John Winthrop, known for “both for his integrity and sufficiency, as being one very well fitted and accomplished,” was the first governor of the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony and the single most influential voice in its politics for its first twenty years of existence. A member of the gentry with practical leadership experience gained managing his family estate, Winthrop had also served as a county justice and as an attorney in the royal courts. Although he was moderately successful in these roles, Winthrop ultimately became so troubled by the corruption of court policy under Charles I that he abandoned any hope for reform. Instead, he joined the growing number of religiously zealous Englishmen and women convinced that their only chance of establishing a godly society lay in the new world.