The state capital of Massachusetts, USA, on Boston Bay. Founded c.1630 as the principal settlement of the Massachusetts Bay Company, Boston was an early centre of New England Puritanism. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, bequeathed to the city as a public meeting-hall and market place in 1742, is known as the ‘Cradle of Liberty’. Bostonians took the lead in resisting British attempts at taxation with the Stamp Act Riots (1765). In 1770 troops threatened by a mob opened fire, killing five people in the Boston massacre. When tea ships from England in 1773 threatened other tea importers and clandestine revenue-raising under the Townshend Acts, the Sons of Liberty threw the cargo overboard in what was known as the Boston Tea Party. The city, having been evacuated by the British, was entered by George Washington in 1776, and was a Federalist stronghold in the early republic.