a Puritan citadel

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Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect

“Prominent among the early clergy was fiery John Cotton. Educated at England’s Cambridge University, a Puritan citadel, he emigrated to Massachusetts to avoid persecution for his criticism of the Church of England. In the Bay Colony he devoted his considerable learning to defending the government’s duty to enforce religious rules.”

From “The American Pageant” by Thomas A. Bailey

cit•a•del /ˈsɪtədəl, -əˌdɛl/ n. [countable]

  1. a fortress for defending a city.
  1. any strongly fortified place;
    stronghold:a citadel of right-wing economists.
citadel - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

I remember I once played a board game called “citadel”. What does “a puritan citadel” mean here?
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The term seems to be used in a lot of the literature on this subject. I think a Puritan citadel implies any place where Puritanism ruled, as it were; an institution or town run by and for Puritans to such an extent that it could be considered a metaphorical fortress, not admitting anyone who was not a Puritan.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    It means that the university was a stronghold of puritan belief. Remember that Cambridge University (the English one of course) was founded in the year 1209! It hasn't been dominated by puritanism for a long time but it was when John Cotton was there.

    John Cotton
    (4 December 1585 – 23 December 1652) was a clergyman in England and the American colonies and considered the preeminent minister and theologian of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He studied for five years at Trinity College, Cambridge and another nine at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He had already built a reputation as a scholar and outstanding preacher when he accepted the position of minister at St. Botolph's Church, Boston in Lincolnshire in 1612. As a Puritan, he wanted to do away with the ceremony and vestments associated with the established Church of England
    John Cotton (minister) - Wikipedia
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