List of colonial governors of Massachusetts

Last updated
Map depicting lines of charters and grants for Massachusetts-related colonies and provinces Masscolony.png
Map depicting lines of charters and grants for Massachusetts-related colonies and provinces

The territory of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one of the fifty United States, was settled in the 17th century by several different English colonies. The territories claimed or administered by these colonies encompassed a much larger area than that of the modern state, and at times included areas that are now within the jurisdiction of other New England states or of the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Some colonial land claims extended all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

Contents

The first permanent settlement was the Plymouth Colony (1620), and the second major settlement was the Massachusetts Bay Colony at Salem in 1629. Settlements that failed or were merged into other colonies included the failed Popham Colony (1607) on the coast of Maine, and the Wessagusset Colony (1622–23) in Weymouth, Massachusetts, whose remnants were folded into the Plymouth Colony. The Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies coexisted until 1686, each electing its own governor annually. Governance of both colonies was dominated by a relatively small group of magistrates, some of whom governed for many years. The Dominion of New England was established in 1686 which covered the territory of those colonies, as well as that of New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. In 1688, it was further extended to include New York and East and West Jersey. The Dominion was extremely unpopular in the colonies, and it was disbanded when its royally appointed governor Sir Edmund Andros was arrested and sent back to England in the wake of the 1688 Glorious Revolution.

After Andros' arrest, each of the colonies reverted to its previous form of governance. King William III, however, reorganized the territory of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies into the Province of Massachusetts Bay and appointed Sir William Phips as its royal governor in 1692. The Province of Massachusetts Bay was governed by appointed civilian governors until 1774, when Thomas Hutchinson was replaced by Lieutenant General Thomas Gage amid rising tensions between the Thirteen Colonies and the British Parliament. Gage was the province's last royal governor. He was effectively powerless beyond Boston, and was recalled after the June 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill. By then, the province was already being run de facto by the Massachusetts Provincial Congress; following the adoption of a state constitution in 1779, the newly formed Commonwealth of Massachusetts elected John Hancock as its first governor.

Popham Colony: 1607–1608

The Popham Colony was founded on the coast of Phippsburg, Maine in 1607 as a colonization attempt by the Virginia Company of Plymouth. The colony lasted about one year before being abandoned. One of its principal backers was Sir John Popham; his nephew George Popham was the colony's governor for most of its brief existence. [1] George Popham died in the colony in 1608 and was replaced by Raleigh Gilbert. He and the remaining colonists abandoned it after word arrived that John Popham and Gilbert's older brother Sir John Gilbert had died. [2]

GovernorTook officeLeft office
George Popham 1607February 1608
Raleigh GilbertFebruary 1608September 1608
Source: Grizzard and Smith, p. 189

Plymouth Colony: 1620–1686, 1689–1692

The Plymouth Colony originated as a land grant issued by the London Virginia Company to a group of English separatist Puritans who had fled to Holland to avoid religious persecution. Their migration to the New World in 1620 aboard the Mayflower was funded by the Merchant Adventurers, who sent additional settlers to engage in profit-making activities in the colony. [3] The settlers had intended to establish a colony near the mouth of the Hudson River, within the bounds of the London Virginia Company's territory, but weather conditions on their arrival led them to establish it instead on the shores of Cape Cod Bay at Plymouth, Massachusetts. [4] The colonists acquired a land grant from the Plymouth Council for New England in 1621, [5] but its early governance took place under the terms of the Mayflower Compact, a document which the colonists drafted and signed aboard the Mayflower before they landed. [4] In 1630, the colony acquired a formal charter with authority to govern from the Plymouth Council, but it was unsuccessful in attempts to acquire a royal charter that would guarantee its territory against other claimants. [6]

The colony held annual elections for its offices. [7] Between 1620 and 1680, it was ruled by a governor who appointed a temporary replacement if he left the colony. In 1681, they began also electing a deputy governor who would serve in the governor's absence. [8] The leadership was dominated by William Bradford, who served more than 30 terms as governor. [5] The colony was incorporated into the Dominion of New England in 1686, [9] but the dominion was dissolved in 1689 and all the New England colonies temporarily reverted to their previous governmental structures. Plymouth finally received a royal charter in 1691, but it was not the one which they had sought for 70 years. Instead of protecting the colony's autonomy, the charter incorporated Plymouth into the Province of Massachusetts Bay, which took effect in 1692 with the arrival of royal governor Sir William Phips. [10] [11]

