THE LYONS OF ENGLAND
FROM THE TIME OF THE CONQUEST.
BY G. W. A. LYON, M. D.
(Member of the Pennsylvania Historical Society.)
"Lyons, a small district of France, to the s. e. of the district of Bray, and n. of Lyons la Foret, on the left bank of the Andelle; formerly included within the extent of the Forest of Lyons, much more vast than today." [Univ. Geography—v. de St. Martin.].
"Lyons-la-Foret, a village of the department of Eure, 20 kilometers n. of Andelys, at the sources of the Lieure, a tributary of the Seine through the Andelle, in the midst of a beautiful beech forest; 75 meters altitude; 690 inhabitants, 1270 with the commune; sawmills and tanneries; church of the 13th and 16th centuries." [Gazeteer.].
This district and this town are of special interest to the Lyon family, inasmuch as it is from them that we derive our name. The village has probably grown from the cottages that clustered about the ancient Castle of Lyons, of which the ruins may still exist. The Castle and the forest are both plainly marked on old maps. Those who can not find it on their maps, can place it quite accurately by marking a dot a little to the south of east of Rouen, at the apex of an equilateral triangle whose base is a line drawn from Andelys to Gisors.
The name was originally De Lyons—of the castle and forest of Lyons. But phonetic spelling plays havoc with names: about 1100 variants of the name Cushing have been noted, and one name has four variants in a single line. Lyon is spelled with and without the de or the s; with y changed to i, e, oi or oy, ei or ey, or eu; the o becomes a, e or u; the n becomes nne. It is found as Len, Line or Lyne. By the monks it was sometimes written Lin, with the Latin ending u s, or was more frequently translated literally Into Leonibus. Whether it is the origin of Lynne is uncertain; while as n often assumes a d, as in Simon—Simond, it may be connected with Lynd [see Mass. Col. Rec, Thos Line or Lynd of Charlestown 1637].
In 1066, the Lord of Lyons hearkened unto the call of Duke William, and for his services was awarded Corsham and Culington. The earlier generations seem to have spent most of their time abroad. When Henry I went to France to arrange the disputes arising out of the marriage of his daughter Matilda with Geoffrey of Anjou, he stayed for some time at the Castle of Lyons, no doubt as the guest of its Lord; and It was at this castle that, after a day of hunting in the forest, he partook of a hearty meal of stewed eels, of which he was especially fond, and "died of a surfeit."
Hugo, of the 4th generation, passed little of his time in England; and it was due to his friendship with Richard I. that he incurred the enmity of King John, whereby he was twice deprived of his estates. Later the family became attached to the soil, though many county histories tell how estate after estate passed from them, partly through large donations to religious societies, partly through failure in the direct male line.
The chief authority for the history of the English Lyons has been the Rolls Office Pedigree [volume 1 Lyon Memorial. Massachusetts Families page 10], printed in Welles’ American Family Antiquity. Mr. Philippe, the compiler, had access to the English records, and while his statements are, in the main, quite accurate, his conclusions therefrom are in many cases contradicted by direct evidence. As no records were kept until Hen. VIIL, and even these very incompletely, all data concerning the old families must come from various documents of a legal or a religious nature. In the very nature of the case, it is generally impossible to determine dates, and therefore to decide upon the precise degree of relationship between thos<> who yet are unquestionably of the same household. A glance at the published pedigree of the Earls of Strathmore will show that it is impossible to prove a clear descent from the 11th century. In this exegesis, the compiler does not attempt to cover the whole ground, but confines himself to the evidence that he has personally examined. He passes over the history of the Scottish branch, which is treated fully in vol. II. of the memorial.
It has been claimed that Godfrey de Louvain, duke of Brabant, was the head of the Norman family of Lyon; but this seems quite unlikely. First: There was no duke Godfrey till some time after the conquest; the dukes were the head of the family of Louvain; they did not hear the lesser title de Louvain, which was borne by a younger son. Second: Manning (Hist, of Surrey) says that Sir Nicholas Louvain was a descendant of the noble family of Louvain, a younger branch of the Houso of Lorraine: Godfrey de Louvain, surnamed from his place of birth, had lands in England in right of his mother, granddaughter of King Stephen. Third: the name Louvain in England is always Louvain, just as Lyon is always Lyon, disguised though each may be by the well-established phonetic changes.
An interesting item, possibly bearing upon the relations with Malcolm Canmore [vol. II. pg. 12.] is noted in Kennet’s Parochial History of Oxford. “Waltheof, son of Earl Siward, for winuing him over to the Norman interest, received from William I. his niece Judith, dau. of Lambert de Lenes [Lyons?] by Maud, countess of Albemarle, dau. of Halwyn de Comitis Villa by Arlota his wife, and thereby sister to Duke William by his mother."
