Friday, December 26, 2008

I came at His command, and go at His command.

Visit my blog dedicated especially to William and Mary Barrett Dyer! 

Mary Barrett and William Dyer

Mary Barrett Dyer, my ancestor 12 generations ago, was an American pioneer, city co-founder, Puritan and Antinomian Bible study leader, Quaker minister, wife, mother of five living children, expelled from Massachusetts Colony six times, was twice taken bound to the scaffold, and finally executed by hanging for civil disobedience. A memorial statue of Mary is located facing the Boston Common.

William’s and Mary’s timeline:
.....William Dyer born/baptized: 19 Sep 1609, Kirkby Lathrope, Lincolnshire, England. This is modern Kirkby La Thorpe, between Sleaford and Boston. 
.....1611? Mary Barrett born. No record of parents or birthplace.
.....1625 William apprenticed at age 16 as fishmonger in London, retroactive to 1624. The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers guild was considered prestigious.
.....10-27-1633 After his 9 years of apprenticeship, Mary Barrett (approx age 22) marries William Dyer at St Martin in the Fields church, London. William is milliner selling scabbards, leather goods, etc. in New Exchange (a high-end shopping mall near the Strand). This is less than a mile from St Martin in the Fields church, in which parish they lived.
.....10-24-1634 Son William born/baptized in London, buried 3 days later on his parents' first wedding anniversary. This church was destroyed in London’s Great Fire, and rebuilt in a baroque design. However, the marble baptismal font and a wooden trunk predating the fire survive to the present.
.....1634/1635 winter. William and Mary emigrate to Boston.
.....3-3-1635 William takes Freeman oath in Boston.
.....1635 summer. 39,000 people die in plague epidemic in London.
.....10-20-1635 Son Samuel born and baptized in Boston.
.....1635/6 William granted land in Chelsea, Massachusetts.
.....1636 Mary joins Anne Marbury Hutchinson (whom William’s family knew in Lincolnshire) in “heresy” that God speaks to people (“Light”), that we are saved by faith not good works, that Christians are not bound by the moral law (antinomianism), that women and men are equal before God, that each individual should interpret law by own conscience, that Indian slavery was wrong (against Massachusetts Bay Company policy); Mary organizes women’s study/discussion groups, antagonizing Gov Winthrop.
.....10-17-1637 Mary gave birth to stillborn, deformed baby girl, two months prematurely. Anne Hutchinson is midwife. Based on Winthrop’s description, baby had anencephaly and other malformations, according to a neurologist (see below).
.....11-15-1637 William disfranchised from First Church of Boston for “seditious writing.” Gov Winthrop says, "The wife of one William Dyer, a milliner in the New Exchange, a very proper and fair woman, and both of them notoriously infected with Mrs. Hutchinson's errors and very censorious and troublesome."
.....1638 Dyers and Hutchinsons banished from Boston, have deadline of May 1 to be out of Boston. They move to Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
.....3-?-1638 In March, Gov Winthrop learns of stillborn baby. Probably at spring thaw, "monster" baby exhumed by Gov Winthrop; baby's deformity called evidence that Mary was heretic. (See below)
.....3-7-1638 William signs Portsmouth Compact. Becomes clerk of Portsmouth.
.....1640 (approximately) Son William (second child by that name) born in Newport, Rhode Island.
.....1642 and 1644 Governor Winthrop’s account of stillborn baby’s deformation published in England. (English tabloid journalism! And why was Winthrop so vindictive as to pursue this for YEARS after the Dyers left?) “it was of ordinary bigness; it had a face, but no head, and the ears stood upon the shoulders and were like an ape’s; it had no forehead, but over the eyes four horns, hard and sharp; two of them were above one inch long, the other two shorter; the eyes standing out, and the mouth also; the nose hooked upward; all over the breast and back full of sharp pricks and scales, like a thornback [i.e., a skate or ray], the navel and all the belly, with the distinction of the sex, were where the back should be, and the back and hips before, where the belly should have been; behind, between the shoulders, it had two mouths, and in each of them a piece of red flesh sticking out; it had arms and legs as other children; but, instead of toes, it had on each foot three claws, like a young fowl, with sharp talons.”

Norman McNulty, MD, neurologist, says: “Interesting. Anencephaly is certainly part of the picture and it was probably some non-inheritable congenital malformation that led to this malformation. Sometimes, in utero strokes very early in development lead to lack of development of brain tissue (anencephaly) which is probably what happened here.”

