WILLIAM LYON OF ROXBURY
[The family history compiled by A. B. Lyon, M. D. of Detroit, Michigan]
In the list of passengers that embarked for America In the Hopewell September 11, 1635, we find the name of William Lyon, age "fourteen years." "Theis vnderwritten names," it is stated, "are to be transported to New England imbarqued in the Hopewell, Tho: Babb mr p. Cert, from the Ministers and Justices of their conformitie in Religion to or Church of England: & yt they are no Subsedy Men. they have taken ye Oaths of Alleg: & Suprem."
The name is further registered in Rolls Office, Chancery Lane, London, as having sailed for New England Sept. 11, 1635, and settled in Roxbury, Mass. William Lyon, perhaps an orphan, is said to have been placed in the care of Isaac Heath. There appears to be no reason to question the conclusion reached by Albert Welles (American Family Antiquity) that this was the William Lyon who was baptized at Heston, now part of the city of London, Dec. 23, 1620, the youngest son of William and Anne (Carter) Lyon of Heston.
According to Welles, Henry Lyon, fourth in descent from Baron John de Lyon, left Norfolk, which had been for more than two hundred years the ancestral home, and settled at Ryslippe [Ruislip], Co. Middlesex. The family remained in Ryslippe through four generations, bringing us to what we may regard as unquestionable historical ground. John Lyon, born in Ryslippe about 1470, married Emma Hedde of Ryslippe, and had four sons bearing the suggestive names; Henry, Thomas, Richard and John (compare names of the three brothers who came to Fairfield Co., Conn.). John settled in Little Stanmer, Co. Middlesex; his wife’s name was Joan, and their oldest son, born about 1540, was William, who married Isabel Wightman, daughter and heiress of William and Audry (Deering) Wightman of Harrow on the Hill. William lived for a time (1596) in London, but was buried Sept. 7, 1624, at Little Stanmer. He had a brother Thomas, whose son William was called the Marquis of Southwold, and was owner of the ship Lyon which brought to America so many emigrants. William and Isabel Wightman had a son William born about 1580. He married July 17, 1615, at Harrow on the Hill, Anne Carter, and made his home in Heston. His children were:
1. Katherine, bapt. Oct. 25, 1616;
2. John, bapt. Nov. 30, 1617, d. in Infancy;
3. John, bapt. June 1, 1619, and
4. William, bapt. Dec. 23, 1620; (O. S.).
In Roxbury land records the name of William Lyon appears as Lion, Lyon and Lyons, and we find all three forms also in the records of the Eliot church. He seems to have written it himself sometimes Lion (see autograph signature of his will, p. 28), sometimes Lyon [or Lion]. William Lyon married, June 17, 1646 (Roxbury Ch. R.), Sarah Ruggles, daughter of John and Mary (Curtis) Ruggles of Nazing, England. She was born April 19, 1629, and came to America with her parents while yet an infant
The death of Sarah Is not found in Roxbury town or church records, and probably occurred in Rowley, for on Sept. (or Nov.) 30, 1677, William Lyon "of Rowley" was married to Mrs. Martha (Philbrick) Casse [Cass], widow of John Casse.
William Lyon in 1645 became a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Roxbury. He received in 1648 a grant of six acres of land in Roxbury, and in 1652 of three acres "upon the common, by John Polly’s." His name also appears as grantee in deeds of land in Roxbury in 1651, 1658 and 1661, and as grantor in 1658 and 1672 (see below). When the new settlement at New Roxbury, now Woodstock, Conn., was determined upon in .1686, he was one of the "goers," and he was assigned a lot there, although he did not actually occupy it Several of his grandsons (William, Thomas, John and Jacob) were prominent members, however, of the new colony, and a stepson, Ebenezer Casse received a grant of land there.
The Lyon homestead in Roxbury was on what is now Bellevue Avenue, formerly called Lyon Street. It was on the east side of the street, southwest of Atwood Street.
