In 1628 a group of Puritans, led by John Winthrop and Thomas Dudley, persuaded King James to grant them an area of land between the Massachusetts Bay and Charles River in North America. That year the group sent John Endecott to begin a plantation in Salem.
The main party of 700 people left Southampton in April 1630. The party included John Winthrop, Thomas Dudley, William Pynchon, Simon Bradstreet and Anne Bradstreet. Before they left John Cotton gave a sermon where he emphasized the parallel between the Puritans and the God's chosen people, claiming it was God's will that they should inhabit all the world. During the 1630s over 20,000 people emigrated to Massachusetts.
John Winthrop was the first governor of Massachusetts Colony. He chose Boston as the the capital and the seat of the General Court and the legislature. Thomas Dudley was appointed his deputy and on four occasions (1634, 1640, 1645 and 1650) he served as governor.
Massachusetts was virtually independent of the Britain. Its government was representative, although the franchise was restricted to church members. Non-Puritans were allowed to reside in the colony but were forbidden participation in the government
Thomas Dudley and John Winthrop did not always agree about the way the colony should be ruled. Whereas Winthrop was tolerant and liberal, Dudley favoured the expulsion of any person he considered to be a heretic. It was Dudley who managed to get Anne Hutchinson and her followers removed from the colony. A crisis meeting was held in 1635 and these conflicts were resolved. Two years later Winthrop published a new policy on heresy.