The Cambridge Agreement was an agreement made on August 29, 1629, between the shareholders of the Massachusetts Bay Company, at Cambridge, England. Under its terms, one group of shareholders, who intended to emigrate to the New World, agreed to conditions that would result in their purchase of shares held by the remaining shareholders, who did not want to emigrate. The agreement led directly to the foundation of Boston, Massachusetts.
The Cambridge Agreement was a deal over whether the Massachusetts Bay Colony would be under local control, in New England, or under the control of a corporate board in London. Not all the shareholders of the Company were actually interested in emigrating, even if they were sympathetic Puritans. In return for guaranteeing local control over the colony, the non-emigrating shareholders were bought out by the emigrating shareholders. John Winthrop became leader of the emigrating group as a result of the negotiations; he was elected the company and colonial governor in October 1629.
The agreement guaranteed that Massachusetts would be a self-governing colony, answerable only to the English Crown. The Colony and the Company were now, for all intents and purposes, one and the same. Winthrop's Puritans carried their own charter, as well as the agreement, on their journey to New England in 1630.
- Jones, Augustine (1900). The Life and Work of Thomas Dudley, the Second Governor of Massachusetts. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin. OCLC 123194823.
- see http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/agreement-of-the-massachusetts-bay-company-at-cambridge-england/ for text of the agreement