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Mary Dyer
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Martyr
    (1611-June 1, 1660)
    Born in United Kingdom
    Birth name was Marie Barrett
    Colonial Puritan, and later Quaker
    Arrived in Boston with her husband William in 1635
    Joined with fellow colonists in establishing a new colony on Aquidneck Island (later Rhode Island) in Narraganset Bay
    Hanged in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony, for repeatedly defying a Puritan law banning Quakers from the colony (June 1, 1660)
    She has been overshadowed by her old friend Anne Hutchinson.
    Like Hutchinson she steadfastly insisted that she heard the voice of God on multiple occasions.
    An easily-debunked myth has circulated through genealogy websites claiming that she was secret child of Lady Arbella Stuart and William Seymour (researchers have yet to find any corresponding proof of such a claim).
    It is commonly believed that she was hanged in Boston Commons when she wasn't (she was executed closer to the outskirts of the Boston Neck area).
    A Comedy Central 'Drunk History' episode revolved around her (and saw The Crucible's Winona Ryder of all people playing her).
    She and her husband were active supporters of Anne Hutchinson, and as such were disenfranchised and denounced by colonial leaders.
    Hutchinson even acted as midwife to Dyer on at least one occasion; when she gave birth to a stillborn and deformed baby girl.
    The child's condition was kept a secret after the burial so as not to arouse accusations of heresy (the commonly believed cause of deformity of the period).
    Governor John Winthrop eventually found out anyway and ordered the exhumation and examination of the baby, anyway.
    The revelation about the child's deformity was held against her as a sign of God's judgement and served to drive her out of the colony to Rhode Island and - a decade later - on a ship back to England.
    During her five years in England, she underwent a conversion to Quakerism, a faith deemed heretical in Massachusetts.
    When she returned to Boston from England, she was immediately imprisoned, and then banished.
    In an act of brazen defiance of anti-Quaker laws, she returned to Boston and was sent to the gallows only to get a last minute reprieve on the condition that she not return to Boston.
    She proceeded to return to Boston the following year, and was finally executed by hanging (making her the third of four notable Quaker martyrs of the period).
    Her execution arguably led to King Charles II to make arguably one of the first known calls for an end to capital punishment (the news of the execution travelled fast throughout Quaker communities in England).
    She was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 1997.
    She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, in 2000.
    A famous bronze statue of her stands in front of the Massachusetts State House in Boston (and is featured on the Boston Women's Heritage Trail).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


    In 2018, Out of 4 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 6 Votes: 66.67% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 5 Votes: 40.0% Annoying
 
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