Capt. William Dyer, Jr.

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William Dyer, Jr.

Birthdate: (62)
Birthplace: Kirkby la Thorpe, Lincolnshire, England
Death: April 18, 1672 (58-66)
Newport, Aquidneck Island (Present Newport County), Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Immediate Family:

Son of William Dyer and Dorothy Dyer
Husband of Mary Dyer and Catherine Dyer
Father of Mary A Bowles; Samuel Dyer; Mary Dyer; William Dyer; Mahershalalhashbaz Dyer and 11 others
Brother of Nicholas Dyer; Margaret Lowle; John Dyer; Henry Dyer; John Dyer and 5 others

Occupation: Milliner, fishmonger, Capt
Managed by: Carol Ann Selis
Last Updated:

About Capt. William Dyer, Jr.

Birth: 19 Sep 1609, Strand, Middlesex, England. Marriage 1: 27 Oct 1633 to Mary Stewart. Marriage 2: 27 October 1633 to Catherine, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, US. Death: 24 Oct 1677, Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, US.



  • This information was taken from Pearce Genealogy Being the Record of the Posterity of Richard Pearce an Early Inhabitant of Portsmouth, in Rhode Island, Who came from England, and whose Genealogy is traced back to 974 with an Introduction of the Male Descendants of Josceline De Louvaine, the Second House of Percy, Earls of Northumberland, Barons Percy and Territorial Lords of Alnwick, Warkworth and Prudhoe Castles in the County of Northumberland, England, by Col. Frederick C. Pierce, Author of Peirce History, Pierce Genealogy, etc. Member of the British Harlequin and other historical societies. 1888 Rockford, Illinois.
  • Page 36
  • 1. RICHARD21PEARCE (Richard20, Richard19,) b. 1615 in England; m. in Portsmouth, R.I., in 1642, Susannah Wright, who was born in 1620. He died in Portsmouth in 1678 and she was deceased at that time. .... etc.
  • Page 38
  • He married, probably in 1642, Susannah, daughter of George Wright of Newport, who was probably of Salem, 1637, Newport, 1648, and who in 1649 stabbed one Walter Lettice, as John Winthrop, Jr., received a letter to this effect from Roger Williams.
  • His will was drawn April 23, 1677, and was proved in Portsmouth Oct. 28, 1678. His son Richard was executor and he calls him his "eldest son."
  • Page 39
  • Richard's children were:
    • 1. i RICHARD, b. Oct. 3, 1643; m. Experience ____.
    • ii. MARTHA, b. Sept. 13, 1645; m. Mahershallalhashboz Dyer of Portsmouth, born about 1643; d. 1670. He was the son of William and Catharine Dyer of England, Boston, Portsmouth and Newport. March 22, 1661, he signed certain articles relative to Westerly lands. She d. s.p. Feb. 24, 1744.
    • 2. iii. .... etc.
  • From:


William Dyer

  • Born: 19 Sep 1609 - What Is, [county], Massachusetts, USA (sic - no English colonists back then)
  • Died: 1667 - Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, USA

note: Two other William Dyer's found in colonial America in this time period. One in Sheepscot, Maine, One in Boston.

ID: I509695980

  • Name: William DYER
  • Given Name: William
  • Surname: DYER
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 19 Sep 1609 in London, London, England
  • Death: 18 Apr 1672 in Newport, Newport, Rhode Island
  • Christening: 19 Sep 1609 Kirkby, Laythrope, Lincolnshire, England
  • Change Date: 16 Jul 2002 1
  • Note: Ancestral File Number: 8NR8-L7
    • 1 NOTE Baptized Sep.19,1609.
    • Feb.20,1686/7, his son, William(2) mentions his deceased father in his will.

NEHGR, Vol 151, pages 408-416 "Walter Blackborne, London Milliner" by Johan Winsser; says (in part): About Midsummer's Day (June 24) 1624 Blackborne contracted fourteen year old William Dyer as an apprentice. Dyer, the son of an affluent Lincolnshire yeoman, was the future husband of Mary (Barrett) Dyer, the Quaker martyr. How the Dyer family came to select Blackborne is not certain, but it may have been through the Hutchinsons of Alford, Lincolnshire, or through the Carres of Sleaford, Lincolnshire, both families with known long standing associations with the Dyers and with close relatives in London. It may also be that the Dyers of Lincolnshire knew of Blackborne through one or more of the many Dyer families living in London, to whom they may have been related. In any case, William Dyer must have labored on a trial basis for the first year, because it was not until 20 August 1625 that his nine year indenture was enrolled with the Fishmongers, and it was made retroactive to the previous summer. In assuming responsibility for an apprentice, Blackborne obligated himself to serve as a surrogate father, teaching young Dyer his trade, providing him with bed, food, clothing, and behavioral supervision, and maintaining him in the religious life of the parish. In return,Dyer agreed to serve his master faithfully for the set term of years, to forgo marriage during his apprenticeship, to keep his master's secrets, and to adhere to strict behavorial standards both in his master's house and abroad in the town.

