Massachusetts Bay Colony

The Massachusetts Bay Colony was an English settlement on the east coast of America in the 17th century around the Massachusetts Bay, the northernmost of the several colonies reorganized as the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The lands of the settlement were located in southern New England, with initial settlements situated on two natural harbors and surrounding land about 15.4 miles apart—the areas around Salem and Boston. The territory nominally administered by the colony covered much of central New England, including portions of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut. Territory claimed but never administered by the colonial government extended as far west as the Pacific Ocean; the Dutch colony of New Netherland disputed many of these claims, arguing that they held rights to land beyond Rhode Island up to the western side of Cape Cod, under the jurisdiction of Plymouth Colony at the time. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded by the owners of the Massachusetts Bay Company, which included investors in the failed Dorchester Company which had established a short-lived settlement on Cape Ann in 1623.

The colony was the company's second attempt at colonization. It was successful, with about 20,000 people migrating to New England in the 1630s; the population was Puritan, its governance was dominated by a small group of leaders who were influenced by Puritan teachings. Its governors were elected, the electorate were limited to freemen, examined for their religious views and formally admitted to the local church; as a consequence, the colonial leadership exhibited intolerance to other religious views, including Anglican and Baptist theologies. The colonists had good relationships with the local Indian populations, but frictions developed which led to the Pequot War and to King Philip's War, after which most of the Indians in southern New England made peace treaties with the colonists; the colony was economically successful, engaging in trade with the West Indies. A shortage of hard currency prompted it to establish a mint in 1652. Political differences with England after the English Restoration led to the revocation of the colonial charter in 1684.

King James II established the Dominion of New England in 1686 to bring all of the New England colonies under firmer crown control. The dominion collapsed after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 deposed James, the Massachusetts Bay Colony reverted to rule under the revoked charter until 1691, when a new charter was issued for the Province of Massachusetts Bay; this province combined the Massachusetts Bay territories with those of the Plymouth Colony and proprietary holdings on Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Sir William Phips formally took charge of the new province. Prior to the arrival of European colonists on the eastern shore of New England, the area around Massachusetts Bay was the territory of several Algonquian-speaking tribes, including the Massachusetts and Wampanoags; the Pennacooks occupied the Merrimack River valley to the north, the Nipmucs and Mahicans occupied the western lands of Massachusetts, although some of those tribes were under tribute to the Mohawks, who were expanding aggressively from upstate New York.

The total Indian population in 1620 has been estimated to be 7,000. This number was larger as late as 1616; the land-use patterns of the Indians included plots cleared for agricultural purposes and woodland territories for hunting game. Land divisions among the tribes were well understood. During the early 17th century, several European explorers charted the area, including Samuel de Champlain and John Smith. Plans began in 1606 for the first permanent British settlements on the east coast of North America. On April 10, 1606, King James I of England granted a charter forming two joint-stock companies. Neither of these corporations was given a name by this charter, but the territories were named as the "first Colony" and "second Colony", over which they were authorized to settle and to govern. Under this charter, the "first Colony" and the "second Colony" were to be ruled by a Council composed of 13 individuals in each colony; the charter provided for an additional council of 13 persons named "Council of Virginia" which had overarching responsibility for the combined enterprise.

The "first Colony" ranged from the 34th- to 41st-degree latitude north. Investors from London were appointed to govern over any settlements in the "first Colony"; the London Company proceeded to establish Jamestown. The Plymouth Company under the guidance of Sir Ferdinando Gorges covered the more northern area, including New England, established the Sagadahoc Colony in 1607 in Maine; the experience proved exceptionally difficult for the 120 settlers and the surviving colonists abandoned the colony after only one year. Gorges noted that "there was no more speech of settling plantations in those parts" for a number of years. English ships continued to come to the

Dalcross Castle

Dalcross Castle is a restored 17th century tower house, about 1.5 miles south west of Croy, Scotland, about 7 miles north and east of Inverness. The castle stands on a ridge; the Frasers of Lovat owned the property and the 8th Lord Lovat built a castle here in 1620, but it passed to the Mackintoshes soon after. Prior to the battle of Culloden the Hanoverian troops mustered here in 1746; the house was abandoned, became ruinous, but it was restored and reoccupied in the 20th century, by descendants of the Mackintosh lairds. The restoration of the castle was by W L Carruthers, in 1896. Although referred to as an L-plan castle, it may be better described as two offset wings joined at the corner. One wing has five storeys and an attic, while the other has three, their connection being a projecting square tower, which has a bartizan, is topped by a garbled watch-chamber; this creates two re-entrant angles. There have been extensions since the castle was built, including a two-storey 18th-centuryaddition to the north gable.

There are many shot-holes in the walls, while many windows still have their iron yetts. At the foot of the square stair-tower is the entrance from the courtyard, leading to a vaulted basement; this basement contains cellars, a kitchen with a large arched fireplace, a wine cellar with a small staircase to the fine first storey hall, which may be reached by the wide main stair. Above; the ashlar chimney piece has a moulded surround a coat of arms, the motto, “Je Trouve Bien”. The upper bedroom quarters may be reached by a small turnpike stair. A massive chimney stack tops the east wall of the north wing; the building is with tooled and polished ashlar dressings. The doorway has filletted roll to moulded door jambs, stepped hood mould; the panel above the doorway shows the date 1720. Some windows, including dormers, were added in 1896. There are gardens surrounded by a coped wall of red rubble, it is a category A listed building

Yannis Stavrou

Yannis Stavrou is a contemporary Greek artist, painter. Yannis Stavrou was born in Greece, he studied sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts before painting won him over. He lives and works in Athens, he has done thirty one solo participates in group exhibitions. His landscapes and seascapes are not classical in style as the sea is just a motive for his colour palette while the shapes of his ships are more conceptual and impressionist than figurative. After a quite long period of involvement in a form of "modern academism" he is now going through a new stage, in which the form becomes more abstract, but the method of painting and the technique of paint and brush follow the old classic methods. To the brush intervenes the knife in numerous layers of colour; the art historian, critic Manos Stefanidis wrote about Yannis Stavrou’s work in 2006: “I see his paintings as a challenge for an inner voyage, an opportunity for a resurrection of the gaze - a prolongation of real life. His compositions are structured around two opposite poles: a sturdy rhythm.

His paintings keep alive the memory of those places he fell in love with in the past or create novel seas for new journeys. Here plasticity is achieved via abstractive processes, elsewhere a tiny light - one catalytic brushstroke - unveils a well-hidden secret, his heavy blues are electrified with orange iridescences and his reds never leave his blacks or dark greens unaccompanied.” Dr Manos Biris, Professor of the Architecture History in the National Technical University of Athens, wrote about Yannis Stavrou in 2000: "Yannis Stavrou is a painter who touches upon the city's metaphysical tissue. An offspring himself of the lucky generation, which witnessed the historical heart-rending moments of Greek urban centers, more so in his city of Thessaloniki, he takes us by the hand, striding with confident strokes back to our legendary childhood evoked by his images. More details about Yannis Stavrou are found in the artist’s official blogNewspaper articles "Opening Hydra's artistic windows to light" — Athens News newspaper, August 8, 2000 "Cities under Stavrou's spell" — Athens News newspaper, December 7, 2001 "Stavrou's Floating Towns" — Athens News newspaper, May 5, 2002 "Stavrou paints life, people" — Athens News newspaper, December 13, 2002