Sir Henry Vane
Painting: by unknown 17th Century artist

Governor Massachusetts Bay Colony: 1636-1637

Henry Vane advocated a level of religious tolerance, which made him unpopular with the theocratic leaders of Boston. His support of Anne Hutchinson stirred dissent making it impossible for him to govern effectively.

The Oxford-educated Vane arrived in Boston in October of 1635. Increased immigration had outstripped the Colony's ability to produce food and shelter. Just seven months after he arrived in Boston, Vane was elected Governor in May of 1636.

Governor Vane lost his office after a single term to John Winthrop. Winthrop would go on to prosecute and exile Hutchinson, making him the leading political figure in Massachusetts between 1630 and 1650.

Henry Vane served briefly as a legislator before returning to England, where in 1639, he became Joint Treasurer of the Navy and was knighted in 1640. Vane was a supporter of the parliamentary cause during England's Civil War and opposed the restoration. For this he was tried for high treason and executed in 1662.