Dominion of New England

The Dominion of New England in America (1686–89) was an administrative union of English colonies covering New England and the Mid-Atlantic Colonies (except for the Colony of Pennsylvania). Its political structure represented centralized control similar to the model used by the Spanish monarchy through the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The dominion was unacceptable to most colonists because they deeply resented being stripped of their rights and having their colonial charters revoked. Governor Sir Edmund Andros tried to make legal and structural changes, but most of these were undone and the Dominion was overthrown as soon as word was received that King James II had left the throne in England. One notable change was the introduction of the Church of England into Massachusetts, whose Puritan leaders had previously refused to allow it any sort of foothold.

The Dominion encompassed a very large area from the Delaware River in the south to Penobscot Bay in the north, composed of the Province of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut Colony, Province of New York, and Province of New Jersey, plus a small portion of Maine. It was too large for a single governor to manage. Governor Andros was highly unpopular and was seen as a threat by most political factions. News of the Glorious Revolution in England reached Boston in 1689, and the Puritans launched the 1689 Boston revolt against Andros, arresting him and his officers.

Leisler's Rebellion in New York deposed the dominion's lieutenant governor Francis Nicholson. After these events, the colonies that had been assembled into the dominion reverted to their previous forms of government, although some governed formally without a charter. New charters were eventually issued by the new joint rulers William III of England and Queen Mary II.

Dominion of New England in America
Colony of the Kingdom of England
Flag Coat of arms
Flag Seal
"Nunquam libertas gratior extat"
"Never does liberty appear in a more gracious form"
Location of Dominion of New England
Map of the Dominion, as of 1688
Capital Boston, Massachusetts
42°21′N 71°3′W / 42.350°N 71.050°WCoordinates: 42°21′N 71°3′W / 42.350°N 71.050°W
Government Constitutional monarchy
 •  1686 Joseph Dudley
 •  1686–1689 Edmund Andros
Lieutenant Governor
 •  1688–1689 Francis Nicholson
Legislature Council of New England
Historical era Colonial history of the United States
 •  Established 1686
 •  Boston revolt April 18, 1689
 •  New York revolt May 31, 1689
 •  Disestablished 1689
Today part of  United States


A number of English colonies were established in North America and in the West Indies during the first half of the 17th century, with varying attributes. Some originated as commercial ventures, such as the Virginia Colony, while others were founded for religious reasons, such as Plymouth Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony. The governments of the colonies also varied. Virginia became a crown colony, despite its corporate beginning, while Massachusetts and other New England colonies had corporate charters and a great deal of administrative freedom. Other areas were proprietary colonies, such as Maryland and Carolina, owned and operated by one or a few individuals.

Following the English Restoration in 1660, King Charles II sought to streamline the administration of these colonial territories. Charles and his government began a process that brought a number of the colonies under direct crown control. One reason for these actions was the cost of administration of individual colonies, but another significant reason was the regulation of trade. Throughout the 1660s, the English Parliament passed a number of laws to regulate the trade of the colonies, collectively called the Navigation Acts. The American colonists resisted these laws, particularly in the New England colonies which had established significant trading networks with other English colonies and with other European countries and their colonies, especially Spain and the Dutch Republic. The Navigation Acts also outlawed some existing New England practices, in effect turning merchants into smugglers while significantly increasing the cost of doing business.

Some of the New England colonies presented specific problems for the king, and combining those colonies into a single administrative entity was seen as a way to resolve those problems. Plymouth Colony had never been formally chartered, and the New Haven Colony had sheltered two of the regicides of Charles I, the king's father. The territory of Maine was disputed by competing grantees and by Massachusetts, and New Hampshire was a very small, recently established crown colony.

Massachusetts had a long history of virtually theocratic rule, in addition to their widespread resistance to the Navigation Acts, and they exhibited little tolerance for non-Puritans, including supporters of the Church of England (which was most important for the king). Charles II repeatedly sought to change the Massachusetts government, but they resisted all substantive attempts at reform. In 1683, legal proceedings began to vacate the Massachusetts charter; it was formally annulled in June 1684.[1]

The primary motivation in London was not to attain efficiency in administration, but to guarantee that the purpose of the colonies was to make England richer. England's desire for colonies that produced agricultural staples worked well for the southern colonies, which produced tobacco, rice, and indigo, but not so well for New England due to the geology of the region. Lacking a suitable staple, the New Englanders engaged in trade and became successful competitors to English merchants. They were now starting to develop workshops that threatened to deprive England of its lucrative colonial market for manufactured articles, such as textiles, leather goods, and ironware. The plan, therefore, was to establish a uniform all-powerful government over the northern colonies so that the people would be diverted away from manufacturing and foreign trade.[2]


Following the revocation of the Massachusetts charter, Charles II and the Lords of Trade moved forward with plans to establish a unified administration over at least some of the New England colonies. The specific objectives of the dominion included the regulation of trade, reformation of land title practices to conform more to English methods and practices, coordination on matters of defense, and a streamlining of the administration into fewer centers. The Dominion initially comprised the territories of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Plymouth Colony, the Province of New Hampshire, the Province of Maine, and the Narraganset Country (present-day Washington County, Rhode Island).

