|2||History of Hingham.|
During the few years immediately succeeding 1635 settlers came in quite respectable numbers to Hingham; and there is every reason to suppose the church was in a prosperous condition.
Nov. 28, 1638, Mr. Robert Peck was ordained Teacher of the church. In the "Peck Genealogy," by Ira G. Peck, we find the following account of him:
"Rev. Robert Peck was born at Beccles, Suffolk County, England, in 1580. He was graduated at Magdalene College, Cambridge; the degree of A. B. was conferred upon him in 1599, and that of A. M. in 1603. He was set apart to the ministry, and inducted over the church at Hingham, Norfolk County, England, Jan. 8, 1605, where he remained until 1638, when he fled from the persecutions of the church to this country."
He was a talented and influential clergyman, a zealous preacher, and a non-conformist to the superstitions, ceremonies, and corruptions of the church, for which he was persecuted and driven from the country. Brook, in his "Lives of the Puritans," gives many facts of interest in relation to him. In particular, giving some of the offences for which he and his followers were persecuted, he says:
"For having catechized his family, and sung a psalm in his own house on a Lord's day evening, when some of his neighbors attended, his lordship (Bishop Harsnet) enjoined all who were present to do penance, requiring them to say, 'I confess my errors,' etc."
Those who refused were immediately excommunicated and required to pay heavy costs. This, Mr. Brook says, appears from the bishop's manuscripts under his own hands. He says: "He was driven from his flock, deprived of his benefice, and forced to seek his bread in a foreign land."
He arrived here in 1638. In relation to his arrival the town clerk of Hingham here says:
"Mr. Robert Peck, preacher of the gospel in the town of Hingham, in the county of Norfolk, old England, with his wife and two children and two servants, came over the sea and settled in the town of Hingham; and he was a Teacher of the Church."
Mr. Hobart, of Hingham, says in his Diary that he was ordained here Teacher of the church, Nov. 28, 1638. His name frequently appears upon the records of the town. He had lands granted him. His family consisted of nine children. He remained here until the long Parliament, or until the persecutions in England ceased, when he returned and resumed his rectorship at Hingham. Mr. Hobart says he returned Oct. 27, 1641. He died at Hingham, England, and was buried in his churchyard there.
Cotton Mather, in his "Magnalia Christi Americana," has the following:
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