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The Dominion of New England in America (1686–1689) was an administrative union of English colonies covering
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as the American Northeast, the Northeast, and the East Coast) is a geographical region In geography ...

New England
and the Mid-Atlantic Colonies (except for
Delaware Colony Delaware Colony in the North American Middle Colonies The Middle Colonies were a subset of the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom ...
and the
Province of Pennsylvania The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as the Pennsylvania Colony, was a British North American colony founded by William Penn William Penn (14 October 1644 – 30 July 1718) was an English writer and religious thinker belonging to the ...
). Its political structure represented centralized control similar to the model used by the Spanish monarchy through the Viceroyalty of
New Spain New Spain, officially the Viceroyalty of New Spain ( es, Virreinato de Nueva España, ), or Kingdom of New Spain, was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio Español), also known as th ...

New Spain
. The dominion was unacceptable to most colonists because they deeply resented being stripped of their rights and having their colonial
charter A charter is the grant of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social scie ...
s revoked. Governor Sir
Edmund Andros Sir Edmund Andros (6 December 1637 – 24 February 1714) was an English colonial administrator in British America British America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the ...

Edmund Andros
tried to make legal and structural changes, but most of these were undone and the Dominion was overthrown as soon as word was received that
King James II James II and VII (14 October 1633 O.S.16 September 1701An assertion found in many sources that James died 6 September 1701 (17 September 1701 New Style Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) indicate a dating system from before and after a c ...

King James II
had left the throne in England. One notable change was the introduction of the Church of England into Massachusetts, whose Puritan leaders had previously refused to allow it any sort of foothold. The Dominion encompassed a very large area from the
Delaware River The Delaware River is a major river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its co ...

Delaware River
in the south to
Penobscot Bay Penobscot Bay (french: Baie de Penobscot) is an inlet of the Gulf of Maine and Atlantic Ocean in south central Maine. The bay originates from the mouth of Maine's Penobscot River, downriver from Belfast, Maine, Belfast. Penobscot Bay has many w ...
in the north, composed of the
Province of New Hampshire The Province of New Hampshire was a colony of England and later a British province in North America. The name was first given in 1629 to the territory between the Merrimack River, Merrimack and Piscataqua River, Piscataqua rivers on the eastern c ...
,
Massachusetts Bay Colony The Massachusetts Bay Colony (1630–1691), more formally The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, was an English settlement on the east coast of America around the Massachusetts Bay Massachusetts Bay is a bay A bay is a recessed, coastal body ...
,
Plymouth Colony Plymouth Colony (sometimes Plimouth) was an British America, English colonial venture in America from 1620 to 1691 at a location that had previously been surveyed and named by Captain John Smith (explorer), John Smith. The settlement served as t ...
,
Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was one of the original Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom of Great Britain ...
,
Connecticut Colony The Connecticut Colony or Colony of Connecticut, originally known as the Connecticut River Colony or simply the River Colony, was an English colony in New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United Stat ...
,
Province of New York The Province of New York (1664–1776) was a British proprietary colony A proprietary colony was a type of English colony mostly in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all w ...
, and
Province of New Jersey The Province of New Jersey was one of the Middle Colonies The Middle Colonies were a subset of the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kin ...
, plus a small portion of
Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Gulf of Maine to the southeast; and the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Qu ...

Maine
. It was too large for a single governor to manage. Governor Andros was highly unpopular and was seen as a threat by most political factions. News of the
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), the invasion also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch, was the deposition of ...
in England reached Boston in 1689, and the Puritans launched the
1689 Boston revolt The 1689 Boston revolt was a popular uprising on April 18, 1689 against the rule of Sir Edmund Andros, the governor of the Dominion of New England. A well-organized "mob" of provincial militia and citizens formed in the town of Boston, the capi ...
against Andros, arresting him and his officers.
Leisler's Rebellion Leisler's Rebellion was an uprising in late-17th century colonial New York in which German American merchant and militia captain Jacob Leisler seized control of the southern portion of the colony and ruled it from 1689 to 1691. The uprising too ...
in New York deposed the dominion's lieutenant governor
Francis Nicholson Lieutenant-general (United Kingdom), Lieutenant-General Sir Francis Nicholson (12 November 1655 – ) was a British Army General officer, general and Colonialism, colonial official who served as the List of colonial governors of South Carolina, ...
. After these events, the colonies that had been assembled into the dominion reverted to their previous forms of government, although some governed formally without a charter. King
William III of England William III (William Henry; ; 4 November 16508 March 1702), also widely known as William of Orange, was the sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of County of Holland, Holland, County of Zeeland, Zeeland, Lordship of Utrecht, Utrecht, ...

