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Reverend William Blaxton (also spelled Blackstone) was the first European to settle in what is now Boston. He first arrived in 1625 and made his home on Boston Common and Beacon Hill. However, it was not long before he was sharing the central land of the Shawmut Peninsula with the Puritans. Their settlement north of Boston was not working for them, so William invited them to stay near him. Unfortunately for William, the Puritans were more strict in their spiritual beliefs than he was. Reverend Blaxton quickly moved out of Boston to the south so he could avoid Puritan tyranny.
Rumor has it that the Puritans disagreed so strongly with the Anglican Reverend that they had his house burned down. Blaxton sold them his property before heading south. It worked out to his advantage in terms of legacy. Reverend Blaxton went on to become the first European settler of what is now Rhode Island within five years of inviting the Puritans to share the Shawmut Peninsula with him.