Some notes on Mary (Barrett) Dyer, the Martyr.

"The date and place of baptism/birth of Mary Barrett is unknown. About 1610 and London is speculative." [Johan Winsser ]

NEHGR Vol 114 p208 "The Story of Jane Hawkins" tells of Jane Hawkins, around 1637-1653 who was banished from the community (Boston) for "practicing Medicine" to live in the woods. While at Portsmouth, as a mid-wife, she, with Anne Hutchinson, had assisted at the birth of the so-called 'monster' of Mary Dyer.... as related in John Winthrop's "History of New England" (1853),2:10-11, 1:313ff

The "Tradition" of Mary Dyer & Lady Arabella Stuart:
The April 1944 issue of the New England Historic and Genealogical Society's Register (Vol. 98) published an article by Alice Eugenie Ortiz entitled "Tradition of Mary Dyer, Quaker Martyr" which had been contributed by Mrs. Harry Clark Boden. Mrs. Borden herself stated that there was NO PROOF whatsoever for her theory - simply that it was one conceivable way to account for Mary's early whereabouts.

Andrews Moriarty refuted this theory quite soundly in his article, "The True Story of Mary Dyer" (NEHGS Register) Vol. 104, January 1950). He states that "NO PROOF is offered that the Lady Arabella ever "had" issue except a vague statement from Mr. Hardy's (Life of Lady Arabella Stuart) of a rumor that such was the case." Furthermore, Moriarty points out that "there never was such a tradition [of this lineage] among Mary Dyer's descendants, but that it was a quite modern story, emanating from an English gentleman, Mr. F. M. Dyer of Macclesfield [sic -]. for "Frederick Nathaniel" Dyer who was an American - his father was born in Rhode Island - and who moved to England to do research]....who, not so many years ago, sent the story of his beliefs to the descendants of Mary Dyer in this country. ... This 'tradition' does not even have the authority of age ... this being so, the story, without more evidence, is not worthy of serious consideration." Moriarty further takes the (then) editor of the Register to task for even accepting the article for publication, as it appeared four years after the July, 1940 issue (Vol. 94) which published the marriage record of Mary and William Dyer from the parish register of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, which clearly identified her as Mary BARRETT.

"A Brother Found: A Clue to the Ancestry of Mary (Barrett) Dyer, The Quaker Martyr". by Johan Winsser: NEHGR, Volume 158, January 2004, #629, Pages 27-28. (Partial Quote) It is now clear that Mary Dyer had a brother, a fact that adds further evidence to debunk the Arabella tale and provides a clue to her true ancestry. In 1634 the Prerogative Court of Canterbury recorded the probate administration of William Barret, which granted the commission jointly to William Dyer of Saint Martin-in-the-Fields, fishmonger, and his wife Marie Dyer alias Barret, explicitly described as the sister of William Barret. The following year (1635) William & Mary (Barrett) Dyer settled in Boston.

Mary, wife of William, suffered martyrdom at Boston, May 32, 1660. [Rhode Island Friends Record - Deaths, pg.99]

RI Historical Cemeteries Transcription Project Index shows: Mary Dyer, - 31 May 1660, Newport, RI (NT600)

The Hartford Courant Newspaper, Saturday, March 11, 2000: "Women who made a difference. Names of the 19 women to be inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame October 7 were announced this week" "Mary Barret Dyer (birth year unknown-1660) She defied Puritan church autorities in Colonial Boston to gain religious freedom for Quakers. Her death by hanging helped establish the right to worship freely in the Colonies."

For further Biography of Mary Barrett, see: http://www.rootsweb.com/~nwa/dyer.html

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