Margaret Tyndal Winthrop (c. 1591 – 14 June 1647) was a 17th-century Puritan, the wife of John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The pair are notable for the survival and character of the love-letters which they wrote to each other.
1. A Puritan Wife to Her Husband
MOST DEAR AND LOVING HUSBAND, I cannot express my love to you,
as I desire, in these poor, lifeless lines; but I do heartily wish
you did see my heart, how true and faithful it is to you, and how
much I do desire to be always with you, to enjoy the sweet comfort
of me your presence, and those helps from you in spiritual and
temporal duties, which I am so unfit to perform without you. It
makes to see the want of you, and wish myself with you. But I
desire we may be guided by God in all our ways, who is able to
direct us for the best; and so I will wait upon him with patience,
who is all-sufficient for me.
I shall not need to write much to you at this time. My brother
Gostling can tell you any thing by word of mouth. I praise God, we
are all here in health, as you left us, and are glad to hear the
same of you and all the rest of our friends at London. My mother
and myself remember our best love to you, and all the rest. Our
children remember their duty to you. And thus, desiring to be
remembered in your prayers, I bid my good husband good-night.
Little Samuel thinks it is time for me to go to bed; and so I
beseech the Lord to keep you in safety, and us all here. Farewell,
my sweet husband.
Your obedient wife,
2. THE TRUST OF A GODLY WOMAN
DEAR IN MY THOUGHTS, I blush to think how much I have
neglected the opportunity of presenting my love to you. Sad
thoughts possess my spirits, and I cannot repulse them; which makes
me unfit for any thing, wondering what the Lord means by all these
troubles among us. Sure I am, that all shall work to the best to
them that love God, or rather are loved of him. I know he will
bring light out of obscurity, and make his righteousness shine
forth as clear as the noonday. Yet I find in myself an adverse
spirit, and a trembling heart, not so willing to submit to the will
of God as I desire. There is a time to plant, and a time to pull up
that which is planted, which I could desire might not be yet. But
the Lord knoweth what is best, and his will be done. But I will
write no more. Hoping to see thee to-morrow, my best affections
being commended to yourself, the rest of our friends at Newton, I
commit thee to God.
Your loving wife,
To her honored Husband,
these be delivered.