Charlestown is the oldest neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.
Thomas and Jane Walford were the original English settlers of Mishawaum (later Charlestown); they settled there in 1624. They were given a grant by Sir Robert Gorges, with whom they had settled at Wessagusset (Weymouth) in September 1623. John Endicott, first governor ofMassachusetts Bay Colony, had sent William, Richard and Ralph Sprague to Mishawaum to lay out a settlement. Thomas Walford, acting as an interpreter with the Massachusetts Indians, negotiated with the local sachem Wonohaquaham for Endicott and his people to settle there. Although Walford had a virtual monopoly on the region's available furs, he welcomed the newcomers and helped them in any way he could, unaware that his Episcopalian religious beliefs would cause him to be banished from Massachusetts to Portsmouth, New Hampshire within three years.Originally a Puritan English city during the Colonial era (a time to which many of the neighborhood's structures date), Charlestown was founded in 1628, and settled July 4, 1629, by Thomas Graves,Increase Nowell, Simon Hoyt, Rev. Francis Bright, Ralph, Richard and William Sprague and about 100 others who preceded theGreat Migration. John Winthrop's company stopped here for some time in 1630, before deciding to settle across the Charles River at Boston.The territory of Charlestown originally included what is now Melrose and Malden (both until 1649), Stoneham (until 1725), Somerville (until 1842), Medford, Everett, Woburn, Burlington, and parts of Arlington and Cambridge.