Boston’s history as a major center of the western world began in 1630 when the Puritans settled in Boston and in the surrounding village communities and townships of The Massachusetts Bay Colony. A small but very important group that gave the city its name came from the environs of Boston, Lincolnshire, England. They were led by John Winthrop, of Groton, Suffolk, who became the Colony’s first governor.
Among those who arrived with Winthrop on the Arbella, or followed during the 1630s, were The Reverend John Cotton and members of his congregation at The Church of St. Botolph in Boston, Lincolnshire, including Governors Thomas Dudley, John Leverett, Richard Bellingham, and Simon Bradstreet. They and others who dominated the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s government for most of the rest of the 17th century also played central roles in the development of education and culture in the new Boston as the founders of Boston Latin School, America’s earliest public school; Harvard College; and the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts.
Among Puritan women who made important contributions were two members of John Cotton’s church. Anne Bradstreet, the wife of Simon Bradstreet and the daughter of Thomas Dudley, became America’s first published poet. Anne Hutchinson’s strong religious beliefs and controversial opinions made her, arguably, America’s first campaigner for women’s rights.
The Partnership of the Historic Bostons, a non-political, non-profit organization, was established in 1999 to recognize and celebrate the unique historical connection between Boston, Massachusetts, founded in 1630, and Boston, Lincolnshire, England, founded in 1086.