Boston Massachusetts Founded
The 17th of September 1630 AD
Though the founders of Boston were of a different sect to the Pilgrim Fathers who earlier landed in the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock, religious intolerance in Charles I ’s England was again the force that drove them across the Atlantic.
A flotilla of 11 ships reached Massachusetts in the spring of 1630, led by John Winthrop, a Puritan lawyer and landowner born in Edwardstone in Suffolk . Winthrop was Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, elected to the position in October 1629. The new settlers at first remained in the already functional Charlestown on one side of the Charles River (it is an irony of the situation that their tormentor’s name foreran the Puritans), but in the autumn pressure on water among other factors led to the establishment of a new settlement across that river, the town soon named Boston as a reminder of the original Lincolnshire home of many of its residents.
Boston grew rapidly, and until Philadelphia overtook it in the next century was the largest English town in North America. Within a few years it saw the first private school in America – the Boston Latin School – and the following year its first tertiary education college, which in 1639 became Harvard University.
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