On 10 February 1632, William Dyer signed a lease to rent "The Globe" in the New Exchange, formerly occupied by Blackborne,for a term of two and a quarter years.

About a year later 1632/33 William Dyer also assumed the lease for Blackborne's tenement on Mr. Greene's Lane.

By the autumn of 1635 William Dyer had set sail for Boston and soon was prospering in his new home. He was one of fourteen owners of a wharf in Boston.


The Weaver Genealogy, Page 56,57

"William Coddington, who had been a crown magistrate at Salem,was chosen Governor of the Rhode Island colony. Thus, two flourishing settlements were planted, each having its own government. Absolute liberty of conscience prevailed, and the persecuted flocked thither from the other colonies. These people were so-called non-conformists and were Quakers, and they formed a plantation which, with Providence and Newport, obtained from England in March 1644, a charter under the title of 'The Incorporation of Providence Plantations in the Narragansett Bay in New England.'" Coddington and his party drew up and signed the following agreement: THE COMPACT "We, whose names are underwritten, do swear solemnly, in the presence of Jehovah, to incorporate ourselves into a body politic, and as He shall help us, will submit our persons, lives and estates, unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Hosts and to His Holy Word of Truth, to be guided and judged thereby. Exod. XXIV. 3; 2 Kings XI, 17."

  • William Coddington
  • John Clark
  • William Dyer
  • William Freeborn
  • John Walker
  • Samuel Wilbur
  • Richard Garder
  • William Baulston
  • Edward Hutchinson
  • William Hutchinson
  • Henry Bull
  • John Coggeshall

[e-mail from Aurie Morrison]

The 20th Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans,Vol. 3, p.366

Captain William and Mary Dyre, who came from England to Boston,Mass., and joined the First church there in December, 1635. Captain Dyre was disfranchised for "seditious writing" Nov. 15,1637, removed to Rhode Island, and was one of the signers of the compact of government for that province, March 7, 1638. He was secretary the same year, general recorder, 1648;attorney-general, 1650-53; member of the general court, 1661-62, 1664-66; g


Father: George DYER b: Abt 1579 in Bratton, Seymour, Wincanton, Smrsts, Eng. Mother: Dorothy SHIRLEY b: Abt 1581 in Of, Staunton Harrold, Leicestershire, England

Marriage 1 Mary BARRETT b: Abt 1610 in London, London, England Married: 27 Oct 1633 in St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, England Note: _UID7F828ECE911B1848B723F3FD55326ECCF417 Children

William DYER b: 24 Oct 1634 in London, England
Samuel DYER b: Bef 20 Dec 1635 in Boston, Suffolk, Ma
Mary DYER b: Abt 1639 in Boston, Suffolk, Ma
William DYER b: Abt 1642
Mahershallalhashbaz DYER b: Abt 1643 in Boston, Suffolk, Ma
Henry DYER b: Abt 1647 in Rhode Island
Charles DYER b: 1650 in London, London, England

Marriage 2 Mrs Mary STEWART b: 1612 in London, London, England c: in Af Married: 27 Oct 1633 in St. Martin's, London, London, England Note: _UID257E62E85D37E14BA461AF579375D4D96DBC Children

Samuel DYER (DYRE) b: 10 Oct 1635 in Newport, Newport, Rhode Island c: 20 Dec 1635 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
Daughter DYER b: 17 Oct 1637 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass.
Mary DYER b: Abt 1637 in Of, London, London, England
William DYER b: Abt 1639 in Of, London, London, England
Christopher DYER b: 1640 in Sheepscot, Mass
Mahershallalhack Baz DYER b: 1645 in Of, London, London, England
Henry DYER b: 1647 in London, London, England
John DYER b: 1648 in Sheepscot, Mass
Charles DYER b: 1650 in London, London, England
Mary DYER b: Abt 1650 in Of Wells, York, Me
Elizabeth DYER b: Abt 1652 in Newport, Newport, Rhode Island
William DYER b: 7 Mar 1653 in London, London, England
Giles DYER b: Abt 1655 in Of London, London, , England
Jonathan DYER b: Abt 1657 in Of London, London, , England
George DYER b: Abt 1659 in Of, London, , England
Anthony DYER b: Abt 1661 in Of London, London, , England

