Albert Brown Lyons.

Lyon memorial (Volume 3) online

. (page 4 of 51)
Online LibraryAlbert Brown LyonsLyon memorial (Volume 3) → online text (page 4 of 51)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


seder my condition as it is, and help me a little with som of your cast
off clothes, for I know not how to doe when the Lord plese to give me
another litle one. For my husband's part he dos doe what he can for
me and I am sorry he should suffer soe much for mee, for he drinks
water that I might drink beer, eats Indian that I might eate whete
and fares hard & works hard that I might not suffer; but you may
conseder partly his condition that he cannot doe as he would. For
my owne part I prayse God that he hath provided such a comfertable
helpe for me that is willing to suffer soe unspekeable. I beseech the
Lord to open your hart and the harts of all my freinds to consider
mee which I hope he hath. I with my husband have sent a letter of



36, THOMAS LYON OF RYE

Atturny to my Granfather concerning my right. I beseech you helpe
mee what you can, considering my extreme need. Remember mee
to all my cozens. Remember my duty to my mother. I sent a letter
to her; I hope she hath received it. My husband remembeers his
duty to you. In haste I rest

Your humble and dutyfull cozen,

Martha Johana Lyon.

To my loving and kind uncle, Mr. John Winthrop att Pequot, this
d. d.

Indorsed: Cos Lion.
To John Winthrop, Jr.

Stamford dated the Second of September, 1649.

Right worthy Unlcell, my dutie and love in all humbell manner
remembered to you & my deere & loving Ante, with my harty
thanks to God & you for all your former love and kindeness shed to
mee. This is to certefie you of the late greate deliverance God hath
shewed mee through his free love in Christ Jesus in giveinge mee a
comfortabell deliverance of a dafter wch. is a hopeful child & is
likely to live and my selfe is well up agayne, thanks bee given to Grod
in and through Crist Jesus for it. I am forced to put it oute to
nurse by reson of my infirmitie & because help is not to bee had,
soe that my husband is at greate charges for the nursinge of it, yet
for my comfort & for the good of the child my husband is willing
to do the uttermost that hee is abell. Nowe concerninge ye linnen
wch my Ante was pleased to bestowe uppon mee. I have greate
need of them & was put to greate straight because I did trust to
them and was fayne to borrow & if nowe shee could send them to
mee shee would doe mee a grate pleasure & I should bee verie
thankefull for them.

Concerninge my husband's carridge to mee I have noe cause to
complayne but rather to bless God that hath given him a hart to goe
through soe many trubells with soe muche patience; for he is verle
lovinge & kinde to mee & tender over mee, soe that I wante for
nothinge that lieth in his power and soe with my humbell dutie to
yourselfe & my Ante & ye rest of my cussens & my love to
Mtres. Lake & to your sarvant Katterine, I rest

Your humbell and dutyfull Neece
Martha Johana Lyon.

To the Worpll. hir verie loving XJnkell Mr. John Wintrop at
Peiqult give this I pray.



THOMAS LYON OF RYE S7

Indorsed "Cosen Martha Lion before winter 1649."
In another letter dated Stamford 23 (11) 1649 (Jan. 23, 1650) she
writes of the "little daughter, now about halfe yeare old. We call
her name Mary. She is well in health (through mercy) and a thriving
child for one bread up without the breast, as this hath been." Her
last letter was written the following year.

From Stamford the 17 Febua., 1650 [1651].

Most loving and kind Uncle and Aunt my kind love remembred
to you and allsoe to my cozens and the rest of my freinds, hoping you
are in good health etc. I haveing an opertunyty thought it good to
send you these few lynes, only to acquaint you that thorrow mercy I
am in good helth and my child allsoe. I would intreat you to send
me some white copperous and redd lead, and what may bee fit for
sarve, for I yet remaine as I were and have need of som and know not
what to doe for som. My mother's is all spent. I pray you to do
what you can, because of my owne partickquler neede of it. My
mother is well and removing farther off from mee. I wrot to you
before this. I know not whether you received my letter or not,
I desier to heere from you. I had thought to have seene you here
before this. My husband remembers his love kindly to you with
thankfullness for all your former kindneses, time being short (the
bearer stands, I pray pardon my defects) leaving you to the protection
of the Allmighty, I rest, remaining

Your dutyfull and obedient kinswoman

Martha Johana Lyon.

