John Clarke and the Royal Charter
As the sole representative of Rhode Island, John Clarke labored in England for twelve years to secure the new charter. His efforts were crowned with success when, on July 8, 1663, King Charles II granted Rhode Island a charter which enlarged and established their borders. More importantly, the charter, described as the most liberal ever awarded by a royal sovereign, granted the religious liberty so desired by the Baptists. The valuable and sacrificial service rendered by John Clarke is memorialized by the King as Clarke is the first Rhode Islander addressed in the charter. The original oil painting is on display at New England Baptist College, Southington, Connecticut. Scene painted by nationally known artist, Ron Adair of Colorado Springs, Colorado.