Great men and their deeds and great facts of history are liable to lie bedded in the soil of forgetfulness until some resurrective force raises men and facts to the light and life of honest and honorable recognition. Such century plants survive ordinary human achievement and in time find their permanent place in the orders of social and civil life. These principles apply to the Royal Charter of 1663 and its author and procurer Dr John Clarke of Aquidneck.
The charter of Rhode Island of 1663 has been universally recognized as the most liberal state paper ever issued by the English Crown. It is remarkable in several particulars, one of which is that it is a confirmation of the Declaration of Breda. The manifesto issued from Breda, in the Netherlands, April 1660, by Charles the Second, in view of his assuming the English throne. In it he proclaimed a general amnesty for political enemies and offenders and an assurance of religious freedom for all the people of the realm.
We do declare a Liberty to tender consciences: and that no Man shall be disquieted, or called in question, for differences of opinion in matters of religion which do not disturb the peace of the kingdom; and that we shall be ready to consent to such an act of Parliament, as upon mature deliberation, shall be offered to us, for the full granting that indulgence Charles II Rex (Source: The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Volume 2, Thomas Williams Bicknell. p.429)