Underhill, John, c.1597–1672, military commander in the American colonies, b. England. In 1630 he accompanied John Winthrop (1588–1649) to Massachusetts Bay, and in 1637 he distinguished himself as a commander with John Mason (c.1600–1672) in the Pequot War, of which he wrote an account in Newes from America (1638). Because of his ardent support of Anne Hutchinson in the antinomian controversy, he fled (1638) to Dover, N.H., where he was briefly governor, opposing Massachusetts's claims to authority over the area. He returned to Massachusetts, was reinstated (1640) in the church, then moved to Stamford, Conn. Later in New Netherland he commanded (1644) for the Dutch against the Algonquin; he opposed Peter Stuyvesant and had to leave (1653) the colony but returned after the British conquest of 1664.
See biography by H. C. Shelley (1932).