To her loving and kinde Uncle Mr. John Winthrop liveing at
Pequot this d. d.

Martha Johanna Lyon died probably 1854 when Thomas re-
moved from Stamford to Fairfield.

A family trait which characterizes many of the descendants of
Thomas Lyon, found expression in his adoption of the principles of
the Society of the Friends. It called for no common courage for a
man in those early days to avow himself a Quaker. Both in Con-
necticut and in Ney York the authorities dealt severely with
advocates of the new heresy. We read that in 1657 a ship arrived in
New Amsterdam having on board several of the "accursed sect"
called "Quakers." They had been banished from Boston and were
on their way from Barbados to Rhode Island "where all kinds of scum
dwell," as Dominie Magapolenses expressed it. Two women of the



38 THOMAS LYON OF RYE

company, who ventui'ed to parade their seditious doctrines in New
Amsterdam were thrust into the common prison, their hands bound
behind them, and liept there until the ship which brought them was
ready to sail for Rhode Island. One of their number, Robert Hodgson,
went to Hempstead, L. I., where, it is said, there were already a few
Quakers living. He was seized, tied to the tail of a cart and so driven
back to the city where he was sentenced to a heavy fine and to im-
prisonment "in a filthy jail" two years, to be chained to a wheel-
barrow with a negro who was charged to lash him with a heavy tarred
rope. Such inhumanities no doubt made converts of many who
otherwise might have been indifferent to the doctrines of the new
sect. Of such metal no doubt was the yeoman, Thomas Lyon§. When
the inevitable persecution came, for giving adhesion to the new
seditious doctrine, it was not he who was first to utter complaint. It
is his wife who writes thus to Gov. John Winthrop, Jr.

Faierfeild, Juen the 22, 1668.
Honerd Sir: — My husband being from home, I am bould to present
you with my present greivance. We have seven children, fouer of
them small. Last year they took away an ox for half a year. Senc
they fined us six pound moer, and for that have soulde the greater
part of our home lot. Now honerd sir, I have noe man but yourselfe
whom God hath impowrd to redres this great opreshern. My husband
can not act aganes his conscience. They are resolved in theyer way.
Thus hoping you will conseder my distres, I rest

Youer pooer servant to command

Mary Lion.
To John Winthrop, Jr.

Indorsed "Mary Lion Senr., reed., June 23, 1668."

Thomas Lyon himself wrote a letter shortly afterwards "To the
worshipfuU Mr. John Winthrop, Governor of Connecticut Colony," in
which he says: "You know my condition, which God of his grace
has cald mee to, blessed be His name, and how I am delt with for It.

God in his time, tho man be silant, will find a way to deliver My

goods is taken, my land divided, yett the Lord Is my portion for ever,
blessed be His name!" Signed "Your kinsman, Thomas Lyon."



§In this connection we must not forget that "William Hallett, who had re-
moved with his wife, the former Mrs. Feake to Hempstead, L. I., became promi-
nent In the Society of the Friends. One of his daughters was an exhorter, and
among the foremost leaders In the Society.



THOMAS LYON OF RYE 39

Indorsed "Tho. Lion, rec. June 23, 1668." The seal of this letter has
the initials T. L. in a monogram, a fact that it is worth while to put
on record here.

The signature, with date, of the last letter in this series is here
given for comparison with that of the first letter, in which the name
is spelled Lion, and with that of the will of Thomas Lyon. See
fac-simile reproductions.

Confirmation of the statements made in the letters is found in a
communication addressed to Governor Winthrop June 29, 1672, by
the venerable William Coddington, who writes:

Road Island, 29d. 4 mo., 1672.

