Cambridge Agreement

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The Cambridge Agreement[1] was signed, on August 29 1629, between the shareholders of the Massachusetts Bay Company, at Cambridge in England.

Under its terms, those who intended to emigrate to the New World could purchase shares held by those shareholders who wanted to remain home. Thus the agreement was a precursor to the foundation of Boston, Massachusetts.

The Cambridge Agreement stipulated that the Massachusetts Bay Colony would be under local control in New England, rather than controlled by a corporate board based in London. Not all the shareholders of the Company had any intention of emigrating, despite their Puritan sympathies. In return for guaranteeing local control over the colony, the non-emigrating shareholders were bought out by the emigrating shareholders. John Winthrop led the Company's emigrating party following these negotiations and was elected Colonial Governor in October 1629.

The agreement guaranteed the Massachusetts Colony would be self-governing, answerable only to the English Crown. The Colony and the Company then became, to all intents and purposes, one and the same. Winthrop's Puritans carried this Charter across the Atlantic arriving at America in 1630.

12 Signatories:


Further reading[edit]

  • Jones, Augustine (1900). The Life and Work of Thomas Dudley, the Second Governor of Massachusetts. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin. OCLC 123194823.