Vol II File 15: The Paternal Ancestry of Homer Beers James
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Vol II File 15: The Paternal Ancestry of Homer Beers James
24. Lygon Line
The first Lygon probably came from Normandy
to England with William the Conqueror, yet research has revealed
very little concerning the family record from that time (1066)
on down to George Lygon. In the Visitations of Worcester, 1569,
George Lygon is the first of the family in the pedigree given
by the Lygons to the Hearlds(?).
The 7th Earl Beauchamp says, in the Bristol and Gloucestershire
Archaeological Society Transactions, (Vol 42, p. 33) that he has
no records of George Lygon, but has deeds of his son, William
Lygon, and his grandson, Richard Lygon.
According to Wurts, pp. 2218-2221, George
Lygon, a descendant of the de Bracy family, were the original
owners of the Manor of Madresfield, in Worcestershire, which manor
was still in possession of the Lygon family in the 1940's. This
family came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066 and,
having fought under the standard of Normandy, received two lions
passant in their Arms.
1. George Lygon. He was succeeded by
his son, William.
2. William Lygon, born at Madresfield
Court, Malvern, Worcestershire, was living in 1342, married Margaret.
He was succeeded by his son, Richard.
3. Richard Lygon, born at Madresfield
Court, was the first Lygon mentioned in the Madresfield Muniments,
where in 1400, he obtained a release from Richard Bycar of a messuage
called Rowley in Pensax, and of other messuages at Noverton and
Staneford in Orlton. In 1409, Richard appears again as guarantee
of a messuage and lands in La Lowe. In the following year he
was one of the feoffes of lands called Shakenhurst in Bayton.
He was succeeded by his son, Thomas.
4. Thomas Lygon first appears in the
records in 1414 and 1416, when he was commissioner for the king
for Worcester (Patent Rolls, p. 265 and 267). In 1415, he is
mentioned as having received seisen of a tenement in Worcester.
In 1422, Thomas Lygon and others seized the manor of Humphrey
Stafford, the King's Knight, the manor of Cheylemush, co. Salop,
for the use of the Earl of March. This was probably in a private
quarrel of the Staffords and Mortimers in which Thomas Lygon was
on the side on the Mortimers. The Peerage (Collins, Vol IX, p.
507-9), seems to have confused his record with that of his son
of the same name for it says, "Thomas Lygon mentioned in
the 10th year of Henry IV. (1409) was a Member of Parliament in
the 16th year of Edward IV (1477)," which is hardly probable.
The four Lygon deeds, which are the only ones of earlier date
than Thomas Lygon's marriage, throw little light on the history
of the family beyond the fact that they held land at Pensax and
La Lowe. In the 7th year of Henry VI (1428) Thomas Lygon was
certified in the exchequer to hold lands in Warnedon which John
Braci (Bracy) sometimes had; for in the 7th year of Henry V (1419).
He married in 1419 or 1424, Joan Braci (de Bracy), only
daughter and heir of William Bracy, who died before 1450, and
his wife Isabel. The de Bracy family line started with William
de Bracy, Lord of Madresfield in 1250, who married Maud Warren,
daughter of William de Warren, a great grandson of William de
Warren, 2nd Earl of Warren, and his wife, Isabella Vermandois,
granddaughter of King Henry I. of France. They had a son, Robert
de Bracy, who fought at the battle of Evesham in 1265, married
Maud and had William de Bracy, Knight for the shire of Worcester,
1338. His son was Robert de Bracy, Lord of Madresfield in 1345,
who fought at the battle of Crecy and the siege of Calais. He
married Juliana. They had William de Bracy, who married Joan.
He died about 1390. They had William de Bracy, who married in
1404 Isabel, as stated above, parents of Joan Braci, wife of Thomas
Lygon. After his marriage , Thomas
made an enfeoffment of his manors of Warnedon, Horton, and Redmarley
Oliver, with lands in Alfreton, Wyke, Shederley, King's Mytton,
and Kidderminster. Whether he held other lands in Worcestershire
in his own right seems uncertain, though since some land in Kidderminster
was settled in 1448 on his own right heirs, while other lands
were to remain to the heirs of William Braci (Bracy), he probably
had land of his own inheritance; a Shropshire connection also
appears in the mention of Lygenesmedue at Hopton in 1428. The
Lygons also seem to have held land at Highington and St. John
in Bedwardine in Worcestershire, and at Wulfirlowe, Herefordshire.
