Raynham is a town in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States, located approximately 32 miles (51 km) south of Boston and 22 miles (35 km) northeast of Providence, Rhode Island. The population was 13,383 at the 2010 census. It has one village, Raynham Center.
The area that is now Raynham, settled in 1639 as a part of Taunton, was founded by Elizabeth Pole, the first woman to found a town in America. In 1652, bog iron was found along the Two Mile (Forge) River. Soon after, the Taunton Iron Works was established by residents James and Henry Leonard. It was the first successful iron works established in what was then Plymouth Colony, and operated from 1656 to 1876.It however, was not the "First Iron Works in America", as proclaimed on the Town's official seal, having been predated by theSaugus and Braintree iron works. The success of the Taunton Iron Works however, would lead to the establishment of other iron works throughout the colonies.Raynham played a key part in King Philip's War. The Leonards had forged a friendship before the war began with King Philip, who lived in the area. It is said that Philip agreed to spare the town from the mass destruction if the Leonards repaired his troop's weapons in their iron forge.The eastern end of Taunton was separated from that town and incorporated as Raynham (named after theEnglish village of Raynham in the county of Norfolk, England) on April 2, 1731.