Edward Winslow Edward Winslow.jpg
Edward Winslow
Josiah Winslow Josiah Winslow.jpg
Josiah Winslow
GovernorTook officeLeft officeDeputy governor
John Carver November 11, 1620died April 15, 1621 [12] The colony had no deputy governors until 1681; the governor named a pro tem governor when he was absent.
William Bradford May 1621January 1, 1633
Edward Winslow January 1, 1633March 27, 1634
Thomas Prence March 27, 1634March 3, 1635
William Bradford March 3, 1635March 1, 1636
Edward Winslow March 1, 1636March 7, 1637
William Bradford March 7, 1637June 5, 1638
Thomas Prence June 5, 1638June 3, 1639
William Bradford June 3, 1639June 5, 1644
Edward Winslow June 5, 1644June 4, 1645
William Bradford June 4, 1645died May 9, 1657 [13]
Thomas Prence June 3, 1657June 3, 1673
Josiah Winslow June 3, 1673December 18, 1680
Thomas Hinckley December 18, 16801686James Cudworth (1681–82)
William Bradford the Younger (1682–86)
Dominion of New England 16861689Not applicable
Thomas Hinckley 16891692 William Bradford the Younger (1689–92)
Source unless otherwise cited: Gifford et al., p. 205; Capen, p. 53

Wessagusset Colony: 1622–1623

The Wessagusset Colony (sometimes called the Weston Colony or Weymouth Colony) was a short-lived trading colony located in Weymouth, Massachusetts. It was settled in August 1622 by approximately 55 colonists who were ill-prepared for colonial life and lacking adequate provisions. [14] The colony was dissolved in late March 1623, and the surviving colonists either joined the Plymouth Colony or returned to England. [15]

GovernorTook officeLeft office
Richard Greene April 1622died c. October 1622
John Sandersc. October 1622March 1623
Source: Adams and Nash, pp. 11, 14, 27

Governor-General of New England: 1623–1624

In 1623, Robert Gorges was commissioned as Governor-General of New England by King Charles I to oversee Plymouth, Wessagusset, and future New England colonies. [16] Gorges established a small colony on the site of the recently failed Wessagusset Colony; his effort was abandoned after one year for financial reasons. [17] [18] Some of his settlers remained in the area without formal governance, moving to occupy the Shawmut Peninsula (site of Boston, Massachusetts) among other places. [19]

Governor-GeneralTook officeLeft office
Robert Gorges September 16231624
Source: Adams and Nash, pp. 29–31

Massachusetts Bay Colony: 1629–1686, 1689–1692

The Massachusetts Bay Company was established in 1628 and was funded in part by investors in the failed Dorchester Company. In that year, the company elected Matthew Cradock as its governor and received a grant from the Plymouth Council for New England for land roughly between the Charles and Merrimack Rivers. [20] The company dispatched John Endecott and a small company of settlers to Massachusetts Bay not long after acquiring the grant. [21] In 1629, the company received a royal charter as a means to guarantee its grant against other claims, and elected Endecott as the first colonial governor, while Cradock continued to govern the company in London. [22] In August 1629, the shareholders reorganized the company so that the charter could be removed to the colony, merging corporate and colonial administration. [23] John Winthrop was elected governor in October, but did not formally take charge of the colony until he arrived in 1630. [24] Colonial officials (governor, deputy governor, and the council of assistants) were elected annually from then on by the freemen of the colony. The governorship was dominated by a small group of early settlers who sought to ensure that the vision of a Puritan settlement was maintained; Richard Bellingham, John Leverett, and Simon Bradstreet all served extended terms, in addition to Winthrop and Endecott, and Thomas Dudley served 4 1-year terms. All these men also served in positions of importance when they were not serving as governor. [25]