There were a few possible references to Thomas Lygon elsewhere.
He may be the Thomas Lygon who was employed on a commission of
Inquiry as to the lands of Thomas Shelley in Kent; if so, it is
likely that he was a lawyer, since the family had no connection
with that county. He is no doubt the Thomas Lygon who is mentioned
incidentally in connection with Shropshire in 1422. Thomas Lygon's
feoffees in 1448 made an enfeoffment to his son, William, of the
manors and lands dealt with in the deed of 1424. Thomas and Joan
had two sons as follows:
1. William Lygon received from his grandmother,
Isabella Bracy, a demise of the manor of Madresfield, reserving
to herself a part of the house. In 1456, the feoffes confirmed
the manors of Warndon and Horton to William and Elizabeth Lygon
with remainder to his brother Thomas. This was probably after
the death of Isabella Bracy. In 1464, fresh feoffes confirmed
Warndon, Horton, and Bracy's Leigh to William and Elizabeth Lygon
with a like remainder. Elizabeth Lygon was a daughter of Rainsford
or Renford Arundel, who married Joan Coshill, daughter of John
Colshill, Knight. There is mention of William Lygon, late of
Warmyndon, Worcestershire, gentleman, concerning a debt to William
Forster, tailor, of London in 1453. He was employed on a commission
for peace for Worcestershire from 1471 to 1483.
2. Thomas Lygon. See below.
5. Thomas Lygon, second son, born at
Madresfield Court, first appears in the records in 1461 (Patent
Rolls 1461, p. 98) when "Richard, Earl of Warwick, John Beauchamp
of Powyck, Knight, and Thomas Lygon were to array the men of Worcester
against the king's enemies." The king at the time was Edward
IV. and this definitely places Thomas Lygon as a Yorkist in the
War of the Roses. This arraying of the men of Worcester was just
before the battle of Towton, fought in March 1461, in which the
Yorkists led by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, the "Kingmaker,"
obtained a decisive victory over the Lancastrians. Before the
battle, Hume says (Vol XI, p. 311), "the Earl of Warwick
dreading the consequences of disaster at the time when a decisive
action was every hour expected, immediately ordered his horde
to be brought him, which he stabbed before the whole army, and
kissing the hilt of his sword, swore that he was determined that
day to share the fate of the meanest soldier." Thomas Lygon
was a commissioner of the peace for Worcester in the 1st, 2nd,
and 3rd years of Edward IV, whose reign began in 1461 and was
on various commissions and inquests until 1470 when he was again
called upon to array the men of Worcester against the king's enemies.
This was before the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury. In 1472,
Thomas Lygon, Esq., was granted lands of the king's enemies and
was on commissions to collect taxes. In 1475, he was on an inquisition
to determine what lands Richard de Beauchamp had left in Warwick.
He was on various commissions until 1484-85, when he was again
called upon to array the men of Worcester. Richard III was king
at that time, and the array was probably for the battle of Bosworth
Field fought in 1485. The succession of Henry VII, of the House
of Lancaster, did not seem to vary the fortunes of Thomas, for
he kept on serving the reigning monarch, as he was commissioner
of array for Worcester in 1488 to oppose the rebellion in the
north. He was a Member of Parliament for Worcester in 1477.
In 1491 he was custodian of the Castle of Gloucester, probably
sheriff. He was commissioner of Oyer and Terminer in 1495 and
in 1496 was commissioner of array against the Scots preparing
at Berwick. He last appears in the records about 1499, when he,
together with Richard and William Grevyle, had royal license to
enfeoff John Grevyle and Joan, his wife, in the manors of "Milcote
super avon and Miolcote super Stowe" in Warwick. Thomas
Lygon is first mentioned in the settlement of 1456, and again
in 1460, in a deed which may possible imply that he was a lawyer.
He probably succeeded to the original Lygon lands; for in 1470,
he was made an enfeoffment of his lands at Hightington, Stanford,
Pensax, Foxley, Wyke Episcopi, and St. John in Bedwardine in Worcestershire
and Wulfirlowe in Herefordshire, which lands were next year confirmed
to him and his wife, and to the heirs of his body, with remainder
in default to his son, William Lygon. This was presumably on
the occasion of his marriage to Anne Gifford; believed
to be the daughter of Nicholas Gifford,
and seems to have brought her husband the manor of Bradwell.