William III of England
and Queen
Mary II Mary II (30 April 166228 December 1694) was Queen of England, Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Gr ...

Mary II
eventually issued new charters.


Background

A number of English colonies were established in North America and in the West Indies during the first half of the 17th century, with varying attributes. Some originated as commercial ventures, such as the
Virginia Colony , legislature = House of Burgesses The House of Burgesses was the elected representative element of the Virginia General Assembly The Virginia General Assembly is the State legislature (United States), legislative body of the Virgini ...
, while others were founded for religious reasons, such as
Plymouth Colony Plymouth Colony (sometimes Plimouth) was an British America, English colonial venture in America from 1620 to 1691 at a location that had previously been surveyed and named by Captain John Smith (explorer), John Smith. The settlement served as t ...
and
Massachusetts Bay Colony The Massachusetts Bay Colony (1630–1691), more formally The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, was an English settlement on the east coast of America around the Massachusetts Bay Massachusetts Bay is a bay A bay is a recessed, coastal body ...
. The governments of the colonies also varied. Virginia became a
crown colony A Crown colony or royal colony was a colony In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administration of the original coun ...
, despite its corporate beginning, while Massachusetts and other New England colonies had corporate charters and a great deal of administrative freedom. Other areas were
proprietary colonies A proprietary colony was a type of English colony mostly in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcon ...
, such as Maryland and Carolina, owned and operated by one or a few individuals. Following the
English Restoration The Restoration of the Stuart monarchy The House of Stuart, originally Stewart, was a dynasty, royal house of Kingdom of Scotland, Scotland, Kingdom of England, England, Kingdom of Ireland, Ireland and later Kingdom of Great Britain, Gre ...
in 1660, King
Charles II
Charles II
sought to streamline the administration of these colonial territories. Charles and his government began a process that brought a number of the colonies under direct crown control. One reason for these actions was the cost of administration of individual colonies, but another significant reason was the regulation of trade. Throughout the 1660s, the English Parliament passed a number of laws to regulate the trade of the colonies, collectively called the
Navigation Acts The Navigation Acts, or more broadly the Acts of Trade and Navigation, was a long series of English laws that developed, promoted, and regulated English ships, shipping, trade, and commerce between other countries and with its own colonies. The l ...
. The American colonists resisted these laws, particularly in the New England colonies which had established significant trading networks with other English colonies and with other European countries and their colonies, especially Spain and the Dutch Republic. The Navigation Acts also outlawed some existing New England practices, in effect turning merchants into smugglers while significantly increasing the cost of doing business. Some of the New England colonies presented specific problems for the king, and combining those colonies into a single administrative entity was seen as a way to resolve those problems. Plymouth Colony had never been formally chartered, and the
New Haven Colony The New Haven Colony was a small English colony in North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria ...
had sheltered two of the regicides of
Charles ICharles I may refer to: Kings and emperors * Charlemagne (742–814), numbered Charles I in the lists of French and German kings * Charles I of Anjou (1226–1285), also king of Albania, Jerusalem, Naples and Sicily * Charles I of Hungary (1288 ...

Charles I
, the king's father. The territory of Maine was disputed by competing grantees and by Massachusetts, and New Hampshire was a very small, recently established crown colony. Massachusetts had a long history of virtually theocratic rule, in addition to their widespread resistance to the Navigation Acts, and they exhibited little tolerance for non-Puritans, including supporters of the Church of England (which was most important for the king). Charles II repeatedly sought to change the Massachusetts government, but they resisted all substantive attempts at reform. In 1683, legal proceedings began to vacate the Massachusetts charter; it was formally annulled in June 1684. The primary motivation in London was not to attain efficiency in administration, but to guarantee that the purpose of the colonies was to make England richer. The "Hull Mint" under
John HullJohn Hull may refer to: Politicians *John Hull (MP for Hythe), MP for Hythe (UK Parliament constituency), Hythe *John Hull (English politician) (died 1549), MP for Exeter *John A. T. Hull (1841–1928), American politician *John C. Hull (politician ...
was still illegally producing
pine tree shilling The pine tree shilling was a type of coin minted and circulated in the thirteen colonies. The Massachusetts Bay Colony established a mint in Boston in 1652. John Hull (merchant), John Hull was Treasurer and moneyer, mintmaster; Hull's partner at t ...
, thwarting the efforts of Charles II. For the Puritans, liberty was the most important; the Church of England (which was most important for the king) was not. To the king, it was an act of
high treason in the United Kingdom 250px, William Joyce ("Lord Haw-Haw") was the last person to be tried for treason in the UK, here seen under armed guard in 1945.">Lord_Haw-Haw.html" ;"title="William Joyce ("Lord Haw-Haw">William Joyce ("Lord Haw-Haw") was the last person to be t ...
and
Hanging, drawing and quartering To be hanged, drawn and quartered was, from 1352 after the Treason Act 1351, a statutory penalty in England for men convicted of high treason, although the ritual was first recorded during the reign of King Henry III (1216–1272). The convic ...
was the punishment. England's desire for colonies that produced agricultural staples worked well for the southern colonies, which produced tobacco, rice, and indigo, but not so well for New England due to the geology of the region. Lacking a suitable staple, the New Englanders engaged in trade and became successful competitors to English merchants. They were now starting to develop workshops that threatened to deprive England of its lucrative colonial market for manufactured articles, such as textiles, leather goods, and ironware. The plan, therefore, was to establish a uniform all-powerful government over the northern colonies so that the people would be diverted away from manufacturing and foreign trade.