Marriage 3 Catharine (nee?) DYER Married: Aft 1 Jun 1660 in Boston, Suffolk, Ma Note: _UIDA41A24145F1469419C33FE2170B4B4CDA664 Children

Elizabeth DYER b: Abt 1662 in Newport, Newport, Ri

Sources: Author: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Title: Ancestral File (R) Publication: Copyright (c) 1987, June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998

Added 4/29/2011 ---- William was baptized at Kirkby Laythorpe, Lincolnshire, England on September 19, 1609. On August 20, 1625, at age 16, he was apprenticed as the son of William Dyer, yeoman, of Kirkby to Walter Blackborne, fishmonger for nine years from midsummer 1624. On August 19, 1641 William Dyer "millyner", "now in New England" was taxed as a member of the Fishmonger's Company. A milliner was one who sold small wares and he was so styled because he imported goods chiefly from Milan in Italy. The trade of Milliner was a branch of the Haberdasher's trade. Milliners imported such articles as "pouches, broches, agglets, spurs, capes, glasses, French and Spanish gloves, French cloth of frizard (Frieze), daggers, swords, knives, Flanders-dyed kersies, Spanish girdles, dials, tables, etc." Milliners often became wealthy and important persons.

The privilege of becoming a member in one of the London Companies was obtained in three ways: by patrimony, apprenticeship, and redemption. Apparently William became a member by the second method. That he was in the Fishmongers Company, though a Milliner, is explained by the fact that the right of membership was also hereditary. "All lineal descendants of a freeman had a right to become freemen. Hence, in course of time all the freemen may in no way be connected with the trade which the name of the fraternity bears." Walter Blackborne, to whom William was apprenticed, though a member of the Fishmongers Company, probably had no connection with the fishing industry. He, too, was doubtless a Milliner.

The apprentices of the Fishmongers Company were kept very strictly and the rules stated that "vicious and unruled apprentices, and using dice, cards, or any such games, or haunting, resorting to taverns, or for other misbehaving" should be punished. In addition to his apprenticeship to Walter Blackborne, William's repeated appointment as clerk or recorder of various jurisdictions in New England demonstrated a high level of education.

On October 27, 1633, William married Mary Barrett at St. Martin-In-The-Fields, London, Middlesex, England. In this connection, it should be noted that Samuel Dyer, son of William and Mary, named his sixth son Barrett, obviously for his mother's family.

William must have been free of the Fishmongers Company by 1633 or 1634 at latest, and he at once started business as a milliner in the New Exchange and late in 1634 or early in 1635 he and Mary emigrated to Boston. On December 13, 1635, William and Mary joined the Boston church of which Rev. John Wilson was pastor. It was this same Rev. Wilson who reviled Mary Dyer when she went to her execution. William became a freeman March 3, 1635/6.

At a Boston Town Meeting held 23rd of the 11th month 1635, William Dyer was chosen Clerk of a special commission for the fortification of Fort Hill. At this meeting it was, "agreed yt, for ye raysing of a new Worke of fortification upon ye Fort Hill, about yt which is there alreddy begune, the whole town would bestowe fourteene dayes worke a man. For this end, Mr. Deputie (Bellingham), Mr. Harry Vane, Mr. John Winthrop, senr., Mr. William Coddington, Mr. John Winthrop, junr., Captain John Underhill and Mr. William Brenton are authorized as Commissioners."

They were directed to "sett downe how many dayes worke would be equall for each man to doe, and what money such should contribute beside their worke as were of greater abilities and had fewer servants, that therewith provision of tooles and other necessaryes might bee made, and some recompence given to such of ye poorer sort as should be found to bee overburdened with their fourteene dayes worke; and Mr. John Coogan in chosen Treasurer, and Mr. William Dyer, Clarke, for ye furtherance of this worke."