"The name Loions," says the Duchess of Cleveland [the Battle Abbey Roll], is derived from the castle and forest of Lions in Normandy" [see also the Norman People].[Burke says there was not a place In Normandy at that period which did not. through Its Lord, give name to some English family] "Ingelram de Lions came in 1066, and held Corsham and Culington from the King. He had Ranulph, whose brother, William de Lions, had a grant from Earl Wm. Giffard. and left descendants. Ranulph had Ingelram de Lions, who was named Parcarius, as being forester (parker) of Croxton Park, Leicester, by exchange with the King [Henry II]. William Parcarius de Lions [his son] was a benefactor of Croxton Abbey tempo Hen. II. (1154-1189), and was a brother of Hugh, who was deprived of his estates 1203. One of this family [dropping the title, and assuming the name of the office] was ancestor of the family of Parker, and of the Earls of Macclesfield."
"Earl Wm. Warren possessed Croxton," says Nicholls (History of Leicester). "He died 1160. Henry II kept it for a while, but exchanged it for Corsham and Culington, of which two-thirds belonged to William, son of Ingelram Parcarius de Lyons, a Norman whose ancestor came with the Conqueror ["and one-third," says Lancashire Inquests, "to Masilia de Apyard, held by bearing the standard of the Parker when in service of the King"]. William was succeeded by his brother Hugo: but King John gave his lands to Hubert de Bergh. While Hugo was absent in Normandy. But he accompanying Richard I. back, his lands were restored, and he held them till 1203, when John, in retaliation for the seizure of the lands of the English in Normandy by Philip Angustus, seized the lands of the French in England, and Hugo’s lands escheated to the crown, and were given to Geoffrey Luttrel. William finished the abbey in 1162, and bestowed the property for the [spiritual] health of his mother Matilda, his father Ingeram, his brother Hugo, and his ancestors. The grant was confirmed by Hugo, and other lands were added. Maud (Matilda) de Perer, mother of Hugo, gave also her right in Croxton Park." This park still exists.
The Monasticon Anglicanum is a compilation by Dugdale of the historic records of the monasteries and abbeys in England. These records were written by monks, and of course in Latin. Those relating to Croxton Abbey give substantially the account quoted from Nicholls above; but as a matter of interest, an excerpt from the original is here given.
Ex registro de Croxton penes Comitem Rutland apud Castrum de Belvoir. "Habemus in Croxton de dono Willielmi Parcarii, filii Ingerami Parcarii de Linus, duas partes de parco de Croxton et quicquid in eodem sui juris fuit et libertates etc….et duas partes carnucatae [100 A.] terrae Rogeri Parcarii etc Item. Hugo Parcarius frater praedicti Willielmi confirmavit nobis dictum donatium secundum tenorem cartem ejusdem Willielmi. Item, habemus de dono ejusdem Hugonis duas bovatas [30 A.] etc. quas Reginaldus filius Estmundi tenuit etc. Item, idem Hugo dedit etc sicut Ingeram pater suus sive Willlelmus frater suus illud unquam liberius et plenarius possederunt nobis imperpetuum possidendum. . . .Item. Matilda de Perer mater praedicti Hugonis Parcarii dedit nobis in puram clemsinam quicquid juris etc."
Thereafter follows what is found in Nicholl.
From these accounts, it appears quite evident that the four first generations of our line were:
1. Ingelram de Lyons, who came with the Conqueror.
2. Ranulph—William of Norfolk.
3. Ingelram de Lyons, called Parcarius (the Parker), m. Matilda de Perers.
Probably there were other children: note the name Roger in Mon. Angl. above. Ranulph, brother of Ilgeram, Ranulph, son of Ilgeram, and Edmund, son of Paganus, are found in Norfolk Doomsday Book. This last may be the Estmund referred to in the Mon. Angl. excerpt. It is but fair to say that there is no proof that the three last were eurnamed Lyon. It is unfortunate that Mr. Philippe does not give his authorities for the descendants of Roger [vol. I., p. 11]; still the com pletion of the Victorian series of county histories may enable the future historian to clear up many points that are now obscure.
William of the second generation settled in Norfolk. It was probably the sons of this William who became lords of Weston. The records are not so full as one could wish, and it is often impossible to tell who’s who. Blomfield (Hist, of Norfolk) gives the following data:—
Ralph de Lions and William de Lions were the lords of Lyon’s Manor, Weston, and are mentioned in a grant of Wm. Giffard, 2d. Earl of Buckingham.
In 1187 Roger de Leonibus impleaded Ralph de Birston for two parts of a fee [800 A.] in Earl Warren’s manor of Birston. Roger was son of Jeffrey, who m. Mathilda, dau. and coheir of Wm. de Lions who lived tempo Hen. II. (1154-1189), and left two other daus. and coheirs, Hawise and Beatrice, and they dying without issue, he claimed it as heir [through Matilda]. Wm. de Grandcourt, lord of Fulmodeston, proving that Jeffrey had levied a fine of the same to his ancestor Wm. de Grancourt, Birston held his possession, [compare vol. II., p. 11.].
