At the heart of Hutchinson Court is the idea that nothing is above questioning and reconsidering. Anne Hutchinson, for whom the Court is named, believed strongly that true progress can only come from structural change, which begins with questioning existing structures of power. Iconoclasts, radicals, and those who work to change systems from within all find a home in Hutchinson Court. Just as important to Hutchinson Court, though, is the idea of rebirth. Dismantling institutions is important, but so too is replacing them with newer and better ideas, rather than letting chaos and anarchy reign.
When it comes to academia, students of Hutchinson Court are masters of alchemy and healing, two arts that seek change and regeneration through understanding. Students study bioenergies, herbology, rituals, and the balance of the physical and metaphysical body. In alchemy, Hutchinson students are known for their focus on transmutation, using rituals and potions to change matter itself into new forms. Hutchinson Court has a longstanding tradition of transmutation challenges–older students giving younger ones two objects, and tasking them to figure out how to turn one into the other.
see: Anne Hutchinson
Anne Hutchinson rose to prominence in both Europe and the early New World as a vocal Christian witch and powerful healer, mixing magical traditions with her staunch belief in divinity. Many in both the European Confluxes and Christian world saw that as a contradiction, but Hutchinson bridged the gap proudly. To her, magic was a gift from God, one to be treasured and embraced.
In the early days of the first New World colonies, Hutchinson worked as a teacher, preaching religion to mundane women and magic to young witches. She attempted to join Leodegrance’s Imperial Magischola, but was turned away due to her gender. As much to spite Leodegrance as anything else, she accepted her friend Thomas Morton’s invitation to co-found a new school of magic instead.
It wasn’t long before Hutchinson’s outspoken views brought her into conflicts with other settlers. In her mundane life, she was a follower of the preacher Thomas Cotton, and became one of the leaders of a group known as the Antinomians. The Antinomians believed in finding independent paths to God, rather than just following the precise letter of the Bible. Furthermore, they felt that most human laws could be ignored if one felt a divine or moral call to other choices. The Antinomians were declared heretics, and driven out of their homes.
One particularly vehement opponent of the Antinomians was Thomas Shepard, a Puritan Minister. He took Hutchinson’s leadership as a personal offense, and continued to pursue her after she left Boston. Their rivalry continued for many years, becoming more and more violent. Hutchinson learned that Shepard was himself secretly a wizard, and using his sermons to control the minds of his parishioners. Hutchinson undid Shepard’s hexes, and many of the freed followers joined Hutchinson’s settlement at New Netherland–what would later be known as New York.
Shepard did not take this well, and in retaliation murdered most of Hutchinson’s family, blaming the local Siwanoy people for the massacre. A year later, in 1644, Hutchinson defeated Shepard in a famous duel at Split Rock. Hutchinson did not kill him, but used an ancient Guardian rite to permanently seal away his magic. She left him in the wild, stating that she would leave his fate up to the Lord. Shepard did manage to return to Boston, but died of mundane causes not long after. Hutchinson never again interacted with the world of mundanes.
In 1646, Hutchinson returned to P2A4, the school she cofounded. Shortly after arriving, she became its first official Chancellor by unanimous vote of the teachers, a position she retained for almost a century, until her death in 1735. Her early years were a time of change for P2A4, with the departure of both Bradford and Morton, and an escalation in tension with Imperial Magischola. Hutchinson’s leadership brought about many elements of campus life that today are seen as central to the school, such as the Court structure, the three trials, and the inclusion of Loup-Garoux students.