***Now I shall in trew loue to thee relaite what is corned to me
(I beliue thou was absent), & it was in thy Jurisdiction, & came to me In
writing, viz: that some of our friends abute Rye or Greenage have had
some of their good taken away because they could not goe to heare
those teache which they knew was not sent of God, nore called by
Christ Jesus vnto that worke which they pretend too, as theyer
fruites doe manefest or other causes, which to them is matter of
conscience, Thomas Lyon being one with some others, I desire thee
to inform me of the trewth hereof. Those, for whatever I could
larne, or heare, have lived vnspotted in that kind.**

We find nowhere any evidence that Thomas Lyon identified him-
self permanently with the Quakers, or at any time adopted their pecu-
liarities of speech and dress.

Of his personality little is known. He is described as a man of
exceptionally fine physical development, being known in the neighbor-
hood where he lived as "Thomas Lyon, the strong."



40 THOMAS LVON OF RYE

His first wife, as has already been noted, was Martha Johanna
Winthrop (See appendix, note 1), daughter of Henry and Elizabeth
(Fones) Winthrop, and grand daughter of Hon. John Winthrop,
Governor of the Colony of Massachusetts in 1629, 1630, 1637, 1642 and
1646. She was born in Groton Manor, England, May 9, 1630, and
died in Stamford, Conn., probably about 1653. In 1652 Thomas Lyon
bought a house and lot in Stamford of William Potter (See appendix,
note 2). It is probable that his wife, Martha, was still living at that
time. May 11, 1654, he purchased of Thomas Shervington a house
and lot at Fairfield, and this fixes approximately the date of his second
marriage§. This house he sold Nov. 1, 1675 to Daniel Frost, and on
Feb. 13, 1676, he, with John Banks, Sr., of "Fayrefleld" acquired title
to a "sartaine parsell of land in Greenwich, lying by Byram River and
by estimation three score ackers." It is recorded that previous to
this "the towne had granted unto Mr. John Banks, senior, of Fayre-
fleld, as Thomas Lyon's attorney, a sartaine parcell of land lying in
Greenwich on the lower end of Byram neck, by estimation three hun-
dred ackers." It was this land, "Elizabeth Neck," that was later
claimed by the daughter of Martha (Winthrop) Lyon, Mrs. Mary
(Lyon) Willson, as rightfully her inheritance. Into the merits of
that controversy it is not necessary to enter, but it is interesting to
note that in the original deed "by Amogerone Sachem of Asamuck and
Rammatthone [and] Nawhorone, sachems of Patomuck, to Robert
Feaks and Daniell Patricks" of Greenwich lands, Elizabeth Neck "by
ye Indians called Mona Kewego" is expressly excepted "which neck is
ye perticular perchace of Elizabeth Feaks, ye sd Robert Feaks his
wife, to be hers and her heaires or assigns forever." See appendix,
note 3.

This item is from the Town Record of Rye, under date March 5,
1676: "The Towne of Rye adopted the following. Thomas Lyon and
Thomas Brown are appointed to choose a house or place to be for-
tified for safety of the towne." See appendix, note 4. Mr. Win-
throp says that it is believed that it was this Thomas Lyon who served
as a colonial soldier from Connecticut and remarks that his expres-
sions in the letter of Aug. 25, 1647 in relation to his possible death
would tend to confirm that theory. In Schenk's History of Fairfield



JThere Is record also under date Jan. 12, 1658, of the purchase by Thomas
Loron of two lots of land In "y« Newfleld" from Andrew Ward, and of a lot, also

In "ye Newfleld," from Symon Hoyt of Stamford, the total amount of these
purchases about 14 (?) acres. (Fairfield Land Records, Lib. A., p. 92).




Map showing Environs of Rye, N Y. and Greenwich, Conn.



42 THOMAS LYOK OF RYK

we find the following statement: The soldiers engaged in the Pequot
war of 1637-8, who afterwards settled at Fairfield were:

Roger Ludlow Thomas Lyon

Dr. Thomas Pell of Saybrook John Wood

James Eggleston Thomas Basset

Nehemiah Olmstead Samuel Gregory

William Hayden Richard Osborne.