William Lyon was admitted to full communion In John Eliot’s church in 1655, and became a freeman in 1666. He, with John Bowles and others, signed the Roxbury petition, Oct. 25, 1664, to the General Court, praying it to "stand fast in our present liberties." He lived to the age of seventy-two. He was buried May 21, 1692, probably in the West Roxbury cemetery, although there is no stone there to mark the spot. His widow died "about" Aug. 4, 1694 (Roxbury T. R.).
Deed dated June 25, 1651: "For valuable Consideration in hand received," Capt. Hugh Pritchard, late of Roxbury in New England, deeds "vnto James Morgan, Griffin Craft, Edward Bridge, Wm. Lyon, John Mayes, Robt. Seaber & John Ruggles & Isaac Johnson a certaine parcell of marsh land in Roxbury being now an island by reason of a creeke between the same and the land of John Johnson of Roxbury."
Deed dated Aug. 3, 1657: "In Consideration of fowerscore pounds to him in hand well and truly paid, Edward Weld deeds to William Lyon and John Polly 40 acres of land in Roxbury."
Deed dated Sept "fowerth," 1657: In Consideration of certain other lands and houses specified as also in Consideration of sixe pounds in hand pajd vnto him, William Lyon and Sarah his wife deed to Isacke Johnson a dwelling house in Roxbury with an orchard and tenne acres of land more or lesse, of which said Orchard Is part
Signed William Lion & a seale. Sarah Lyon & a seale.
Deed dated Sept 1, 1661: In Consideration of a valuable Price to us in hand paid, we, William Lyon, John Mayes, Junr & John Bridge & John Watson Junr deed to William Gary fiveteen Achors of land in Roxbury.
Deed dated June 15, 1661: In Consideration of a Vallueable price to us all: & to every of our contents payed, we, Richard Witherington and Eliz: his Wife of Dorchester and John Aldiss & Sarah his Wife & Jno Smith & Lidda his Wife both of Dedham deed to Willm Gary and Willm Lyon & John Mayes Junr & John Bridge & Jno Watson Junr all of them of Roxberry, in generall all the housing & lands that Deacon Pbillip Elliott was possessed of in Roxberry when he Died, including a dwelling house, Barne & Cow houses with two Achors of land in Roxbury; ninety-six Achors of land In the Second alottment in Roxberry; fiveteen Achors of land as it lyeth in Roxberry abutting upon the highway leading to the great Pond; six Achrs of Salt Marsh at Gravelly Pointe in Roxbury; three Achors & a halfe of fresh Meadow, as it lyeth in baremash in Roxbury; twelve Achors of land in Roxbury upon the Pond Plaine, and nine Achors of land in Roxbury being commonly called the Ox Pasture.
The following document is Interesting for the light it throws on conditions of life in New England in the early days: Wm. Lyon & Rich. Sutton, both of Roxbury (for & in consideration of two oxen sould & delivered to them) did grant unto Tho: Dudley, Governr., six Acres of land in Roxbury, lyeing southwards of the great lotts, the land of Georg Brand on the east, the commons on the west & on the south. Also fyve Acres neare the greate Pond, lately purchased of Samuel Ruggles with fyve Acres he doth covent. sufficiently to fence before the 1 (3) next, both those parcels of laud being the possession of the sd. Wm. And the said Rich: doth grant nfteene Acres purchased of Wm. Parke, with the appurtenances; Provided that if the sd. Wm. & Richard shall pay to the sd. Thomas, his heires, Execs. or Assignes fourty seven shillings six pence lawfull money vppon 7 (2) next & the like some vppon the 7 (8) 1651, & the like summes each 7th day of Apr. & Octob. the severall yeares 1652, 1653, 1654, in good clean dry & merchantable wheat at the now dwelling house of the sd. Tho. Dudley in Roxbury, then this grant to be void, els not. And the sd. Wm. & Rich, do bind themselves in the summe of fourteene pounds that they will not forfeit the mortgage. And the sd. Tho. Dudley doth agree that if the sd. Wm. & Rich: doenow carry plow harrow &c according to an agreement beareing date with these presents that then It shalbe abated out of the above sd paymts. dated 7 (8) 1650 & acknowledged 19 (8) 1650 before Mr. Wm. Hlbbins.