Establishment

Following the revocation of the Massachusetts charter, Charles II and the Lords of Trade moved forward with plans to establish a unified administration over at least some of the New England colonies. The specific objectives of the dominion included the regulation of trade, reformation of land title practices to conform more to English methods and practices, coordination on matters of defense, and a streamlining of the administration into fewer centers. The Dominion initially comprised the territories of the
Massachusetts Bay Colony The Massachusetts Bay Colony (1630–1691), more formally The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, was an English settlement on the east coast of America around the Massachusetts Bay Massachusetts Bay is a bay A bay is a recessed, coastal body ...
, the
Plymouth Colony Plymouth Colony (sometimes Plimouth) was an British America, English colonial venture in America from 1620 to 1691 at a location that had previously been surveyed and named by Captain John Smith (explorer), John Smith. The settlement served as t ...
, the
Province of New Hampshire The Province of New Hampshire was a colony of England and later a British province in North America. The name was first given in 1629 to the territory between the Merrimack River, Merrimack and Piscataqua River, Piscataqua rivers on the eastern c ...
, the
Province of Maine The Province of Maine refers to any of the various English colonies English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieva ...
, and the Narraganset Country (present-day
Washington County, Rhode Island Washington County, known locally as South County, is a County (United States), county located in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. As of the 2020 United States Census, 2020 census, the population was 129,839. List of counties in Rhode Island, Rh ...
). Charles II had chosen Colonel
Percy Kirke Lieutenant General Lieutenant general or lieutenant-general (Lt Gen, LTG and similar) is a Three-star rank, three-star military rank (NATO code OF-9) used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages, where the title of ...

Percy Kirke
to govern the dominion, but Charles died before the commission was approved.
King James II James II and VII (14 October 1633 O.S.16 September 1701An assertion found in many sources that James died 6 September 1701 (17 September 1701 New Style Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) indicate a dating system from before and after a c ...

King James II
approved Kirke's commission in 1685, but Kirke came under harsh criticism for his role in putting down
Monmouth's Rebellion The Monmouth Rebellion, also known as the Pitchfork Rebellion, the Revolt of the West or the West Country The West Country is a loosely defined area of south-western England. The term usually encompasses the historic counties of (from west t ...
, and his commission was withdrawn. A provisional commission was issued on October 8, 1685 to Massachusetts Bay native
Joseph Dudley Joseph Dudley (September 23, 1647 – April 2, 1720) was a colonial administrator, a native of Roxbury, Massachusetts, Roxbury in Massachusetts Bay Colony, and the son of one of its founders. He had a leading role in the administration of the D ...
as President of the Council of New England, due to delays in developing the commission for Kirke's intended successor Sir
Edmund Andros Sir Edmund Andros (6 December 1637 – 24 February 1714) was an English colonial administrator in British America British America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the ...

