Thomas Helwys was born about 1575, possibly in Bilborough, Nottinghamshire, the son of Edmund and Margaret Helwys, or possibly about 1550 in Askham, Nottinghamshire, the son of William Helwys and Rosamund Livesey.
Thomas married Joan Ashmore in Bilborough, Nottinghamshire on 3 December 1595.
Thomas co-founded the first Baptist Church with John Smyth in Amsterdam in 1609. After Smyth's death, Helwys and a number of the members of the Amsterdam church returned to England and founded the first Baptist Church in England in Spitalfields, near London.
Thomas is believed to have died in Newgate Prison about 1616.
"For men's religion to God is between God and themselves. The king shall not answer for it. Neither may the king be judge between God and man. Let them be heretics, Turks, Jews, or whatsoever, it appertains not to the earthly power to punish them in the least measure. This is made evident to our lord the king by the scriptures." - Thomas Helwys
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