New Hampshire was originally part of the land grant given to John Mason and Sir Ferdinando Gorges in 1622. Although the whole area of this grant was referred to as Maine. Settlers began to arrive the following year but stayed very close to the coast.
In 1629, the two partners decided to go their separate ways and to divide the land between them. John Mason took the lands between the Merrimack and the Piscataqua rivers which he named "New Hampshire". From 1641 these lands came under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts.
In 1679, the colony had grown large enough to take care of its own affairs and became a separate colony. Although from 1686 to 1689 the colony did recombine with the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies in what was known as the New England Dominion.