A few years ago, a group of writers with a passion for the 17th century and a determination to provide a forum for people interested in this period of history to find information about the life and times of the people, came together to form the HOYDENS AND FIREBRANDS. One of the newest Hoydens is writer, Christy Robinson and it's my pleasure to have her as my guest today to showcase her two fabulous novels based on movement of people between England and the "New World" that occurred during the mid 17th century.
Christy has written a pair of novels set in the 17th-century Great Migration from
to early-colonial . Although written in novel format, the books focus
on one (real life) couple (May and William Dyer) and their famous associates, and follow a timeline of actual
events, showing the remarkable, world-changing people who precipitated
oppression and freedom, law and grace, enslavement and redemption. And
ultimately, it was death that saved lives and ensured liberty for centuries to
Mary Barrett Dyer, 1611-1660, was comely, dignified, admired for her intellect, and known in the court of King Charles. But how did she become infamous in
England and as a heretic who gave birth
to a monster? Was she responsible for curses falling on colonial America New England in the form of great earthquakes, signs in
the heavens, and plagues? What possessed the ultra-righteous Governor John
Winthrop to exhume her baby before one hundred gawkers, revile her in his
books, and try to annex Rhode Island to get
its exiles back under ’s
In Mary Dyer Illuminated, follow William and Mary Dyer from the plague streets and royal courts of
to the wilderness of America
where they co-founded the first democracy of the New World
135 years before the Declaration of Independence. While living in the Puritan
theocracy of ,
Mary participated in a new religious movement that would be recognized today as
evangelicalism. When she miscarried a “monster” fetus with severe neurological
defects, Puritans called it God’s judgment for her heresy. The Dyers became
co-founders of the colony of Boston Rhode Island,
where William was appointed attorney general, the first attorney general in .
They were only getting started. America
In the second of two volumes, Mary Dyer: For Such a Time as This, the Dyers return to war-torn
and lay a foundation for
liberty that resonates in the 21st century. William was appointed
commander of the Anglo-Dutch War in New England, including what would become England . Mary stayed in
for nearly five years, and became a Quaker convert. When she sailed back to England , she
was arrested and imprisoned, but when William obtained her release, Mary placed
herself in danger several more times. Why did beautiful, wealthy Mary Dyer
deliberately give up her six children, husband, and privileged lifestyle to
suffer prison and death on the gallows? America
The two novels are compelling, provocative, and brilliantly written, blending historical fact and fiction to produce a thoroughly beautiful work you won't want to put down. The author has reconstructed a forgotten world by researching the culture, religions, and politics of
England and ,
personal relationships, enemies, and even the events of nature, to discover who
they were. America
Both books are available on AMAZON. Click HERE for the link.
ABOUT CHRISTY ROBINSON:
Christy K Robinson is the author of two (five-star-reviewed) historical novels and one nonfiction book centered on the mid-17th-century Great Migration from
to New England, the books spotlighting the
Quaker martyr Mary Barrett Dyer. Christy’s books may be found at her Dyer blog, (click HERE). She has been a magazine and book editor since her university days, as well as
a piano teacher and church musician for many denominations. At her parents’
instigation, she inhaled historical fiction and “real” history as a young
schoolgirl, and helped her mother research the family genealogy very early
on—long before the advent of the internet.
EXCERPT: From Mary Dyer: For Such a Time as This, (© 2014 Christy K Robinson, used by permission)
Before the household could awake and notice her absence, she took her Bible with her and left the crenellated castle through its gatehouse with the statues of medieval warriors on the top of the battlements.
Mary crossed the grassy park outside the walls and sunken formal garden, and entered the edge of the wood. She sat on a tree stump and listened to the birds chattering in the trees. Having been a city girl in her youth, she was unfamiliar with which birds sang which songs, but she thought she recognized the goldfinch by its plumage.
Only because the eye blinked did Mary notice the head of a doe that had settled down to ruminate in a stand of leafy saplings. The deer seemed little concerned with Mary’s presence, for they were nearly as tame as cattle.
With the sunrise came a slight breeze and the leaves trembled on a wide-spreading oak. Almost as if she could see the wind, she sensed tendrils of sweet summer herbal-scented air riffling the pages of her open Bible. When she focused her eyes on the words there, she read,
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Then slowly, as the invisible tendrils of air caressed the ends of her hair and her cheeks, she relaxed, submitted to its ministrations, and inhaled, and with the intake of breath, she began to be filled with the love of God. Mary could feel it traveling from her heart through her core and to her limbs, and it was not unlike the butterfly flutters of a child quickening in her womb. As she was gradually filled with the love and Light, strength and power, Mary began to tremble with joy. No love in her life had ever filled her like this. Not her parents or dear friends, not her beloved husband William, not the joy of new motherhood, and not her teacher, Anne. She rose to her feet in reverence and lifted her hands.
