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This Day in Boston History

December 20th, 1686

Gov. Andros Arrives in Boston

On this day Sir Edmund Andros arrived in Boston to take up office as the first Royal Governor of the New England Colony.

Andros asserted the Royal prerogative, revoking the charters of assemblies, forbidding town meetings and restricting citizens from leaving the country without his consent.

Boston's Puritans were incensed when the right of marriage was removed from the clergy, and when he took use of the Old South Church for Anglican services until King's Chapel could be constructed.

At the news of the accession of William and Mary, Boston colonials rebelled. Andros and his officials were sent back to England as prisoners. He would soon be named Governor of Virginia (1692–97) and of Guernsey (1704–6).


England's Prime Minister never expected this tea tax to cause an outcry, let alone revolution. In 1767, England reduced its property taxes at home. To balance the national budget they needed to find a mechanism for the American colonies to pay for the expense of stationing officials in them. The officials would generate their own revenue by collecting taxes on all imported goods, and once paid affixing stamps on them. This Stamp Tax generated more in the way of protests and smuggling than added revenue.

Religion. Politics. Rebellion. Boston’s pedigree was forged back in England in the midst of religious dissension, where Puritans and Pilgrims sought religious reform, and Cavaliers and Roundheads vied for political power. The question isn't where did Boston get its name – but how.

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