The Quakers

By Hugh Barbour; J. William Frost | Go to book overview

F
FISHER, MARY [later BAYLY and CROSS] ( 1623?, Selby?, Yorkshire-- 1698, Charleston, SC). Education: Unknown. Career: Pioneer missionary.First recorded as a servant in Richard Tomlinson's household at Pontefract and convinced with them on George Fox's* Yorkshire trip in 1651, Fisher was imprisoned in York Castle with Thomas Aldam. In 1653 she went to challenge students at Cambridge University, where by the mayor's order she was stripped to the waist and whipped. In 1656 she and Ann Austin were the first Friends to sail via Barbados to Boston, were jailed, and had one hundred Quaker books they had brought burned by the hangman. In 1657 she was in the West Indies again. In 1657-58, with John Perrot and four others, she undertook a mission to the Near East. Sailing via Leghorn and Zante to Smyrna, and turned back, Mary Fisher and Beatrice Buckley jumped ship at Zante. Fisher reached the camp of Sultan Mohammed IV at Adrianople; delivered a message "from the great God," which was heard with courtesy; and returned safely to England. In 1662 she married William Bayly, sea captain of Poole, Dorset. They had three children. After his death at sea in 1675, she married John Cross of London in 1678, with whom she and her children sailed before 1685 to South Carolina. She and her grand-daughter Sophia Hume provided for a century the only leadership for a Meeting in Charleston and entertained shipwrecked Quaker travelers. Her will included a black slave.
Bibliography
A. The First New Persecution ( 1654); Swarthmore MSS 4:193 at London Friends House Library.
B. BBQ; DNB; DQB; Fox, Camb. Jnl.; JQAC; Gerard Croese, Historia Quakeriana ( Latin ed'n., 1695; English, 1696) and Willem Sewel History of the [Rise, Increase and Progress of the Christian People called] Quakers ( English ed'n., 1722). Joseph Besse , Collection of the Sufferings [of the people called Quakers] ( London: 1753);

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