Charles II had chosen Colonel Percy Kirke to govern the dominion, but Charles died before the commission was approved. King James II approved Kirke's commission in 1685, but Kirke came under harsh criticism for his role in putting down Monmouth's Rebellion, and his commission was withdrawn.[3] A provisional commission was issued on October 8, 1685 to Massachusetts Bay native Joseph Dudley as President of the Council of New England, due to delays in developing the commission for Kirke's intended successor Sir Edmund Andros.[4]

Dudley's limited commission specified that he would rule with an appointed council and no representative legislature.[5] The councillors named as members of this body included a cross-section of politically moderate men from the old colonial governments. Edward Randolph had served as the crown agent investigating affairs in New England, and he was appointed to the council, as well.[6] Randolph was also commissioned with a long list of other posts, including secretary of the dominion, collector of customs, and deputy postmaster.[7]

Dudley administration

Dudley's charter arrived in Boston in May 14, 1686, and he formally took charge of Massachusetts on May 25.[8] His rule did not begin auspiciously, since a number of Massachusetts magistrates refused to serve who had been named to his council.[9] According to Edward Randolph, the Puritan magistrates "were of opinion that God would never suffer me to land again in this country, and thereupon began in a most arbitrary manner to assert their power higher than at any time before."[10] Elections of colonial military officers were also compromised when many of them refused to serve.[11] Dudley made a number of judicial appointments, generally favoring the political moderates who had supported accommodation of the king's wishes in the battle over the old charter.[12]

Dudley was significantly hampered by the inability to raise revenues in the dominion. His commission did not allow the introduction of new revenue laws, and the Massachusetts government had repealed all such laws in 1683, anticipating the loss of the charter.[13] Furthermore, many refused to pay the few remaining taxes on the grounds that they had been enacted by the old government and were thus invalid.[14] Attempts by Dudley and Randolph were largely unsuccessful at introducing the Church of England due to a lack of funding, but were also hampered by the perceived political danger of imposing on the existing churches for their use.[15]

Dudley and Randolph enforced the Navigation Acts, although they did not adhere entirely to the laws. Some variations were overlooked, understanding that certain provisions of the acts were unfair (some resulted in the payments of multiple duties), and they suggested to the Lords of Trade that the laws be modified to ameliorate these conditions. However, the Massachusetts economy suffered, also negatively affected by external circumstances.[16] A dispute eventually occurred between Dudley and Randolph over matters related to trade.[17]

During Dudley's administration, the Lords of Trade decided on September 9, 1686 to include into the dominion the colonies of Rhode Island and Connecticut, based on a petition from Dudley's council. Andros's commission had been issued in June, and he was given an annex to his commission to incorporate them into the dominion.

Andros administration

Andros had previously been governor of New York; he arrived in Boston on December 20, 1686 and immediately assumed power.[18] He took a hard-line position, claiming that the colonists had left behind all their rights as Englishmen when they left England. The Reverend John Wise rallied his parishioners in 1687 to protest and resist taxes; Andros had him arrested, convicted, and fined. An Andros official explained, "Mr. Wise, you have no more privileges Left you then not to be Sold for Slaves."[19]

His commission called for governance by himself, again with a council. The initial composition of the council included representatives from each of the colonies which the dominion absorbed, but the council's quorums were dominated by representatives from Massachusetts and Plymouth because of the inconvenience of travel and the fact that travel costs were not reimbursed.

Church of England

Shortly after his arrival, Andros asked each of the Puritan churches in Boston if its meetinghouse could be used for services of the Church of England,[18] but he was consistently rebuffed. He then demanded keys to Samuel Willard's Third Church in 1687,[20] and services were held there under the auspices of Robert Ratcliff until 1688, when King's Chapel was built.[21]

Revenue laws

After Andros' arrival, the council began a long process of harmonizing laws throughout the dominion to conform more closely to English laws. This work was so time-consuming that Andros issued a proclamation in March 1687 stating that pre-existing laws would remain in effect until they were revised. Massachusetts had no pre-existing tax laws, so a scheme of taxation was developed that would apply to the entire dominion, developed by a committee of landowners. The first proposal derived its revenues from import duties, principally alcohol. After much debate, a different proposal was abruptly put forward and adopted, in essence reviving previous Massachusetts tax laws. These laws had been unpopular with farmers who felt that the taxes were too high on livestock.[22] In order to bring in immediate revenue, Andros also received approval to increase the import duties on alcohol.[23]

The first attempts to enforce the revenue laws were met by stiff resistance from a number of Massachusetts communities. Several towns refused to choose commissioners to assess the town population and estates, and officials from a number of them were consequently arrested and brought to Boston. Some were fined and released, while others were imprisoned until they promised to perform their duties. The leaders of Ipswich had been most vocal in their opposition to the law; they were tried and convicted of misdemeanor offenses.[24]

The other provinces did not resist the imposition of the new law, even though the rates were higher than they had been under the previous colonial administration, at least in Rhode Island. Plymouth's relatively poor landowners were hard hit because of the high rates on livestock.

Town meeting laws

One consequence of the tax protest was that Andros sought to restrict town meetings, since these were where that protest had begun. He, therefore, introduced a law that limited meetings to a single annual meeting, solely for the purpose of electing officials, and explicitly banning meetings at other times for any reason. This loss of local power was widely hated. Many protests were made that the town meeting and tax laws were violations of the Magna Carta, which guaranteed taxation by representatives of the people.[25]

Land titles and taxes

Andros dealt a major blow to the colonists by challenging their title to the land; unlike England, the great majority of Americans were land-owners. Taylor says that, because they "regarded secure real estate as fundamental to their liberty, status, and prosperity, the colonists felt horrified by the sweeping and expensive challenge to their land titles."[26] Andros had been instructed to bring colonial land title practices more in line with those in England, and to introduce quit-rents as a means of raising colonial revenues.[27] Titles issued in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine under the colonial administration often suffered from defects of form (for example, lacking an imprint of the colonial seal), and most of them did not include a quit-rent payment. Land grants in colonial Connecticut and Rhode Island had been made before either colony had a charter, and there were conflicting claims in a number of areas.[28]

The manner was doubly divisive in which Andros approached the issue, since it threatened any landowner whose title was in any way dubious. Some landowners went through the confirmation process, but many refused, since they did not want to face the possibility of losing their land, and they viewed the process as a thinly veiled land grab. The Puritans of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay were among the latter, some of whom had extensive landholdings.[29] All of the existing land titles in Massachusetts had been granted under the now-vacated colonial charter; in essence, Andros declared them to be void, and required landowners to recertify their ownership, paying fees to the dominion and becoming subject to the charge of a quit-rent.