No authority for the statement is quoted. If the record is
authentic we must conclude either that Thomas was a mere boy
when he joined the force sent to chastise the Pequots, or that he was
of unusually mature age when he married Martha Johanna Winthrop —
or else that there were two Thomases. The last alternative is worthy
of consideration, although there is nothing in the Winthrop corres-
pondence to bear out such a hypothesis. We know that there was
a Thomas Lyon who was killed in the battle at Turners Falls, 1667.
Savage supposed that it was Thomas of Fairfield and Rye. It is pos-
sible that it was the Thomas of the Pequot war, if there were any such
Thomas.

The early settlers of Stamford came from Watertown, Dorchester,
and other places near Boston, at first by way of Wethersfield. Is it
not more than possible that the Thomas Lyon who in 1647 is of
Stamford, with acquaintances in the vicinity of Boston, was related
to Peter and George Lyon of Dorchester — possibly a brother? The
question is merely suggested. It may be possible some day to an-
swer it authoritatively in the affinative or negative.^

Thomas Lyon married for his second wife, about 1654, Mary Hoyt,
daughter of Simon Hoyt, of Stamford, Conn., by whom he had four
sons and four daughters. See appendix, note 5.

During the latter years of his life Thomas Lyon, although living
probably in Greenwich at Byram Neck, is spoken of as "of Rye," this
place being just the other side of Byram river in New York — the place
now being called Port Chester. In a list of the inhabitants of Ry«
In 1683, the name Thomas Lyon appears twice repeated — father and
son no doubt. The name Lyons Point, written also Lions Point,
applied to the point at the mouth of Byram River, was in common use
as early as 1683.

The will of Thomas Lyon was dated Dec. 6, 1689, and probated
at Fairfield with inventory of estate, September 7, 1690. See facsimile
reproduction.



THOMAS LYON OF KYE 43

Its full text is as follows:

In the name of God, Amen. I, Thomas Lyon Senior, being sick
and weak in body but of good perfect memory, blessed Be the Lord
for it who hath now put it into my heart to sett my house in order by
makeing this my Last will and Testament in manner as fEolloweth:
Imprimis — I give and bequeath my soule into the hands of Almighty
God my Creator and my body to the Earth from yphence Itt came to
be buried at the discretion of my freinds and as for this worldly Estate
which it hath pleased The Lord to Indowe me with-all I give and be-
queath as fEolloweth. flSrst — I give unto my Loveing wife Mary Lyon
Thirty pounds with my best Bedd and furniture belonging to itt and
one Cowe and four sheep. I give unto my sonn John Lyon the Mill
att Rye and all the Lands belonging to it that I bought with it and
also Two Other percells that I bought of John Coe, the one Lying att
the upper end of the feild at Rye of upland and the Other of Meddow
Land Lyeing in the middle hassakkey Meddow with a half Lottment
Lying by blind Brook and a small Lottment Lyeing att the White
plains he paying unto his Mother Twelve Bushells of Indian Corn and
Six Bushells of wheat yearely soe Long as she doth Live and remain
my widdow if it is demanded.

I give unto my sonn Thomas Lyon my homelott Lying up Byram
River above the Country Road and half my uppermost percell of Land
Lying up the same River with two Byram Ridge Lotts, the one which
I Bought of John Coe and the other of Robert Bloomer with a small
percell of Land which I bought of Stephen Sherwood Joyning to these
Lotts and A half Lottment of Land that Is between me and John Coe
upon Bryam Ridge he allowing a feild Cartway convenient through his
homelott To goe to and from the other half of the uppermost percell
of Land Lying up the said River. I alsoe give my said sonn Thomas
Lyon half the Salt Meddow that I bought of John Coe and a Weavers
Loom and the furniture or tacklin belonging to itt, he paying to his
Mother four bushells of Indian Corn and two bushells of wheat yearely
soe long as she doth Live and Remain my widdow if it is demanded.

