Pynchon, William, c.1590–1662, American colonist and theologian, b. England. An original patentee and assistant in the Massachusetts Bay Company, he migrated to America in 1630, where he helped found Roxbury and served as treasurer of the colony (1632–34). In 1636 he settled, and was commissioned to govern, a plantation at the confluence of the Connecticut and Agawam rivers, which he called Agawam but which was renamed Springfield in 1641. Through a flourishing fur trade he increased an already considerable fortune. While visiting England (1650), he published The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption, which expressed his liberal views of the atonement. The book was denounced as heretical and ordered burned in Massachusetts. Relenting somewhat but refusing to retract all of his opinions, Pynchon left his property to his son John and other children and returned permanently (1652) to England.
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