11. LYON

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Jack Priestley’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from Jack’s as (1)

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HENRY LYON.  In 1666, Alice Lyon married Gideon Cowpe in the Lancashire town of Bury. This would give her an estimated birth date around 1641. She does not appear to have been born in Bury. There is, however, a promising baptism in the smaller market town of Radcliffe, 3 miles south.

Baptism. Radcliffe.
1644/5 Mar 23  Alice daughter of Henery Lyon.

There is no evidence of this Alice dying young or marrying someone else. The marriage to Gideion Cowpe is the most likely one for her.

This baptism is one of the few solid facts we know about Henry.

The early baptismal register does not name the mother. We have not found a plausible marriage for Henry. Some websites have his wife as Elizabeth Bateman, but this confuses him with another Henry Lyon who was born in Scotland and emigrated to America.

Radcliffe lies in the valley of the Irwell, a tributary of the River Mersey. It took its name from the red cliff on the opposite side of the Irwell. Bolton is to the west, and Bury to the NE.

Ruins of the medieval Radcliffe Tower[1]

In 1642, every adult male was called on to swear an oath of allegiance to the Protestant Religion. Henry Lyon appears on the list of those who took the oath in Radcliffe.

He is the only Lyon on the list, suggesting that he had come to the parish from elsewhere. We have not found a baptism for him. Lyon was not a common name. The highest number of occurrences in Lancashire seem to be the Manchester-Liverpool area, including many Quakers from the mid-17th century onwards.

Nor have more baptisms been found in Radcliffe for children of Henry Lyon. There is one in Bury 10 years earlier, and another, also in Bury 10 years later

Baptisms. Bury.
1636 Oct 30  Henry
1655 Dec 16  Ann

There were no Lyons in the Protestation Return for Bury in 1642, so Henry may well have moved from one parish to another. Bury was just across the parish boundary from Radcliffe.

 Later in 1642, after the Protestation Oath, Civil War broke out between King Charles I and Parliament over their competing rights. Radcliffe and nearby Bolton took the side of Parliament, while Bury was Royalist.

As the Royalists, under Prince Rupert, swept into Lancashire, the Parliamentarian army retreated to Bolton. Rupert ordered the Earl of Derby to attack and Bolton was overwhelmed. The Royalist soldiers sacked the town and killed about 1,600. Not all of those slaughtered were soldiers. Civilians were said to have been tortured and murdered.

Eventually, the Earl of Derby was captured and convicted of treason. He was sent to Bolton to be executed at the scene of his crime.

It is possible that Henry was enlisted to fight, and that is why we find so few baptisms for his children in this period.

We have found no burial for him. Many of the missing events may be in parishes whose registers  do no go back that far.

We have few solid facts about him. Where was he born, and to whom? Whom did he marry? What was his occupation? What happened in the long gaps between the baptisms of his children? When and where did he die?

What we do know for certain is that Henry witnessed the bitter Civil War that tore England apart in the 1640s.



[1] https://aboutmanchester.co.uk/radcliffe-manor-heritage-trail-to-be-showcased/




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