Maria Dyer (née Tarn) (c. 1803 – 21 October 1846), was a British Protestant Christian missionary to the Chinese in the Congregationalist tradition, who worked among the Chinese in Malaya. She arrived in Penang in 1827 with her husband, Samuel Dyer. She was the eldest daughter of Joseph Tarn, Director of London Missionary Society. The Dyers lived in Malacca and then finally in Singapore. Maria was known for founding the oldest girls' school in Singapore and East Asia that still exists called Saint Margaret's Primary School. Her husband died in Macau in 1843 before being able to bring his family to live in China itself at Fuzhou. Maria Tarn was later remarried, to Johann Georg Bausum in 1845, but she died the following year at Penang, at age 43, and was buried in the Protestant Cemetery there. Dyer's orphaned daughter, Maria Jane Dyer, married James Hudson Taylor, the founder of the China Inland Mission.
Samuel and Maria had five children: Maria Dyer (1829-1831), Samuel Dyer, Jr. (1833-1898), Burella Hunter Dyer (1835-1858), Maria Jane Dyer (1837-1870), and Ebenezer Dyer (1842-aft. Oct. 1843).
Maria's tombstone reads:
her distinguished Talents during the last 19
Years of her life to the extension of Christ's king-
dom among the Chinese females in the Straits
- Davies, Evan (1846). The Memoir of Samuel Dyer: Sixteen Years Missionary to the Chinese. London: John Snow.
- Taylor, James Hudson III; Chang, Irene; Even to Death - The Life and Legacy of Samuel Dyer. Hong Kong: OMF Books, 2009.