JOHN ENDECOTT (c. 1588-1665), English colonial governor in America, was born probably at Dorchester, Dorsetshire, England, about 1588.
The particulars of the proceedings of Governor Endecott and the magistrates of New England as given in Besse's Sufferings of the Quakers (see below) are startling to read.
In 1628 a patent for the territory was granted by the New England Council to the Dorchester Company, in which the Rev. John White of Dorchester, England, was conspicuous, and which in the same year sent out a small company under John Endecott as governor.
Under the charter for the Colony of Massachusetts Bay (1629), which superseded the Dorchester Company patent, Endecott continued as governor until the arrival in 1630 of John Winthrop, who soon removed the seat of government from Salem first to Charlestown and then to Boston.
At Merry Mount, in that part of Braintree which is now Quincy, a settlement was established by Thomas Morton in 1625, but the gay life of the settlers and their selling rum and firearms to the Indians greatly offended the Pilgrims of Plymouth, who in 1627 arrested Morton; soon afterward Governor John Endecott of Massachusetts Bay visited Merry Mount, rebuked the inhabitants and cut down their Maypole.
There had been various minor expeditions during the few years since Smith was on the coast before this company, in the Puritan interests, had sent over John Endecott with a party in 1628 to what is now Salem.
By his associates Endecott was entrusted with the responsibility of leading the first colonists to the region, and with some sixty persons proceeded to Naumkeag (later Salem) where Roger Conant, a seceder from the colony at Plymouth, had begun a settlement two years earlier.
There were various attempts to settle about its borders in the following years before John Endecott in 1628 landed at Salem as governor of the colony of Massachusetts bay, within which Boston was included.