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Colonial New England

Colonial New England

Edmund Andros in Colonial New England

Sir Edmund Andros (1637-1714) served as governor of New England after being appointed by King James II. When he took up his post in 1686, Andros sought to reduce colonial autonomy by combining the colonies of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Plymouth, Rhode Island, New York, New Hampshire, East Jersey and West Jersey into a single Dominion of New England. His overbearing methods led colonists to despise him deeply.

Andros's governance was certainly an imposition on the autonomy colonists once enjoyed. The governor tried to force Episcopalian worship on the Old South Meetinghouse in Boston, thus infuriating prominent Puritan ministers like Increase Mather and his son, Cotton Mather. Andros also vigorously enforced the Navigation Acts, creating many enemies in port towns like Boston. He further exacerbated his reputation by suppressing charters, town meetings, and colonial assemblies. When the colonies got word of the 1688 Glorious Revolution that unseated James II in England, they too rebelled. In Boston, they seized Andros and other officials, sending them to England as prisoners in 1689. Andros was quickly released, however, and went on to become colonial governor of Virginia, then Maryland, then finally the Island of Guernsey off the coast of France.

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