William Williams (1752-1823), was born in Hilltown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 1752, the son of a prosperous farmer who had emigrated from Wales. He was educated at Hopewell Academy and in 1766 entered Rhode Island College, then in its second year of existence under the care of another Hopewell graduate, James Manning, in the parsonage of the Baptist Church in Warren. He graduated with the first class of seven members in September 1769. At the Commencement exercises he spoke for the negative in a forensic dispute, “The Americans, in their present Circumstances, cannot, consistent with good Policy, affect to become an Independent State.” He remained in Warren, teaching school, married Patience Miller, daughter of Colonel Nathan Miller, was baptized by his classmate Charles Thompson, pastor of the Warren Baptist Church in September 1771 and licensed to preach by that church in April 1773. He preached in Wrentham, Massachusetts, beginning in 1773, and opened an academy there, from which over the years about eighty of his students came to Rhode Island College. He became pastor of the Wrentham church in 1775 and was ordained the next year. During the Revolutionary War, when the College Edifice was used as barracks for American troops and a hospital for French soldiers, the books in the college library were sent to Williams for safekeeping. Williams continued as pastor of the church in Wrentham until his death on September 22, 1823.