Massachusetts Bay Colony

Start Free Trial

Why did Roger Williams leave Massachusetts?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Roger Williams was a religious leader in Massachusetts who was expelled due to his “dangerous” ideas. He was an advocate for religious freedom and wanted to completely separate from the Church of England. The Puritans of Massachusetts wanted to reform the church and believed that if they lived according to scripture and set a good example, then the Church of England would follow. As an assistant to the minister in the Plymouth Colony, Williams’s teachings were tolerated well in the beginning. Over time, Williams wanted more separation from the Church of England and started questioning the validity of the colonial charters. He openly condemned the King, but in court this issue was smoothed over. Two years later, he was ordered to appear in court twice to explain his teachings as an acting pastor that were deemed to be erroneous and dangerous. He was removed from his church position but continued meeting with some followers in his home to spread his ideas. In 1635, he was banished from the colony as a result.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial