New Haven has since billed itself as the "Cultural Capital of Connecticut" for its supply of established theaters, museums, and music venues. Before Europeans arrived, the New Haven area was the home of the Quinnipiac tribe of Native Americans, who lived in villages around the harbor and subsisted off local fisheries and the farming of maize.
It was made co-capital of Connecticut in 1701, a status it retained until 1873.
In 1716, the Collegiate School relocated from Old Saybrook to New Haven and established New Haven as a center of learning.
In April 1638, the main party of five hundred Puritans who left the Massachusetts Bay Colony under the leadership of the Reverend John Davenport and the London merchant Theophilus Eaton sailed into the harbor.
These settlers were hoping to establish a (in their mind) better theological community, with the government more closely linked to the church than the one they left in Massachusetts and sought to take advantage of the excellent port capabilities of the harbor.
In 1660, founder John Davenport's wishes were fulfilled, and Hopkins School was founded in New Haven with money from the estate of Edward Hopkins.
In 1661, the judges who had signed the death warrant of Charles I of England were pursued by Charles II.A third judge, John Dixwell, joined the other regicides at a later time.New Haven became part of the Connecticut Colony in 1664, when the two colonies were merged under political pressure from England, according to folklore as punishment for harboring the three judges (in reality, done in order to strengthen the case for the takeover of nearby New Amsterdam, which was rapidly losing territory to migrants from Connecticut).However, the area north of New Haven remained Quinnipiac until 1678, when it was renamed Hamden.The settlement became the headquarters of the New Haven Colony.At the time, the New Haven Colony was separate from the Connecticut Colony, which had been established to the north centering on Hartford.