Edmund Andros
. Dudley's limited commission specified that he would rule with an appointed council and no representative legislature. The councillors named as members of this body included a cross-section of politically moderate men from the old colonial governments.
Edward Randolph Edward Randolph (~October 1690 – after 1756), sometimes referred to as Edward Randolph of Bremo, was a Captain (nautical), ship captain, a London tobacco merchant, and the seventh and youngest son of William Randolph and Mary Isham. Biography ...
had served as the crown agent investigating affairs in New England, and he was appointed to the council, as well. Randolph was also commissioned with a long list of other posts, including secretary of the dominion, collector of customs, and deputy postmaster.Barnes, p. 50


Dudley administration

Dudley's charter arrived in Boston on May 14, 1686, and he formally took charge of Massachusetts on May 25. His rule did not begin auspiciously, since a number of Massachusetts magistrates who had been named to his council refused to serve. According to Edward Randolph, the Puritan magistrates "were of opinion that God would never suffer me to land again in this country, and thereupon began in a most arbitrary manner to assert their power higher than at any time before." Elections of colonial military officers were also compromised when many of them refused to serve. Dudley made a number of judicial appointments, generally favoring the political moderates who had supported accommodation of the king's wishes in the battle over the old charter. Dudley was significantly hampered by the inability to raise revenues in the dominion. His commission did not allow the introduction of new revenue laws, and the Massachusetts government had repealed all such laws in 1683, anticipating the loss of the charter. Furthermore, many refused to pay the few remaining taxes on the grounds that they had been enacted by the old government and were thus invalid. Attempts by Dudley and Randolph were largely unsuccessful at introducing the Church of England due to a lack of funding, but were also hampered by the perceived political danger of imposing on the existing churches for their use. Dudley and Randolph enforced the Navigation Acts, although they did not adhere entirely to the laws. Some variations were overlooked, understanding that certain provisions of the acts were unfair (some resulted in the payments of multiple duties), and they suggested to the Lords of Trade that the laws be modified to ameliorate these conditions. However, the Massachusetts economy suffered, also negatively affected by external circumstances. A dispute eventually occurred between Dudley and Randolph over matters related to trade. During Dudley's administration, the Lords of Trade decided on September 9, 1686 to include into the dominion the colonies of
Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as ...
and
Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 United States census, 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, second-highest level of List of U.S. states and territories by H ...
, based on a petition from Dudley's council. Andros's commission had been issued in June, and he was given an annex to his commission to incorporate them into the dominion.


Andros administration

Andros had previously been governor of New York; he arrived in Boston on December 20, 1686 and immediately assumed power.Lustig, p. 141 He took a hard-line position, claiming that the colonists had left behind all their rights as Englishmen when they left England. The Reverend John Wise rallied his parishioners in 1687 to protest and resist taxes; Andros had him arrested, convicted, and fined. An Andros official explained, "Mr. Wise, you have no more privileges Left you then not to be Sold for Slaves." His commission called for governance by himself, again with a council. The initial composition of the council included representatives from each of the colonies which the dominion absorbed, but the council's quorums were dominated by representatives from Massachusetts and Plymouth because of the inconvenience of travel and the fact that travel costs were not reimbursed.


Church of England

Shortly after his arrival, Andros asked each of the Puritan churches in Boston if its meetinghouse could be used for services of the Church of England, but he was consistently rebuffed. He then demanded keys to
Samuel Willard Reverend Samuel Willard (January 31, 1640 – September 12, 1707) was a colonial clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding ...
's Third Church in 1687, and services were held there under the auspices of Robert Ratcliff until 1688, when
King's Chapel King's Chapel is an independent christianity, Christian unitarianism, unitarian congregation affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association that is "unitarian Christian in theology, anglicanism, Anglican in worship, and congregationalist p ...

King's Chapel
was built.


Revenue laws

After Andros' arrival, the council began a long process of harmonizing laws throughout the dominion to conform more closely to English laws. This work was so time-consuming that Andros issued a proclamation in March 1687 stating that pre-existing laws would remain in effect until they were revised. Massachusetts had no pre-existing tax laws, so a scheme of taxation was developed that would apply to the entire dominion, developed by a committee of landowners. The first proposal derived its revenues from import duties, principally alcohol. After much debate, a different proposal was abruptly put forward and adopted, in essence reviving previous Massachusetts tax laws. These laws had been unpopular with farmers who felt that the taxes were too high on livestock. In order to bring in immediate revenue, Andros also received approval to increase the import duties on alcohol. The first attempts to enforce the revenue laws were met by stiff resistance from a number of Massachusetts communities. Several towns refused to choose commissioners to assess the town population and estates, and officials from a number of them were consequently arrested and brought to Boston. Some were fined and released, while others were imprisoned until they promised to perform their duties. The leaders of
Ipswich Ipswich () is a large port town and borough in Suffolk Suffolk () is a ceremonial Counties of England, county of England in East Anglia. It borders Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lie ...
had been most vocal in their opposition to the law; they were tried and convicted of misdemeanor offenses. The other provinces did not resist the imposition of the new law, even though the rates were higher than they had been under the previous colonial administration, at least in Rhode Island. Plymouth's relatively poor landowners were hard hit because of the high rates on livestock.


