Mary Dyer - Boston, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
N 42° 21.473 W 071° 03.789
19T E 330092 N 4691574
Quick Description: This statue of Mary Dyer, executed for the sole crime of being a Quaker, is located in front of the Massachusetts State House in Boston, not far from where she was hanged in 1660. The sculpture is by Sylvia Shaw Judson, placed in 1959.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 10/5/2009 9:40:19 PM
Waymark Code: WM7CQK
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Mark1962
Views: 27

Long Description:
Mary Dyer was early on involved in the so-called antinomian heresy, and was closely associated with Ann Hutchinson. In 1638, Mary Dyer and her husband William were banished from the colony along with Hutchinson.

The Dyers returned to England where Mary came under the influence of the preaching of George Fox and eventually converted to become an ardent Quaker, although her husband, William, never joined her in this new faith.

After returning to the colonies, Mary Dyer was arrested in 1658 in New Haven, Connecticut, for preaching Quakerism. Upon her release she continued to travel and was soon arrested, along with two other Quakers, and they were all sentenced to death. Although the other two were hanged, Mary was released by Gov. Winthrop, a personal friend of her husband.

She then went to Rhode Island and Long Island, New York, continuing to preach and promote the Quaker faith. Though her family tried to dissuade her, out of conscience, she returned to Boston as a witness to her faith and as an advocate for the right freely to practice and promulgate her religion. She was arrested, again sentenced to death, on May 31, 1660 and hanged in Boston Common the next day.

She has come to be recognized as a martyr and true champion for the civil right of religious freedom which eventually become one of the foundational principles in the Bill of Rights. But, it was not always so.


From the Smithsonian Art Inventory

(visit link)


Three-quarter length portrait of Mary Dyer. She is dressed in Quaker attire and wears a dress with long sleeves and large cuffs. On her head is a small, plain cap, with her hair tucked under it with only a few, parted bangs visible on her forehead. She is seated on a bench, with her hands in her lap. The sculpture is mounted upon a rectangular, incised base.

Control Number: IAS IN000489




"My life not availeth me
in comparison to the
liberty of the truth"


Erected by the Art Commission of
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
from the legacy of Zena Ellis
of Fair Haven, Vermont

Dedicated 9 July 1959
URL of the statue: [Web Link]

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