In 1228 Walter de Grancurt purchased by fine of Jeffrey de Leonibus one carnucate (100 A.) of land in Clipston-Croxton.
Wm. de Lions and his tenants tempo Hen. III. (1216-1272) held one-half fee (400 A.) of the Honor of Richmond in Archbridge and Swanington under Robt. de Furneaux. Wm. de Lions and Sibilla his wife held lands here and in Weston and Helmingham of the Earl of Clare. He granted a meadow at Brockdish Hall for the use of the Almoner of the Priory.
Adam of Weston, living 1239, acknowledged to do service for one half fee (400 A.) to Wm. de Englefleld for his lands in Weston etc.
Jeffrey Lyon and Thomas, son of Henry de Lions, are mentioned 1303.
In 1314 Hugh de Stanford settled by fine on Adam de Lyons lands in Weston, Helmingham and Ringland for life, with remainder to Ernald de Lyons his son and Alice his wife in tail.
In 1347 Adam, son of Ernald, released to Sir Peter de Tye lands in Weston,—’papers sealed with a lion rampant.
In 1391 Nicholas, son of Arnald of Weston, parson of Rollesby, reciting that whereas Wm. Lyons of Plytcham had enfeoffed John Stanford et al. in his manor of Weston-Lyons in Weston, Helmingham and Moretou, which where [sic] the said Arnald Lyons, Nicholas released his right in the same.
In 1401 Walter de Middleton held the fourth part of a fee (200 A.) of the heirs of Arnald de Lyons, and he of the Earl of March.
No one of our name appears in the list of Norfolk gentry in 1500.
An incomplete pedigree would appear as follows, the dates showing when they were mentioned:
Ralph and William : very early.
Matilda, Hawise and Beatrice, daughters of William; the first m. Jeffrey Lyon: before 1187. .
Roger, son of Jeffrey and Matilda: 1187.
Jeffrey de Leonibus: 1228.
William de Lions and Sibilla. his wife: 1216-1272.—Adam: 1239.
Jeffrey and Thomas, son of Henry de Lions: 1303—Adam: 1314.
Ernald, son of Adam, and Alice his wife: 1314.
Adam, son of Ernald: 1347.
William—Arnald, and Nicholas, his son: 1391. Arnald dead: 1401.
The Lyon family was established in Essex early in the 13th century. The first known proprietor was Thomas, who may have been that son of Henry de Lions of the Norfolk records. The main seat of the early Lyons was near Saffron Walden. This Thomas m. Margaret, and their dau. m. John Wydville, a son of that Richard Wydvllle who m. Elizabeth, dau. of Sir John Lyon of Warkworth, Northampton. A tabular statement of these marriages will show the double strain of Lyon blood in the royal family of England:
1. Sir John de Lyons m. Alice St. Liz.
2. Elizabeth Lyon m. Richard Wydville. Thos. Lyon m. Margaret.
3. John Wydville m. dau. of Thos. Lyon.
4. Thos. Wydville.
5. Richard Wydville, Earl Rivers.
6. Elizabeth Wydville m. 1st. Sir John Grey; m. 2d. King Edward
IV. By this 1st. marriage, Elizabeth was the ancestress of Lady Jane Grey; by the 2d. marriage, she was the mother of the murdered princes of the tower, and of Elizabeth of York, who m. Henry VII.
In the histories of the county by Morant, Chancellor and Wright, we have little more than vague references, such as "Lyons Hall, Chelmsford, was named from an ancient family." "In Hinchford Hundred is tin- capital messuage of Lyons, so called from an ancient family surnamed Lyon which flourished in this county tempo Edward I —Ill," (1307-1377).
Liston Hall reverted to Richard Lyons, who was killed by Wat Tyler (vol. I., p. 16). Shardlowe estate also belonged to him. Richard was the famous vintner and lapidary. He was buried in the church of St. James, Garlickhythe. Stow (Survey of London, 1598) says that his house was next to the Hanse Merchants’ Guildhall, Thames St., next to Cosin’s Lane. He describes the "Picture on his gravestone: very large and fair, with hair rounded by his ears; a little beard, forked; a gown girt to him down to his feet, of branched damask wrought to the likeness of flowers; a large purse on his right side, hanging in a belt from the left shoulder; a plain hood about his neck, covering his shoulders, and hanging back behind him." At the time of his death he held the Manor of Overhall in Liston of the King in capite, by service of making wafers on the King’s coronation day, and serving with them the King at dinner on that day. But long before his decease he had enfeoffed Alice, Lady Neville, in the manors of Netherhall, and in lands and tenements in Liston, Borle, Foxherd and Penstowe. Netherhall was held of the Earl of March by the service of 12 s. per year, and Weston of Thomas Monshensy for 1 lb. of pepper. He had also the manor of Gosfleld. Upon his death, these escheated to the crown. He is said by some to have been Richard of Oakley, mentioned in the Northampton pedigree; but Bridge says that the latter died 1361. A Richard was in Parliament tempo Richard II (1377-1399).
