Thomas Dudley

Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony
Born Oct 12, 1576

Thomas Dudley was a colonial magistrate who served several terms as governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Dudley was the chief founder of Newtowne, later Cambridge, Massachusetts, and built the town's first home. He provided land and funds to establish the Roxbury Latin School, and signed the charter creating Harvard College during his 1650 term as governor. Dudley was a devout Puritan who was opposed to religious views not conforming with his.… Read More

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1576 Birth Thomas Dudley was born in Yardley Hastings, a village near Northampton, England, on 12 October 1576, to Roger and Susanna (Thorne) Dudley. … Read More
1586 10 Years Old The 1586 battle of Zutphen has also been suggested as the occasion of Roger Dudley's death. … Read More


1590 14 Years Old It was for some time believed he was killed in the 1590 Battle of Ivry, but this is unlikely because Susanna Dudley was later found to be widowed by 1588.


1597 21 Years Old He fought the Spanish at the Siege of Amiens in 1597 which in September surrendered and was the final action of the war. … Read More


1616 40 Years Old After Nicolls' sudden death in 1616, Dudley took a position with Theophilus Clinton, 4th Earl of Lincoln, serving as a steward responsible for managing some of the earl's estates. … Read More
1622 46 Years Old In 1622, Dudley acquired the assistance of Simon Bradstreet who was eventually drawn to Dudley's daughter Anne. … Read More
1624 48 Years Old Dudley was briefly out of Lincoln's service between about 1624 and 1628. … Read More


1628 52 Years Old 1 More Event
The Dudleys were known to be back on Lincoln's estate in 1628, when his daughter Anne came down with smallpox and was treated there.
1629 53 Years Old In October 1629 John Winthrop was elected governor, and John Humphrey was chosen as his deputy.
However, as the fleet was preparing to sail in March 1630, Humphrey decided he would not leave England immediately, and Dudley was chosen as deputy governor in his place.
1631 55 Years Old A letter Dudley wrote to the Countess of Lincoln in March 1631 narrated the first year's experience of the colonists that arrived in Winthrop's fleet in an intimate tone befitting a son or suitor as much as a servant. … Read More
This decision caused a rift between Dudley and Winthrop—it was serious enough that in 1632 Dudley resigned his posts and considered returning to England. … Read More
1633 57 Years Old Samuel, the first, also came to the New World, and married Winthrop's daughter Mary in 1633, the first of several alliances of the Dudley-Winthrop family. … Read More
1634 58 Years Old This principal was extended to govern the colony as a whole in 1634, the year Dudley was first elected governor. … Read More
1635 59 Years Old In 1635, and for the four following years, Dudley was elected either as deputy governor or as a member of the council of assistants. The governor in 1636 was Henry Vane, and the colony was split over the actions of Anne Hutchinson. … Read More


1637 - 1645 5 More Events
1649 73 Years Old In 1649 Dudley was appointed once again to serve as a commissioner and president of the New England Confederation, an umbrella organization established by most of the New England colonies to address issues of common interest; however, he was ill (and aging, at 73), and consequently unable to discharge his duties in that office.
1650 74 Years Old Despite the illness, Dudley was elected governor for the fourth and last time in 1650.
1653 78 Years Old He died in Roxbury on 31 July 1653, and was buried in the Eliot Burying Ground there. … Read More
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