A peek at William Dyer’s handwriting

My 9th g-grandmother Was A Quaker Hanged For Civil Disobedience 355 Years Ago Today
My ancestor Capt. John Mason, who committed genocide in Connecticut, proudly wrote a book about it and was honored with a statue that nobody wanted three centuries later...

Follow the link to Christine K. Robinson’s excellent website for the full post (copyright, Christie K. Robinson, and permission to use copyright material is retained by the owner/author): http://marybarrettdyer.blogspot.com/2012/07/a-peek-at-william-dyers-handwriting.html

Wm Dyers 2nd letter dtd 16600527


On this date in 1660 (355 years ago today, 27 May 2015), my 9th g-grandfather, William Dyer, wrote a letter on behalf of his wife, Mary, to the magistrates of Boston…

Honored Sirs,
It is no little grief of mind, and sadness of hart that I
am necessitated to be so bould as to supplicate your Honored
self with the Honorable Assembly of your General Court to extend your
mercy & favor once again to me & my children. Little did I
dream that ever I should have had occasion to petition you in
a matter of this nature, but so it is that through the divine providence
and your benignity my sonn obtained so much pitty & mercy att
your hands as to enjoy the life of his mother. Now my supplication
to your Honors is to begg affectionately, the life of my dear wife,
’tis true I have not seen her above this half yeare & therefore
cannot tell how in the frame of her spiritt she was moved thus
againe to runn so great a Hazard to herself, and perplexity
to me & mine & all her friends and well wishers. So itt is from
Shelter Island about by Pequid Narragansett & to the towne of Providence…

Christie Robinson explains on her blog: “The photo shows a fragment of a complete letter by William Dyer, dated 27 May 1660, written from Portsmouth, Rhode Island.  It was an attempt to free his wife, Mary Barrett Dyer, from prison and her death sentence.  But Mary had intentionally defied her death-penalty Massachusetts banishment order, and sailed from Shelter Island (northeastern end of Long Island) into the Narragansett Bay, perhaps gliding past her own home on the western shore of Rhode Island north of Newport. She kept going by water to Providence, and then, in a reversal of her and William’s first exile from Massachusetts in 1638, she walked to Boston.

“She was arrested, imprisoned, tried, and sentenced to death, which was carried out on 1 June 1660.

“The language, though tender when he refers to Mary, is otherwise courtly and professional (honored sirs, render you Love and Honor), as one would assume from a former clerk, secretary of state, and attorney general.  He was no friend or colleague of Governor Endecott or Deputy Governor Bellingham, but he tried to appeal to their and the jury’s emotions about putting a beloved wife and mother to death, a woman who could be suffering from delusions (William was not a Quaker and didn’t share his wife’s beliefs).”

You can read much more about my 9th g-grandmother, Mary (Barrett) Dyer —> HERE.




  • I’m glad you found several of my blog articles interesting and share-worthy. And I truly don’t mind that you share them *from MY blogsite.* However, the articles are ALL topped with a “Copyright by Christy K Robinson” byline, because I wrote them. The way they appear in your blog, it looks like you wrote them using my resource and my images. In fact, that’s what you implied with your copy of my Top Ten article.

    I’ll give you permission to keep them posted, but you need to include my copyright-byline on each of them, including the Top Ten about Mary Dyer, A Peek at William Dyer’s Handwriting, and others. I spent years of research, and anywhere from 20-30 hours on every blog posted. If I quoted a history book verbatim, the reference is given right there in the article. But yes, I wrote them at my very considerable expense, and they’re there to support the publicity and sales of my books. It’s my business. It’s difficult enough to scrape a subsistence living out of my various ventures without giving away my research and writing skills for free.

    Thank you very much.

    Christy K Robinson,
    author (of three Dyer books, and of the “William and Mary Dyer” blog at http://marybarrettdyer.blogspot.com )

    • Christy – I appreciate all the work you have done, and I don’t wish to take any credit where none is due. I believe I have referenced you as the source of the material, but I will go through everything just to make sure and make any adjustments that are needed to give credit where credit is due. I’ll specifically look at the “Top Ten” and “Handwriting” articles within the next few days. If it’s not there already, I’ll clearly include your byline, copyright notice and links to your site where the complete original can be viewed. I can also make adjustments to share *from MY (your) blogsite*, but I’m not 100% certain what you mean by that. If you would prefer that I remove these entirely, I will do so, but I think the posts may in fact drive more traffic to your site than it takes away. Check back in a few days after I’d had some time to look at everything, and let me know…

      Thank you again for all your work of research, writing and publishing. I have truly enjoyed it.

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