Massachusetts Bay Colony


Massachusetts Bay Colony
Early English colony in Massachusetts.

It was settled in 1630 by a group of 1,000 Puritan refugees from England (see Puritanism). In 1629 the Massachusetts Bay Co. had obtained an English charter allowing it to trade and colonize in New England. Puritan stockholders envisioned the colony as a refuge from religious persecution in England, and they transferred control of the company to the emigrants in Massachusetts. Led by John Winthrop, the colonists founded their colony on the Charles River at what would become Boston. In 1684 England annulled the company's charter and in 1691 established royal government under a new charter, which merged Plymouth colony and Maine into the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

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▪ American history
      one of the original English settlements in present-day Massachusetts, settled in 1630 by a group of about 1,000 Puritan refugees from England under Governor John Winthrop. In 1629 the Massachusetts Bay Company had obtained from King Charles I a charter empowering the company to trade and colonize in New England between the Charles and Merrimack rivers. Omitted from the charter was the usual clause requiring the company to hold its business meetings in England, a circumstance that the Puritan stockholders used to transfer control of the colony to America. The Puritans established a theocratic government with the franchise limited to church members. Growing estrangement between the colony and England resulted in the annulment of the company's charter in 1684 and the substitution of royal government under a new charter granted in 1691. The charter of 1691 merged the Plymouth colony and Maine into the Massachusetts Bay Colony. See also Plymouth.

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