Hugh Peter, Puritan, 1598 -1660

Hugh Peter was the son of Thomas Dyckwoode or Dykeveldt, a merchant, alias Peter, descended from a family who had left the Netherlands to escape religious persecution.  His mother was Martha Treffry of Place, Fowey

Hugh was educated at Cambridge, became a teacher, later ordained a priest and army chaplain to the parliamentarian army.  He became a puritan in 1626.  It seems he was an eloquent and charismatic preacher, certainly ambitious, but not an intellectual.  Although loved by his friends, who saw him as a conciliator, he had many enemies among royalists and religious conservatives, for his unorthodox opinions.  He had a gift for practical organization and leading figures (Sir Thomas Fairfax and Cromwell) relied on him for counsel and to promote their activities, and he was well rewarded financially.

Moving between Holland, Germany, New England, England and Ireland, he was never far from religious and political controversy.  During his time in New England, 1635 to 1641, he was a senior and influential figure and one of the overseers for Harvard College.

Charles I was beheaded in 1649, and for some years, Hugh remained active in public affairs.  After the restoration, Charles II executed many surviving regicides.  Although Hugh Peter had no direct involvement in the trial and execution of Charles I, his own reputation and association with Cromwell ensured his fate.  It is said he met his death with dignity.

 

Research Maureen Ogg

 

Sources:  Carla Gardina Pestana, ‘Peter , Hugh (bap. 1598, d. 1660)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford University Press, 2004) ; http://www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/biog/hugh-peter.htm;