In the summer and fall of 1648 the colony republished Ward's Body of Liberties and included subsequent decisions by the General Court. The new code, coupled with a synod of area ministers–in which they drew up a formal document explaining the governance and organization of the congregational church–presented the colony with a formal system of governance and operation. Civil government stood ready for next challenge.
Unfortunately, in the winter of 1949, John Winthrop found himself in failing health. Beginning in February, 1649, Winthrop was bedridden. He died in his sleep on March 26, 1649 at the age of sixty-one. His colony, though, would thrive and prosper for many years to come.