1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Winthrop, John (1606-1676)

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WINTHROP, JOHN (1606-1676), generally known as John Winthrop the Younger, son of the preceding, born at Groton, England, on the 12th of February 1606. He was educated at the Bury St Edmunds grammar school and at Trinity College, Dublin, studied law for a short time after 1624 at the Inner Temple, London, accompanied the ill-fated expedition of the duke of Buckingham for the relief of the Protestants of La Rochelle, and then travelled in Italy and the Levant, returning to England in 1629. In 1631 he followed his father to Massachusetts, and was one of the “assistants” in 1635, 1640 and 1641, and from 1644 to 1649. He was the chief founder of Agawam (now Ipswich), Mass., in 1633, went to England in 1634, and in the following year returned as governor, for one year, of Connecticut, under the Saye and Sele patent, sending out the party which built the fort at Saybrook, at the mouth of the Connecticut river. He then lived for a time in Massachusetts, where he devoted himself to the study of science and attempted to interest the settlers in the development of the colony's mineral resources. He was again in England in 1641-1643, and on his return established iron-works at Lynn and Braintree, Mass. In 1645 he obtained a title to lands in south-eastern Connecticut, and founded there in 1646 what is now New London, whither he removed in 1650. He became one of the magistrates of Connecticut in 1651; in 1657-1658 was governor of the colony; and in 1659 again became governor, being annually re-elected until his death. In 1662 he obtained in England the charter by which the colonies of Connecticut and New Haven were united. Besides being governor of Connecticut, he was also in 1675 one of the commissioners of the United Colonies of New England. While in England he was elected to membership in the newly organized Royal Society, to whose Philosophical Transactions he contributed two papers, “Some Natural Curiosities from New England,” and “Description, Culture and Use of Maize.” He died on the 5th of April 1676 in Boston, whither he had gone to attend a meeting of the commissioners of the United Colonies of New England.

His correspondence with the Royal Society was published in

series 1, vol. xvi. of the Massachusetts Historical Society's Proceedings. See T. F. Waters's Sketch of the Life of John Winthrop the Younger

(Ipswich, Mass., 1899).

Winthrop's son, Fitz-John Winthrop (1638-1707), was educated at Harvard, though he did not take a degree; served in the parliamentary army in Scotland under Monck, whom he accompanied on his march to London, and returned to Connecticut in 1663. As major-general he commanded the unsuccessful expedition of the New York and Connecticut forces against Canada in 1690; from 1693 to 1697 he was the agent of Connecticut in London; and from 1698 until his death he was governor of Connecticut.