The colony's governance and religious attitudes came under greater scrutiny following the restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660, which led to the revocation of its charter in 1684. [26] [27] King James II then established the Dominion of New England, an appointed regime which was strongly against the will of the American colonists. [28] It took effect in 1686 and lasted until 1689, when the Glorious Revolution toppled James, and colonists in Massachusetts immediately arrested the Dominion's governor Sir Edmund Andros. [29] The colony reverted to its previous rule on a provisional basis, because it then lacked any sort of legal charter. [30] In 1691, King William III merged the colonies of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay along with the territory of Maine, the islands south of Cape Cod (including Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Elizabeth Islands), and Nova Scotia (which included New Brunswick) to form the Province of Massachusetts Bay. [10] This new governmental structure took effect in 1692, with the arrival of the new royal governor Sir William Phips. [11]

GovernorTook officeLeft officeDeputy governor
Matthew Cradock 1628October 20, 1629Thomas Goffe
JohnEndecottPortrait.jpg
John Endecott
April 30, 1629June 12, 1630 [31] None
JohnWinthropColorPortrait.jpg
John Winthrop
October 20, 1629May 14, 1634 John Humphrey (1629–30)
Thomas Dudley (1630–34)
Thomas Dudley May 14, 1634May 6, 1635 Roger Ludlow
John Haynes May 6, 1635May 25, 1636 Richard Bellingham
Henry Vane the Younger.jpg
Sir Henry Vane the Younger
May 25, 1636May 17, 1637 John Winthrop
JohnWinthropColorPortrait.jpg
John Winthrop
May 17, 1637May 13, 1640 Thomas Dudley
Thomas Dudley May 13, 1640June 2, 1641 Richard Bellingham
Richard Bellingham June 2, 1641May 18, 1642 John Endecott
JohnWinthropColorPortrait.jpg
John Winthrop
May 18, 1642May 29, 1644 John Endecott
JohnEndecottPortrait.jpg
John Endecott
May 29, 1644May 14, 1645 John Winthrop
Thomas Dudley May 14, 1645May 6, 1646 John Winthrop
JohnWinthropColorPortrait.jpg
John Winthrop
May 6, 1646May 2, 1649 Thomas Dudley
JohnEndecottPortrait.jpg
John Endecott
May 2, 1649May 22, 1650 Thomas Dudley
Thomas Dudley May 22, 1650May 7, 1651 John Endecott [32]
JohnEndecottPortrait.jpg
John Endecott
May 7, 1651May 3, 1654 Thomas Dudley
Richard Bellingham May 3, 1654May 23, 1655 John Endecott
JohnEndecottPortrait.jpg
John Endecott
May 23, 1655May 3, 1665 Richard Bellingham
Richard Bellingham May 3, 1665December 12, 1672 Francis Willoughby (1665–71)
John Leverett (1671–72)
JohnLeverettInMilitaryUniform.jpg
John Leverett
December 12, 1672
(acting until May 7, 1673)
May 28, 1679Samuel Symonds (1673–78)
Simon Bradstreet (1678–79)
Sbradstreet.jpg
Simon Bradstreet
May 28, 1679May 25, 1686 [33] Thomas Danforth
Dominion of New England May 25, 1686 [33] April 18, 1689 [34] Not applicable
Sbradstreet.jpg
Simon Bradstreet
April 18, 1689 [34] May 14, 1692 [35] Thomas Danforth
Sources unless otherwise cited: Capen, pp. 53–54; Hart, p. 1:607

Dominion of New England: 1686–1689

The Dominion of New England was established by King James II in order to bring the colonies of New England more firmly under united crown control, and to streamline the costs associated with colonial administration. [36] All of the New England colonies eventually came under its authority, as well as the provinces of New York, East Jersey, and West Jersey. [37] Sir Edmund Andros governed the Dominion for most of its brief existence, but he alienated New Englanders by forcing the Church of England into Puritan Boston and vacating land titles issued under the old charter. [38] After the Glorious Revolution of 1688 deposed James, Massachusetts political operatives arrested Andros and shipped him back to England. [39] [40] All of the affected colonies reverted to their previous forms of rule, although Massachusetts did so without constitutional authority because its charter had been revoked. [41] William III and Mary II eventually issued new charters, but in the process they combined the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Plymouth Colony, and other territories into the Province of Massachusetts Bay. [10]

