dissenters, tried to flout the influence of the Puritan clergy. However, their efforts only resulted in persecution. In most circumstances their actions would lead to fines, floggings, and in some cases banishment. In one extremely rare case, four Quakers who had defied expulsion from the community, were sentenced to be hanged on the Boston Common. .
After these events had occurred, Puritan Orthodoxy would be questioned by the means of one single woman; that woman being Anne Hutchinson. Anne Hutchinson was a Puritan spiritual leader, who lived from 1591 - 1643. She led religious services in her New England home for about 60 - 80 people. However, her teachings began to cause deep divisions in the colony between 1636 and 1638. When she had reached a level of influence that was thought to be "dangerous", the male members of the Puritan church felt their patriarchal ways being threatened. .
Anne Marbury was born in Alford, Lincolnshire, England. In 1612, at the age of 21, she married William Hutchinson. In 1634, the Hutchinson family moved to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. There, Anne joined the congregation in Boston. She began holding religious meetings in her home, where she interpreted church teachings in ways that Puritan leaders felt were rather reckless. Things began to heat up after she disagreed with ministers on the role of man's free will in salvation. She believed that the grace was entirely of God alone. Her argument was very well presented and thought out, with regards to her theories on the Puritan doctrine of predestination. She claimed that a holy life was no sure sign of salvation. This assertion, known as Antinomianism, (from the Greek word of "against the law"), was considered to be high heresy.