Obadiah Holmes (1610 - 15 October 1682) was an early Rhode Island settler, and a Baptist minister who was whipped in the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his religious beliefs and activism. He became the pastor of the Baptist Church in Newport, Rhode Island, a position he held for 30 years. Born in 1610 near Manchester, England, he grew up in a family where several of his brothers were sent to college at Oxford, but he was somewhat wild in his youth, and saw his rebelliousness as being a cause of his mother's death. He was married at the age of 20, and several years later emigrated from England to settle in Salem in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He and two others began a glass making business there, but by 1645, perhaps due to religious friction, he moved to Rehoboth in the Plymouth Colony. Religious differences evolved between himself and Samuel Newman, the pastor of the Rehoboth church, and Holmes eventually became the leader of a small faction within the church sometimes called the "Schismists." In 1650 he and others were taken to court for their religious views and practices, and compelled to leave the colony. He settled in Newport in the Rhode Island colony and soon befriended John Clarke and John Crandall. In July 1651 these three men, while visiting an elderly friend in Lynn, Massachusetts, were apprehended, tried, and given exorbitant fines for their religious practices. Friends paid the fines for Clarke and Crandall, but when Holmes learned of this he refused to allow them to pay his fine. Six weeks after trial he was taken to the whipping post in Boston and given 30 strokes, which were laid on so harshly that for weeks afterward Holmes could only sleep while on his knees and elbows. The year after this punishment Holmes became the pastor of the Baptist church in Newport, and continuously held that position for 30 years, until his death in 1682. Holmes and his wife Katharine had nine known children, eight of whom survived to adulthood. He was an ancestor of United States President Abraham Lincoln.
Didsbury, Lancashire, England
Place Of Death
John, Jonathan, Mary, Martha, Samuel, Obadiah, Lydia, John, Hopestill