Andros attempted to compel the certification of ownership by issuing writs of intrusion, but large landowners who owned many parcels contested these individually, rather than recertifying all of their lands. The number was small of new titles issued during the Andros regime; 200 applications were made, but only about 20 of those were approved.[30]

Connecticut charter

Andros' commission included Connecticut, and he asked Connecticut Governor Robert Treat to surrender the colonial charter not long after his arrival in Boston. Connecticut officials formally acknowledged Andros' authority, unlike Rhode Island, whose officials acceded to the dominion but in fact did little to assist him. Connecticut continued to run their government according to the charter, holding quarterly meetings of the legislature and electing colony-wide officials, while Treat and Andros negotiated over the surrender of the charter. In October 1687, Andros finally decided to travel to Connecticut to personally see to the matter. He arrived in Hartford on October 31, accompanied by an honor guard, and met that evening with the colonial leadership. According to legend, the charter was laid out on the table for all to see during this meeting. The lights in the room unexpectedly went out and, when they were relit, the charter had disappeared. It was said to have been hidden in a nearby oak tree (referred to afterward as the Charter Oak) so that a search of nearby buildings could not locate the document.[31]

Whatever the truth of the legend, Connecticut records show that its government formally surrendered its seals and ceased operation that day. Andros then traveled throughout the colony, making judicial and other appointments, before returning to Boston.[32] On December 29, 1687, the dominion council formally extended its laws over Connecticut, completing the assimilation of the New England colonies.[33]

Inclusion of New York and the Jerseys

On May 7, 1688, the provinces of New York, East Jersey, and West Jersey were added to the Dominion. They were remote from Boston where Andros had his seat, so New York and the Jerseys were run by Lieutenant Governor Francis Nicholson from New York City. Nicholson was an army captain and protégé of colonial secretary William Blathwayt who came to Boston in early 1687 as part of Andros' honor guard and had been promoted to his council.[34] During the summer of 1688, Andros traveled first to New York and then to the Jerseys to establish his commission. Dominion governance of the Jerseys was complicated by the fact that the proprietors' charters had been revoked, yet they had retained their property and petitioned Andros for what were traditional manorial rights.[35] The dominion period in the Jerseys was relatively uneventful because of their distance from the power centers and the unexpected end of the Dominion in 1689.[36]

Indian diplomacy

In 1687, governor of New France Jacques-René de Brisay de Denonville, Marquis de Denonville launched an attack against Seneca villages in what is now western New York. His objective was to disrupt trade between the English at Albany and the Iroquois confederation, to which the Seneca belonged, and to break the Covenant Chain, a peace that Andros had negotiated in 1677 while he was governor of New York.[37] New York Governor Thomas Dongan appealed for help, and King James ordered Andros to render assistance. James also entered into negotiations with Louis XIV of France, which resulted in an easing of tensions on the northwestern frontier.[38]

On New England's northeastern frontier, however, the Abenaki harbored grievances against English settlers, and they began an offensive in early 1688. Andros made an expedition into Maine early in the year, in which he raided a number of Indian settlements. He also raided the trading outpost and home of Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin on Penobscot Bay. His careful preservation of the Catholic Castin's chapel was a source of later accusations of "popery" against Andros.[39]

Andros took over the administration of New York in August 1688, and he met with the Iroquois at Albany to renew the covenant. In this meeting, he annoyed the Iroquois by referring to them as "children" (that is, subservient to the English) rather than "brethren" (that is, equals).[40] He returned to Boston amid further attacks on the New England frontier by Abenaki parties, who admitted that they were doing so in part because of French encouragement. The situation in Maine had also deteriorated again, with English colonists raiding Indian villages and shipping the captives to Boston. Andros castigated the Mainers for this unwarranted act and ordered the Indians released and returned to Maine, earning the hatred of the Maine settlers. He then returned to Maine with a significant force, and began the construction of additional fortifications to protect the settlers.[41] Andros spent the winter in Maine, and returned to Boston in March upon hearing rumors of revolution in England and discontent in Boston.

Glorious Revolution and dissolution

The religious leaders of Massachusetts, led by Cotton and Increase Mather, were opposed to the rule of Andros, and organized dissent targeted to influence the court in London. After King James published the Declaration of Indulgence in May 1687, Increase Mather sent a letter to the king thanking him for the declaration, and then he suggested to his peers that they also express gratitude to the king as a means to gain favor and influence.[42] Ten pastors agreed to do so, and they decided to send Mather to England to press their case against Andros.[43] Edward Randolph attempted to stop him; Mather was arrested, tried, and exonerated on one charge, but Randolph made a second arrest warrant with new charges. Mather was clandestinely spirited aboard a ship bound for England in April 1688.[44] He and other Massachusetts agents were well received by James, who promised in October 1688 that the colony's concerns would be addressed.[45] However, the events of the Glorious Revolution took over, and by December James had been deposed by William III and Mary II.[46]