John, the Lord Mayor, and wife Alice, were granted lands 1545 by Hen. VIII. Elizabeth, 2d. wife of John, held lands in St. Albans 1560 for the life of Elizabeth. She was dau. of John Lee of Stanford, Co., Lincoln, and widow of Alderman Hynd, a colleague of Sir John. His will was proved 1569. Richard, son of his bro. Henry, was his heir, and he died 1579, leaving a son and heir Henry, aged 27 years. The latter died seized of the estates of Buckhurst in Chigwell and Woodford in 1690 (vol. I., p. 17).
The arms of the Essex family are first mentioned in connection with Thomas, 14th. century, and quite likely were assigned to him for some special service; they are described as arg. a chevron sable between three lions sejant gules, and are impaled with the Wydvllle arms. Later the coat bears lions couchant. Those in the British Museum are badly drawn, and the position of the sleeping lions led to the Inference that they were rampant, in allusion to the Warkworth arms; and they are so drawn in vol. I., p. 20, though the proper position is sejant or couchant.
The argument of heraldry indicates that the Essex family migrated to Hampshire and Somerset, as stated by The Norman People. Collinson (Hist, of Somerset) says: "About the time of Edw. I., another family succeeded to the estate of Long Ashton of the name of Lions or De Lions. Of this family was Nicholas de Lions, who in 1252 held the office of Reeve of Bristol. His eldest son was William, who improved the patrimonial estate by purchase from Agnes, widow of DeAlno, and Wm. de Ashton. At his death 1312, he held a capital messuage, the same in all probability that is still partly standing. By Maud, his wife, he left issue, three sons, Adam, Thomas and Edmund. Adam de Lions, b. 1287, lived only one year after the death of his father. Thomas died 1328 without issue. Edmund, b. 1303, made a grant of Stockeleigh to the Abbey of St. Augustine. He had lands in Kencot also. He died 1367, leaving two sons; William and Thomas. Wm. Died without issue 1370. Thomas obtained a charter 1392 of free warren and liberty to enclose a park in Long Ashton, which from this family henceforth assumed the name Ashton-Lyons, and still dominates a tithing in this parish. His wife’s name was Margaret; he left no issue. The church, dedicated to All Saints, was built by one of the Lyons, and Thomas is buried there. The Lyon arms—those of Essex—are cut in stone on the west end of the tower, and blazoned on the ceiling.
The Manor of Lyons Court at Filton still remains. It lies northward from the village of Whitchurch, and belonged to a family distinct from those of Ashton. As early as the 13th. century, they bore arms; Arg. two lions rampant respecting sable [a variant of the Warkworth arms]. They were retainers to the Abbots of Keynsham, from whom they held their territory. From David de Lyons issued David; Robert; Stephen; Ralph; Thomas and Roger, his brother who died without issue; Thomas; Thomas and Nicholas; Richard (9th generation) left no issue; his sister Edith m. Thomas Holbeach of Co. Lincoln. The hamlet of Burton and Melton was held 1396 of the King in capite by Thomas de Lyons. Edward was member of parliament 1336.
From Somerset they must have crossed into Ireland. O’Hart
claims an Irish origin for the family, deriving the name from O’Liathan, the gray-haired. But as the family arms are those of Essex and
Somerset, and as its most distinguished representative, the late Lord Lyons, former British Minister at Washington, derives from Hampshire, where Wm. de Lions was a witness 13th. century, it seems quite certain that any descendants of the gray-haired one are not of our race. Some Lyons in Ireland are of the family of Strathmore, and bear the Strathmore arms.
The descendants of the De Lyons of Croxton Park passed into Nottingham and Derby. The existing histories of these counties are unsatisfactory in many ways; but the Feudal History of Derby furnishes some items which are of considerable importance when taken in connection with the very full Northampton data.
Nicholas de Lenne, Forester, presented on the part of Edw. I. (1272-1307). John Lyon was with the Derby archers in Ireland 1362. Alan de Leuns was sued 1270. In 1310 Letitia and Alice, daughters of Wm. de Leuns of Chesterfield, sell lands. Adam de Lennes was on the Subsidy Rolls 1327. In 1286 Philip de Lenne (also called de Leuns) of Chesterfield was sued; he was plaintiff 1290. Robert and Philip de Leune mentioned about 1318. Alan de Leune and Philip mentioned tempo Hen. III. (1216-1272.) Philip was a witness 1318. Richard and Philip mentioned tempo Edw. I. (1272-1307.) Richard de Lenne sells lands in Eyom 1290. Robert de Leune of Chesterfield mentioned in Pleas of the Forest tempo Edw. I., and Philip de Lyan in the Pipe Rolls (tax list) 1213. Richard de Sutton held one Knight’s fee (600 A.) in Sutton of the Honor of Richmond [for which Peter de Leonlbus should respond]. Note: Peter de Leonibus did not succeed to the Honor of Richmond till 1203, but the words here placed in brackets, not there in the original, may have been added subsequently [Testa de Nevil (Inquisition)] Roger de Linde is on the Pipe Rolls 1255.
