In 1651, William Coddington received a commission to govern for life Aquidneck and neighboring Conanicut Island. Roger Williams responded by returning to England with John Clarke (1609-20 Apr 1676) the same year in 1651 to defend the colony’s charter. Just weeks earlier the parliament was busy with religious matters. Specifically, the powers of the church. Although Roger Williams was there to defend his young settlement, he couldn’t help but get involved. Within weeks he wrote and printed several pamphlets framing the issues of the day and supporting religious tolerance.

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