At a meeting of January 8, 1637/8 it was recorded that "whereas att a Generall Meeting the 14th of the 10th month (December) 1635, it was by generall Consent agreed upon for the laying out of great Allottments unto the then Inhabitants, the same are now brought in." Among these "great allotments" were those of Rumney Marsh and Pullen Point, within the town of Boston, on the north and northeast side of the harbor. "Mr. William Dyar" received 42 acres, "bounded on the North with Mr. Glover, on the East with the Beach, on the South with Mr. Cole, and on the West with the highway."

Rumney Marsh and Pullen Point were part of what later became the town of Chelsea, and were north and northeast of the town proper of Boston, though at the time included in the boundaries of Boston. As Rumney Marsh and Pullen Point were apportioned to the dwellers in Boston for farm lands, good water communication with that town was essential. This probably explains why William Dyer had part-ownership in a Dock in Boston. Eight of the fourteen owners of the Dock were land holders at Rumney Marsh across the harbor. This Dock was conveyed on March 25, 1639 to Richard Parker, merchant.

William Dyer's "house-plot" was in the vicinity of what is now Summer Street in the present business district of the city. Evidently William did not hold his Rumney Marsh land long. On September 23, 1639, Elizabeth Glover, widow, sold the 49 acres allotted to her husband, they abutted on the lands of Samuel Cole, towards the South. Thus Cole must have acquired the Dyer allotment, which on January 8, 1637/8, was Glover's southern boundary.

By the time the bounds of the Rumney Marsh and Pullen Point allotments were finally described and recorded, January 8, 1637/8, the religious controversy in Boston had reached its climax. Rev. John Wheelwright was called into Court for opinions expressed in a sermon preached on a special day of Fast, and was adjudged guilty of sedition and also of contempt. The Governor, Henry Vane, and a few others protested against the decision of the Court. The Church of Boston tendered a petition in behalf of Rev. Wheelwright. On March 15, 1637, William and others signed a remonstrance, affirming the innocence of Rev. Mr. Wheelwright, and that the Court had condemned the truth of Christ. Seeing he had so many and such strong friends, the Court concluded to suspend sentence until the next Court. In the end, after a delay of some months, he was sentenced to banishment from the jurisdiction of Boston. Wheelwright's followers persisted in their opinions and the Court decided to proceed against the persons who had signed the petition in his favor. Singly, and in groups, they were called before the Court. William was summoned with three other of the "principal stirring men." He had little to say for himself, the account says. William Coddington was a member of this Court, which may explain in part the antipathy shown later by William Dyer toward Coddington when they were settled on Rhode Island.

On November 15, 1637 William was disfranchised for signing the above remonstrance. Five days still later, on November 20, 1637, by order of the General Court, he and fifty or more others of the petitioners were warned to give up all guns, pistols, swords, powder, shot, etc. "because the opinions and revelations of Mr. Wheelwright and Mrs. Hutchinson have seduced and led into dangerous errors many of the people here in New England." Several people were dismissed peremptorily by Governor Winthrop in his aristocrat fashion as "very apt to meddle in public affairs beyond their calling and skill." Among them was William Dyer, the milliner and husband of Mary whose recent grotesque stillbirth and near-death still haunted Anne Hutchinson. Governor Winthrop in his Journal thus alludes to William and his wife: "The wife of one William Dyer a milliner in the New Exchange, a very proper and fair woman, and both of them notoriously infected with Mrs. Hutchinson's errors, and very censorious and troublesome."

"All were ordered to deliver their arms at Mr. Keayne's house in Boston, before the 30th of November, under penalty of £10 for every default; guns, pistols, swords, powder, shot and match; and they were forbidden to buy or borrow" more.

Upon the banishment of Anne Hutchinson and Rev. Wheelwright and the disfranchisement and disarming of their adherents, William Dyer joined eighteen others in the settlement of the Island of Aquidneck (Island of Peace), afterwards named Rhode Island. The deed for the purchase from the Indians was made to William Coddington, John Clarke and their associates, and bears the date of March 24, 1636/7. It was witnessed by Roger Williams and Randall Holden.

The parcel of land William had been allotted at Rumney Marsh and Pullen Point was soon acquired by Samuel Cole. Prior to leaving Boston, a compact was drawn up on April 28, 1639 William and eighteen others. This Portsmouth Compact was officially signed in Portsmouth on , March 7, 1638. William was elected clerk this same day. On May 20, 1638, William was granted "at the cove by the marsh 6 acres," in Portsmouth.

