The Massachusetts Bay Company, which was strongly Puritan, had been conducting business in the New World for a few years as the New England Company. The company then renamed itself the Massachusetts Bay Company, after the tribe of Massachusetts Indians that lived in New England, and the company was granted a charter by Charles I, on March 4, 1629, to officially engage in trade in New England.
In August of 1629, the company held a series of meetings in Cambridge where they voted to take advantage of this omission and move the entire company to New England, according to the book The Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
In April of 1630, the Puritans, led by one of the company’s stockholders, John Winthrop, left their homes in Boston, England and gathered at a dock in Southampton to set sail for the New World.
The existing colony in Salem, which was occupied by members of the failed Cape Ann settlement in 1626 and taken over by Governor John Endecott by order of the New England Company in 1628.
The Puritans finally settled in Charlestown, across the river from the Shawmut peninsula, which is now modern day Boston. Although they had finally settled, the colony still suffered due to a lack of fresh water.
More Puritans continued to travel over from England and the number of colonies in New England expanded to a total of four: Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven.