Sketches of the Mayors of New York From 1665 to 1834 Part IV

William Dyre, Mayor in 1680

Mr. Dyre was an Englishman, and was at an early period a resident of one of the New England colonies, where he engaged in trade as a merchant. In the year 1653, at the time of the hostilities between England and Holland, Rhode Island fitted out an expedition against this city, which she placed under the command of Captain John Underhill, a distinguished military leader, and formerly an ally of the Dutch in the Indian war of 1642, and Captain William Dyre, the subject of this sketch, the former to command the land forces, and the latter the ships. The commissions issued to these officers cited the existence of a war between the mother countries, and also the tyrannous proceedings of their neighbors of New Netherland, and instructed the officers to bring the Dutch into subjection.

 This expedition, however, found the city of New Amsterdam so well prepared to receive them, that they stayed their journey thither, and captured the Fort Good Hope, on the Connecticut river, instead. Upon the final accession of English authority in this city, in 1674, Captain Dyre became a settler here, and held the office of Collector of Customs for a considerable period. His residence was on the easterly side of Broadway, a short distance above Wall street. He owned several acres between the latter street and Maiden lane, which he purchased from the inheritors of the old Damen farm. This property he sold to a gentleman of Philadelphia, named Lloyd, who realized a large profit by the rise in value of the property.

Captain Dyre removed from this city to Jamaica, (West Indies,) where he died about the year 1685.

In the time of his mayoralty, the city contained about 3,500 inhabitants.

Gabriel Minvielle, Mayor in 1684

Mr. Minvielle was a Frenchman by descent, but lived, in early life, in Amsterdam, Holland. In the year 1669 he established himself as a merchant in this city, and became engaged in trade with the West India islands, and in other shipping interests. He married Susannah, a daughter of John Lawrence, a wealthy and conspicuous merchant of this city, who was also at one period Mayor of the city. He lived on Broadway, west side, in a fine mansion for those times, having a garden adjoining his house, fronting on the street. This was near the present Bowling Green, than a parade ground, in front of the fort.

Mr. Minvielle was an active politician, and was considered as a prominent aristocrat, taking part against Leisler's party in the exciting circumstances connected with what was called the "Rebellion." He was made a colonel of the militia, was a member of the Provincial Council, and Alderman of the city.

He died in 1702, leaving no children, and his name became extinct in this city. But, in Virginia, his brother, Pierre, who settled at Roanoke, has left numerous descendants.

In the time of his mayoralty, the city contained about 3,500 inhabitants.

Nicholas Bayard, Mayor in 1685.

Mr. Bayard was a public man from his youth. At the time the English took the city, in 1664, the City Council was composed of a court, called the "Burgomasters and Schepens," of which Johannes Nevins had been for a number of years secretary. But Mr. Nevins was not well acquainted with the English language, and, besides, held certain prejudices unfavorable to the English. In 1665, Bayard, then a youth, was appointed assistant to Nevins, with instructions to sit with him in the Court of Mayor and Aldermen, and to keep minutes in Dutch and English. About the 1st July, he was appointed secretary, Nevins having expressed his wish to retire. Bayard was soon afterward appointed to several lucrative offices, and likewise engaged in trade as a brewer and merchant, in which he soon acquired wealth.

Mr. Bayard established his residence on what was then called Hoagh straat, and may now be particularly pointed out on the present north side of Stone street, near Hanover square, his premises extending through to the street in the rear. This property he at first hired, about the year 1670, from Johannes Withart, but he afterward purchased the property for 2,700 guilders__equivalent to about $1,000. Mr. Bayard also purchased the property on the south-west corner of Stone and William streets. The latter was then called Burger Joris' path__afterward Barger's path. Burger Joris was an ancient citizen, a blacksmith, in the early Dutch times, and was the original grantee of property on this street. Mr. Bayard also purchased property north of what was then called the fresh water, (since the Kalek, from Kalek hook or the Lime-shell hill, which bordered one side of the pond.) That purchase of about ten or twelve acres, was near the present commencement of the Bowery, and was parcel of the extensive property enjoyed by his descendants, called Bayard's Farm, extending above Canal street, between the Bowery and Macdougal street, south of Bleecker street.

In the time of Leisler's "Rebellion," Mr. Bayard was one of the most active and conspicuous opponents of that movement, and the affair took the turn of a deadly personal antipathy between the respective leaders. When Leisler was in power, he seized upon Bayard and imprisoned him with ignominious treatment; and when, finally, Leisler was overthrown, the councils of Bayard and one or two others led to the punishment of Leisler by death, upon a plea of treason. Bayard became the object of the vengeance of his opponents, but remained for some years in security, under the protection of a government favorable to his cause. But, about ten years afterward, an opportunity of retribution was furnished to his enemies. He had promoted several addresses to the King, the Parliament, and Lord Cornbury, which were subscribed at a tavern kept by Alderman Hutchins, in which the government of Bellemont, who favored the Leislerian party, was abused and slandered; and he further charged that the Lieutenant-Governor and Chief Justice of the province had been bribed by the members of Assembly to favor their party. The government summoned Hutchins to deliver up the papers, which he refused, and was thrown into prison. Bayard and others sent an imprudent address to the Lieutenant-Governor, boldly justifying the legality of the address, and demanding Hutchins' discharge. There happened to have been, in an act relating to the sovereignty of this province, a clause containing these words:

"Whatsoever person or persons shall, by any manner of ways, or upon any pretence whatsoever, endeavor, by force of arms or otherwise, to disturb the peace, good and quiet of their majesty's government, as it is now established, shall be deemed and esteemed as rebels and traitors unto their majesties, and incur the pains, penalties and forfeitures, as the laws of England have for such offences made and provided."

Under the pretext of this law, which Bayard himself had been personally concerned in enacting, he was committed to jail as a traitor, and lest the mob should interpose, a company of soldiers, for a week after, guarded the prison.

He was brought to trial in February, 1702, and convicted of high treason. Several reasons were afterward offered in arrest of judgment, but, as the prisoner was in the hands of an enraged party, they were overruled, and he was condemned to death on the 16th of March. Bayard applied for a reprieve till his majesty's pleasure might be known, and obtained it, not without great difficulty, nor till after a seeming confession of guilt was extorted. Eventually, upon the accession of his own party to the government, Mr. Bayard was set at liberty.

Mr. Bayard died in the year 1711, leaving his widow, Judy, alive. His son, Samuel, inherited his extensive property.

In the time of his mayoralty, the city contained about 3,500 inhabitants.

Mrs. Stuyvesant, the wife of the Governor, was a Bayard, and a cousin of the subject of this sketch. The Governor, after the accession of the English, resided on his farm at the Bowery. Petrus Bayard, who married a daughter of Mrs. Rombouts, by a former husband, (Van Bail,) lived on the present line of Pearl, near Broad street. Balthazar Bayard, a brewer lived on Broadway, west side, near the Bowling Green; he married a daughter of Govert Loochemans, a very wealthy Dutch merchant. Mrs. Blaudina Bayard lived on the north-east corner of Broadway and Exchange place.


Website: The History
Article Name: Sketches of the Mayors of New York From 1665 to 1834.Part IV
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: From My Collection of Books: Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York by D.T. Valentine 1853
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