Nothing could separate her from this love, for now it had become part of her. It was not in her blood—it was her blood. It was not the flesh of her arms or legs—it was the power that made them move. It was not the English summer air she breathed—it was the very life-breath of the Creator.
It was not an audible word in her ears, but an orchestra in her spirit, which said, “Mary, my child, I have ordained you to be a light in the world, a friend to the sick and imprisoned, a balm to the persecuted, a voice for the silenced, a banner to rally weary warriors.”
Mary replied without speaking. “Yea, and joyfully I go, Lord.”
Gradually, over a few minutes, the trembling faded away, but she felt no sense of loss or emptiness, for the love remained. Everything in her life had a purpose and a destination, which she did not yet know, but she was ready for the journey.
September 17, 1653
William Dyer sat at the bench with Nicholas Easton, after adjourning the Court of Admiralty, and organized his notes and papers before leaving for home.
was working on a letter to the
Commissioners of the United Colonies regarding Captain Thomas Baxter, the young
privateer captain. Easton
Two weeks before, Baxter had seized the Desire, a barque owned by Samuel Mayo and three other men of
in Plymouth Colony. Baxter claimed
that the Desire was carrying on trade
with the Dutch, though Mayo was only carrying goods from Reverend William
Leverich of Sandwich to a new farm at Oyster Bay on Barnstable Long
Island, within English limits.
Baxter had put Mayo and his captain off the Desire at
a larger and deeper harbor about ten miles west of Oyster Bay, claiming he had
a commission from
to offend the enemy Dutch, and all who did business with them. Rhode Island
Mayo and Lt. William Hudson of the Honorable Military Company of
on duty at the English outpost there, had come to to investigate Baxter’s privateer
called the Easton Admiralty Court to
session, and made a response to Mayo’s claim of Baxter’s actions.
Now, at the conclusion of testimony,
dictated a letter to the court clerk. Easton
TO THE MAGISTRATES OF
BAY ON LONG ISLAND
16 Sept. 1653
Having received your complaint regarding Captain Thomas Baxter, I hereby affirm that Mr. Baxter has been authorized by
under a commission of the English Council of State, to offend the enemies of ,
and all who treat with the Dutch. He is bound to bring his prizes into England for trial, that
the state may get its share. Newport
Mr. Baxter tells us that he knows of no English patent or charter for the lands at Oyster Bay or the West Harbor, where he seized the sloop Desire, and that the place is known as Martin Gerretson’s Bay, in Dutch territory.
However, Mr. Mayo testifies that he, Mr. Wright, and Mr. Leverich purchased the land from the Indians, and he requests that his ship be brought to
it must be held for trial. New Haven
We regret the inconvenience this has caused Mr. Mayo and the other owners of the barque, and assure you of a speedy hearing with the commissioners of the United Colonies when it meets at
He signed the letter and its copies, and the original was given to the fuming Samuel Mayo, who said through gritted teeth that he would appeal to a higher court.
“That would be my advice to you, anyway, sir,” said Dyer. “The Desire could remain impounded until the case comes up on the court calendar, probably six months from now. That will be a severe hardship for its owners, unless you post a bond with the court and reclaim your ship for the interim. If you win the suit, you’ll have your bond returned, and Baxter may be assessed damages.”
Samuel Mayo and William Paddy became sureties for the bond and filed a suit against Thomas Baxter, and left the meetinghouse.
remained at the bench, talking. Easton
“Meanwhile,” said William, “Baxter, eager to make his fortune, sailed off to
harbor and seized a Dutch ship there, which caused the Dutch to fit out two
more ships to go after Baxter.” Fairfield
“I have no doubt,”
continued, “That in the matter of the Desire,
the commission will find for Mayo and Leverich, and Baxter will be censured or
fined. Legally, Baxter had a right to raid the Dutch waters and take the ship
and its cargo as prizes on mere suspicion that it was trading with the Dutch.
The lands and waters won’t be under Easton New Haven, Connecticut, or
control without a patent for its founding.” Massachusetts
Will nodded. “But morally, Baxter knew it was an English ship with English cargo, and he was a fool to set a blaze like this. It’s exactly what Gregory Dexter protested would happen in the
assembly in May.” Providence