John Winthrop

Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay + Author of "city Upon A Hill"
Born Jan 12, 1587

John Winthrop was a wealthy English Puritan lawyer, and one of the leading figures in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the first major settlement in New England after Plymouth Colony. Winthrop led the first large wave of migrants from England in 1630, and served as governor for 12 of the colony's first 20 years of existence.… Read More

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1587 Birth John Winthrop was born on 12 January 1587/8 to Adam and Anne (née Browne) Winthrop in Edwardstone, Suffolk, England. … Read More


1602 15 Years Old He was admitted to Trinity College in December 1602, matriculating at the university a few months later. … Read More
1604 17 Years Old In 1604 Winthrop journeyed to Great Stambridge in Essex with a friend. … Read More
1605 18 Years Old 1 More Event
Winthrop left Trinity College to marry Mary on 16 April 1605 at Great Stambridge. … Read More


1613 26 Years Old In approximately 1613 (records indicate it may have been earlier), Winthrop was enrolled at Gray's Inn. … Read More
1615 28 Years Old When his wife Mary died in 1615, Winthrop, following the custom of the time, remarried soon after, marrying Thomasine Clopton on 6 December 1615. … Read More


1617 30 Years Old His legal connections introduced him to the Tyndal family of Great Maplestead, Essex, and in 1617 he began courting Margaret Tyndal, the daughter of Sir John Tyndal, a chancery judge and his wife Anne Egerton, sister of the leading Puritan preacher Stephen Egerton. Her family was initially opposed to the match on financial grounds; Winthrop countered by appealing to piety as a virtue that more than compensated for his modest income. The couple were married on 29 April 1618 at Great Maplestead. … Read More
1625 38 Years Old King Charles I had ascended the throne in 1625, and he had married a Roman Catholic. … Read More
1626 39 Years Old Winthrop was also aware of attempts to colonize other places - his son Henry became involved in efforts to settle Barbados in 1626, which Winthrop financially supported for a time. … Read More


1629 42 Years Old …  In October 1629 he was elected governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and in April 1630 he led a group of colonists to the New World, founding a number of communities on the shores of Massachusetts Bay and the Charles River. … Read More
It was unclear to Winthrop when his wife would come over; she was pregnant and due to give birth in April 1630, near the fleet's departure time. … Read More
1631 44 Years Old 1 More Event
Winthrop built his house in Boston, where he also had a relatively spacious plot of arable land. In 1631 he was granted a larger parcel of land on the banks of the Mystic River that he called Ten Hills Farm. … Read More
1634 47 Years Old In 1634 and 1635 Winthrop served as an assistant, while the influx of migrants brought first John Haynes and then Henry Vane to the governorship. … Read More
1636 49 Years Old By December 1636 the dispute reached into colonial politics, and Winthrop, in a bid to bridge the divide between the two factions, penned an account of his religious awakening and theological position papers designed to facilitate a harmonization of the opposing views. … Read More


1637 - 1642 2 More Events
1644 57 Years Old The 1644 election became a referendum on Winthrop's policy, and he was turned out of office. … Read More
1645 58 Years Old …  Winthrop became the focus of allegations about the arbitrary rule of the magistrates in 1645, when he was formally charged with interfering with local decisions in a case involving the Hingham militia. … Read More
1646 59 Years Old In 1646, with Winthrop again in the governor's seat, d'Aulnay appeared in Boston and demanded reparations for damage done by the English volunteers. … Read More


1647 60 Years Old 1 More Event
…  Two more children were born to the Winthrops in New England before Margaret died on 14 June 1647.
1649 62 Years Old Winthrop died of natural causes on 26 March 1649, and is buried in what is now called the King's Chapel Burying Ground in Boston. … Read More
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