Born: Dec 21, 1603 AD
Died: 1684 AD, at 80 years of age.
1603 - Born on December 21st in London, England. Roger Williams, founder of the colony of Rhode Island in America and pioneer of religious liberty.
1627 - He was educated, under the patronage of Sir Edward Coke, at the Charter House and at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he received his degree.
1629 - He studied law under Sir Edward Coke; he certainly devoted himself to the study of theology, and was chaplain to Sir William Masham of Otes, in the parish of High Laver, Essex, but from conscientious scruples, in view of the condition of ecclesiastical affairs in England at the time, refused preferment.
1831 - He decided to emigrate to New England, and, with his wife Mary, arrived at Boston early in February.
1635 - He was formally tried in July by the Massachusetts General Court, and at the next meeting of the General Court in October, he not having taken advantage of the opportunity given to him to recant, a sentence of banishment was passed upon him, and he was ordered to leave the jurisdiction of Massachusetts within six weeks.
1636 - At the instance of the authorities at Plymouth, within whose jurisdiction Manton's Neck was included, Williams, with four companions, who had joined him, founded in June the first settlement in Rhode Island, to which, in remembrance of "God's merciful providence to him in his distress", he gave the name Providence.
- His influence with the Indians, and their implicit confidence in him, enabled him, soon after arriving at Providence, to induce the Narragansets to ally themselves with the Massachusetts colonists at the time of the Pequot War, and thus to render a most effective service to those who had driven him from their community.
1643-1644 - Went to England, and there in the following year obtained a charter for Providence, Newport and Portsmouth, under the title "The Providence Plantations in the Narragansett Bay." He returned to Providence, and soon afterwards was instrumental in averting an attack by the Narragansets upon the United Colonies of New England and the Mohegans.
1646 - Removed from Providence to a place now known as Wickford, Rhode Island.
1649-1670 - He was at various times a member of the general assembly of the colony, acted as deputy president for a short time, was president, or governor and was an assistant.
- He was the author of the books "A Key into the Language of the Indians of America", "Mr. Cotton's Letter Examined and Answered", "The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for the Cause of Conscience", "Queries of Highest Consideration", "The Bloudy Tenent yet more Bloudy", "The Hireling Ministry none of Christ's", "Experiments of Spiritual Life and Health" and "George Fox Digged out of his Burrowes".
1684 - Died on April 1st in Providence, Rhode Island.
Page last updated: 8:11am, 10th Mar '07