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1622 MASSACHUSETTS GRANT LOCATED IN ENGLAND NAMES DAVID THOMSON GOVERNOR AND ATTORNEY FOR "COUNCIL FOR NEW ENGLAND"

Click for full size: photo of the 1622 Massachusetts grant naming David Thomson, Gent. the Governor and Attorney on behalf of the Council for New EnglandDr. John Warner, Jr., Massachusetts State Archivist visited Mount Wachusett Community College recently to examine copies of documents relating to the "Council for New England's 1622 grant for the Massachusetts", and a letter written in 1625 from New England by David Thomson to the Thomas Howard, the Earl of Arundel. The 1622 grant was issued to Robert Gorges, son of Sir Ferdinando Gorges who was instrumental in the development of the Council for New England. According to the document, David Thomson was deputized and appointed to be the Governor and attorney on behalf of the Council. Thomson also held a grant for Thompson's Island in Boston Harbor, and the 6,000 acre Piscataqua grant, which became New Hampshire.

Though commonly accepted as the original grant for Massachusetts, the Charter for Massachusetts Bay, issued in 1629, is the second grant for the Massachusetts. Mathew Cradocke was appointed Governor under the Massachusetts Bay Charter. Next year, based on the 1622 grant, Massachusetts will be observing the 380th Anniversary of its founding.

The 1622 Massachusetts grant was located in January at the Public Records Office at Kew Garden in England by Genevieve Cora Fraser, author of the three part series "David Thomson, the Scottish Founder of New Hampshire - a Gentleman and Scholar", published by the Scottish Genealogical Society. Fraser also visited the private library of the Duke of Norfolk at Arundel Castle, West Sussex where the original letter is housed.

Click for full size photograph: Genevieve Cora Fraser with Dr. John WarnerThe Earl of Arundel, who was a member of the Council for New England and signed both the Massachusetts and Piscataqua grants, is most famous as one of the greatest art patrons and collectors in history. Arundel's "marbles" are ancient Greek and Roman statues he had recovered and preserved for posterity. His collections also included works by Rubens, Michelangelo, Van Dyke, and Raphael among others.

Both the 1622 Massachusetts grant and the 1625 Thomson letter have been photographed on Fraser's behalf and will be presented to Secretary of State William F. Galvin for the Massachusetts State Archives. An exhibit celebrating the 380th Anniversary of Massachusetts is under discussion. Genevieve Cora Fraser is a staff associate with the Office of External Affairs at Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner.

Gen Fraser - FraserGenevieve@gmail.com


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Updated: 16 Jan 2017 12:51 PM