Founders of the Massachusetts Bible Society - 1809

The Massachusetts Bible Society began on July 6, 1809 and is an ecumenical, Christian organization dedicated to promoting Biblical literacy, understanding, and dialogue. This blog lists brief biographies of our founders who gathered in the Massachusetts State House Senate Chamber on that historic day to sign the Charter founding MBS. Please visit our website:

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Location: Newton Centre, MA, United States

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mr. Dudley A. Tying, Esq.

The man chosen to record the events of the founders meeting, Dudley Atkins Tyng, served such roles in many of the contemporary societies. He was born Dudley Atkins in Newburyport on September 3, 1760 and took the name of Tyng after inheriting the estate of James Tyng of Tyngsborough glass. Interested in business he was also part of the corporation of the Newburyport Hosiery Company.

As was true of many of our founders, Mr. Tyng was also a member of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and in that capacity he took great interest in finding a way to serve the religious needs of those on the Isle of Shoals. In an 1801 letter, he describes their initial state of ignorance and depravity for want of religious instruction.

Apparently this was a cause taken up by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, which erected a stone house (pictured here) to serve as school, church, and lighthouse. They then provided a minister. The 1801 letter by Mr. Tyng is requesting further funds to build a house for that minister on the island, since the clergyman currently lived on another island and had to make the hazardous trip by boat to minister to the people.

An Episcopalian, his obituary noted of his piety that it “was ardent, without the least tincture of fanaticism, and his views of religion were sound and rational without bigotry or intolerance.”

After holding office in Newburyport, where he was a member of the Knights Templar, he became the reporter for the Massachusetts Supreme Court, an office that he held until his death on August 1, 1829.

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