Town meeting laws

One consequence of the tax protest was that Andros sought to restrict
town meeting A town meeting is a form of direct democracy Direct democracy or pure democracy is a form of democracy in which the Election#Electorate, electorate decides on policy initiatives without legislator, legislative representatives as proxie ...
s, since these were where that protest had begun. He, therefore, introduced a law that limited meetings to a single annual meeting, solely for the purpose of electing officials, and explicitly banning meetings at other times for any reason. This loss of local power was widely hated. Many protests were made that the town meeting and tax laws were violations of the
Magna Carta (Medieval Latin for "Great Charter of Freedoms"), commonly called (also ''Magna Charta''; "Great Charter"), is a Royal charter, royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor, on ...

Magna Carta
, which guaranteed taxation by representatives of the people.


Land titles and taxes

Andros dealt a major blow to the colonists by challenging their title to the land; unlike England, the great majority of Americans were land-owners. Taylor says that, because they "regarded secure real estate as fundamental to their liberty, status, and prosperity, the colonists felt horrified by the sweeping and expensive challenge to their land titles." Andros had been instructed to bring colonial land title practices more in line with those in England, and to introduce
quit-rents Quit rent, quit-rent, or quitrent is a tax or land tax imposed on occupants of Fee simple, freehold or leased land in lieu of services to a higher landowning authority, usually a government or its Assignment (law), assigns. Under feudal law, the pa ...
as a means of raising colonial revenues. Titles issued in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine under the colonial administration often suffered from defects of form (for example, lacking an imprint of the colonial seal), and most of them did not include a quit-rent payment. Land grants in colonial Connecticut and Rhode Island had been made before either colony had a charter, and there were conflicting claims in a number of areas. The manner in which Andros approached the issue was doubly divisive, since it threatened any landowner whose title was in any way dubious. Some landowners went through the confirmation process, but many refused, since they did not want to face the possibility of losing their land, and they viewed the process as a thinly veiled land grab. The Puritans of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay were among the latter, some of whom had extensive landholdings. All of the existing land titles in Massachusetts had been granted under the now-vacated colonial charter; in essence, Andros declared them to be void, and required landowners to recertify their ownership, paying fees to the dominion and becoming subject to the charge of a quit-rent. Andros attempted to compel the certification of ownership by issuing ''writs of intrusion'', but large landowners who owned many parcels contested these individually, rather than recertifying all of their lands. Few new titles issued were issued during the Andros regime; of 200 applications made, only about 20 were approved.


Connecticut charter

Andros' commission included Connecticut, and he asked Connecticut Governor
Robert Treat Robert Treat (February 23, 1624July 12, 1710) was an American colonial leader, militia officer and governor of the Connecticut Colony between 1683 and 1698 and the founder of Newark, New Jersey. Biography Treat was born in Pitminster, Somerset, ...
to surrender the colonial charter not long after his arrival in Boston. Connecticut officials formally acknowledged Andros' authority, unlike Rhode Island, whose officials acceded to the dominion but in fact did little to assist him. Connecticut continued to run their government according to the charter, holding quarterly meetings of the legislature and electing colony-wide officials, while Treat and Andros negotiated over the surrender of the charter. In October 1687, Andros finally decided to travel to Connecticut to personally see to the matter. He arrived in Hartford on October 31, accompanied by an honor guard, and met that evening with the colonial leadership. According to legend, the charter was laid out on the table for all to see during this meeting. The lights in the room unexpectedly went out and, when they were relit, the charter had disappeared. It was said to have been hidden in a nearby oak tree (referred to afterward as the
Charter Oak The Charter Oak was an unusually large white oak The genus Oak, ''Quercus'' (oak) contains over 500 species, some of which are listed here. The genus, as is the case with many List of the largest genera of flowering plants, large genera, i ...
) so that a search of nearby buildings could not locate the document. Whatever the truth of the legend, Connecticut records show that its government formally surrendered its seals and ceased operation that day. Andros then traveled throughout the colony, making judicial and other appointments, before returning to Boston. On December 29, 1687, the dominion council formally extended its laws over Connecticut, completing the assimilation of the New England colonies.


