Governor Massachusetts Bay Colony: 1641-1642, 1654-1655, 1665-1672

Richard Bellingham was one of the original patentees of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and frequently served as Deputy Governor. He was a native of Boston in Lincolnshire, England. As a lawyer he represented his town in Parliament before immigrating to New England in 1634.

Just a year after his arrival in Massachusetts, Bellingham was elected Deputy Governor. His service spanned three decades, during which he would be selected Deputy Governor eleven times and serve nine, one-year terms as Governor.

Typical of New England Puritans, he was a stern ruler who scorned meddlesome England. When officials were sent to investigate the Colony's compliance with newly created navigation and trade laws, Bellingham disputed their authority. When he was summoned to England to answer for his behavior, he answered by ignoring the summons. Bellingham, however, then gave the Royal Navy a shipload of masts freshly lumbered from the Colony's forests, thus resolving the matter. Bellingham was obviously cooperative in matters of trade and navigation - as his gift demonstrated.