Mary Dyer

1611–1660

10
Mary Dyer was born in England, and during her childhood she was an occasional guest in the court of Charles I. At the age of 22, she married William Dyer, and soon afterward the two set sail for America, arriving at the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1637, she joined with Anne Hutchinson and began to promote her ideas of antimonianism, believing that, because Protestantism relied on faith alone for salvation, one need not depend on the clergy to understand the Word of God. She and her husband were banished along with the Hutchinsons, and after their departure authorities learned that Mary had recently given birth to a deformed stillborn child. The baby was dug up and its hideous countenance used as further proof of the Dyers' sacreligious preaching. The couple, meanwhile, had moved to Rhode Island and soon left once more for a visit to England, where Mary became a Quaker. Upon her return to America, she traveled to Boston on several occasions to protest their laws banning Quakers from joining the colony, and each time she was arrested and exiled. Finally, following a close escape and subsequent return, she was sentenced to death by hanging. She died a martyr—one of the four famous Boston Martyrs—and after her death she was buried in Newport, Rhode Island.


Key events during the life of dyer:


Year
Event
1611
Born in England.
1633
Married William Dyer.
1635
Arrived in America.
1637
Joined with Anne Hutchinson to turn faithful men and women against the clergy.
1638
Gave birth to a deformed stillborn baby.
  Banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony along with Hutchinson, moved to Rhode Island.
1652-57
Travelled to England and joined the Quakers.
1660
Convicted and hanged for defying Puritan anti-Quaker laws.

Other Resources


Story Links
Book Links
Religious Troubles  in  American History Stories, Volume I  by  Mara L. Pratt


Contemporary
Short Biography
Anne Hutchinson Female preacher who was exiled from the Plymouth colony, and later with Roger Williams, founded Rhode Island.
Roger Williams Religious dissident. Founded Rhode Island and asserted freedom of religion.
Harry Vane Early governor of the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts. Later was beheaded during the English Civil Wars.
Peter Stuyvesant Last Dutch governor of New Amsterdam. Responsible for many improvements during his administration.
Daulac Led a group of volunteers form Montreal to ambush a force of Iroquois. The entire force was killed to a man.