In 1478, he acquired the messuage called `Childes' at Powye, and
held the Manor of Nether Mytton, 1479. He apparently succeeded
his brother William, at Madresfield, about 1484, and acquired
lands at Madresfield in 1485. The first mention of him as `Thomas
Lygon of Madresfield' occurs in 1495, and the latest mention of
him in the Muniments, occurs in 1497. He died on April 10, 1507,
when he must have been well over 70 years of age. He and his
wife had two children as follows:
1. Jane Lygon, married Thomas Salwey (Salway),
and there was issue.
2. Richard Lygon. See below.
6. Richard Lygon, Senior, eldest son of
Thomas, born at Madresfield Court, did not outlive his father
very long, so he does not appear very often in the record. He
was over thirty years old at his father's death. He married not
later than 1490 Anne Beauchamp,
2nd daughter and co-heir of Richard
Beauchamp, 2nd and last Lord Beauchamp of Powycke, born in 1434,
and died in January 1502-03 (also said to have died in 1496),
without male heirs. William Lygon of Madresfield Court, Worcestershire,
seventh in descent from Anne, died in 1720, leaving a daughter
Margaret, who married as her first husband, Reginald Pyndar, and
by him by mother of Reginald Pyndar, who assumed the surname of
Lygon. He died in 1788, having married Susannah Hanmer, daughter
of William Hanmer, and was father of William Lygon, 1st Earl Beauchamp
(1747-1816). The first earl, born July 25, 1747, matriculated
at Christ Church, Oxford, on May 2, 1764. He represented the
county of Worcester in parliament as a follower of Pitt from 1775
until 1806, when he was created Baron Beauchamp of Powycke, Worcestershire.
On December 1, 1815, he was made Viscount Elmsley and Earl Beauchamp.
He died suddenly at his house in St. James's Square, on October
21, 1816; he had married, on November 1, 1780, Catherine Denn,
daughter of James Denn, and by her he left William Beauchamp,
John Reginald, and Henry Beauchamp, successively 2nd, 3rd, and
4th earls, with other issue. Frederick Lygon, 6th Earl Beauchamp
(1830-1891), was born November 10, 1830, was the third son of
Henry, by Susan Caroline, daughter of William, second earl of
St. Germains. Frederick was educated at Eton (1844-1847), and
matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, December 15, 1848. From
March 1857 to April 1863 he represented Tewkesbury in the House
of Commons in the Tory interest. In March 1859 he was appointed
a lord of the admiralty in Lord Derby's brief ministry. In October
1863, on his elder brother, Henry, succeeding to the peerage,
he was elected M.P. for West Worcestershire, and held the seat
until March 1866, when he became 6th Earl Beauchamp, on the death
of his brother. In the Disraeli administration of 1874-1880,
he was Lord Steward of the Household. He compiled a hymnal for
Madresfield Church in 1853. He died on February 19, 1891, and
was buried at Madresfield, Worcestershire. His eldest son, by
his first marriage to Lady Mary Catherine Stanhope, William Lygon
became the 7th Earl Beauchamp.
The only references to Richard Lygon in the
Muniments are in August, 1507, when he acquired 'Brodmedow' in
Powycke, on March 1, 1508, and on June 2, 1511, when he granted
a lease of a messuage called Brightyntone. He was Justice of
the Peace in Worcester in 1509 and in 1510 had custody of the
lands, wardship, and marriage of Richard, son and heir of William
Reade, his brother-in-law. (Letters and Papers Foreign and Domestic
Henry VIII, 1510, p. 321). He and his wife had the following
7. Richard Lygon, Junior, eldest son,
was 21 years of age when his father died, and was probably born
in 1490. On September 15, 1512 he granted his mother for her
dower in Gloucestershire the Manor of Mattysdon. He married,
not later than 1511 in Worcester, Margaret Greville (Grevell), daughter
of William Greville (Grevell), a Justice of the Court of Common
Pleas in 1510, who had been one of the feoffes of Richard Beauchamp.
