Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BRENTON, William, governor of Rhode Island, born in England early in the 17th century ; died in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1674. The family came from Hammersmith, England, where they were persons of wealth and high social standing during the reign of Charles I. William Brenton represented the colony at Boston for several years, beginning in 1635, was lieutenant governor of Rhode Island prior to 1660, president of the colony between 1660 and 1661, and governor under the charter obtained from Charles II from 1666 till 1669. His original grant gave him a certain number of acres for every mile of land surveyed, and on the strength of this he secured much valuable property. He was one of the nine original proprietary of Rhode Island. He selected and surveyed the site of Newport, built a large brick house where Fort Adams now stands, and laid out handsome walks around it. His name is preserved in Brenton's Point and Brenton's Reef, Narragansett bay.
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