Last Official Meeting of the Plymouth General Court
In 1686, the entire region was reorganized under a single government known as the Dominion of New England; this included the colonies of Plymouth, Rhode Island, Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, and New Hampshire.
In 1688 New York, West Jersey, and East Jersey were added. The President of the Dominion, Edmund Andros, was highly unpopular, and the union did not last. Plymouth Colony revolted and withdrew from the Dominion in April 1688; the entire union was dissolved during the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
The return of self-rule for Plymouth Colony was short-lived, however. A delegation of New Englanders, led by Increase Mather, went to England to negotiate for a return of the colonial charters that had been nullified during the Dominion years. The situation was particularly problematic for Plymouth Colony, as it had existed without a formal charter since its founding. Plymouth did not get their wish for a formal charter; instead a new charter was issued, annexing Plymouth Colony to Massachusetts Bay Colony. The official date of the proclamation ending the existence of Plymouth Colony was October 17, 1691, though it was not put into force until the arrival of the new charter on May 14, 1692, carried by William Phips. The last official meeting of the Plymouth General Court occurred on June 8, 1692.
The General Court of the Colony of New Plymouth was founded in 1620 when the Pilgrims came to New England, and the General Court served as the colony's legislature and judicial court. In 1636 the Court created North America's first written legal code with a set of statutes including a rudimentary bill of rights protecting traditional liberties such as the right to a jury trial. The early law of the the colony was based roughly on British common law and Mosaic law, but the judical structure resembled local manor and borough courts in England rather than the higher King's Court, which created the common law. The early Plymouth General Court met within the fort on Burial Hill near Cole's Hill in downtown Plymouth.
The Plymouth colony was officially incorporated by charter into the Province of Massachusetts Bay on October 7, 1691, although the General Court of the Plymouth Colony remained in effective government until the new charter arrived on May 14, 1692, carried by William Phips. The last official meeting of the Plymouth General Court occurred on June 8, 1692. The Plymouth General Court was officially disestablished in 1692 when the Massachusetts Colony with its Massachusetts General Court and Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court took over Plymouth's former jurisdiction.