Massachusetts Bay Colony

Swetha Bhumireddy

Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem.

A Brief History

Massachusetts Bay Colony was one of the first colonies established in the United States. It was originally settled by Puritans (British people) who immigrated to the area in order to be free from being persecuted under the Church of England. The left England and sought to practice their form of Christianity as they believed it should be practiced. This resulted in them forming strict religious beliefs and not being tolerant of any beliefs that differed from theirs.

The colony was located—as its name implies—in modern-day Massachusetts, but also in parts of modern-day Maine. This location allowed the colony to participate in some unique trades in its economic development. These included: whale hunting, fishing, rum, and ship building. Many of these are associated with the bay colony's location near the bay and the ocean allowing for such trades.

Massachusetts Bay Colony switched between different types of colonies. It had once been an independent colony. However, King James II revoked the charter that made the colony independent in 1686. Soon afterwards, the colonies throughout New England were combined into a single colony in order to increase trade between them and England. This thereby resulted in Massachusetts Bay Colony becoming a royal colony in 1691. The colony was also governed by a royal governor and a partially elected legislature.

Important Events

In 1686 King James II revoked the charter that made Massachusetts Bay an independent colony. (See above.)

In 1691 Massachusetts Bay became a royal colony. (See above.)

From 1692 to 1693 the Salem Witch Trials took place in Massachusetts Bay. This unfortunate event resulted in over 150 people being accused of witchcraft and around 20 being killed (either by hanging, drowning, or burning at the stake). Most of these people were women. While the cause of this hysteria is unknown, many point fingers at a rye mold known as ergot being a likely cause for the "symptoms" displayed by the "witches" of the colony. Another likely theory is the extreme religious faith of the people of Salem causing many to believe that those who were different (or were women) had some association with the Devil and witchcraft. Some famous "witches" were Ruth Buck of Westborough and Tituba of Salem. (Click the buttons at the bottom of the flyer if your interested to know more about the Salem Witch Trials.)

Do Come And Visit!

Massachusetts Bay Colony is a wonderful area to simply visit or even settle down.

Hope to see you around the Bay Colony soon! :)

Salem Witch Museum

Click here to learn more about the trials and the museum dedicated to those who died in them.

The Witches Curse

Click here to interactively learn more about the trials and explore the town of Salem.