Will of William Lyon, Sr., of Roxbury, "dated in the yeare 1692": The Last Will and Testament of William Lion Senr of Roxbury In the County of Suffolk in his Majesties Territory in New England as follow-eth: I the sd William Lion being in my perfect understanding and memory by the blessing of my mercifull Father into whose hands I commend my Soul, I dispose of my Worldly Estate as followeth.
I will constitute my Eldest son John Lion to be my Sole and alone Executor and Administrator to act with full power as I myself can do during my natural life for to take care for to discharge and pay or cause to be paid all.my just Debts and Such Charges as may be needfull for my decent burialL And also as an attorney to recover all due Debts to the sd William Lion’s Estate. I further will and give unto my son John Lion my now Dwelling house Together with all and every parcell of Land or Lands belonging unto me in Roxbury to the sd John Lion and his Male heires, and If that family should faile of Male heires then the same benefit to Thomas Lion and his Male heires and Samuel Lion and his Male heirea and William Lion and bis Male heires and Joseph Lion and his Male heires.
Furthermore my Will is That my sons Thomas and William Lion shall have my Salt Marsh at Gravelly Point equally divided between them notwithstanding the words all and every parcell in the sixteenth line.
Furthermore my Will is That my beloved Wife Martha shall have Seven pounds a yeare. That is to say Three pounds Term Shillings in Money and Three pounds Ten Shillings in Countrey pay as the sd Martha shall need at current prices, and the new Leantoo at the Western end of my house for to dwell in and room in the Parlour as she shall have occasion for the same privileges above mentioned to be duly performed by the above mentioned Executor unto the sd Martha Lion during her naturall life.
My Will is that my Four Sons, Thomas and Samuel, William and Joseph shall have Sixteen pounds apiece duely and truely paid unto them in Current pay at Current prices within Six years after my death by my above mentioned Executor.
And for the better enabling my Son John Lion to discharge these obligations, I the sd William Lion Senr give all my moveables within and without doors excepting those things particularly given.
And Furthermore if in case that the Salt Marsh don’t come to make Thomas and William Sixteen pounds apiece, then to be made up out of the Estate.
The last Will of William Lion. Witness my hand and Seale
and a Seale.
In presence us Jabez Tolman, John Grigs, Francis Youngman.
Probated October 27, 1692.
Inventory, May 27, 1692, amounted to £213 — 16 — 4
The will of Martha "Lion" of Roxbury, widow, is dated March 2. 1694; proved Aug. 10, 1694. Names as executor and principal heir, Ebenezer Cass, sons Joseph and Samuel Cass, daughter Abigail (Cass), daughters Grtggs, Radman and Green and grandson John Cass. (Suffolk Co. Probate Records, Vol. 13, pp. 470-471.)/
Children of William and Sarah (Ruggles) Lyon, born In Roxbury, Mass.:
John, bapt April 10, 1847; d. Roxbury, Jan. IS, 1702-3 ae. 56 7. (G. R.).
Thomas, bapt. Aug. 8, 1648; d. Roxbury, 1734.
Samuel, bapt. June 10, 1650; d. April 7. 1713 (Roxbury T. R.).
William, bapt. July 12. 1652; d. Boxbury. Aug. 10, 1714, ac. about 62 y. (O. R.).
Joseph, bapt. Nov. 30, 1654; d. Woodstock, Conn., June 7. 1721.
Sarab, b. Jan. 8, 1657 (?); bapt March 8, 1667.
Jonathan, b. Sept. 5, 1666 (T. B.); bapt. Sept. 9, 1666; d. Jan. 5. 1668 (T. R.).
Jonathan, b. 1668; d. May 30, 1668 (Pope); burled June 6. 1668 (T. R.).