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Massachusetts Bay Company


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English chartered company, organized for trading and settlement as a large colonial counterpart to Virginia, with a Puritan flavor. In 1628 it received a new patent, from Gorge's Council for New England, with a grant of land between the Charles and Merrimac rivers, extending indefinitely westward. The royal charter (1629) confirming the patent was given entirely into the hands of the settlers who arrived (1630) at Salem and later at Boston. Self-government was conducted by a governor and General Court, although suffrage was extended only to church members. The Crown's objections to the colony's coining of money, suffrage restrictions, extension of authority over Maine and New Hampshire, refusal to comply with the Navigation Acts, and general independence led to the rescinding of the charter (1684), when the colony joined with that at Plymouth. The original settlers of the Bay Colony were Puritans, as distinguished from the Plymouth Separatists. The leading governors were John Endecott and John Winthrop, and the latter kept an important journal on the voyage and the founding. The Company's records have also been published.

Subjects: Literature.


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