.....1643 Son Mahershallhashbaz born Newport, Rhode Island
.....1647 Son Henry born Newport, Rhode Island
.....1648 or 1649 Daughter Mary born Newport, Rhode Island. William is Attorney General.
.....1650 Son Charles born Newport, Rhode Island. Charles is my ancestor. He is Mary’s last child at about age 41.
.....1652 Mary and William sail to England with Roger Williams, to revoke some of Gov Coddington’s powers. William Dyer returns same year and continues political and civil career. Mary stays in England five years, studying Quaker beliefs with George Fox, who preached all over England, but seems to have been based in the northwest part of England. More info on George Fox: http://www.strecorsoc.org/gfox/title.html
This is the Parliamentary period, with Cromwell the Lord Protector ruling after execution of Charles I in 1649.
.....1657 Mary sails back to America via Barbados, landing in Boston, unaware of Gov Endecott’s new laws regarding Quakers. On arriving in Boston in 1657 she is imprisoned for 7-8 weeks in dirt-floored cell, depriving William of wife, and children of their mother. William writes eloquent and touching letter on her behalf; she is released. On the petition of her husband was permitted to go with him to Rhode Island, but never to return to Massachusetts.
.....1658 Mary and William travel to Boston, protesting Gov Endecott’s new law banning Quakers. Mary arrested and expelled from colony. William not arrested because he’s not Quaker, and he’s a public official in Rhode Island.
.....1658 Mary arrested in New Haven, Connecticut for preaching.
.....1659, summer. She walks through forest from Providence to Boston, a distance of 39 miles, to visit fellow Quakers in jail.
.....1659, September. Mary arrested and permanently banished from Massachusetts Colony.
.....1659, October. Mary returns to Boston to visit Quakers, arrested and sentenced to death. She, with William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson was tried and convicted for "their rebellion, sedition and presumptuous obtruding upon us notwithstanding their being sentenced to banishment on payne of death, as underminers of the government." Robinson and Stevenson were executed October 27, but through the petition of her son, William Dyre (son William was Mayor of New York in 1680 so accounts have his title as Mayor—but he was not Boston mayor at age 19), she was reprieved on the same conditions as before. Mary Dyer also stepped up the ladder, her face was covered and the halter put round her neck, when the cry was raised, "Stop! for she is reprieved." She was again banished. Released to custody of husband after husband William’s 8-30-1659 letter and son William’s October 1659 letter. Mary writes after the death of Robinson and Stevenson: "When I heard your last Order read, it was a disturbance unto me, that was so freely Offering up my life to him that give it me, and sent me hither to do, which Obedience being his own Work, he gloriously accompanied with his Presence, and Peace, and Love in me, in which I rested from my labour, till by your Order, and the People, I was so far disturbed, that I could not retain anymore of the words thereof, than that I should return to Prison, and there remain Forty and Eight hours; to which I submitted, finding nothing from the Lord to the contrary, that I may know what his Pleasure and Counsel is concerning me, on whom I wait therefore, for he is my Life, and the length of my Days, and as I said before, I came at his command, and go at His command."
.....1659 Mary returns to Rhode Island, preaches on Long Island, New York. Also asked to preach Quaker beliefs to Indians on Shelter Island.
.....4-?-1660 Mary returns to Boston without telling husband. (She’d been expelled several times already.) Arrested.
.....5-31-1660 Convicted, sentenced to death.
.....6-1-1660 Mary hanged on Boston Common, aged about 49 years, leaving children aged 10 to 25.
.....1661 William marries Catharine _______. Nothing is known of her.
.....1662 William and Catharine have child Elizabeth.
.....1677 William dies.
.....1959 Memorial statue to Mary Barrett Dyer erected in Boston, facing the Common.
Ancestry lines:
William Dyer b. 1609, Lincolnshire.
.....Father: William Dyer, farmer/landowner and church warden, son of John Dyer and Jane Ernley