The Derby family spread into Northampton, probably through a marriage. The chief authority for the Northampton pedigree is the collection of documents preserved in the muniment room of the Chetwoods, who succeeded to the Warkworth estates through marriage with a Lyon heiress, and failure in the direct male line. An epitome of these documents was given in vol. 1., p. 436; but a few of them are copied below in the original form, the contracted forms, for the sake of clearnesss, being filled out in brackets, and the annexed numbers corresponding to the order in vol. I.
The pedigree is as follows. It is based upon the papers referred to, and upon the county histories of Baker and Bridge and the new Victorian History. Compare the names of witnesses [vol. L] with the Derby list above.
1. Richard de Leuns m. Maud 2nd. Julianna, who was his widow 1205. He granted two virgates (80 A.) to his brother Matthew.
2. Roger de Leuns m. Hawise. His dau. Margaret m. Richard, Bon of Walter de Sutton; their dau. m. Sir Geoffrey Luttrel; a picture of this couple adorns a psalter made for Geoffrey, and a copy thereof is published in Fairholt’s Costumes, Bohn Library.
3. Roger m. Joan, dau. of Adam de Napton. At her death 1278, her lands in Plympton went to their son and heir Richard, he being then 30 years.
4. Richard b. 1248, was living 1288 m. Lady Emma, who was his widow 1311. He had a brother, John de Lions [Document No. XII. (omitted in Volume I of the Memorial) is an "agreement between Walter Pompes, etc., on the one part, and William Purkell on the other. Witnesses Richrird de Lyuns. son of Lord Roger Lyuns, Gerard de Lyuns. Richard de Lynns. Nicholas de Lyuns et al." Anno 1260. ]
5. John de Lions m. Margery, dau. of Hugo de Oakley; she was his widow 1317; he d. 1312; she was living 1323. This is the John, son of Pagan, of the Philippe pedigree (vol. I. p. XI.); but the following extracts seem to be conclusive. [XIII.]
Haec est finalis Concordia facta in curia regis apud Ebor [aceum] inter Hugonem de Okele quaerentem et Joh[ann]em de Lyouns et Margeriam uxorem ejus deforc[iantes] per Adam de Harewedon de duabus p[ar]tibus manerii de Warkworth etc. et pro hac recognitione fine et concordia idem Hugo concessit pred[i]ctis Joh[ann]i et Margeriae et haeridit[ibus] remanere Ric[ard]o filio p[rae]d [i] c[t]i Joh’ is et heredibus etc. Remanere rectis heredibus d[i]c[t]i Johannis patris p[rae]d[i]c[t] or [um] Joh’is et Ricardi. Ao. 31 Edw. I. . [XVII.] Universis S[an]c[t] ae matris eccl[es]iae filiis ad quor[um] noticiam praesentes pervenerint. Prior et fratres ordinis S[an]c[t]i Augustini de North’ton salutem. Nobili viro Johanni de Leonibus concessimus quod pro salubrl statu suo et Aliciae consortis suae et eorum liberor[um]dum vixerint necnon pro animabus eor [um] et omnium progenitorum suorum etc. pro a[n]i[ma]bus Rogeri de Lions, Joh’is, Ricardi de Lions et Emmae uxoris suae, Joh’is de Lions et Margeriae uxoris suae etc. Sarae de Ocle, Will[ielm]i de Seintliz et Margeriae uxoris suae, Ao. 1330.
[This John was son of John and Margaret. Note particularly the line of descent—Roger, John and Richard, John, and compare with Philippe, vol. I., p. 11.].
6. John de Lions [Baker thinks there were two generations of Johns In No. 6] m. Alice, dau. of Wm. de St. Liz; m. 2nd. Elizabeth Hastings, living 1346; m. 3rd. Lora Latimer. He d. 1383. A second son was Richard de Lions. There were two daughters: Margerie, who m. Egidius St. John, and Agnes, both mentioned 1322. [XX,XXXII.] [Document No. XX (omitted in Volume I). "Be It known that I, Margery, who was wife of Lord John de Lions, lord of Warkworth. have given to Margery and Agnes, my daughters, for the course of their lives, etc.. and after their death, to Richard my son, etc." Anno 1322] In 1311 he received his grandmother’s dower of Severford.
[XVII.] Sciant quod ego Joh’es de Liouns dedi Joh’i Alio meo capitale messuagium de Swerford parva etc. cum reversione terrarium et ten [en] tor [urn] quae d[omin]a Emma mater mea de me tenet nomine dotis etc. et si contingat p[rae]d[i]c[t]um Joh’em sine herede de corpore suo obire remanerent Ricardo fratri suo. Testibus Thomas de Liouns de Dunstowe et aliis.