With her he acquired Arle Court near Cheltenham, where he appears
to have lived during his mother's life. After her death there
was some differences between him and his younger brother, which
was settled by a friendly arbitration. In 1523, Richard was on
a commission to collect the subsidy in Worcester (L. & P.,
p. 1361). He was knighted at the coronation of Queen Anne Bolelyn
on May 30, 1535. In 1534, he was on the commission to make inquisition
(P. M.) on the lands and heir of John Lytilton of Frankley Weston.
He was Sheriff of Gloucestershire 1534-35 and of Worcestershire
1548-49. In 1535 he was Justice as a session held at Great Malvern
and bound over James Asche, parson of Staunton, to the council
for calling the king antichrist. In 1536, Sir Richard Lygon was
called to furnish 100 men to be sent against the northern rebels
and to attend the king in person. He served in the French War,
1544. In 1545, the expenses of the Hundred Courts of the town
of Slaughter were held by Richard Lygon, Chief Steward, and also
he was Chief Steward of the King's Court at Cheltenham. Margaret,
his wife, died in 1542, and Richard married (2) Joan, who survived
him. Sir Richard died March 20, 1556. He and his first wife
had the following children:
1. William Lygon, eldest son, of Redgrove
and Madresfield, born in 1518, was 44 years old at his father's
death. He died in 1567. While still under age he married in
the autumn of 1529 Eleanor Dennis, daughter of Sir William Dennis
(Denys) of Durham in Gloucestershire and his wife Anne Berkeley,
daughter of Maurice Berkeley, Lord Berkeley, who died in 1506,
and his wife, Isabel Meade. The contract of marriage contains
interesting particulars as to the provision for the young people.
Richard Lygon and William Dennis were to find their children
in apparel according to their degree, and William Dennis was to
find his daughter lodging so long as Margery and Anne Lygon were
alive. Like his father, William Lygon before his possession to
Madresfield lived at Arle, and seems to have been in possession
of the family estates at Mattisdon, Uckington, Dormiston, and
Cromhall in Gloucestershire; he was also one of the justices of
the Hundred of Cheltenham. In 1538, he was among the gentlemen
listed by Lord Cromwell as meet to be preferred in the King's
service (Patent Rolls, p. 49). On July 9, 1540, he had a grant
He and his wife had a daughter, Cicely Lygon, who married in
1559, Edward Gorges, Esq., of Wroxall, born in 1537, died August
29, 1568, son of Edmund Gorges. They had a son Ferdinando Gorges,
Knight, colonizer of Maine, born about 1565, died at Ashton Court
near Bristol, England, May 1647, married (1) Anne Bell, buried
in London August 6, 1620, daughter of Edward Bell and Margaret
Barley, married December 21, 1621, (2) Mary Fulford.
2. Henry Lygon.
3. Ursula Lygon, married Humphrey Andrews.
4. Elizabeth Lygon, married Ralph Sheldon.
5. Mary Lygon, married John Mintridge.
6. Susanna Lygon, married Christopher Savage,
Esq., of Elmsley Castle, and of Upton, co. Gloucester.
7. Barbara Lygon, of Hanley Castle, probably
8. John Lygon, 3rd son, had a grant of annuity
of 9 pounds out of Cromhall from his father on May 20, 1534.
He was living in London in 1568.
9. Ferdinand Lygon, died in Spain.
8. Henry Lygon, 2nd son, born in 1524,
in St. Leonard Upton, co. Gloucester, had lease from his brother
William of a wood at Cromhall, in 1554, and is described in 1556,
as of Upton St. Leonard in the city of Gloucester. In 1560 and
1568, he was in the service of Henry, Lord Berkeley, with whom
he is said to have been "in much estimation." When
he died on July 31, 1577. he was seized of a capital messuage
in Kingsgrove, Gloucestershire, with lands in Little Sodbury.
He married Elizabeth Berkeley,
daughter of John Berkeley, of Stoke
Gifford, thus one more connection to
the Berkeley family. He is probably the Henry Lygon of Upton,
whose will was probated in the Consistory Court of Gloucester,
1577. He and his wife had four children as follows:
1. Henry Lygon, d.s.p.
2. Arnold Lygon, knighted by King James
I, on July 23, 1603. It is probably Sir Arnold Lygon who was
sheriff of Worcestershire in 1608-09. He married (1) Joan, widow
of John Baker; (2) Margaret, daughter of Sir John Talbot of Grafton,
and widow of his first cousin, Richard Lygon, and lived with her
at Beauchamp's Court. He died in 1612; Dame Margaret died on
February 24, 1632, and was buried at Bromsgrove.