Plans to establish the dominion had started under King Charles II early in the 1680s. He initially selected Colonel Percy Kirke as the dominion's governor in 1684. Kirke's commission was approved by James, but was then withdrawn after Kirke's controversially harsh actions in putting down Monmouth's Rebellion in 1685. Joseph Dudley, son of Thomas Dudley, was given a commission as "President of the Council of New England" with limited powers as an interim measure before Andros' commission could be finalized. [42]

GovernorTook officeLeft officeLieutenant Governor
Joseph Dudley attributed to Peter Lely.jpg
Joseph Dudley
(as President of the Council of New England)
May 25, 1686 [43] December 20, 1686 [44] William Stoughton
(as Deputy President) [45]
Sir Edmund Andros.jpg
Sir Edmund Andros
December 20, 1686 [44] April 18, 1689 [34] Francis Nicholson
(appointed April 1688) [46]

Province of Massachusetts Bay: 1692–1775

The royal charter for the Province of Massachusetts Bay was issued in 1691. The territory that it encompassed included the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Plymouth Colony, the territories of Maine and Nova Scotia (which then included New Brunswick), and the proprietary plantation holdings of Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and other islands off the southern coast of Cape Cod. [10] The government did not formally begin operating until royally appointed governor Sir William Phips arrived in 1692. [11] The province was governed by civilian governors until 1774, when Thomas Hutchinson was replaced by Lieutenant General Thomas Gage amid rising tensions between the Thirteen Colonies and the British Parliament. [47] Gage was the province's last royal governor. He was effectively powerless beyond Boston, [48] [49] and was recalled after the June 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill. [50] By then, the province was already being run de facto by the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, which continued to govern until 1780. The Massachusetts Constitution was adopted in 1779, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts elected John Hancock as its first governor. [51]

Under the terms of the royal charter, both the governor and lieutenant governor were appointed by the crown. The charter contained a provision that the governor's council would assume the duties of the governor should both governor and lieutenant governor be absent from the colony. [52] This occurred three times:

  1. Acting governor William Stoughton died in 1701, and the council governed until the arrival of Joseph Dudley. [53]
  2. Queen Anne died in 1714 and the commissions that she had issued expired six months later. Her successor King George I issued an order continuing all commissions, but this order did not reach Massachusetts before the six months expired. The council asserted its authority, claiming that the commissions had expired of Joseph Dudley and William Tailer, and the council ruled from February 4 until March 21, 1715 when the king's order arrived. [54]
  3. Acting governor Spencer Phips died in 1757, and the council governed until the arrival of Thomas Pownall. [53]
GovernorTook officeLeft officeLieutenant Governor
Phips portrait.jpg
Sir William Phips
May 16, 1692November 17, 1694 William Stoughton
(May 16, 1692 –
died July 7, 1701)
WilliamStoughton-painting.png
William Stoughton
(acting)
December 4, 1694May 26, 1699
RichardCoote FirstEarlBellomont.jpg
Richard Coote, 1st Earl of Bellomont
May 26, 1699July 17, 1700
WilliamStoughton-painting.png
William Stoughton
(acting)
July 22, 1700died July 7, 1701
Governor's Council
(acting)
July 10, 1701June 11, 1702Vacant
Joseph Dudley attributed to Peter Lely.jpg
Joseph Dudley
June 11, 1702February 4, 1715 Thomas Povey
(June 11, 1702 –
left colony c. January 28, 1706)
Vacant
William Tailer
(October 4, 1711 –
February 4, 1715)
Governor's Council
(acting)
February 4, 1715March 21, 1715Vacant
Joseph Dudley attributed to Peter Lely.jpg
Joseph Dudley
March 21, 1715November 9, 1715 William Tailer
(March 21, 1715 –
October 5, 1716)
William Tailer
(acting)
November 9, 1715October 5, 1716
Samuel Shute October 5, 1716left colony January 1, 1723 William Dummer
(October 5, 1716 –
June 11, 1730)
Governor William Dummer.jpg
William Dummer
(acting)
January 2, 1723July 19, 1728
WilliamBurnetByJohnWatson.jpg
William Burnet
July 19, 1728died September 7, 1729
Governor William Dummer.jpg
William Dummer
(acting)
September 10, 1729June 11, 1730
William Tailer
(acting)
June 11, 1730August 10, 1730 William Tailer
(June 11, 1730 –
died March 1, 1732)
GovernorJonathanBelcher.gif
Jonathan Belcher
August 10, 1730August 14, 1741
Vacant
Spencer Phips
(August 8, 1732 –
died April 4, 1757)
William Shirley.JPG
William Shirley
August 14, 1741September 11, 1749
Spencer Phips
(acting)
September 15, 1749August 7, 1753
William Shirley.JPG
Thomas Pownall
August 7, 1753September 25, 1756
Spencer Phips
(acting)
September 25, 1756died April 4, 1757
Governor's Council
(acting)
April 5, 1757August 3, 1757Vacant
Thomas Pownall.jpg
Thomas Pownall
August 3, 1757June 3, 1760 Thomas Hutchinson
(June 1, 1758 –
March 14, 1771)
ThomasHutchinson.jpeg
Thomas Hutchinson
(acting)
June 3, 1760August 2, 1760
FrancisBernard.png
Sir Francis Bernard, 1st Baronet
August 2, 1760August 1, 1769
ThomasHutchinson.jpeg
Thomas Hutchinson
(acting, August 2, 1769 –
March 14, 1771)
August 2, 1769May 17, 1774
Andrew Oliver
(March 14, 1771 –
died March 3, 1774)
Vacant
GageMiniature.png
The Hon. Thomas Gage
May 17, 1774October 11, 1775 [lower-alpha 1]
Thomas Oliver
(August 8, 1774 –
March 17, 1776) [lower-alpha 2]
Source unless otherwise cited: Massachusetts Royal Commissions, pp. xxxiii–xxxv

