Mather, the name of a celebrated New England family which for four generations exercised great influence in the colony. Richard was born in Lancashire, educated at Oxford, and went to New England in 1635. Increase (1638-1723), son of Richard, was educated at Harvard, and visited England. He came to Boston, where he was pastor and president of the college, and represented the colony to the English Government. He wrote many books and tracts. Cotton (1663-1728) graduated as B.A. at Harvard in 1678. His father had married a Miss Cotton, and the son bore the two names which were almost equally honoured in the colony. For forty-three years he occupied the pulpit, having many good qualities, and some defects. He was energetic, ascetic, philanthropic, courageous, and learned, but at the same time ambitious, obstinate, irritable, superstitious, and wanting in tact.