William Dryden 1
- Born: 28 Mar 1638, Inveresk Parish, Inveresk, Midlothian, Scotland
- Marriage (1): Agnes Crynes in 1660 1
- Died: After 1685, MD
According to Ruth and Leslie Dryden, two of the venerable historians of the Dryden clan, William Dryden was a tailor in Edmonston, Scotland and born 1635/40. This compiler has found some on-line documentation that confirms his birth on Mar 28 1638. According to Dryden, William and his wife Agnes were arrested and incarerated for religious reasons on Sep 29 1662 in the old Tolbooth Prison in Edinburgh, Scotland - they were part of "a tumultuous convocation and riot committed at Wolmet upon ye 14 of September instant in opposition to his Majesty's authority."
Because of this Willaim Dryden and many other Scots sought exile in the New World. At the time, old Somerset County in Maryland offered the highest form of religious tolerance and was drawing many colonists, especially the Quakers out of Virginia. It would be the perfect place for the Dryden's to start anew. Ruth Dryden quotes Edward Randolph of James City Co., VA when he wrote, on Jun 27 1692, "I hear he (the MD governor) has continued Maj. King to bee ye Navall Officer in Somerset County on ye eastern shore, a place pesterd with Scotch and Irish. About two hundred families have been within ye two years arrived from Ireland and settled in yt. county beside some hundred of families there before. They have set up a linnen Manufacture, Encouraged thereto by Coll. Brown, a Scotchman, one of ye Councill and by Majr. King and other principall persons upon ye place, who support ye Interlopers and buy up all their Loading upon their first arrivall and govern ye whole trade on ye Eastern Shore, so yt., whereas 7 or 8 ships from Engld. did yearly trade and load ye Tobbo. of yt. Coty. I find yt. in these three years past there have not been five ships trading legally in all these Rivers, and nigh 30 Sayle of Scotch Irish and New England men." William Dryden had been on the Eastern Shore by May 27 1685 when he witnessed the will of Randall Revell Sr. (SoDeeds 6:825)
William married Agnes Crynes in 1660.1