Brief History of the Burying Ground
Established in 1630, this Burying Ground was the first Puritan burial space in the area. English colonists had been using the space for burials for over fifty years before King's Chapel was established as the first official Anglican congregation in New England. Many of the earliest white European colonizers of the New England area are buried there, such as John Winthrop, the first Puritan Governor of Massachusetts. Despite this history, it is important to acknowledge that this land has not always belonged to the city; like the rest of Boston, the land the Burying Ground and Chapel occupy was taken from the indigenous Massachusett people.
Did you know King’s Chapel was built on a part of the original Burying Ground?
King’s Chapel was founded in 1686 after King James II reorganized the government into the Dominion of New England. This act also brought an Anglican church to Puritan Boston, despite local resistance. After two years of worshipping in temporary locations, the Royal Governor Edmund Andros seized a portion of the Burying Ground, since the property was considered town land. The bodies of those buried on that portion of land were exhumed and relocated, a common practice throughout Europe, and the first wooden King’s Chapel was built on the site.
Learn more about King's Chapel's early history and the Burying Bround here.