Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Execution of Mary Dyer

On this day, June 1, in 1660, American colonist Mary Dyer was hanged in Boston for violating Massachusetts Bay Colony law by preaching Quakerism.

Dyer was among a short list of outspoken women in the colony's earliest years. Before she became a Quaker, she and Anne Hutchinson were banished for preaching that God spoke directly to individuals rather than through the clergy.

Dyer, Hutchinson and their husbands started the colony of Rhode Island after being kicked out of Massachusetts in 1638.

In 1657, she returned to Massachusetts as a Quaker preacher and began spreading her gospel across New England. Dyer was repeatedly arrested and banished.

On May 31, 1660, she was convicted of defying the anti-Quaker law and was hanged the next day.

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