Engraving depicting Andros under arrest

The Massachusetts agents then petitioned the new monarchs and the Lords of Trade for restoration of the old Massachusetts charter. Mather furthermore convinced the Lords of Trade to delay notifying Andros of the revolution.[47] He had already dispatched a letter to previous colonial governor Simon Bradstreet containing news that a report (prepared before the revolution) stated that the charter had been illegally annulled, and that the magistrates should "prepare the minds of the people for a change."[48] News of the revolution apparently reached some individuals as early as late March,[49] and Bradstreet is one of several possible organizers of the mob that formed in Boston in April 18, 1689. He and other pre-Dominion magistrates and some members of Andros' council addressed an open letter to Andros on that day calling for his surrender in order to quiet the mob.[50] Andros, Randolph, Dudley, and other dominion supporters were arrested and imprisoned in Boston.[51]

In effect, the dominion then collapsed, as local authorities in each colony seized dominion representatives and reasserted their earlier power. In Plymouth, dominion councilor Nathaniel Clark was arrested on April 22, and previous governor Thomas Hinckley was reinstated. Rhode Island authorities organized a resumption of its charter with elections on May 1, but previous governor Walter Clarke refused to serve, and the colony continued without one. In Connecticut, the earlier government was also rapidly readopted.[52] New Hampshire was temporarily left without formal government, and came under de facto rule by Massachusetts Governor Simon Bradstreet.[53]

News of the Boston revolt reached New York by April 26, but Lieutenant Governor Nicholson did not take any immediate action.[54] Andros managed during his captivity to have a message sent to Nicholson. Nicholson received the request for assistance in mid-May, but he was unable to take any effective action due to rising tensions in New York, combined with the fact that most of Nicholson's troops had been sent to Maine.[55] At the end of May, Nicholson was overthrown by local colonists supported by the militia in Leisler's Rebellion, and he fled to England.[56] Leisler governed New York until 1691, when King William commissioned Colonel Henry Sloughter as its governor.[57] Sloughter had Leisler tried on charges of high treason; he was convicted[58] in a trial presided over by Joseph Dudley and then executed.[59]

Massachusetts and Plymouth

The dissolution of the dominion presented legal problems for both Massachusetts and Plymouth. Plymouth never had a royal charter, and the charter of Massachusetts had been revoked. As a result, the restored governments lacked legal foundations for their existence, an issue that the political opponents of the leadership made it a point to raise. This was particularly problematic in Massachusetts, whose long frontier with New France saw its defenders recalled in the aftermath of the revolt, and was exposed to French and Indian raids after the outbreak of King William's War in 1689. The cost of colonial defense resulted in a heavy tax burden, and the war also made it difficult to rebuild the colony's trade.[60]

Agents for both colonies worked in England to rectify the charter issues, with Increase Mather petitioning the Lords of Trade for a restoration of the old Massachusetts charter. King William was informed that this would result in a return of the Puritan government, and he wanted to prevent that from happening, so the Lords of Trade decided to solve the issue by combining the two colonies. The resulting Province of Massachusetts Bay combined the territories of Massachusetts and Plymouth along with Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Elizabeth Islands that had been part of Dukes County in the Province of New York.


This is a list of the chief administrators of the Dominion of New England in America from 1684 to 1689:

Name Title Date of commission Date office assumed Date term ended
Percy Kirke Governor in Chief (designate) of the Dominion of New England 1684 Appointment withdrawn in 1685 Not applicable
Joseph Dudley President of the Council of New England October 8, 1685 May 25, 1686 December 20, 1686
Sir Edmund Andros Governor in Chief of the Dominion of New England June 3, 1686 December 20, 1686 April 18, 1689

See also

Further reading

  • Adams, James Truslow (1921). The Founding of New England. Boston, MA: Atlantic Monthly Press.
  • Barnes, Viola Florence (1923). The Dominion of New England: A Study in British Colonial Policy. ISBN 978-0-8044-1065-6. OCLC 395292.
  • Dunn, Richard S. "The Glorious Revolution and America" in The Origins of Empire: British Overseas Enterprise to the Close of the Seventeenth Century ( The Oxford History of the British Empire, (1998) vol 1 pp 445–66.
  • Dunn, Randy (2007). "Patronage and Governance in Francis Nicholson's Empire". English Atlantics Revisited. Montreal: McGill-Queens Press. ISBN 978-0-7735-3219-9. OCLC 429487739.
  • Hall, Michael Garibaldi (1960). Edward Randolph and the American Colonies. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.
  • Hall, Michael Garibaldi (1988). The Last American Puritan: The Life of Increase Mather, 1639–1723. Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 978-0-8195-5128-3. OCLC 16578800.
  • Kimball, Everett (1911). The Public Life of Joseph Dudley. New York: Longmans, Green. OCLC 1876620.
  • Lovejoy, David (1987). The Glorious Revolution in America. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 978-0-8195-6177-0. OCLC 14212813.
  • Lustig, Mary Lou (2002). The Imperial Executive in America: Sir Edmund Andros, 1637–1714. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. ISBN 978-0-8386-3936-8. OCLC 470360764.
  • Miller, Guy Howard (May 1968). "Rebellion in Zion: The Overthrow of the Dominion of New England". Historian. 30 (3): 439–459. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6563.1968.tb00328.x.
  • Moore, Jacob Bailey (1851). Lives of the Governors of New Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay. Boston, MA: C. D. Strong. OCLC 11362972.
  • Palfrey, John (1864). History of New England: History of New England During the Stuart Dynasty. Boston: Little, Brown. OCLC 1658888.
  • Stanwood, Owen (2007). "The Protestant Moment: Antipopery, the Revolution of 1688–1689, and the Making of an Anglo-American Empire". Journal of British Studies. 46 (3): 481–508. doi:10.1086/515441. JSTOR 10.1086/515441.
  • Steele, Ian K (March 1989). "Origins of Boston's Revolutionary Declaration of 18 April 1689". New England Quarterly (Volume 62, No. 1): 75–81. JSTOR 366211.
  • Taylor, Alan, American Colonies: the Settling of North America, Penguin Books, 2001.
  • Tuttle, Charles Wesley (1880). New Hampshire Without Provincial Government, 1689–1690: an Historical Sketch. Cambridge, MA: J. Wilson and Son. OCLC 12783351.
  • Webb, Stephen Saunders. Lord Churchill's coup: the Anglo-American empire and the Glorious Revolution reconsidered (Syracuse University Press, 1998)


