Governor Massachusetts Bay Colony: 1634-1635, 1640-1641, 1645-1646, 1650-1651
In 1629, Thomas Dudley was one of the original five officers of the Massachusetts Bay Corporation who traveled to America with the Winthrop fleet. Though he was 54 years old when he arrived in Massachusetts, Dudley would be elected Governor four times and served 13 terms as Deputy Governor.
Mr. Dudley had been a Captain in the English Army and is remembered as strong-willed and intelligent. He disagreed with John Winthrop's idea to base Massachusetts' government in Boston and settled in Ipswich, later moving to Roxbury to be closer to the Colony's government.
He and future Governor Simon Bradstreet were co-founders of Cambridge. In 1650, as Governor, Dudley signed the charter creating Harvard as Massachusetts' first college. The University still operates under this charter. Dudley was an overseer of Harvard College, and Dudley House memorializes Governor Dudley's leadership at the College and the early Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1702, Dudley's son, Joseph Dudley became Governor of Colonial Massachusetts.