William Tyler was a planter in Martin County. In 1777 he became a member of the Gourd Patch Conspiracy and likely took on a leadership role, as he had the authority to recruit new members. In June he was arrested after William May was arrested and named Tyler as a member of the plot. Tyler supposedly was captured "with all the papers in his pocket," so his fellow conspirators immediately feared that their plot had been discovered and began to flee or make violent plans to break Tyler out of jail. Eventually the rest of the plot's members were apprehended and Tyler appeared on a list of prisoners being held at the Edenton District Court of Oyer and Terminer for misprision of treason along with several other leading associators of the conspiracy. Later in 1778 a warrant was issued for his arrest as part of the ongoing criminal proceedings.
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