I gave unto my sonn Samuell Lyon the Litle Swamp for a home
Lott with half the breadth of my orchard at the front Joyning to it
and Also a Litle hill Lying over against ye said swamp beginning att
a Chestnutt tree northward and soe Running Round to the topp of the
hill Eastward & Southward till it meets with two black Oaks marked
standing in the pasture feild with a pasture below his homelott on the
westward side of the highway that goes into the neck, And alsoe I give



44 THOMAS LYON OF RYE

my sonn Samuell Tenn pounds which I Will that it be paid out of my
sonn Joseph Lyons portion.

I give unto my sonn Joseph Lyon my dwelling house and Barn and
homelott and the northward part of the Orchard and A pasture lying
on the Eastward side of the highway that goes into the neck, But I
will that his Mother have Liberty to Live in the house soe long as she
Lives & Remains my widdow ffurther, I give unto my sonn Samuell
Lyon and Joseph Lyon all my Lands below the Country Road with
half The Salt Meddow that I Bought of John Coe and the half of the
uppermost percell of Land that I have on Byram River, To be equally
divided between them for them and Either of them to Receive when
they shall come to age and then to pay unto theire Mother each of
them four bushells of Indian Corn and two bushells of wheat yearly
soe Long as she Lives and Remains my widdow.

I give unto all my four sonns all my Rights and priviledges in un-
divided Lands belonging to Greenwich and Rye to be Equally divided
amongst them Except one grant of Lands to me from ye Town of
Greenwich which I doe give unto my sonn Thomas Lyon And Like-
wise unto my Aforesaid four sonns I doe Give All my Rights &
priviledges in Lands att ffairfeild for them to dispose of as they see
best.

I Give unto my five daughters as ffolloweth unto my daughter Mary
Tenn Shillings unto my daughter Abigail Tenn Shillings unto my
daughter Elizabeth five pounds unto my daughter Sarah five pounds
unto my daughter Debora five pounds besides what I have given them
already. I give unto my son John Lyon's sonn that is my grand-child
Thomas Lyon fivety shillings.

I give unto my Aforesaid foure sonns all my Estate that shall be
Left After All just Debts and Legacies be paid that shall arise or is
already made to be divided amongst my aforesaid four sonns my sonn
John Lyon to have a double share with his Bretheren of the Estate soe
Remaining ffurther I will that if any of my Sonns shall make Sale of
theire Lands theire brothers shall have the refuseall of itt first ffurther
I will that my two sonns Thomas & Samuell Lyon, Shall provide
Winter Meat sufficient and pasture as need shall Require for four
Cows & Six Sheep for theire Mother and firewood as she shall have
occasion My sonn Joseph doeing Equally with them when he shall
come to age this to be done soelong as theire Mother remains my
widdow.



44 THOMAS LYON OF RYE

my sonn Samuell Tenn pounds which I Will that it be paid out of my
sonn Joseph Lyons portion.

I give unto my sonn Joseph Lyon my dwelling house and Barn and
homelott and the northward part of the Orchard and A pasture lying
on the Eastward side of the highway that goes into the neck, But I
will that his Mother have Liberty to Live in the house soe long as she
Lives & Remains my widdow ffurther, I give unto my sonn Samuell
Lyon and Joseph Lyon all my Lands below the Country Road with
half The Salt Meddow that I Bought of John Coe and the half of the
uppermost percell of Land that I have on Byram River, To be equally
divided between them for them and Either of them to Receive when
they shall come to age and then to pay unto theire Mother each of
them four bushells of Indian Corn and two bushells of wheat yearly
soe Long as she Lives and Remains my widdow.

I give unto all my four sonns all my Rights and priviledges in un-
divided Lands belonging to Greenwich and Rye to be Equally divided
amongst them Except one grant of Lands to me from ye Town of
Greenwich which I doe give unto my sonn Thomas Lyon And Like-
wise unto my Aforesaid four sonns I doe Give All my Rights &
priviledges in Lands att ffairfeild for them to dispose of as they see
best.

I Give unto my five daughters as ffolloweth unto my daughter Mary
Tenn Shillings unto my daughter Abigail Tenn Shillings unto my
daughter Elizabeth five pounds unto my daughter Sarah five pounds
unto my daughter Debora five pounds besides what I have given them
already. I give unto my son John Lyon's sonn that is my grand-child
Thomas Lyon fivety shillings.