See also

Notes

  1. This is the de facto end of Gage's tenure, when he departed Boston for the last time. [55]
  2. This is the de facto end of Oliver's tenure, when he departed Boston for the last time. [56]
  1. Grizzard and Smith, p. 189
  2. Vaughan, p. 64
  3. Hart, p. 1:67
  4. 1 2 Hart, p. 1:69
  5. 1 2 Hart, p. 1:72
  6. Hart, p. 1:78
  7. Hart, p. 1:83
  8. Hart, p. 1:607
  9. Hart, pp. 1:569–572
  10. 1 2 3 4 Barnes, pp. 267–269
  11. 1 2 3 Capen, p. 54
  12. Moore, p. 46
  13. Moore, p. 79
  14. Thomas, G.E. (March 1975). "Puritans, Indians, and the Concept of Race". New England Quarterly. The New England Quarterly, Inc. 48 (1): 12. doi:10.2307/364910. JSTOR   364910.
  15. Adams and Nash, pp. 25–29
  16. Adams and Nash, pp. 29–30
  17. Adams and Nash, pp. 30–31
  18. Levermore, p. 603
  19. Adams and Nash, pp. 31–34
  20. Hart, pp. 1:96–99
  21. Moore, pp. 240, 348
  22. Moore, pp. 348–349
  23. Hart, pp. 1:99–101
  24. Moore, pp. 242,350
  25. Hart, pp. 1:112, 1:607
  26. Barnes, pp. 6–32
  27. Hart, p. 1:566
  28. Barnes, pp. 46–69
  29. Hart, pp. 1:600–601
  30. Hart, p. 1:602
  31. Moore, p. 244
  32. Capen (p. 54) incorrectly lists Dudley as deputy; it was in fact Endecott. Davis, p. 163
  33. 1 2 Moore, p. 393
  34. 1 2 3 Moore, p. 385
  35. Moore, p. 226
  36. Barnes, pp. 29–30
  37. Barnes, pp. 32–39
  38. Barnes, pp. 128–130, 187–201
  39. Barnes, pp. 234–250
  40. Hart, pp. 1:602–603
  41. Barnes, pp. 247–249
  42. Barnes, pp. 45–49
  43. Barnes, p. 54
  44. 1 2 Barnes, p. 69
  45. Barnes, p. 55
  46. Barnes, p. 72
  47. Hart, pp. 2:514–523, 2:591
  48. Hart, p. 2:562
  49. French, p. 130
  50. French, p. 355
  51. Peters, pp. 16–18
  52. Kimball, pp. 77, 193
  53. 1 2 Massachusetts Royal Commissions, p. xxxiv
  54. Kimball, pp. 193–197
  55. Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, p. 17:87
  56. Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, p. 17:96