A disagreement among these members was followed by the settlement of some of the Portsmouth families into the new town of Newport. William was chosen clerk when the agreement for the settlement of Newport was drawn up on April 28, 1639. He was made General Recorder of the Colony in 1647 when the government of "Providence Plantations in Narragansett Bay" was set up under the first charter.

William was a very active member of the Colony. There are many references to him in Colonial Records of Rhode Island. On January 5, 1639, he and three others were to proportion the land. On March 10, 1640, he had 87 acres of land recorded to him at Newport. William was on the list of freemen in Newport, March 16, 1640/1 and again in 1655. He was Secretary for the towns of Portsmouth and Newport in 1640 and for six consecutive years thereafter. When in 1647 the government of Providence Plantations in Narragansett Bay was set up under the first charter, William Dyre was chosen General Recorder of the Colony. On May 16, 1648, he acted as Clerk of the assembly. In May, 1650, the office of Attorney-General for the Colonies was created which he filled until 1653. In 1653, he received a commission from the Assembly to act against the Dutch by sea. He was named Captain and Commander-in-Chief upon the land. In 1661 William was chosen surveyor of Misquamicut. William served as Commissioner in 1661-62 and General Solicitor 1665-66-68. William was on a Committee for "taking care that the state's part of all prizes be secured, and account given," May 17, 1653.

William served as a Deputy to the Rhode Island General Assembly from Newport, June 28, 1655, May 22, 1662, and June 17, 1662. He served as a Deputy for Warwick on May 21 and May 27, 1661. He served on a Rhode Island grand jury May 26, 1649 (foreman), October 13, 1663 (foreman), October 19, 1664, December 10, 1663 (foreman), May 8, 1665, and May 6, 1667 (foreman). He served on the Portsmouth committee "appointed for the venison trade with the Indians" on November 16, 1638 and on a Committee to lay out land, January 2, 1638/9.

William did not get along with the Governor of Portsmouth, William Coddington. In describing the bounds of certain highways laid out by himself and two others, William complains on February 15, 1654 of encroachments upon the highway by Mr. Coddington and Richard Tew, closing with the following language: "Let them therefore that know any injury in this kind put it down under their hands, as I now have done, and be ready to make it good as I am, so shall we avoid hypocrisy, dissimulation, backbiting and secret wolvish devourings, one of another, and declare ourselves men, which, how unmanlike the practice of some sycophants are, is and may safely be demonstrated. Therefore let us all that love the light come forth to the light and show their deeds."

On May 22, 1649, it is "ordered that the suits presented unto this Assembly by Mr. William Dyre against Governor William Coddington, be deferred until the General Court of Trials to be holden for this colony in October next at Portsmouth." It was another matter when he sued William Coddington for the princely sum of £500 in March of 1655/6 in a case that would struggle on through the courts for more than a decade. The court commented that the "case hath been much debated and the result of the court is that they have taken full cognizance of the matter and if it shall be proceeded in yet upon consideration 5 menÉare desired to see if they can compass the matter." They couldn't. Despite pretending to agree, as late as September 19, 1664, in an action of trespass, William was still seeking redress, but lost. Bad feelings caused trouble out of court. On March 27, 1666, execution was ordered by the Assembly to proceed in a case brought against William by Coddington for killing a mare. On May 7, 1666, William Dyer again sued William Coddington, this time for "uttering words of contumacy &c."; once again Dyer lost.

On May 22, 1661, William was chosen one of seven finalists to be chosen as colony agent in England. He made two trips to England in 1651 and 1653 at his own expense with Roger Williams and John Clarke, to obtain a revocation of Governor Coddington's power. He left his wife, Mary abroad, where she became converted to the Quaker faith.

In 1648 William Dyer was called "Lieutenant." On May 18, 1653, William received a commission from the General Assembly to act against the Dutch. The officers were to be "Captain John Underhill, Commander in Chief upon the land and Captain William, Dyer, Commander in Chief upon sea." He was named in the charter of 1663, and on September 7, 1664, was one of a committee sent upon the arrival of the Royal Commissioners at New York with the congratulations and thanks of the colony. In October, 1664, he was one of a committee "to ripen the matter about the peoples votting by proxces."

William was involved in several land transactions throughout Rhode Island.

On September 29, 1643, John Vaughan, husbandman, sold to "William Dyre of Nuport" land on the east side of Newport which Vaughan had purchased of Robert Bennett. On March 1, 1642/3, Mr. Samuel Wilbore of Portsmouth sold to "William Dyer of Nuport" six acres in Newport once owned by John Lawrence.

