Massachusetts Bay Colony


Massachusetts Bay Colony (1628-1691 CE) was the largest English settlement in New England and the most influential both in the colonization of the region and later developments in what would become the United States of America. It was founded and developed by Puritans, religious reformers who sought to 'purify' the policies and practices of the Anglican Church of Catholic influences, which put them in conflict with the Church and the Crown. When persecutions of Puritans became more intense in 1629 CE, many chose to leave and settle in North America where the successful Plymouth Colony had established itself in 1620 CE.

More about: Massachusetts Bay Colony


  • 1628 - 1691
    Duration of the Massachusetts Bay Colony; after 1691 known as the Province of Massachusetts Bay.
  • 1628 - 1630
    Establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony led by Puritans seeking to evangelize the native population of North America.
  • 1630
    John Winthrop migrates to North America with 700 Puritan colonists to become governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • 1630 - 1649
    John Winthrop serves as governor or assistant governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • 1630 - 1636
    Dissent in Massachusetts Bay Colony silenced by banishing those who challenge authority.
  • 1630 - 1633
    Thomas Morton sues Plymouth Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony to have their charters revoked; legal briefs of the lawsuit become the drafts of his book New English Canaan.
  • 1634 - 1636
    Roger Williams in conflict with magistrates of Massachusetts Bay Colony; banished in 1636 CE.
  • 1636 - 1638
    The Pequot War; John Winthrop presides over policy concerning the massacre and enslavement of the Pequot tribe.
  • 1638
    Anne Hutchinson banished from Massachusetts Bay Colony; founds Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
  • 1675 - 1678
    King Philip's War in which thousands are killed as the Native Americans try to defend their land and way of life from increasing European colonization of the Americas.
  • 1691
    Plymouth Colony is absorbed into the Massachusetts Bay Colony under the latter's new charter.