Related Research Articles

Thirteen Colonies 17th and 18th-century British colonies in North America which became the United States

The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of colonies of Great Britain on the Atlantic coast of North America founded in the 17th and 18th centuries which declared independence in 1776 and formed the United States of America. The Thirteen Colonies had very similar political, constitutional, and legal systems, and were dominated by Protestant English-speakers. The New England colonies, as well as the colonies of Maryland and Pennsylvania, were founded primarily for religious beliefs, while the other colonies were founded for business and economic expansion. All thirteen were part of Britain's possessions in the New World, which also included colonies in Canada, Florida, and the Caribbean.

Massachusetts Bay Colony English possession in North America between 1628 and 1684

The Massachusetts Bay Colony (1628–1691), more formally The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, was an English settlement on the east coast of America around the Massachusetts Bay, the northernmost of the several colonies later reorganized as the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The lands of the settlement were in southern New England, with initial settlements on two natural harbors and surrounding land about 15.4 miles (24.8 km) apart—the areas around Salem and Boston, north of the previously established Plymouth Colony. The territory nominally administered by the Massachusetts Bay Colony covered much of central New England, including portions of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.

Edmund Andros

Sir Edmund Andros was an English colonial administrator in British America. He was the governor of the Dominion of New England during most of its three-year existence. At other times, Andros served as governor of the provinces of New York, East and West Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland.

Province of Massachusetts Bay English/British possession in North America (1691–1780)

The Province of Massachusetts Bay was a colony in British America which became one of the thirteen original states of the United States. It was chartered on October 7, 1691 by William III and Mary II, the joint monarchs of the kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The charter took effect on May 14, 1692 and included the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Plymouth Colony, the Province of Maine, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick; the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the direct successor. Maine has been a separate state since 1820, and Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are now Canadian provinces, having been part of the colony only until 1697.

Richard Bellingham was a colonial magistrate, lawyer, and several-time governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and the last surviving signatory of the colonial charter at his death. A wealthy lawyer in Lincolnshire prior to his departure for the New World in 1634, he was a liberal political opponent of the moderate John Winthrop, arguing for expansive views on suffrage and lawmaking, but also religiously somewhat conservative, opposing the efforts of Quakers and Baptists to settle in the colony. He was one of the architects of the Massachusetts Body of Liberties, a document embodying many sentiments also found in the United States Bill of Rights.

Joseph Dudley

Joseph Dudley was a colonial administrator, a native of Roxbury in Massachusetts Bay Colony, and the son of one of its founders. He had a leading role in the administration of the Dominion of New England (1686–1689) which was overthrown in the 1689 Boston revolt. He served briefly on the council of the Province of New York where he oversaw the trial which convicted Jacob Leisler, the ringleader of Leisler's Rebellion. He then spent eight years in England in the 1690s as Lieutenant-Governor of the Isle of Wight, including one year as a Member of Parliament for Newtown. In 1702, he returned to New England after being appointed governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay and Province of New Hampshire, posts that he held until 1715.

Dominion of New England English regional government in North America, 1686–1689

The Dominion of New England in America (1686–89) was an administrative union of English colonies covering New England and the Mid-Atlantic Colonies. Its political structure represented centralized control similar to the model used by the Spanish monarchy through the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The dominion was unacceptable to most colonists because they deeply resented being stripped of their rights and having their colonial charters revoked. Governor Sir Edmund Andros tried to make legal and structural changes, but most of these were undone and the Dominion was overthrown as soon as word was received that King James II had left the throne in England. One notable change was the introduction of the Church of England into Massachusetts, whose Puritan leaders had previously refused to allow it any sort of foothold.