On September 29, 1643, Thomas Roberts of Newport, carpenter, described his purchase of Newport lands given to Henry Knolls and Lambert Woodard and the intervening purchases and sales "all neglecting records;" record was then made that Roberts sold these lands to James Rogers, who then sold them to William Dyer.

On May 5, 1644, Thomas Applegate of Newport sold to William Dyer thirty acres adjacent to Dyer's farm. On December 20, 1644, William Dyer of Newport sold to George Gardiner a ten-acre neck of land which Dyer had bought of Thomas Applegate.

In a marginal note, William Dyer (who was the recorder), described his lands:

Wm Dyers farm [June or January] 20th 1644 Memorandum that the farm of William Dyre of Newport in the Isle of Rhodes consisting of al well the lands that was granted unto him by the said town as also of several purchases that he said William made of divers lands that adjoined hereunto amounteth to the number of one hundred forty acres more or less.

On October 18, 1669, testimony was given in his behalf by Governor Coddington: "I do affirm that we the purchasers of Rhode Island (myself being the chief), William Dyer desiring a spot of land of us, as we passed by it, after we had purchased the said island, did grant him our right in the said island, and named it Dyer's Island." Others so testified also.

On February 18, 1669/9, "William Dyre of Newport...Senior and Kathrin Dyre his wife" sold to Peleg Sanford of Newport "a tract or parcel of land containing twelve acres."

On July 7, 1670, "William Dyre of Newport..., gent.," deeded to "my son Henry Dyre...that part of my farm lying at the northerly end thereof...but in case my son Henry should have issue only females then my son Samuell...after the death of the said Henry shall give one hundred and fifty pounds sterling the eldest to have a double portion the rest an equal divident of the residue...the land to return to...Samuell."

On July 25, 1670, "Samuell Dyre & Henry Dyre both of Newport," bound themselves in £300 to "our father William Dyre of Newport," they to pay "unto their sister Mary Dyre the eldest daughter of...William Dyre" £100 within three years after William's decease, and to "Elizabeth Dyre the second daughter of William Dyre" £40 "when she cometh to the age of eighteen years."

On August 5, 1670, "William Dyre of Newport..., gent.," deeded to "my son William island...called Dyre's Island lying and being situated in Narrogansett Bay upon the northern side of Rhode Island over against Prudence Island."

William's wife, Mary, was hanged in Boston on June 1, 1660. About 1664, William married secondly, Katherine (____). William died sometime before December 24, 1677, on which date Governor Benedict Arnold in his will of this date mentions William Dyer, Sr., now late deceased.

His widow Katherine had her dower set off by order of Town Council in 1681, and she was alive six years later. As William's widow, Katherine Dyer and widow Anne Dyer, Samuel's relict [Samuel was William's son], went at it tooth and nail for three years in the courts over a "breach of covenant" before the justices saw fit to "cease the action." At the May 12, 1679 court, "upon indictment by the General Solicitor against Katherine Dyre of Newport for misbehavior she being in court called, appeared: pleads not guilty and refers for trial to God & the country. The Court upon serious consideration of the matter see cause to quash the bill." Katherine was not through, however, and went after her step-son Charles Dyer in 1682 in a £30 complaint of trespass, in which the jury found against her. These actions probably represent the attempts of William's widow to gain possession from the children of William Dyer's first wife of the estate that she felt belonged to her children with him.

William Dyer, FIRST attorney general

Engaged for the people, by the people, or in the peoples' name Dyer was also the first Attorney General of any colony in North America

William excerpts from Wikipedia Husband of Quaker martyr Mary Barrett Was Rhode Island's first Attorney General

Following excerpted from writ by Christy K Anderson

In 1628, the founders of Massachusetts Bay Colony followed the lead of the Plymouth Colony, and obtained a royal charter to form a community that was self-governed but answerable to the King, Parliament, and laws of England. The Massachusetts Bay Company purchased a huge tract of wilderness that was later subdivided to become part of New Hampshire and Connecticut.

In late 1637, a large group of religious dissidents in the Boston area, including Anne and William Hutchinson, and William and Mary Barrett Dyer, were given the choice of submitting to the MassBay church-state, or being banished. They may have been planning to leave anyway, but the expulsion of Anne Hutchinson for heresy certainly hurried their departure. While she was under house arrest in the winter of 1637-38, the men were searching for and purchasing land from the Narragansett Indians, for what would become the Colony of Providence Plantations and Rhode Island.