Inclusion of New York and the Jerseys

On May 7, 1688, the provinces of
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
,
East Jersey The Province of East Jersey, along with the Province of West Jersey, between 1674 and 1702 in accordance with the Quintipartite Deed were two distinct political divisions of the Province of New Jersey, which became the U.S. state of New Jersey. The ...
, and
West Jersey West Jersey and East Jersey The Province of East Jersey, along with the Province of West Jersey, between 1674 and 1702 in accordance with the Quintipartite Deed were two distinct political divisions of the Province of New Jersey, which became ...
were added to the Dominion. They were remote from Boston where Andros had his seat, so New York and the Jerseys were run by Lieutenant Governor
Francis Nicholson Lieutenant-general (United Kingdom), Lieutenant-General Sir Francis Nicholson (12 November 1655 – ) was a British Army General officer, general and Colonialism, colonial official who served as the List of colonial governors of South Carolina, ...
from
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
. Nicholson was an army captain and protégé of colonial secretary
William Blathwayt William Blathwayt (or Blathwayte) (1649 – 16 August 1717) was an English diplomat, public official and Whig politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons The House of Commons (domestically known as the Commons) is the lower ...
who came to Boston in early 1687 as part of Andros' honor guard and had been promoted to his council. During the summer of 1688, Andros traveled first to New York and then to the Jerseys to establish his commission. Dominion governance of the Jerseys was complicated by the fact that the proprietors' charters had been revoked, yet they had retained their property and petitioned Andros for what were traditional
manorial rights Manorialism, also known as seignorialism or the manorial system, was an organising principle of rural economies which vested legal and economic power Economists use several concepts featuring the word power: * Market power In economics ...
. The dominion period in the Jerseys was relatively uneventful because of their distance from the power centers and the unexpected end of the Dominion in 1689.


Indian diplomacy

In 1687, governor of
New France New France (french: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the a ...

New France
Jacques-René de Brisay de Denonville, Marquis de Denonville Jacques-René de Brisay de Denonville, Marquis de Denonville (10 December 1637 – 22 September 1710) was Governor General of New France from 1685 to 1689 and was a key figure in the Beaver Wars. Replacing Joseph Antoine de LaBarre in 1685, he ...
launched an attack against
Seneca Seneca may refer to: People and language *Seneca (name), a list of people with either the given name or surname *Seneca the Elder, a Roman rhetorician, writer and father of the stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger *Seneca the Younger, a Roman Stoi ...
villages in what is now western
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
. His objective was to disrupt trade between the English at
Albany Albany, derived from the Gaelic name for Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the C ...
and the
Iroquois The Iroquois ( or ) or Haudenosaunee (; "People of the Longhouse") are an indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous pe ...

Iroquois
confederation, to which the Seneca belonged, and to break the
Covenant ChainThe Covenant Chain was a series of alliances and treaties developed during the seventeenth century, primarily between the Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee) and the British colonies Within the British Empire, a Crown colony or royal colony was ...
, a peace that Andros had negotiated in 1677 while he was governor of New York. New York Governor
Thomas Dongan Thomas Dongan, (pronounced "Dungan") 2nd Earl of Limerick (1634 – 14 December 1715), was a member of the Irish Parliament, Royalist military officer during the English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civ ...

Thomas Dongan
appealed for help, and King James ordered Andros to render assistance. James also entered into negotiations with
Louis XIV of France Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 16381 September 1715), also known as Louis the Great () or the Sun King (), was from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the of any monarch of a sovereign country in ...

Louis XIV of France
, which resulted in an easing of tensions on the northwestern frontier. On New England's northeastern frontier, however, the
Abenaki The Abenaki (Abnaki, Abinaki, ''Alnôbak'') are a Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native America ...
harbored grievances against English settlers, and they began an offensive in early 1688. Andros made an expedition into Maine early in the year, in which he raided a number of Indian settlements. He also raided the trading outpost and home of
Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin (1652–1707) was a French military officer serving in Acadia Acadia (french: link=no, Acadie) was a colony of New France in northeastern North America North America is a continent entirely ...
on
Penobscot Bay Penobscot Bay (french: Baie de Penobscot) is an inlet of the Gulf of Maine and Atlantic Ocean in south central Maine. The bay originates from the mouth of Maine's Penobscot River, downriver from Belfast, Maine, Belfast. Penobscot Bay has many w ...
. His careful preservation of the Catholic Castin's chapel was a source of later accusations of "
popery The words Popery (adjective Popish) and Papism (adjective Papist) are mainly historical pejorative words in the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient ...
" against Andros. Andros took over the administration of New York in August 1688, and he met with the Iroquois at Albany to renew the covenant. In this meeting, he annoyed the Iroquois by referring to them as "children" (that is, subservient to the English) rather than "brethren" (that is, equals). He returned to Boston amid further attacks on the New England frontier by Abenaki parties, who admitted that they were doing so in part because of French encouragement. The situation in Maine had also deteriorated again, with English colonists raiding Indian villages and shipping the captives to Boston. Andros castigated the Mainers for this unwarranted act and ordered the Indians released and returned to Maine, earning the hatred of the Maine settlers. He then returned to Maine with a significant force, and began the construction of additional fortifications to protect the settlers. Andros spent the winter in Maine, and returned to Boston in March upon hearing rumors of revolution in England and discontent in Boston.