Mary Barrett (nothing is known of parents)
Children of William and Mary (Barrett) Dyer:
.....William, bapt. 24 Oct 1634; buried 27 Oct1634, London, England
.....Samuel, bapt. 20 Oct 1635, Boston, MA; d. 1678, Kingstown, RI; m. abt 1660, Anne Hutchinson, granddaughter of Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson
.....Stillborn daughter, 17 Oct 1637, Boston, MA
.....William, b. abt 1640, Newport, RI; d. 1687/8; m. Mary Walker
.....Mahershallalhashbaz, b. abt 1643, Newport, RI; d. bef 1670; m. Martha Pearce
.....Henry, b. abt 1647, Newport, RI; d. Feb 1690; m. Elizabeth Sanford
.....Mary, b. before 1650, Newport, RI; d. aft 26 Jan 1679, DE; m. by 1675, Henry Ward
.....Charles, b. abt 1650, Newport, RI; d. May 15, 1727; m. (1) Mary Lippett; m. (2) Martha (Brownell) Wait
Charles Dyer b. ~1650 Newport, Rhode Island d. 5-15-1709
Spouse: (1) Mary Lippett, born 1650 died before 1690; married circa 1669 Newport probably daughter of John and Rebecca Lippitt
Spouse (2) Martha Brownell born 5/1/1643 Portsmouth Newport RI died 2/15/1743-44 Portsmouth daughter of Thomas Brownell and Ann Bourne married 3/8/1690-91 Newport. Martha died childless at age 101 but raised Charles' children.

.....Children of Mary Lippett and Charles Dyer:
1. James, born 1669 Little Compton Newport RI died circa 1735 Bucks Co. PA married Elizabeth ? 1696 in Little Compton;
2. William, house carpenter, born circa 1671 Little Compton executed 4/21/1719 Newport RI for murder of his wife Hannah Briggs daughter of Thomas Briggs and Mary Fisher;
3. Elizabeth born circa 1677 Little Compton died 7/1715 RI, married Tristram Hull 2/9/1698-99 son of Joseph Hull and Experience Harper;
4. Charles, blacksmith, born circa 1685 Newport Newport RI, died 1/7/1626-7 Cranston Providence RI, married Mary Lapham 8/26/1709 Dartmouth Bristol MA daughter of John Lapham and Mary Mann;
5. Samuel, born circa 1687 Little Compton died 9/15/1767 Newport Newport RI married Desire Slocum 1/19/1709-10 Jamestown Newport RI. Samuel cared for his stepmother Martha in her home until she died at age 101 in 1744. He raised his brother William's children after William murdered his wife and was executed in 1718. And Samuel may also have taken in Elizabeth Dyer Hull's children when she and her husband died in 1718 and 1719.
Elizabeth Dyer
m. 12-19-1698 in Newport, RI. Resided in South Kingston, RI.
Tristram Hull b. 10-8-1677 Barnstable, Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Hull.
Bathsheba Hull
Ebenezer Slocum
Ebenezer and brothers were Quakers who lived in southern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Capt Edward Slocum, 1748-1822 Captain in Federal Army, American Revolutionary War.
Unknown wife
Oliver Wellington Slocum b. 1794
Persis Felton  (descendant of Rev. Samuel Skelton of Sempringham, Lincolnshire and Salem, Massachusetts) 
Persis Slocum b. 1834 Ohio
Andrew Wolfe b. 1835 Ohio
Mary Belle Wolfe  b. 1872 Kansas d. 1960 Saskatchewan
Hiram Frank Benner b. 1864 Ohio d. 1924 Estonia, Saskatchewan
Reita Belle Benner b.1892 Hart, Michigan d. 1949 Owasso, Michigan
Milo Francis Anson  1882-1960 
Andrew Allerton Anson  1914-1997
Lois Elizabeth Stone  1913-1999
Judith Louise Anson 1937-1993
Kenneth Lee Robinson 1935-2012
Blog author Christy K Robinson

Christy K Robinson is the author of five-star nonfiction and fiction historical books, as well as author of Discovering Love, Rooting for Ancestors and William and Mary Barrett Dyer websites. You will find her books at http://bit.ly/RobinsonAuthor.

·          We Shall Be Changed (2010)
·          Mary Dyer Illuminated (2013)
·          Mary Dyer: For Such a Time as This (2014)
·          The Dyers of London, Boston, & Newport (2014)
·          Effigy Hunter (2015)
·          Anne Marbury Hutchinson: American Founding Mother (2018)

1 comment:

  1. Our ancestors paths crossed at the Rhode Island colony established by Roger Williams for the separation of church and state. This was the first experiment with the "friendly separation of church and state", a place where you could believe anything you wished, or nothing at all, and still be permitted full civil liberties and could be elected to any office.

    Before this in history, the most common arrangment was the "combination of church and state". In France, during the French Revolution, the "hostile separation of church and state" was tried for the first time.

    America is the land where religious liberty first was embraced, and that was started in the colony our mutual ancestors helped establish.

    Skip Johnson



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