  1. ^ Hall, Michael G. (1979). "Origins in Massachusetts of the Constitutional Doctrine of Advice and Consent". Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Third Series. Massachusetts Historical Society. 91: 5. JSTOR 25080845. Randolph's efforts at reporting unfavorably on the autonomous and "democratically government of Massachusetts brought about in 1684 total annulment of the first charter and in position of a new, arbitrary, prerogative government.
  2. ^ Curtis P. Nettels, The Roots of American Civilization: A History of American Colonial Life (1938) p. 297.
  3. ^ Barnes, p. 45
  4. ^ Barnes, pp. 47–48
  5. ^ Barnes, p. 48
  6. ^ Barnes, p. 49
  7. ^ Barnes, p. 50
  8. ^ Barnes, pp. 50,54
  9. ^ Barnes, p. 51
  10. ^ Barnes, p. 53
  11. ^ Barnes, p. 55
  12. ^ Barnes, p. 56
  13. ^ Barnes, p. 58
  14. ^ Barnes, p. 59
  15. ^ Barnes, p. 61
  16. ^ Barnes, pp. 62–63
  17. ^ Barnes, p. 68
  18. ^ a b Lustig, p. 141
  19. ^ Alan Taylor, American Colonies: The Settling of North America (2001) p277
  20. ^ Lustig, p. 164
  21. ^ Lustig, p. 165
  22. ^ Barnes, p. 84
  23. ^ Barnes, p. 85
  24. ^ Lovejoy, p. 184
  25. ^ Barnes, p. 97
  26. ^ Taylor, p 277
  27. ^ Barnes, p. 176
  28. ^ Barnes, p. 182, 187
  29. ^ Barnes, pp. 189–193
  30. ^ Barnes, pp. 199–201
  31. ^ Federal Writers Project (1940). Connecticut: A Guide to Its Roads, Lore and People. p. 170.
  32. ^ Palfrey, pp. 545–546
  33. ^ Palfrey, p. 548
  34. ^ Dunn, p. 64
  35. ^ Lovejoy, p. 211
  36. ^ Lovejoy, pp. 212–213
  37. ^ Lustig, p. 171
  38. ^ Lustig, p. 173
  39. ^ Lustig, p. 174
  40. ^ Lustig, p. 176
  41. ^ Lustig, pp. 177–179
  42. ^ Hall (1988), pp. 207–210
  43. ^ Hall (1988), p. 210
  44. ^ Hall (1988), pp. 210–211
  45. ^ Hall (1988), p. 217
  46. ^ Barnes, p. 234
  47. ^ Barnes, pp. 234–235
  48. ^ Barnes, p. 238
  49. ^ Steele, p. 77
  50. ^ Steele, p. 78
  51. ^ Lovejoy, p. 241
  52. ^ Palfrey, p. 596
  53. ^ Tuttle, pp. 1–12
  54. ^ Lovejoy, p. 252
  55. ^ Lustig, p. 199
  56. ^ Lovejoy, pp. 255–256
  57. ^ Lovejoy, pp. 326–338
  58. ^ Lovejoy, pp. 355–357
  59. ^ Kimball, pp. 61–63
  60. ^ Barnes, p. 257
1689 Boston revolt

The 1689 Boston revolt was a popular uprising on April 18, 1689 against the rule of Sir Edmund Andros, the governor of the Dominion of New England. A well-organized "mob" of provincial militia and citizens formed in the town of Boston, the capital of the dominion, and arrested dominion officials. Members of the Church of England were also taken into custody if they were believed to sympathize with the administration of the dominion. Neither faction sustained casualties during the revolt. Leaders of the former Massachusetts Bay Colony then reclaimed control of the government. In other colonies, members of governments displaced by the dominion were returned to power.

Andros was commissioned governor of New England in 1686. He had earned the enmity of the local populace by enforcing the restrictive Navigation Acts, denying the validity of existing land titles, restricting town meetings, and appointing unpopular regular officers to lead colonial militia, among other actions. Furthermore, he had infuriated Puritans in Boston by promoting the Church of England, which was rejected by many nonconformist New England colonists.

Charter Oak

The Charter Oak was an unusually large white oak tree growing on Wyllys Hyll in Hartford, Connecticut in the United States, from around the 12th or 13th century until it fell during a storm in 1856. According to tradition, Connecticut's Royal Charter of 1662 was hidden within the hollow of the tree to thwart its confiscation by the English governor-general. The oak became a symbol of American independence and is commemorated on the Connecticut State Quarter. In 1935, for Connecticut's tercentennial, it was also depicted on both a commemorative half dollar and a postage stamp.

Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was one of the original Thirteen Colonies established on the east coast of North America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It was an English colony from 1636 until the American Revolution in 1776, when it became the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (commonly known simply as Rhode Island).

