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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/540
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1543-1987
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 189 production units.
Name of creator(s): New England Company | missionary society


Administrative/Biographical history:

The New England Company was a missionary society, originally founded by Act of Parliament in 1649 and chartered in 1662 as the "Company for the propagation of the gospel in New England and the parts adjacent in America". The Company sent missionaries and teachers to New England, and later further afield to New York and Virginia. Groups of Commissioners, often prominent local citizens, were appointed by the Company to oversee its affairs in New England, with the Governor of Massachusetts usually acting as Chairman.

The American War of Independence forced the Company to rethink its theatre of operations. Thereafter, efforts were concentrated on native tribes in Canada, and on the West Indies. In the 19th century the Company extended its work in Canada, increasingly in conjunction with local bishops and the Canadian Government's Department of Indian Affairs. In the 20th century, the Company handed over its remaining schools to the Department of Indian Affairs and concentrated on managing its estates in England, the proceeds from which are sent to the bishops in Canada for distribution.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the New England Company, missionary society. The majority of the collection dates from 1649, with deeds from 1543-1979. Some records are held only in the form of microfilms or xerox copies of originals held locally in North America.

The records comprise: Charters 1662-196; Court and committee minutes 1655-1987; copy minutes of Commissioners for Indian Affairs 1699-1818; and court attendance books 1937-63 and 1970-1. Financial records 1649-1979.

Correspondence and papers about Indians and Indian affairs in New England 1657-1764; papers relating to the proceedings of the Company 1649-56; reports on Company affairs and undertakings 1822-6; deeds and papers concerning missions in Canada 1828-1934; papers about support for missionary activity in West Indies and Canada 1961-76; and papers about the sale of the Mohawk Institute 1961-7.

Letter books 1688-1772, 1872-1919; general correspondence 1664-1818; papers relating to supplemental charters 1898 and 1959-60; papers about the history of Company 1700-1913 and tercentenary 1949; lists of governors, treasurers, clerks and members of the company, 1668 and 1741-1859; and miscellaneous administrative and legal papers 1688-1839, 1876-7.

Deeds and papers relating to Company estates, particularly in Essex, 1543-1979; inventories of Company effects in New England 1708, 1714; papers concerning Robert Boyle's annuity 1814-1900; copy will of Rev Daniel Williams 1711-12; and papers relating to William Pennoyer's charity 1670-1902.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records have been arranged in order reflecting the record function, e.g. administration, financial and so on.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to access restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The Company's archives were deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library in 1953. Additional deposits were made in 1969, 1979, 1980, 1988 and 1992. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
June to August 2010.

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