They formed the first democracy in America (Massachusetts governors John Winthrop and Thomas Dudley were disdainful of democracy), and obtained their own charter from the English government in 1643, after MassBay’s Gov. Winthrop implied that Rhode Island would be annexed to Massachusetts, thus bringing the heretics back under his control.

In May 1650 the General Assembly, meeting in Newport, created the offices of Attorney General for the Colony and Solicitor General. William Dyer and Hugh Bewitt/Buit, respectively, were immediately engaged.

Notice the wording in the order and commission for Attorney General below, that he was “Engaged for the people, by, or in the peoples name…” Does that sound familiar, like, say, the Gettysburg Address by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, when he said that “Government by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”?

You won't see many "one people" or "We the People" empowering statements until 1776, in the Declaration of Independence, or 1787, when the United States Constitution was written. But Rhode Island was there in 1650, advocating for us—the People.

From Wikipedia Scores of the followers of Wheelwright and Hutchinson were ordered out of the Massachusetts colony, but before leaving, a group of them, including Dyer, signed what is sometimes called the Portsmouth Compact, establishing a non-sectarian civil government upon the universal consent of the inhabitants, with a Christian focus.[5] This document was penned by Dyer, he signing his name and then adding the title "clerk." Planning initially to settle in New Netherland, the group was persuaded by Roger Williams to purchase some land of the Indians on the Narragansett Bay. They settled on the north east end of Aquidneck Island, and established a settlement they called Pocasset, but in 1639 changed the name to Portsmouth From 1650 to 1653, most of which time was during the island's separation from Providence, Dyer served as the Attorney General Roger Williams, who envisioned a union of all four settlements on the Narragansett Bay, went to England to obtain a patent bringing all four towns under one government. Williams was successful in obtaining this document late in 1643, and it was brought from England and read to representatives of the four towns in 1644. Coddington was opposed to the Williams patent and managed to resist union with Providence until 1647 when representatives of the four towns ultimately met and adopted the Williams patent of 1643/4.[8] With all of the Narragansett settlements now under one government, Dyer was elected the General Recorder for the entire colony in 1648.[3] For reasons that are not clear in existing records, criticism of Coddington soon arose. The venerable Dr. John Clarke voiced his opposition to the island governor, and he and Dyer were sent to England as agents of the discontents to get the Coddington commission revoked.[12] Simultaneously, the mainland towns of Providence and Warwick sent Roger Williams on a similar errand, and the three men sailed for England in November 1651.[12] Mary Dyer had sailed to England just before the three men departed.[13] Because of recent hostilities between the English and the Dutch, the men did not meet with the Council of State on New England until April 1652.[12] Whether true or not, Coddington was accused of taking sides with the Dutch on matters of colonial trade, and in October 1652 his commission for the island government was revoked.[12] Dyer was the messenger who returned to Rhode Island the following February, bringing the news of the return of the colony to the Williams' Patent of 1643, while his wife remained in England. The reunion of the colony was to take place that spring, but the mainland commissioners refused to come to the island to meet, and the separation of mainland from island was extended for another year.[12] During this interim period, John Sanford was elected as governor of the island towns, while Gregory Dexter became president of the mainland towns.[12] In 1655 Dyer's name appears on a list of freemen from Newport.[3]

3 Austin, John Osborne (1887). Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island. Albany, New York: J. Munsell's Sons. ISBN 978-0-8063-0006-1

8),12) Bicknell, Thomas Williams (1920). The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Vol.3. New York: The American Historical Society. pp. 982–993. 13. Anderson, Robert Charles; Sanborn, George F. Jr.; Sanborn, Melinde L. (2001). The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England 1634–1635. Vol. II C-F. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society. ISBN 0-88082-120-5.

Left MA to find freedom of thought in Roger Willims Rhode Island colony

Attorney General of Rhode Island

Received 87 acres in Newport plus a 600 acre island which became known as "Dyer Island" circa 1630

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Capt. William Dyer, Jr.'s Timeline

September 19, 1609
Kirkby Laythorpe, Lincolnshire, England
Kirkby la Thorpe, Lincolnshire, England
October 10, 1635
Age 25
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
October 17, 1637
Age 27
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA
Age 32
Newport, Newport, Rhode Island
Age 33
Newport, Newport Colony
Age 36
London, Middlesex, England
Age 37
Rhode Island
Age 37
Newport, Newport Co, RI