Connecticut Colony

The Connecticut Colony or Colony of Connecticut, originally known as the Connecticut River Colony or simply the River Colony, was an English colony in North America that became the state of Connecticut. It was organized on March 3, 1636 as a settlement for a Puritan congregation, and the English permanently gained control of the region in 1637 after struggles with the Dutch. The colony was later the scene of a bloody war between the colonists and Pequot Indians known as the Pequot War. Connecticut Colony played a significant role in the establishment of self-government in the New World with its refusal to surrender local authority to the Dominion of New England, an event known as the Charter Oak incident which occurred at Jeremy Adams' inn and tavern.

Two other English settlements in the State of Connecticut were merged into the Colony of Connecticut: Saybrook Colony in 1644 and New Haven Colony in 1662.

East Jersey

The Province of East Jersey, along with the Province of West Jersey, between 1674 and 1702 in accordance with the Quintipartite Deed were two distinct political divisions of the Province of New Jersey, which became the U.S. state of New Jersey. The two provinces were amalgamated in 1702. East Jersey's capital was located at Perth Amboy. Determination of an exact location for a border between West Jersey and East Jersey was often a matter of dispute.

The area comprising East Jersey had been part of New Netherland. Early settlement (including today's Bergen and Hudson counties) by the Dutch included Pavonia (1633), Vriessendael (1640) and Achter Col (1642) These settlements were compromised in Kieft's War (1643–1645) and the Peach Tree War (1655–1660). Settlers again returned to the western shores of the Hudson River in the 1660 formation of Bergen, New Netherland, which would become the first permanent European settlement in the territory of the modern state of New Jersey. During the Second Anglo-Dutch War, on August 27, 1664, New Amsterdam surrendered to English forces.Between 1664 and 1674 most settlement was from other parts of the Americas, especially New England, Long Island, and the West Indies. Elizabethtown and Newark in particular had a strong Puritan character. South of the Raritan River the Monmouth Tract was developed primarily by Quakers from Long Island. In 1675, East Jersey was partitioned into four counties for administrative purposes: Bergen County, Essex County, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County. There were seven established towns: Shrewsbury, Middleton, Piscataway, Woodbridge, Elizabethtown, Newark, and Bergen. In a survey taken in 1684 the population was estimated to be 3500 individuals in about 700 families. (African slaves were not included).

Although a number of the East Jersey proprietors in England were Quakers and the governor through most of the 1680s was the leading Quaker Robert Barclay, the Quaker influence on government was not significant. Even the immigration instigated by Barclay was oriented toward promoting Scottish influence more than Quaker influence. In 1682 Barclay and the other Scottish proprietors began the development of Perth Amboy as the capital of the province. In 1687 James II permitted ships to be cleared at Perth Amboy.Frequent disputes between the residents and the mostly-absentee proprietors over land ownership and quitrents plagued the province until its surrender to Queen Anne's government in 1702.

Edmund Andros

Sir Edmund Andros (6 December 1637 – 24 February 1714) was an English colonial administrator in North America. He was the governor of the Dominion of New England during most of its three-year existence. At other times, Andros served as governor of the provinces of New York, East and West Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland.

Before his service in North America, he served as Bailiff of Guernsey. His tenure in New England was authoritarian and turbulent, as his views were decidedly pro-Anglican, a negative quality in a region home to many Puritans. His actions in New England resulted in his overthrow during the 1689 Boston revolt.

Andros was considered to have been a more effective governor in New York and Virginia, although he became the enemy of prominent figures in both colonies, many of whom worked to remove him from office. Despite these enmities, he managed to negotiate several treaties of the Covenant Chain with the Iroquois, establishing a long-lived peace involving the colonies and other tribes that interacted with that confederacy. His actions and governance generally followed the instructions he was given upon appointment to office, and he received approbation from the monarchs and governments that appointed him.

Andros was recalled to England from Virginia in 1698, and resumed the title of Bailiff of Guernsey. Although he no longer resided entirely on Guernsey, he was appointed lieutenant governor of the island, and served in this position for four years. Andros died in 1714.

Francis Nicholson

Lieutenant-General Sir Francis Nicholson (12 November 1655 – March 16, 1728 [O.S. March 5, 1727]) was a British Army general and colonial official who served as the Governor of South Carolina from 1721 to 1725. He previously was the Governor of Nova Scotia from 1712 to 1715, the Governor of Virginia from 1698 to 1705, the Governor of Maryland from 1694 to 1698, the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia from 1690 to 1692, and the Lieutenant Governor of the Dominion of New England from 1688 to 1689.

Nicholson's military service included time in Africa and Europe, after which he was sent to North America as leader of the troops supporting Governor, Sir Edmund Andros in the Dominion of New England. There he distinguished himself, and was appointed lieutenant governor of the Dominion in 1688. After news of the Glorious Revolution and the overthrow of King James II reached the colonies in 1689, Andros was himself overthrown in the Boston Revolt. Nicholson himself was soon caught up in the civil unrest from Leisler's Rebellion in New York Town, and afterwards fled to England.

Nicholson next served as lieutenant governor or governor of the colonial Provinces of Virginia and Maryland. He supported the founding of the College of William and Mary, at Williamsburg, Virginia, and quarreled with Andros after Andros was selected over him as Governor of Virginia. In 1709, he became involved in colonial military actions during Queen Anne's War (1702-1713, War of the Spanish Succession in Europe), leading an aborted expedition against the French in New France (modern Canada). He then led the expedition that successfully captured Port Royal, Acadia (Nova Scotia) on 2 October 1710. Afterward he served as governor of Nova Scotia and Placentia, and was the first royal governor of the colonial Province of South Carolina following a rebellion against its proprietors. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant-General, and died a bachelor in London, England, in 1728.

