First Parish Church was gathered in 1637 by religious freedom-seeking Puritans from Devonshire, in the southwest of England. Led by English-born Elizabeth Pole, they came from Dorchester, Massachusetts and settled first in Tetticut, then with others in Cohannet, which was purchased from Massasoit in 1638 and named Taunton in 1640 after the English town. The common land, later known as Meeting-house Common, and now known as Church Green, was laid out to the south and west of Dean Street, then an Indian trail. Here they erected their first meeting-house and established a common school in 1647. First Parish Church was the first church established within the present boundaries of Bristol County and the fifth established in the Old Plymouth Bay Colony.
Continuously since 1647, a house of worship (and the only church until 1741) has stood within Church Green. Within the first two meeting houses built on this Church Green, the civic and political business of the town was conducted until 1746. In 1671, the first meeting house was the site of negotiations and the signing of an agreement (on April 12th) that delayed hostilities between Plymouth Colony and King Philip, youngest son of Massasoit and Sachem of the Wampanoag Tribe. The bell, still in use, was transferred from the third meeting-house. It was cast in 1804 by George Holbrook of Brookfield who worked with the Paul Revere family until 1801 and then in partnership with Paul Revere Jr. until 1813.
First Parish Church in Taunton P.O. Box 614 76 Church Green Taunton, MA 02780 508.822.2107