Simon Bradstreet

Simon Bradstreet was a colonial magistrate, businessman, diplomat, and the last governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Arriving in Massachusetts on the Winthrop Fleet in 1630, Bradstreet was almost constantly involved in the politics of the colony but became its governor only in 1679. He served on diplomatic missions and as agent to the crown in London, and also served as a commissioner to the New England Confederation. He was politically comparatively moderate, arguing minority positions in favor of freedom of speech and for accommodation of the demands of King Charles II following his restoration to the throne.

William Phips 17th-century royal governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay

Sir William Phips was born in Maine in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and was of humble origin, uneducated, and fatherless from a young age but rapidly advanced from shepherd boy, to shipwright, ship's captain and treasure hunter, the first New England native to be knighted, and the first royally appointed governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. Phips was famous in his lifetime for recovering a large treasure from a sunken Spanish galleon, but is perhaps best remembered today for establishing the court associated with the infamous Salem Witch Trials, which he grew unhappy with, and forced to prematurely disband after five months.

Thomas Danforth was a politician, magistrate, and landowner in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. A conservative Puritan, he served for many years as one of the colony's councilors and magistrates, generally leading opposition to attempts by the English kings to assert control over the colony. He accumulated land in the central part of the colony that eventually became a portion of Framingham, Massachusetts. His government roles included administration of territory in present-day Maine that was purchased by the colony.

William Stoughton (judge) Salem witch trial magistrate, Massachusetts colonial official

William Stoughton was a colonial magistrate and administrator in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. He was in charge of what have come to be known as the Salem Witch Trials, first as the Chief Justice of the Special Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692, and then as the Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature in 1693. In these trials he controversially accepted spectral evidence. Unlike some of the other magistrates, he never admitted to the possibility that his acceptance of such evidence was in error.

A charter is a document that gives colonies the legal rights to exist. Charters can bestow certain rights on a town, city, university, or other institution.

Thomas Hinckley was the last governor of the Plymouth Colony. Born in England, he came to North America as a teenager, and was a leading settler of what is now Barnstable, Massachusetts. He served in a variety of political and military offices before becoming governor of the colony in 1680, a post he held until the colony was folded into the Province of Massachusetts Bay in 1692. A monument, created in 1829 at the Lothrop Hill cemetery in Barnstable, attests to his "piety, usefulness and agency in the public transactions of his time."

John Richards was a colonial military officer, businessman, politician, and magistrate, best known for his participation in the Salem witch trials in 1692.

Wessagusset Colony Colony of England in Massachusetts, United States

Wessagusset Colony was a short-lived English trading colony in New England located in Weymouth, Massachusetts. It was settled in August 1622 by between fifty and sixty colonists who were ill-prepared for colonial life. The colony was settled without adequate provisions, and was dissolved in late March 1623 after harming relations with local Indians. Surviving colonists joined Plymouth Colony or returned to England. It was the second settlement in Massachusetts, predating the Massachusetts Bay Colony by six years.

1689 Boston revolt April 1689 revolt in Boston

The 1689 Boston revolt was a popular uprising on April 18, 1689 against the rule of Sir Edmund Andros, the governor of the Dominion of New England. A well-organized "mob" of provincial militia and citizens formed in the town of Boston, the capital of the dominion, and arrested dominion officials. Members of the Church of England were also taken into custody if they were believed to sympathize with the administration of the dominion. Neither faction sustained casualties during the revolt. Leaders of the former Massachusetts Bay Colony then reclaimed control of the government. In other colonies, members of governments displaced by the dominion were returned to power.

Massachusetts Charter

The Massachusetts Charter of 1691 was a charter that formally established the Province of Massachusetts Bay. Issued by the government of William III and Mary II, the corulers of the Kingdom of England, the charter defined the government of the colony, whose lands were drawn from those previously belonging to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Plymouth Colony, and portions of the Province of New York. The territorial claims embodied in the charter also encompassed all of present-day Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

Isaac Addington was a longtime functionary of various colonial governments of Massachusetts, including a brief period as the Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature, the highest court in the Province of Massachusetts Bay.

References