Mary Dyer

d.1660. Quaker martyr. Wife of William Dyer of Somerset, with whom she came to Massachusetts in 1635, she sympathized with Anne Hutchinson* and others in the Antinomian controversy. Alienated from their orthodox neighbors, the Dyers left Boston in 1638 and helped to found Portsmouth, Rhode Island. During a stay in England (1650-57) Mrs. Dyer became a Quaker. She was arrested in Boston on her return journey, but was soon released. She was expelled from New Haven in 1658 for preaching Quakerism. She was jailed on each of three trips to Boston in 1659-60 to visit imprisoned Quakers and bear witness to her faith. Twice reprieved when entreaty was made for her, the last time she was hanged when she would not promise never to return.