m. ABT 1610
Facts and Events
Randall Holden (c. 1612 – 1692) was an early inhabitant of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, was one of the original founders of Portsmouth, and one of the co-founders of the town of Warwick. Coming from Salisbury in England, he is first recorded in New England as one of the signers of the compact establishing the settlement of Portsmouth by followers of the banished dissident minister, Anne Hutchinson. Following a few years on Aquidneck Island (called Rhode Island), he joined Samuel Gorton and ten others in establishing the town of Warwick in early 1643, on land purchased of the Indian sachems.
The first few years of the Warwick settlement were fraught with difficulty, and the settler's lands were claimed by Massachusetts, who sent soldiers to apprehend the Warwick settlers for supposed infractions against the local Indian sachems. The Warwick settlers were hauled off to face trial in Boston, but their charges had nothing to do with the sachems; instead they were charged with heresy and sedition based on their religious views. Being sent to various jails in the Boston area, they were eventually released, but were banished not only from the Massachusetts colony, but also from their own Warwick lands. Holden soon thereafter joined Gorton and John Greene on a trip to England to seek redress for the wrongs committed against them. Being successful in their mission, Holden and Greene returned to New England in 1646 with a new charter for their settlement, and protection from the crown.
Upon returning to the Rhode Island colony, Holden became heavily involved in the affairs of his town of Warwick, and of the entire colony. During the next 40 years he frequently served in a variety of roles as councilman and treasurer at the town level, and in the colony he was often Assistant to the President (or Governor), Commissioner, or Deputy. Holden was so highly respected within the colony that in 1676 during the dire events of King Philip's War he was one of 16 of the colony's most esteemed citizens to be called to the General Assembly for their counsel. Holden continued to serve the colony into his mid 70s, only a few years before his death in 1692 at the age of 80.