Dyer, Mary

Dyer, Mary,

d. 1660, Quaker martyr in Massachusetts, b. England. She accompanied (c.1635) her husband to Massachusetts and supported Anne HutchinsonHutchinson, Anne,
c.1591–1643, religious leader in New England, b. Anne Marbury in Lincolnshire, England. She emigrated (1634) with her husband and family to Massachusetts Bay, where her brilliant mind and her kindness won admiration and a following.
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, whom she followed to Rhode Island, where her husband held several public offices. In 1650 she returned to England and there joined the Society of Friends (Quakers). On her return to America (1657) she was arrested in Boston and banished, but twice returned (1659, 1660) to minister to imprisoned Quakers. Twice arrested by Massachusetts authorities and condemned to be hanged both times, she was reprieved in 1659 but was subsequently executed in 1660.


See biography by H. Rogers (1896).

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Dyer, Mary (b. Barrett)

(?–1660) Quaker martyr; born in England. She and her husband, William Dyer, emigrated to Massachusetts in 1635. She sympathized with Anne Hutchinson's religious views and moved to Rhode Island in 1638. During a period in England (1650–57) she became a Quaker. Upon her return to the colonies, she was arrested three times by Massachusetts colonists and warned to keep out of that colony because of her faith. She returned a fourth time in 1660 and was hanged. Her death led to the easing of anti-Quaker laws in Massachusetts.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.