|The Charter granted to the Company of Massachusetts Bay in New England|
|Type||Royal Charter, Land Grant, Joint-stock company|
|Context||British colonization of the Americas|
Puritan migration to New England (1620-1640)
|Signed||March 4, 1628|
|Expiration||1684, formation of Dominion of New England|
|Signatories||Privy Council of England|
|Parties||Massachusetts Bay Company |
Kingdom of Great Britain
The Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company was a charter which formally incorporated the joint-stock company for the colonization of Massachusetts Bay. The charter defined the regulations of the company, the land it would be granted, as well as the rights and privileges of the colonists.
The colony was to be settled between the Charles River and the Merrimack River in New England. The Massachusetts Bay Company, like other colonial joint-stock companies, was to be a corporate entity as well as a governmental one. The first settlers of the colony were Puritans who sought to create a society based on their religious beliefs unfettered from the Royal Anglican government of the Kingdom of England. The settlers were to be shareholders, with all those wishing to emigrate to new England required to buy shares. This agreement was formulated in Cambridge and came to be known as the Cambridge Agreement.
Unlike other colonial companies whose presiding members resided and met in England, the Governors and other colonial officials moved to New England as well. The Government consisted of a Governor, Deputy Governor, a council of Assistants who would provide legal counsel and jurisprudence, and a General Court of delegates elected from each town.
Voting rights in the colony were to be for only men of the Puritan church. Once settled in what is now Boston, the delegates formed a quasi-democratic and theocratic state based on the Laws of Moses.
- Morison 1917, p.5.
- moore 1851, p.23.
- Morison 1917, p.5.
- Morison 1917, p.6.
- Morison 1917, p.16.
- Morison 1917, p.17.
- Morison 1917, p.8.
- Morison 1917, p.208.
- Hutchinson, Thomas (1765). The History of the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay, From the Settlement thereof in 1628 until its Incorporation.
- Moe, Barbara (2003). The Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company: A primary Source Investigation into the Charter. The Rosen Publishing Group.
- Moore, Jacob Bailey (1851). Lives of the Governors of New Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay. Boston: C. D. Strong. p. 273.