Massachusetts Bay Company

Massachusetts Bay Company

Massachusetts Bay Company, English chartered company that established the Massachusetts Bay colony in New England. Organized (1628) as the New England Company, it took over the Dorchester Company, which had established a short-lived fishing colony on Cape Ann in 1623. The group obtained (1628) from the Council for New England a grant of land between the Charles and Merrimack rivers, extending westward to "the South Sea." One of the men who negotiated for this patent, John Endecott, became leader of the colony at Naumkeag (later Salem), founded (1626) by Roger Conant and others from the Cape Ann settlement. In 1629 the New England Company obtained a royal charter as the "Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England." Almost immediately the emphasis changed from trade to religion, as the Puritan stockholders conceived of the colony as a religious and political refuge for their sect. A group led by John Winthrop (1588-1649) signed the so-called Cambridge Agreement (1629), by which they engaged to emigrate to New England provided that they could buy out the stock of the company and thus gain complete control of the company's government and charter. Since the royal charter did not specify where the stockholders should meet, this arrangement was made, and the Massachusetts Bay Company became the only one of the English chartered colonization companies not subject to the control of a board of governors in England. The colonists sailed for New England in 1630. They reached Salem, soon moved to Charlestown, but decided to make their chief settlement at the mouth of the Charles River, a commanding position on Massachusetts Bay. There Boston was established. Attempts were made by the Council for New England, under the leadership of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, to annul the colony's land claims, but the efforts were unsuccessful. The company and the colony were synonymous until 1684, when the charter was withdrawn, and the company ceased to exist. In 1691 a new charter made Massachusetts a royal colony and extended its jurisdiction over Plymouth and Maine.

See N. B. Shurtleff, ed., Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England (5 vol., 1853-54, repr. 1968), G. L. Beer, The Origins of the British Colonial System, 1578-1660 (1908, repr. 1959); J. T. Adams, The Founding of New England (1921, repr. 1963), C. M. Andrews, The Colonial Period of American History, Vol. I (1934, repr. 1964); T. Hutchinson, The History of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay (ed. by L. S. Mayo, 3 vol., 1936, repr. 1970); T. J. Wertenbaker, The Puritan Oligarchy (1947, repr. 1970); R. E. Wall, Massachusetts Bay: The Crucial Decade, 1640-1650 (1972).

Massachusetts Bay Trading Co, Inc. is an online retailer headquartered in Weston, Massachusetts selling products worldwide. It is an American electronic commerce company selling specialty hand-made gifts and general products that are made in Massachusetts. The company was established in 2002. The Massachusetts Bay Trading Company has been featured in multiple publications and television segments including the Boston Globe on April 6, 2007, Opray Winfrey's O at Home magazine Winter 2006, Gourmet Magazine Winter 2006 gift guide, In Style Magazine Fall 2007, and NECN.


The store offers hand-made home furnishings, clothing, jewelry, clocks, soaps, porcelain, and Boston artwork. Some of the unique items carried by MBTC include Spencer Peterman wooden spaulted bowls made from fallen trees replete with characteristic patterns formed by fungus inside the wood; Nantucket Lightship baskets and hand-blown Limaj glass bowls; and hand-made handbags made out of denim blue jeans.

Business Model

Massachusetts Bay Trading Co is an online E-commerce retailer, through which Internet users purchase merchandise crafted by artists and companies located in Massachusetts. Massachusetts Bay Trading Co was founded on Patriots Day 2002.

The company has partnerships with Massachusetts arts societies including the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities to promote Massachusetts arts and cultural activities.

Massachusetts Bay Trading Co provides an artist gallery of craftsmen and companies producing crafts and products in Massachusetts.


The name draws from the Massachusetts Bay Company, the institution that founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Boston in 1628. The Massachusetts Bay Company was one of the first companies to carry their charter with them to America thereby enabling them to govern themselves locally.

External links

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