In 1319 he gave the manor of Beckbroke to his wife Alice; and in 1346 he gave to the prior and convent of Chacomb lands in Harpole and Plympton which he inherited from Adam de Napton; in 1337 he gave lands in Grimsbury to St. Leonard’s Hospital in Banbury and later the hospital received lands in Banbury and Overthorp. His will was dated Saturday after the Feast of Conception of the B. V. M. 1383: To be buried in Chacomb Convent church; masses for the souls of Elizabeth Hastings and Lora Latimer his former wives: bequests to religious bodies. Proved Dec. 19, 1383. [Lincoln Wills].
His brother, Richard of Great Oakley, m. Margerie. He had a son Richard:
[XXV.] A toutz ceaux l’re verrounts ou orrounts. Richard de Lions de Warkworth et Richard son fitz etc. nouz estre tenuz a sire [Sir] John de Lyons, Seignr de Warkworth etc. Donne Ao, 35 Edw. III. (1361).
In 1330 Richard was summoned to show cause of his claim in Oakley. Replied that Hugo de Ocle died seized of the manor etc. leaving daughters, one Margery, his heirs; and that Margery conveyed her share to Richard de Lions and his heirs. In 1347 Richard accounts for one fee (800 A.) in Oakley, on levying aid for Knighting the King’s son. In 1361 Richard died; his moiety descending to Isabella, Cecilia and Christina, his sisters and heirs [this was probably Richard the son (see also the Battle Abbey)]. In 1418 Cecilia Ragonel died possessed of one-third of the manor, descending to her daughter and heirs. She m. 1st. Hamelin de Mathan of Mulesey, Co. Surrey, who d. 1381, her dau. Elizabeth being three years old. Her dau. Margaret, wife of John Mitchell, died 1454 [Escheats 1381 and 1454 – Clutterbuck’s Hertford, Manning’s Surrey and the Battle Abbey]. He has been confused with Richard, the vintner of Essex. Alice, sister and coheir of Richard, living 1403, m. Nicholas Lovett of Rushton in 1361. A Richard, with Claricia his wife and William his son, confirmed a grant of Waleran de Sulgrave [probably father of Claricia] to the convent— no date.
7. John m. 1370 Margaret St. John; he d. 1385.
[XXVI.] Ceste indenture faite a Aldington peutre dame Isabelle Seynt Johan d’un parte et Johan de Lyouns fitz et heir monsr. John de Lyouns, Seign’r. de Warkworth de l’autre parte testimoyne cest assauoir que ]p dit John de Lyouns espousera Margerie Seint Johan fille au dit Isabelle etc. pour que marriage la dit dame Isabelle infeoffera le dit Johan de Lyouns de son manoir de Middleton Cheynduyt en le comte de North’ton a terme de vie la dit Isabelle etc. Ao. 44 Edw. III. (1370).
His sister m. 1st. Nicholas Chetwood; he died 1369; she m. 2nd. 1370 Richard Wydville [compare the account of Essex above]. The Chetwood family succeeded to the Lyon estates 1392, inasmuch as John died without issue 1385.
His monument, said to be one of the most beautiful in England, is in Warkworth church. He wears on his head a bascinet, to which is attached a camail of mail. Over the body is a cyclas laced on the right side; under this a haketon with sleeves, and under this a gambeson. Legs and feet are in chausses of mail; spurs have plain wheel rowels left almost in block. Knees are protected by genouilleres decorated with ball flowers and quatrefoils; el bows by guards and lion-faced discs; hands by gauntlets of plate and leather, with close-fitting cuffs strapped round the wrist. The head, supported by angels, rests on his helm for battle and jousting, surmounted by the crest, a talbot’s head issuing from a ducal coronet. The feet press with admirable spontaneity on a lion. The shield is charged with the lion rampant of De Lions. The sword is suspended by an elaborate baudric worn obliquely, whose ends are fastened in a double locket placed a few inches below the top of scabbard. The end of scabbard is protected by a bouterolle, and the pommel ornamented with a human face. An ornate misericorde is slung by a loop from the baudric. Every detail has received the sculptor’s most careful attention.
Two other monuments are there; said to be of Sir John and Margery. He is represented cross-legged, in a hauberk which covers his head, and extends to the wrists, leaving the hands, which are elevated, bare. Every trace of mail is worn away, except a small portion above the knee at the opening of the tunic, which falls back, and reaches nearly to the heels. A plain horizontal belt, and a transverse one from which depends a sword at left side; on the left side is a heater shield. The head, bound with a plain fillet, is supported by two mutilated angels, and rests on a double cushion; the feet rest on a lion.
The other figure has a veil headdress confined around the head by a plain fillet, and falling to the shoulders. A wimple just covers the chin; an open mantle fastened by a cordon crossing below the arms, which are raised in devotion. The head rests on a cushion; on each side is a mutilated angel.
