John Winthrop

A leading figure in the founding of Massachusetts Bay Colony

Family history

-born in 1588 to Adam and Anne Winthrop

-father's family had a successful textile business

-became very religious

-went to Trinity College

-married Mary Forth in 1605 (she was the first of four wives)

-had 5 children, only 3 lived to adulthood


Political affiliations

-first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony

-envisioned a colony based on his Puritan beliefs

-opposed the formation of a representative assembly of any kind

-his entire style of government was grounded in his strong Puritan beliefs

-strong belief in common law (flexibility


Winthrop's contribution

John Winthrop helped establish and govern the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was one of the first and strongest governors and political leaders of the colony and was involved in all of the elaborate financial arrangements and preparation of supplies. His beliefs were heavily based on his Puritan beliefs. He was elected governor 12 times and in the early 1630's, he created and organized individual towns within the colony, each with their own church. He shaped each town to be very religious. He overall built a "Godly commonwealth" amongst the towns.


Citizenship: a person that has rights, privileges, and duties of a citizen; a member of society.

John Winthrop most definitely demonstrated citizenship from the time he was seventeen living in England. He especially showed citizenship when he became governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In England, Winthrop was highly involved in his society serving as justice of the peace and was given a government office. He also became a social activist because of his strong religious beliefs. When he moved to the America's and became the governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, he was a leader, somebody that everyone looked up to. He shaped his colony and fellow colonists, by teaching them group discipline and individual responsibility, making the colony a lasting success. He was chosen as governor 12 times consecutively, proving his vital role in the society and as a citizen.


Integrity: following a set of moral values and refusing to compromise on matters of principle

During John Winthrop's terms in government, he showed integrity throughout. In 1630 he said "The eyes of the people are upon us." by stating this, it demonstrates that he knows what it takes to consistently be a great leader for all under his rule.

When Rodger Williams was banished from the colony for outspoken behavior, Winthrop supposedly helped him fleet recognizing the necessity of his removal with no intent of abandoning a life long friend to the wilderness.