I give unto my Aforesaid foure sonns all my Estate that shall be
Left After All just Debts and Legacies be paid that shall arise or is
already made to be divided amongst my aforesaid four sonns my sonn
John Lyon to have a double share with his Bretheren of the Estate soe
Remaining ffurther I will that if any of my Sonns shall make Sale of
theire Lands theire brothers shall have the refuseall of itt first ffurther
I will that my two sonns Thomas & Samuell Lyon, Shall provide
Winter Meat sufficient and pasture as need shall Require for four
Cows & Six Sheep for theire Mother and firewood as she shall have
occasion My sonn Joseph doeing Equally with them when he shall
come to age this to be done soelong as theire Mother remains my
widdow.











>^!;l?ni) fha/um'ij.



I ■



SECOND GENERATION 46

I doe make and appoint my Loveing wife mj' sonn John Lyon and
my sonn Samuel Lyon Executrs of this my Last Will and Testiment and
I have made choice of Thomas Brown of Rye and John Marshall
Senior of Greenwich to be my Overseers to mee this my will p'formed
and I doe desire That my Executors would take Advice of them con-
cerning the same and in Testimony of this writeing ahovesaid to be
my Last Will & Testiment I have hereunto sett my houd asd scale this
sixth day of December in the year of our Lord One thousand six hun-
dred and eighty nine.
Signed and sealed
in the presence of us Thomas Lyon (Seal)

Thomas Brown
John Stoakham

Probated at Fairfield, Lib. 1689. 1701. p. 13.
Inventory Sept. 7, 1690.
Will exct. Nov. 8, 1690.

Children of Thomas and Martha Johanna (Wlnthrop) Lyon:

t. I. ; d. In Infancy.

•3. II. Mary [Marie]; b. Aug. 1649; d. before 1713; m. John WlUson.

Children of Thomas and Mary (Hoyt) Lyon:
*4. III. Abigail; h. about 1654-6; d. before 1713; m. John Banks.

•6. IV. John; d. 1736; m.

*8. V. Thomas; d. 1739; m. Abigail Ogden.

*7. VI. Samnel; d. about 1713; unm.

•8. VII. Joseph; b. 1677; d. Feb. 21, 1761; m. Sarah .



•9. VIII. Blisabeth; d. before Nov. 1713; m. John Marshall.

10. IX. Deborah; m. Cone. '

11. X. Sarah; m. Merrltt.

3. IL 1. MARY= LYON (STEDWELL) (WILSON) [Thomas»]
was bom in Stamford, Conn, in Aug. 1649 (her mother, Martha J.
(Wlnthrop) Lyon writes Sept. 2, 1649, of her "late comfortabell deliver-
ance of a dafter, which is a hopeful child") ; the date and place of her
death have not been ascertained. She Inherited from her mother a
delicate constitution, and because of her "sad condition" of health, she
was sent in 1668 to visit her uncle. Governor John Winthrop, Jr., who
was living at that time in Hartford. This event no doubt had much
to do with shaping her subseiiu^nt life. Little, however, is known
of the details of that life. She is said to have married first Joseph
Stedwell of Rye and second, before Nov. 1691, John Willson of Bedford,
afterwards of Rye.



46 THOMAS LYON OF RYE

She received by her father's will only an equal share with her
sisters in the movable property. She believed that since a portion
of the land her father had owned came to him through his marriage
with Martha Winthrop, she was entitled to more than that§, and she
pushed her claims in the courts, appealing at last to the General
Assembly of Connecticut. The petition was for a restitution of three
hundred acres of land claimed to have been originally the property
of Mrs. Feake, Martha Winthrop's mother. The record reads:
"This Court having heard and considered said petition doe order that
the sons of said Lyon, viz: Samuel and Joseph Lyon doe pay the sume
of fiftie pounds in currant money of this Colony, to be paid within the



Online LibraryAlbert Brown LyonsLyon memorial (Volume 3) → online text (page 4 of 51)