An Historical Sketch of The City of Salem and the Towns of Marblehead, Peabody, Beverly, Danvers, Wenham, Manchester, Topsfield, and Middleton" by C. H. Webber and W. S. Nevins. Salem, Mass: A. A. Smith & Co., Publishers. Boston: Lee & Shepard. (1877)

"In religious matters those who came to Salem differed somewhat from those who established themselves at Plymouth. The former were not true separatists from the Church of England; they were dissenters from its corruptions, its intolerance, and its formula only. ...On the other hand, the people who settled at Plymouth were separatists.

A few years after the settlement at Plymouth a number of persons led by Rev.John Lyford, dissatisfied with the extreme separation of the Colony and Church from the English Church, removed to Nantasket, near the entrance to Boston harbor, where they made a temporary settlement, and the next year (1625) removed again, this time to Cape Ann. Here they attempted to plant a farming, fishing and trading colony, and being joined by Mr. Lyford, and Roger Conant, the former was made preacher and the latter 'governor.' When Conant arrived at Cape Ann, which must have been some time in the fall of 1625, he found the affairs in an unsatisfactory state. The fishing had turned out unprofitable and there was much insubordination. He was unable to revive the interest, and in the fall of 1626 the settlement broke up, a portion of the people returning to England. Conant, it appears, had sailed up along the shores of the Cape as far as the mouth of the Naumkeag river during the summer of that year, and marked it as one evidently suitable as a 'receptacle for such as upon the account of religion would be willing to begin a foreign plantation in this part of the world.'

Conant...(induced the settlers) to follow him to Naumkeag; there to lay the foundation of a colony destined to plant the spirit of Puritanism so deeply and so firmly that amid the changes of two hundred and fifty years it still bears its impress.

...The number who came hence from Cape Ann was about twenty-five, or one-half of the settlement there. Aside from the women and children there were Roger Conant, Humphrey Woodbury, John Lyford, John Woodbury, John Balch, Peter Palfry, Walter Knight, William Allen, Thomas Gray, John Tylly, Thomas Gardner, Richard Norman and Son, William Traske, and William Jeffry. They left Cape Ann in September or October, 1626... Conant and his followers are thought to have landed from the South River, not far from the foot of Elm or Central streets as now (1877) laid out.

Hardly had the first settlement been effected at Naumkeag, and preparations made for permanently abiding there, when dissatisfaction was manifested by some of the settlers. They were dissatisfied with the location, and with the prospects for the future, and they also professed a dread of interference from the Indians.

The desire to remove was heightened by the proposal of Mr. Lyford that they follow him to Virginia, whither he was to go at once. Several announced a determination to accept the offer. Had Conant consented to go with them, every member of the ...settlement would have readily departed. But he would not go himself, and strongly urged the others to remain, declaring, that 'they might go if they wished, and though all of them should forsake him, he should wait the providence of God in that place, not doubting that if they departed he should have more company.' Again the reasoning of Conant prevailed and Lyford was obliged to depart unaccompanied. He died shortly after arriving at the Virginia settlement."

(In March, 1628, the council of Plymouth for New England thought it best to select one of their own number to be the actual governor of the colony, and John Endicott was chosen. Endicott arrived in Salem harbor on September 6, 1628).
"...At a General Court, convened by Endicott in the following June (1629), all 'united in an effort to promote the common good.' It was at this meeting that the name Salem (meaning peace) was substituted for that of Naumkeag."

THE MASSACHUSETS BAY COMPANY AND ITS PREDECESSORS by Frances Rose-Troup, F.R. Hist. Soc., The Grafton Press, NY, 1930: Cape Ann was begun by the Dorchester Company.

Rev. John White of Dorchester, England, was the promoter of the Dorchester Company. He didn't come over to America. His English church did not contemplate separation (like that of the Pilgrims' of Leyden) and the wave of religious fervor in the west of England was entirely different from that which was in the east of England (like the Puritans'). White's desire was to
provide religious instruction for the fishermen and others of our nation upon the New England coast, and to provide a refuge to which churchmen could flee when no longer able to comply with (Archbishop) Laud's demands. White invited the assistance of certain "religious and well-affected persons" who had, they heard, left Plymouth "out of dislike of the principles of rigid separation" held there. Rev. LYFORD went to Cape Ann at that time (after CONANT). The opinions held by the Dorchester men, it turns out, were diametrically opposed to those entertained at New Plymouth, and instead of being made under the auspices of the Pilgrim Fathers, were established in direct opposition to those colonists and incurred their undying hatred.
When the association of Adventurers of the Dorchester Company, established a plantation at Cape Ann, a few men were there by 1623, and it was to be a business venture (fishing and farming). In 1623 14 men had "inhabited" at Cape Ann, and 32 more came the following Spring. John TILLY and Thomas GARDNER were in charge of the plantation the first year which was failing, when Roger CONANT was sent to take over. The plantation did not much better under CONANT's leadership and it was doomed to failure as a business venture.
The Dorchester Company, having failed to accomplish its object (of a fishing/farming trade) by 1626, ceased to exist and the plantations, servants and supplies were taken over by a few members of the Company who had not lost faith in the ultimate success of their purpose. The settlement at this time was transferred to "Nahum Keike (or Naumkeag)" and the name changed later to Salem.
The remnants of those once associated with the Dorchester Company were later absorbed into the Massachusetts Bay Company (about 1629 upon the arrival of ENDICOTT who came in readiness for the 1630 arrival of the WINTHROP FLEET).
Fourteen or so men who were probably involved with the original Cape Ann
were the following:
John TILLY, Thomas GARDNER, Roger CONANT, John WOODBURY, John BALCH, Peter PALFREY, Walter KNIGHT (came from Nantasket), William ALLEN, Richard NORMAN and his son John NORMAN, Thomas GRAY, William TRASKE.
(probably) William JEFFREY/JEFFRIES/JEFFERY (later of Weymouth), and John OLDHAM (came with CONANT).

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