Glorious Revolution and dissolution

The religious leaders of Massachusetts, led by
Cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber Fiber or fibre (from la, fibra, links=no) is a natural Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of s ...

Cotton
and
Increase Mather Increase Mather (June 21, 1639 Old Style Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) indicate a dating system from before and after a calendar change, respectively. Usually this is the change from the Julian calendar The Julian calendar, prop ...

Increase Mather
, were opposed to the rule of Andros, and organized dissent targeted to influence the court in London. After King James published the
Declaration of Indulgence The Declaration of Indulgence, also called Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, was a pair of proclamation A proclamation (Lat. ''proclamare'', to make public by announcement) is an official declaration issued by a person of authority to mak ...
in May 1687, Increase Mather sent a letter to the king thanking him for the declaration, and then he suggested to his peers that they also express gratitude to the king as a means to gain favor and influence. Ten pastors agreed to do so, and they decided to send Mather to England to press their case against Andros. Edward Randolph attempted to stop him; Mather was arrested, tried, and exonerated on one charge, but Randolph made a second arrest warrant with new charges. Mather was clandestinely spirited aboard a ship bound for England in April 1688. He and other Massachusetts agents were well received by James, who promised in October 1688 that the colony's concerns would be addressed. However, the events of the
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), the invasion also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch, was the deposition of ...
took over, and by December James had been deposed by and
Mary II Mary II (30 April 166228 December 1694) was Queen of England, Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Gr ...

Mary II
. The Massachusetts agents then petitioned the new monarchs and the Lords of Trade for restoration of the old Massachusetts charter. Mather furthermore convinced the Lords of Trade to delay notifying Andros of the revolution. He had already dispatched a letter to previous colonial governor
Simon Bradstreet Simon Bradstreet (baptized March 18, 1603/4In the Julian calendar, then in use in England, the year began on March 25. To avoid confusion with dates in the Gregorian calendar, then in use in other parts of Europe, dates between January and March ...
containing news that a report (prepared before the revolution) stated that the charter had been illegally annulled, and that the magistrates should "prepare the minds of the people for a change." News of the revolution apparently reached some individuals as early as late March, and Bradstreet is one of several possible organizers of the mob that formed in Boston on April 18, 1689. He and other pre-Dominion magistrates and some members of Andros' council addressed an open letter to Andros on that day calling for his surrender in order to quiet the mob. Andros, Randolph, Dudley, and other dominion supporters were arrested and imprisoned in Boston. In effect, the dominion then collapsed, as local authorities in each colony seized dominion representatives and reasserted their earlier power. In Plymouth, dominion councilor Nathaniel Clark was arrested on April 22, and previous governor
Thomas Hinckley Thomas Hinckley (bapt. March 19, 1618 – April 25, 1706) was the last governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive (government), executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of go ...
was reinstated. Rhode Island authorities organized a resumption of its charter with elections on May 1, but previous governor Walter Clarke refused to serve, and the colony continued without one. In Connecticut, the earlier government was also rapidly readopted. New Hampshire was temporarily left without formal government, and came under ''de facto'' rule by Massachusetts Governor Simon Bradstreet. News of the Boston revolt reached New York by April 26, but Lieutenant Governor Nicholson did not take any immediate action. Andros managed during his captivity to have a message sent to Nicholson. Nicholson received the request for assistance in mid-May, but he was unable to take any effective action due to rising tensions in New York, combined with the fact that most of Nicholson's troops had been sent to Maine. At the end of May, Nicholson was overthrown by local colonists supported by the militia in
Leisler's Rebellion Leisler's Rebellion was an uprising in late-17th century colonial New York in which German American merchant and militia captain Jacob Leisler seized control of the southern portion of the colony and ruled it from 1689 to 1691. The uprising too ...
, and he fled to England. Leisler governed New York until 1691, when King William commissioned Colonel
Henry Sloughter Henry Sloughter (died July 23, 1691) was briefly colonial governor of New York in 1691. Sloughter was the governor who put down Leisler's Rebellion, which had installed Jacob Leisler as ''de facto'' governor in 1689. He died suddenly in July 1 ...
as its governor. Sloughter had Leisler tried on charges of high treason; he was convicted in a trial presided over by Joseph Dudley and then executed.


