Cape Ann is a rocky peninsula located in northeastern Massachusetts on the Atlantic Ocean. The cape is located approximately 30 miles northeast of Boston and forms the northern edge of Massachusetts Bay. The towns of Gloucester, Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Rockport comprise Cape Ann.
Cape Ann was first mapped by the explorer John Smith, although he had given it the name "Cape Tragbigzanda", after a lover of his. When Smith presented his map to Charles I he suggested that Charles should feel free to change any of the "barbarous names" (meaning the many Native American names) for "English" ones. The king made many such changes, but only four survive today, one of which is Cape Ann, which Charles named in honor of his mother, Anne of Denmark.
The English colony at Cape Ann was first founded in 1624. It was the third colonizing effort in New England after Plymouth Colony and Nantasket Beach . Two ships of the Dorchester Company brought 32 in number with John Tylly and Thomas Gardner as overseers of the plantation and a fishing operation. This colony predated Massachusetts Bay charter and colony. For that reason members of the colony were referred to as "old planters".
By 1634 the name of Cape Ann was already established, as it is mentioned and depicted on maps in William Wood's New England's Prospect first published in that year.