Colonist, Colonial Governor. He was the second Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony and member of the first Board of Overseers for Harvard "College." Born in Northahmpton, England he married Dorothy Yorke and came to the colonies in 1626 as many did to follow the teachings of Reverend John Cotton. He and his family came to the new world on the Arabella as a leader of the newly patented Massachusetts Bay Colony along with Gov. John Winthrop and others. They were the lead ship in a 13 ship fleet commonly referred to as the "Winthrop Fleet" which landed on June 13, 1630 at what is now Salem. They traveled up the river and climbed a hill on the North shore. Local legend states that Dudley then thrust his cane into the ground and declared "This is the place." The location is now the corner of John F. Kennedy and Mount Auburn Streets. It is through this story that Thomas Dudley is considered the founder of Cambridge. Thomas's wife Dorothy died in 1643 and the next year he married Katherine (Dighton) Hackburne, a widow. They moved from Cambridge and settled in nearby Roxbury. Thomas had eight children in all, five by Dorothy Yorke and three by Katherine Dighton. The most notable of his offspring was Joseph Dudley (born 1647) who became the future royal governor of Massachusetts. Joseph was born when Thomas was 70 years of age. In 1650 as one of his first acts as governor, he signed the charter to Harvard College, establishing the guidelines in which the University still uses for operation today. Harvard's famed Dudley House is named for him as is Dudley Station in Roxbury on the commuter train line. He also established the Roxbury Latin School during the years he lived in that section of the city, the school is still open today and is considered one of the first public schools in America. He was a founder of the First Church at Boston, where a tablet honoring him was place.
Bio by: R. Digati