Massachusetts and Plymouth

The dissolution of the dominion presented legal problems for both Massachusetts and Plymouth. Plymouth never had a royal charter, and the charter of Massachusetts had been revoked. As a result, the restored governments lacked legal foundations for their existence, an issue that the political opponents of the leadership made it a point to raise. This was particularly problematic in Massachusetts, whose long frontier with
New France New France (french: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the a ...

New France
saw its defenders recalled in the aftermath of the revolt, and was exposed to French and Indian raids after the outbreak of
King William's War King William's War (1688–1697, also known as the Second Indian War, Father Baudoin's War, Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin, Castin's War, or the First Intercolonial War in French language, French) was the North American theater of the Nin ...
in 1689. The cost of colonial defense resulted in a heavy tax burden, and the war also made it difficult to rebuild the colony's trade.Barnes, p. 257 Agents for both colonies worked in England to rectify the charter issues, with Increase Mather petitioning the Lords of Trade for a restoration of the old Massachusetts charter. King William was informed that this would result in a return of the Puritan government, and he wanted to prevent that from happening, so the Lords of Trade decided to solve the issue by combining the two colonies. The resulting
Province of Massachusetts Bay The Province of Massachusetts Bay was a colony in British America British America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, L ...
combined the territories of Massachusetts and Plymouth along with
Martha's Vineyard Martha's Vineyard (Wampanoag The Wampanoag , also rendered Wôpanâak, are a Native American people. They were a loose confederation of several tribes in the 17th century, but today Wampanoag people encompass five officially recognized t ...
,
Nantucket Nantucket is an island about by ferry south from Cape Cod Cape Cod is a extending into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern corner of mainland , in the northeastern United States. Its historic, maritime character and ample beaches ...

Nantucket
, and the
Elizabeth Islands The Elizabeth Islands are a chain of small islands extending southwest from the southern coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts in the United States. They are located at the outer edge of Buzzards Bay (bay), Buzzards Bay, north of Martha's Vineyard, f ...
that had been part of
Dukes County Dukes County is a County (United States), county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the population was 16,535, making it the second-least populous county in Massachusetts. Its county seat i ...
in the
Province of New York The Province of New York (1664–1776) was a British proprietary colony A proprietary colony was a type of English colony mostly in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all w ...
.


Administrators

This is a list of the chief administrators of the Dominion of New England in America from 1684 to 1689:


Attorney General

The Attorney General was an appointed executive officer of the Dominion of New England:


See also

*
History of New England The History of New England pertains to the New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It is bordered by the state ...
*
New England Colonies The New England Colonies of British America British America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire in America from 1607 to 1783. These colonies were formally known as British America and the British West Indies before the T ...
*
New England Confederation The United Colonies of New England, commonly known as the New England Confederation, was a short lived confederal alliance of the New England colonies of Massachusetts Bay Colony, Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth Colony, Plymouth, Saybrook Colony, Say ...


References


Further reading

* * * Dunn, Richard S. "The Glorious Revolution and America" in ''The Origins of Empire: British Overseas Enterprise to the Close of the Seventeenth Century'' ( The Oxford History of the British Empire, (1998) vol 1 pp 445–66. * * * * * * * * * * * * Taylor, Alan, ''American Colonies: the Settling of North America'', Penguin Books, 2001. * * Webb, Stephen Saunders. ''Lord Churchill's coup: the Anglo-American empire and the Glorious Revolution reconsidered'' (Syracuse University Press, 1998) {{Authority control States and territories established in 1686 States and territories disestablished in 1689 English colonization of the Americas
History of the Thirteen Colonies ---- *''The category includes articles on the history of the European Thirteen Colonies on the east coast of present day United Stat ...
1686 establishments in the Thirteen Colonies Colonial United States (British) History of New England Pre-statehood history of New York (state) Pre-statehood history of New Jersey Former colonies in North America