25 Facts About Massachusetts Bay Colony


Massachusetts Bay Colony, more formally the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, was an English settlement on the east coast of North America around the Massachusetts Bay, the northernmost of the several colonies later reorganized as the Province of Massachusetts Bay.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,597

The territory nominally administered by the Massachusetts Bay Colony covered much of central New England, including portions of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,598

Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded by the owners of the Massachusetts Bay Company, including investors in the failed Dorchester Company, which had established a short-lived settlement on Cape Ann in 1623.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,599

Massachusetts Bay Colony was economically successful, trading with England, Mexico and the West Indies.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,600

The Dominion collapsed after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 deposed James, and the Massachusetts Bay Colony reverted to rule under its revoked charter until 1691, when a new charter was issued for the Province of Massachusetts Bay.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,601

The 1629 charter of Charles I asserted that the second Massachusetts Bay Colony ranged from 40th to 48th degrees north latitude, which reduced the overlap.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,602

Massachusetts Bay Colony elected Matthew Cradock as its first governor and immediately began organizing provisions and recruiting settlers.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,603

Massachusetts Bay Colony became the first English chartered colony whose board of governors did not reside in England.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,604

Massachusetts Bay Colony authorities were sympathetic to the Parliamentary cause and had generally positive relationships with the governments of the English Commonwealth and the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,605

The Massachusetts Bay Colony frontier was particularly hard hit: several communities in the Connecticut and Swift River valleys were abandoned.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,606

England had difficulty enforcing its laws and regulations in the Massachusetts Bay colony, as it was a joint-stock colony which was unlike the royal colonies and proprietary colonies that the English crown administered.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,607

Massachusetts Bay was largely self-governing with its own house of deputies, governor, and other self-appointed officers.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,608

Massachusetts Bay extended the right to vote only to Puritans, but the population of the colony was increasing and the non-Puritan population was growing along with it; thus, tensions and conflicts were growing concerning the future direction of the colony.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,609

Charges of insubordination against the colony included denying the crown's authority to legislate in New England, asserting that Massachusetts Bay was governing in the Province of New Hampshire and Maine, and denying freedom of conscience.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,610

Randolph reported to London that the General Court of Massachusetts Bay claimed that the King had no right to interfere with their commercial dealings.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,611

Massachusetts Bay refused, and the Lords of Trade became wary of the colony's charter; they petitioned the crown to either revoke it or amend it.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,612

Two delegates from Massachusetts Bay were sent to London to meet with the Lords of Trade when the crown threatened the colony with a quo warranto.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,613

Massachusetts Bay Colony's was hanged in 1638 for murdering her daughter, as the common law of Massachusetts made no distinction at the time between insanity and criminal behavior.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,614

In 1643, Massachusetts Bay joined Plymouth Colony, Connecticut Colony, and New Haven Colony in the New England Confederation, a loose coalition organized primarily to coordinate military and administrative matters among the Puritan colonies.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,615

Massachusetts Bay Colony's economy depended on the success of its trade, in part because its land was not as suitable for agriculture as that of other colonies such as Virginia, where large plantations could be established.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,616

The population of Massachusetts Bay Colony remained largely English in character until the 1840s.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,617

Southeastern boundary with the Plymouth Massachusetts Bay Colony was first surveyed in 1639 and accepted by both colonies in 1640.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,618

Massachusetts Bay Colony performed a survey in 1642 to determine its southern boundary west to the Connecticut River.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,619

Massachusetts Bay Colony administered Block Island and the area around present-day Stonington, Connecticut, as part of these spoils of war, and was one of several claimants to land in what was known as Narragansett Country .

FactSnippet No. 1,083,620

Massachusetts Bay Colony lost these territories in the 1660s, when Connecticut and Rhode Island received their royal charters.

FactSnippet No. 1,083,621