The last Sir John is the one who has been mistaken for John of Glamis. The John de Lyons, who 1334 was summoned to attend the King with horses and arms at Roxburgh [Rot. Scot., I. 306], and in 1343 had charters for lands in Perth and Aberdeen, who obtained the reversion of Glamis, and whose son was Grand Chamberlain of Scotland, was a descendant of Richard of Northampton—King David had possessions there—and may have been a cousin of the last Sir John.
Much more might be said of Northampton Lyons, but space forbids. The Oxford Hist. Soc. vol. 24 gives a long account of the various rectors of Begbroke, of whom the first whose name is known was appointed by Roger de Lyons in 1231. [see also Kennet’s Parochial Hi8t. of Oxford]. Nicholas de Lyons was Rector 1303, and many of his family entered the church, here and in other counties. The Lyon family presented to this rectory for 117 years, except 1294, when Roger de Lens was patron. The name is probably connected with that of Matilda de Lens, who held one knight’s fee (800 A.) from Ralph de Saley tempo Edw. I. [Lens is phonetic for Lyons, as in the Derby records, and there was therefore no "except.]"
The History of Banbury quotes an odd writ of 1330. "Sir John de Lyons, summoned by quo warranto to show his claim of view of frankpledge and weyf in the manor of Warkworth, pleaded proscription, but acknowledged that neither he nor his ancestors had a pillory for offenders against the assize of bread, and that they punished offenders against the assize of beer by amerciament, and not by tumbril, till the third offense. The view was taken into the King’s hands, and restored again for one-half mark."
The Derby family crossed into South Lancaster; but either as younger sons, or at a time when the family had descended from its proud estate. Many, however, were of the gentry class, and the name is found in the list of lesser gentry to this day. The county might be considered the Lyon stronghold in England, as they comprise .008 percent of the population. The published parish registers are of great value, and show that the Lyons have not removed from their original position in the southern part. Southern York also received a few settlers, and these also have not wandered far afield. In Lincoln, too, the name appears, but they do not seem to have settled in this shire until the 16th. century, possibly through the exchange of lands between the Lord Mayor and the King. (vol. I., p. 17.).
On account of their importance, and for the significance of the names, some of the Lancaster records are quoted, even though many dates are subsequent to the colonial migration. The dates are not here given in full, and names of females are for the most part omitted:
Bury: Alice, of John, bp. 1594; Henry, of Henry, bp. 1636.
Walton: William, of Robert, bp. 1640; Thomas m. Margaret Plimpton 1609.
Upholland: Abraham, of Henry, d. 1659; Charles, of George, bp. 1684; Peter, of George, bp. 1663; Thomas of Billing, d. 1678; Susanna, of George, bp. 1677; other children of George; John, of Daniel of Bil ling, bp. 1686; Thomas, of Robert of Orral, bp. 1661; Lydia, of Thomas of Windle, b. 1674; John, of Robert of Orral, d. 1678; Ellen, of Richard of Billing, bp. 1635; Margaret, of Daniel of Billing, bp. 1617; Susanna, of Daniel, bp. 1621; Gilbert, of Daniel of Billing, bp. 1670.
Newchurch, Tulchuth: Henry of Peter, bp. 1654; Alice of Peter, bp. 1656; John, of Richard, bp. 1691; Peter, of Richard, bp. 1694; Old Roger, d. 1676; John, of Peter, d. 1684; Elizabeth, of Roger and Ann Hynd, bp. 1633; Henry, of Richard, bp. 1631; Henry, bp. 1608; child of Henry, d. 1607; Alin [Ellen ?] wife of Peter, d. 1682. See also Henry Lyon, gent, of Prestwick, Thomas Lyon, gent, of Billing, and the connection of Thomas Lyon and wife Margaret with the witch trials 1612.
Ormskirk: Ann, of George, bp. 1602; Mary, of James, bp. 1605; Elizabeth, of James, bp. 1615; Thomas, of James, bp. 1618; Edward, of Richard, bp. 1623; Ellen, of James, bp. 1613; Margaret of James, bp. 1607; Susan, of James, bp. 1609; Marierie, of Peter, bp. 1606; Thomas, of John, bp. 1585; child of George, d. 1601.
Wigan: Edward, of Thomas of Rainforth, bp. 1580; Henry, b. 1605.
A few Lancaster Wills:
Edward of Halewood. 1614; George of Eccleston, 1606; Henry of Rainforth, 1614; Henry of Windle, 1582; James of Rainforth, 1592; John of Eccleston, 1607; John of Halewood, 1598; John of Rainforth, 1614; John of Whiston, 1615; Robert of Woolton, 1594; Robert of High Leigh, 1620; Thomas of Rainforth, 1603; Thomas of Whiston, 1612; Daniel of Billing, 1627; David of Billing, 1627; Edward of Gansworth, 1633; Henry of Whiston, 1629; George of Rainforth, 1640; George of Windle, 1629; Gilbert of Windle, 1622; Josiah of Rainforth, 1628; Peter of Windle, 1647; Thomas of Windle, 1624; Thomas of Woolfall, 1625; William of Gansworth. 1646; William of Woolfall, 1628.
