Bristol is a town in the historic county seat of Bristol County, Rhode Island, United States.The population was 22,954 at the 2010 census. Bristol, a deepwater seaport, is named after Bristol, England.
Before the Pilgrims arrived in 1620, the Wampanoags occupied much of New England, including Plymouth, Cape Cod andNarragansett Bay. The Wampanoags had previously suffered from a series of plagues which killed off large segments of their population, and the Wampanoag leader, Massasoit, befriended the early settlers. King Phillip's War, a conflict between the Plymouth settlers and the Wampanoags, began in the neighboring area of Swansea, Massachusetts. Metacomet, who made nearby Mount Hope (Montaup) his base of operations, died following an ambush by Captain Benjamin Church on August 12, 1676. "King Philip's Chair", a rocky ledge on the mountain, was a lookout site for enemy ships on Mount Hope Bay. After the war concluded, four colonists purchased a tract of land known as "Mount Hope Neck and Poppasquash Neck" as part of the Plymouth Colony. Other settlers, included John Gorham and Richard Smith. A variant of his Indian name,Metacomet, is now the name of a main road in Bristol: Metacom Avenue (RI Route 136). Bristol was a town of Massachusettsuntil the Crown transferred it to the Rhode Island Colony in 1747.