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New Somersetshire was the name for a British colonial venture in what later became the U.S. state of Maine.


The sole Proprietor of New Somersetshire (1635 - 1647) was Sir Ferdinando Gorges, formerly the associate of John Mason as proprietors of the Province of Maine.

Gorges and Mason had divided the province into two parts in 1629. Mason took the southern part, naming it the Province of New Hampshire, while Gorges took the land north and east of the Piscataqua River, extending to the Kennebec River. Gorges named his portion New Somersetshire, after his native Somerset, after formally purchasing the territory from the Plymouth Council for New England in 1635.

Gorges' attempt to jumpstart the New Somersetshire colony failed for lack of funds and interested settlers.

In 1639, Stuart king Charles I of England chartered the New Somersetshire territory to Gorges as the reincarnation of the Province of Maine.



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