Bradstreet, Simon, 1604 - 1697

Simon Bradstreet was born in Horbling, England, in early 1604. He matriculated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1617 (B.A., 1620; M.A., 1624). He served as assistant to Thomas Dudley, steward to the earl of Lincoln and dowager countess of Warwick. In 1628, he married Dudley’s oldest daughter, Anne, who won renown as the famous New England poetess. On March 18, 1630, in Southampton, England, he was chosen assistant of the Massachusetts Bay Company and served as its secretary until 1636. He sailed with his wife and the Dudley family to New England on board tin the same fleet spearheaded by Gov. John Winthrop. He settled with his family in Newtown (i.e. Cambridge), Massachusetts, and played an active role in civic life. He was elected assistant annually until 1678, when he was elected deputy governor, and in 1679, when he was elected governor of Massachusetts. He played an important role in organizing the United Colonies of New England in 1643 and served as one of its commissioners for the next thirty-three years. He governed from a moderate position and, in 1662, he represented Massachusetts as agent to Charles II. Although he received confirmation of the colony’s charter after the restoration of the Stuart monarchy, he lost some of his popularity when the colonists learned that Charles II had demanded greater religious toleration in the Massachusetts Bay colony. He was re-elected governor annually until the Massachusetts’ charter was revoked and Sir Edmund Andros established the Dominion of New England (1686). He refused to serve in the new royal government because there was no representative assembly. After the Dominion came to an end in April 1689, he served as a member of the Council of Safety, which oversaw colonial affairs and called a convention to re-establish the old charter. Bradstreet was re-elected governor, a position he maintained until the new royal charter and the arrival of first royal governor Sir William Phips in May 1692. ANB; ODNB; Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England (Boston: Great Migration Study Project, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1990-).
Gov. Sir
Feb. or Mar. 1604
March 27, 1697