(Colonial America, Massachusetts Charter)
(Colonial America, Massachusetts Charter), Important manuscript document, May 3rd, 1637, one page, from the House of Lords and the Commission of Foreign Plantations to the Attorney General of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, ordering him to return the Charter granted to the Colony, "3 May 1637 / Their Lo.ps taking into Consideration the Patent Granted to the Governor of New England did this day order that Mr. Attorney Generall be here by prayed and required to call in for the said Patent and present the same to the Board or the Comtee for Forreign Plantations.," with appropriate docket to reverse, "Mr. Attorney to call for the Charter of New=England," 11 3/4 x 7 1/2 in., (scattered browning, minor inner fold separations).
Note: On three occasions between 1637 and 1639, the call went up from the English Parliament for the revocation of the Massachusetts Bay Charter. As early as 1634, there had been widespread dissatisfaction with the application of the Charter as it was currently constituted, both in the Colonies and in England. A council of eight freeman had consolidated their jurisdiction by voting to grant all legislative, executive, and judicial power to a "Council" of the Governor's assistants (those same eight men). They then set up town boundaries, created taxes, and elected officers. As a result they became the only colony outside of England to have their own ruling body. While the English judicial branch felt that the Colonists had no right to govern themselves and thus the charter needed to be revoked.