Nicholson supported public education in the colonies, and was a member of both the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts and the Royal Society. He also influenced American architecture, being responsible for the planned layout and design of colonial/provincial capitals of Annapolis, Maryland and Williamsburg, Virginia. He was one of the earliest advocates of colonial union, principally for reasons of defense against common enemies.

Jonathan Remington

Jonathan Remington (1677–1745), was an Associate Justice of Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court appointed by Gov. Jonathan Belcher. Judge Remington married Lucy Remington Bradstreet (1680–1743), a granddaughter of Gov. Simon Bradstreet. Their daughter Ann Remington (her first name is also spelled "Anne") was the first wife of William Ellery, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence.

Joseph Dudley

Joseph Dudley (September 23, 1647 – April 2, 1720) was an English colonial administrator, a native of Roxbury, Massachusetts, and the son of one of its founders. He had a leading role in the administration of the Dominion of New England (1686–1689), which was overthrown in the 1689 Boston revolt. He served briefly on the council of the Province of New York where he oversaw the trial which convicted Jacob Leisler, the ringleader of Leisler's Rebellion. He then spent eight years in England in the 1690s as Lieutenant-Governor of the Isle of Wight, including one year as a Member of Parliament for Newtown (Isle of Wight). In 1702, he returned to New England after being appointed governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay and Province of New Hampshire, posts that he held until 1715.

His rule of Massachusetts was characterized by hostility and tension, with political enemies opposing his attempts to gain a regular salary and regularly making complaints about his official and private actions. Most of his tenure was dominated by the French and Indian Wars, in which the two provinces were on the front lines with New France and suffered from a series of major and minor French and Indian raids. He orchestrated an unsuccessful attempt to capture the Acadian capital of Port Royal in 1707, raised provincial militia forces for its successful capture in 1710, and directed an unsuccessful expedition against Quebec in 1711.

Dudley's governorship initiated a hostility in Massachusetts toward royal governance, most frequently over the issue of the salaries of crown officials. The colonial legislature routinely challenged or disputed the prerogatives of the governor, and this hostility affected most of the governors of Massachusetts up to the American Revolutionary War and the end of British rule. Dudley's rule of New Hampshire, however, was comparatively uncontroversial.

List of colonial governors of Massachusetts

The territory of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one of the fifty United States, was settled in the 17th century by several different English colonies. The territories claimed or administered by these colonies encompassed a much larger area than that of the modern state, and at times included areas that are now within the jurisdiction of other New England states or of the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Some colonial land claims extended all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

The first permanent settlement was the Plymouth Colony (1620), and the second major settlement was the Massachusetts Bay Colony at Salem in 1629. Settlements that failed or were merged into other colonies included the failed Popham Colony (1607) on the coast of Maine, and the Wessagusset Colony (1622–23) in Weymouth, Massachusetts, whose remnants were folded into the Plymouth Colony. The Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies coexisted until 1686, each electing its own governor annually. Governance of both colonies was dominated by a relatively small group of magistrates, some of whom governed for many years. The Dominion of New England was established in 1686 which covered the territory of those colonies, as well as that of New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. In 1688, it was further extended to include New York and East and West Jersey. The Dominion was extremely unpopular in the colonies, and it was disbanded when its royally appointed governor Sir Edmund Andros was arrested and sent back to England in the wake of the 1688 Glorious Revolution.

After Andros' arrest, each of the colonies reverted to its previous form of governance. King William III, however, reorganized the territory of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies into the Province of Massachusetts Bay and appointed Sir William Phips as its royal governor in 1692. The Province of Massachusetts Bay was governed by appointed civilian governors until 1774, when Thomas Hutchinson was replaced by Lieutenant General Thomas Gage amid rising tensions between the Thirteen Colonies and the British Parliament. Gage was the province's last royal governor. He was effectively powerless beyond Boston, and was recalled after the June 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill. By then, the province was already being run de facto by the Massachusetts Provincial Congress; following the adoption of a state constitution in 1779, the newly formed Commonwealth of Massachusetts elected John Hancock as its first governor.

List of colonial governors of New Hampshire

The territory of the present United States state of New Hampshire has a colonial history dating back to the 1620s. This history is significantly bound to that of the neighboring Massachusetts, whose colonial precursors either claimed the New Hampshire territory, or shared governors with it. First settled in the 1620s under a land grant to John Mason, the colony consisted of a small number of settlements near the seacoast before growing further inland in the 18th century. Mason died in 1635, and the colonists appropriated a number of his holdings. Thomas Roberts served as the last Colonial Governor of the Dover Colony before it became part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1641 the New Hampshire colonists agreed to be ruled by Massachusetts Bay Colony, which also claimed the territory. Massachusetts governed the New Hampshire settlements until 1680, when it became the royally chartered Province of New Hampshire. In 1686 the territory became part of the Dominion of New England, which was effectively disbanded in 1689 following the 1688 Glorious Revolution in England. After an interregnum under de facto rule from Massachusetts, Samuel Allen, who had acquired the Mason land claims, became governor. From 1699 to 1741 the governorships of New Hampshire and the Province of Massachusetts Bay were shared.

Boundary disputes between the two colonies prompted King George II to appoint separate governors in 1741, commissioning Portsmouth native Benning Wentworth as governor. In 1775, with the advent of the American Revolutionary War, the province's last royal governor, John Wentworth, fled the colony. Under a state constitution drafted in early 1776, Meshech Weare was chosen the first President of the independent state of New Hampshire.

