Rev. John Myles came to New England from Swansea, Wales, in 1663, being driven from his native land by religious persecution in the reign of Charles II. He settled in Rehoboth, Mass., and subsequently removed to that part of Sowams known as Wannamoisett, to which was given the name of Swansea, in remembrance of the Welsh town from which Mr. Myles came. In the old world he had been a successful preacher and leader of men, and in the new world such were his character and influence that he is worthy to be regarded as one of the founders of our free Republic, though his name does not always appear in the Encyclopaedias. He founded the first Baptist church on Massachusetts soil, and founded a town the most unique in some respects of any of the New England settlements. He died in 1683, and after the lapse of 222 years there was no stone to mark his grave. Indeed the place of his burial was not positively known, though he "was most probably buried in the old graveyard near where his meeting house and dwelling house stood at Tyler's Point" in the present town of Barrington, R.I.
Through the efforts of Hon. Thomas W. Bicknell, President of the Barrington Historic Antiquarian Society and of the Bristol County Historical Association, a rough boulder was procured and placed in the old cemetery near the supposed place of the grave, and dedicated to Mr. Myles' memory on June 17, 1905. Appropriate services were held first in the Town Hall in Barrington, and then in the cemetery, both being presided over by Mr. Bicknell. The services in the Hall consisted of a brief address by the President, prayer by Rev. G.E. Morse, minister of the John Myles Baptist church in North Swansea, Mass., the Historical Address by Rev. Henry M. King, D.D., minister of the First Baptist church in Providence, a brief address by Rev. H. W. Watjen, minister of the Baptist church in Warren, R. I., a poem by Rev. M.L. Williston, minister of the Congregational church in Barrington, and appropriate musical selections by a chorus under the leadership of Mr. F.S. Martin of Warren. These included the singing of the "Swansea Song," written by Hezekiah Butterworth.
The services at the Cemetery consisted of a Dedicatory Address by Rev. W.H. Eaton, D.D., Secretary of the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society, a poem written by Miss Imogene C. Eaton of East Providence and addresses by Mr. Hezekiah Butterworth of Boston and by ex-Governor John W. Davis of Pawtucket, R.I., both of them descendants of the first settlers. Gen. Nelson A. Miles, a lineal descendant of Rev. John Myles, was expected to be present, but was compelled to send a letter of regret. The day was beautiful, the attendance from Barrington, Providence and adjacent towns large, and the services of great interest throughout. (from "An Historical Address Delivered at the Dedication of a Monument in Barrington, Rhode Island (formerly Swansea, Mass.) June 17, 1905", by Henry Melville King)
Hannah Myles Mason (1673 - 1741)*
Tyler Point Cemetery
Rhode Island, USA
Created by: Jen Snoots
Record added: Oct 19, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 22309051