The Lyons of Warwick, Bucks, Berks, and other Midland counties, seem to be of Northampton origin. The Middlesex line is said by Philippe to be of Essex stock, but this has been disproved by Mr. Thornton in the Harrow School [vol. I., p. 12.]. Some importance must be attached to the fact that most of the great schools of England founded their seals upon the coat-of-arms of their founders, the Harrow arms being based upon the arms of John Lyon of Preston, or the lion rampant. He had lands in Hertford.
Here and there appear early Lyon representatives in various counties: but these must be passed by; as also the various parish registers and other references of later years. A partial list is offered here for the pleasure of the curious. Lipscomb’s Buckingham; Chauncey’s and Clutterbuck’s Hertford; Lyson’s Environs of London; Familiae Minorum Gentium; Misc. Genealogica et Heraldica; Herts Genealogist; Reitstap’s Armorial General—for Lyon arms in France; York Wills; Lincoln Wills and Marriages; Northampton Wills; Parish Registers of Leeds, York, Solihull, Warwick, Stratford-on-Avon Moulton, Northampton, Ipswich, Suffolk, London Parishes.
The Lyon family lost, by gift or otherwise, their vast estates; but they have tenaciously clung to their distinctive names. William occurs as early as the second generation, and doubtless was bestowed in honor of the Conqueror. Henry, Richard and John appear tempo Henry II. and his sons, while the name Jeffrey (from Geoffrey of Normandy or Geoffrey or Anjou) failed to survive. These four names persist in every generation, and in any list far outnumber all others. The same may be said of Peter or Piers, but chiefly in the northern counties; the first mentioned being Peter de Leonibus of Derby, 12th century. Thomas is nearly as ancient, and quite as persistent, and these two quite likely owe their names to the apostles, or to intermarriage. Edward made its advent with Edward I.; while Nicholas and Adam are not popular today. George naturally does not occur till late, but took a firm hold.
If one were to judge from family names, any or all of the immigrants might have come from any of the midland or adjacent counties of England. The family of William of Roxbury claim Heston, Middlesex, as their home, and their claim appears good. Peter was most surely not immediately related to William; there is nothing to show that they were aware of each other’s near presence. George was quite surely of the same family as Peter. There is reason, too, to believe that the first recorded George was the son of a prior immigrant who probably bore the same name.
Since the publication of vol. I., the Lancaster records have become accessible, and they furnish strong presumptive evidence that Peter and George were from that shire. Peter appeared at the time of the Great Lancastrian Migration, when the first settlers of Dorchester removed to Connecticut to make room for the flock of Richard Mather. This eminent divine came with his following from that part of Lancaster where the Lyon family was especially numerous, and where the parish registers read almost as antecedent pages of the records of the First Church of Dorchester. A comparison of these old-world lists with the List of Inhabitants in 1700 will show that nearly every name in the latter has its counterpart in the former; and this is especially true of those who were resident there during the middle of the 17th century. The evidence for a Lancastrian origin for Dorchester men appears very striking and almost conclusive.
The statement that the Connecticut families are of Scotch descent
seems to require the Scotch verdict "not proven." They are much more likely to have been Lancastrian. There is presumptive evidence that Thomas at least had some connection with the Lyons of near Boston, and it may have been due to such connection that Thomas of "near Boston," who was killed in the Turner’s Falls fight, has been confused with Thomas of Fairfield; the biographer of the Thomas Lyon Family should have something to say on that point. It is not at all likely that the 17th century Lyons of the various counties of England had knowledge of each other; while those of Lancaster and York may have had a vague idea, and so have handed down the tradition, that they were in some way related to the only Lyon family they knew about—the noble family of Strathmore, which, indeed, had a common origin with themselves. Moreover, the tradition that three Lyon brothers were on guard at Whitehall, and witnessed the execution of Charles I. very strongly militates against their being of Scottish blood; for the strong feeling of suspicion and dislike which the Puritan felt for the Scot at this time, and which culminated shortly afterward at the battle of Worcester, must have caused, at such a momentous time, some such order as "Put none but Ironsides on guard tonight."
Taking into consideration, then, all the data obtained at the present time, it is the opinion of the compiler that the special arms of Strathmore belong only to those descended from John of Glamis; that the lion sejant or couchant belongs only to a special Essex family, who appear also in southern England and in Ireland; that the lion passant belongs only to the immediate family of Sir John, the Lord Mayor; and that the original lion rampant, as borne in Norfolk, Northampton, and by John of Preston, is the common heritage of all the first settlers who bore the Lyon name.
G W A LYON
19th August 1907