List of colonial governors of Rhode Island

This is a list of the "judges," presidents, and governors of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations from 1638 to 1776.

Percy Kirke

Lieutenant General Percy Kirke (c. 1646 – 31 October 1691), English soldier, was the son of George Kirke, a court official to Charles I and Charles II.

Province of Maine

The Province of Maine refers to any of several English colonies. They were not officially called "Province of Maine." They were small short-lived operations in the 17th century along the northeast coast of North America, at times encompassing portions of the present-day states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick. The province existed through a series of land patents in several incarnations, including one known as New Somersetshire. The final incarnation of the Province of Maine, encompassing the western portions of present-day Maine, was absorbed into the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1650s.

Province of New Hampshire

The Province of New Hampshire was a colony of England and later a British province in North America. The name was first given in 1629 to the territory between the Merrimack and Piscataqua rivers on the eastern coast of North America, and was named after the county of Hampshire in southern England by Captain John Mason, its first named proprietor. In 1776 the province established an independent state and government, the State of New Hampshire, and joined with twelve other colonies to form the United States.

Europeans first settled New Hampshire in the 1620s, and the province consisted for many years of a small number of communities along the seacoast, Piscataqua River, and Great Bay. In 1641 the communities were organized under the government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, until Charles II issued a colonial charter for the province and appointed John Cutt as President of New Hampshire in 1679. After a brief period as a separate province, the territory was absorbed into the Dominion of New England in 1686. Following the collapse of the unpopular Dominion, on October 7, 1691 New Hampshire was again separated from Massachusetts and organized as an English crown colony. Its charter was enacted on May 14, 1692, during the coregency of William and Mary, the joint monarchs of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Between 1699 and 1741, the province's governor was often concurrently the governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. This practice ended completely in 1741, when Benning Wentworth was appointed governor. Wentworth laid claim on behalf of the province to lands west of the Connecticut River, east of the Hudson River, and north of Massachusetts, issuing controversial land grants that were disputed by the Province of New York, which also claimed the territory. These disputes resulted in the eventual formation of the Vermont Republic and the US state of Vermont.

The province's economy was dominated by timber and fishing. The timber trade, although lucrative, was a subject of conflict with the crown, which sought to reserve the best trees for use as ship masts. Although the Puritan leaders of Massachusetts ruled the province for many years, the New Hampshire population was more religiously diverse, originating in part in its early years with refugees from opposition to religious differences in Massachusetts.

From the 1680s until 1760, New Hampshire was often on the front lines of military conflicts with New France and the Abenaki people, seeing major attacks on its communities in King William's War, Dummer's War, and King George's War. The province was at first not strongly in favor of independence, but with the outbreak of armed conflict at Lexington and Concord many of its inhabitants joined the revolutionary cause. After Governor John Wentworth fled New Hampshire in August 1775, the inhabitants adopted a constitution in early 1776. Independence as part of the United States was confirmed with the 1783 Treaty of Paris.

Province of New Jersey

The Province of New Jersey was one of the Middle Colonies of Colonial America and became New Jersey, a state of United States in 1783. The province had originally been settled by Europeans as part of New Netherland, but came under English rule after the surrender of Fort Amsterdam in 1664, becoming a proprietary colony. The English then renamed the province after the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel. The Dutch Republic reasserted control for a brief period in 1673–1674. After that it consisted of two political divisions, East Jersey and West Jersey, until they were united as a royal colony in 1702. The original boundaries of the province were slightly larger than the current state, extending into a part of the present state of New York, until the border was finalized in 1773.

Simon Bradstreet

Simon Bradstreet (baptized March 18, 1603/4 – March 27, 1697) was a colonial magistrate, businessman, diplomat, and the last governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Arriving in Massachusetts on the Winthrop Fleet in 1630, Bradstreet was almost constantly involved in the politics of the colony but became its governor only in 1679. He served on diplomatic missions and as agent to the crown in London, and also served as a commissioner to the New England Confederation. He was politically comparatively moderate, arguing minority positions in favor of freedom of speech and for accommodation of the demands of King Charles II following his restoration to the throne.

Bradstreet was married to Anne, the daughter of Massachusetts co-founder Thomas Dudley and New England's first published poet. He was a businessman, investing in land and shipping interests. Due to his advanced age (he died at 93) Cotton Mather referred to him as the "Nestor of New England". His descendants include the famous jurists Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and David Souter.

Thomas Lawrence (Governor of Maryland)

Sir Thomas Lawrence, 3rd Baronet (c. 1645–1714) was the 2nd Royal Governor of Maryland in 1693, elected by the Governor's Council following the death of Sir Lionel Copley, (1648-1693). He governed the colony for only a few weeks before the new royally appointed governor, Edmund Andros, (1637-1714), arrived from his trans-Atlantic trip to take over control of the colony. He was briefly the 6th Royal Governor of Maryland a second time when Andros then left the colony in 1694 (later also served as governor in the Dominion of New England and Virginia.

Thomas Lawrence was born in 1645 in Chelsea, Middlesex, England. He was the eldest son of Sir John Lawrence, 2nd Baronet. He emigrated in 1692 in Province of Maryland, settling in Mary's City (St. Mary's County) and Annapolis, while his family probably stayed in England. In 1693 he was President of the Council and acting Royal Governor of Province of Maryland. Lawrence returned to England in 1705/6. He died in 1714, and at his death the baronetcy became extinct.

West Jersey

West Jersey and East Jersey were two distinct parts of the Province of New Jersey. The political division existed for 28 years, between 1674 and 1702. Determination of an exact location for a border between West Jersey and East Jersey was often a matter of dispute.

Dominion of New England
Assimilated colonies

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