3. Mary Lygon, married Samuel Clinton.
They had seven children.
4. Elizabeth Lygon. See below.
9. Elizabeth Lygon, married Edward Bassettof Uley Manor, son
of William Bassett of Uley and his wife, Jane Ashe, daughter of
John Ashe, of Somersetshire. Edward
Bassett, husband of Elizabeth descended through nine successive
generations, from Anceleme Bassett, Knight, who married Margaret
Berkeley, daughter of Thomas de Berkeley, Lord Berkeley, to whom
the heirs of her body, her father had formerly given the moitie
of the manor of Uley in the hundred of Berkeley to hold of him
by the service of the fourth part of a knight's fee, and by two
suits to his hundred of Berkeley yearly. "Ancelme Bassett
and Margaret (Berkeley) Bassett had issue: John Bassett, Kt.,
died without issue and Edmond Bassett, Kt., who by Isabell his
wife, daughter and co-heir of another Bassett, had issue: Sir
Symon Bassett, Kt., a gentleman as remarkable in his time as any
that then lived in his county, as more than forty records do witness,
married Maud, daughter and co-heir of John de Bitton, and had
issue: Sir John Bassett, d.s.p., and Maurice Bassett, who had
issue: John Bassett, father of William Bassett, father of Edward
Bassett, who married Isabel (The name Isabel and Elizabeth are
used interchangeably), daughter of Henry Lygon, Esq., much esteemed
by Henry Lord Berkeley." They had the following children:
1. William Bassett, married daughter of
William Davy, and had issue.
2. Barnaby Bassett, married Elizabeth Dorney,
daughter of John Dorney of Uley, and had issue.
3. Edward Bassett, married daughter of Mr.
Danyell (Daniel) of Marlborough, and had issue, one daughter.
4. Giles Bassett, unmarried 1630, died 1640.
5. Elizabeth Bassett, married (1) William
Clavile, by whom she had no issue; (2) Thomas Poyntz, and had
6. Margaret Bassett, married Samuel Shellam,
of Woodchester, and had issue five children.
7. Susan Bassett, married Michael Dorney,
and had issue.
8. Jane Bassett,
married Dr. John Deighton. See below.
10. Jane Bassett , born in 1584 in Uley,
co. Gloucester, married Dr. John Deighton (Dighton) of Gloucester,
a surgeon, born about 1583, Uley, co. Gloucester, died May 16,
1640. According to one record, they had six children. The record
from "The Ligon Family in England" only names two children;
John and Frances, but other records expand on the other names.
The town of Dighton, MA was named in the latter part of the 17th
century in honor of the Dighton family. The children were as
1. John Deighton, born 1606, in Uley, co.
Gloucester. Also it is reported that he was christened on April
9, 1607, at St. Nicholas, Gloucester City, co. Gloucester, England
in Uley, co. Gloucester. He married Mary Anstye, born about 1607.
2. Jane Deighton, christened April
5, 1609 or April 15, 1609, St. Nicholas, Gloucester City, co.
Gloucester, England. She married (1) John Lugg, born about 1609,
of Gloucester, co. Gloucester, England. They had the following
3. Frances Deighton, born in 1610 in Gloucester
City, co. Gloucester, England. She was mentioned in her father's
will in 1639; and was baptized in the parish of St. Nicholas,
Gloucestershire City, March 1, 1611. She married at the Whitcombe
Magna Parish Church, co. Gloucester, February 11, 1632, Richard
Williams of Gloucester City, son of William Williams of Synwell,
died September 1618, and his wife Jane Woodward.
Richard Williams was born January, 1608, baptized
January 28, 1606 in the parish of St. Mary the Virgin, in Wooten-Under-Edge,
near Gloucester, England. He died in Taunton, MA, 1692-93, and
his will was probated October 10, 1693, entered October 11, 1694.
They came to America about 1636 to Massachusetts, and seem to
have settled in Dorchester, MA, and were members of the first
Church there. Soon afterwards they moved to Taunton, MA where
Richard had taken up land, about 1636-37. He was one of the original
purchasers, of Taunton, from the Chanset Indians. He is called
"The Father of Taunton." Here a home was made where
their children were born. Their first farm, of over 100 acres,
was on the east side of the Taunton River. Richard Williams'
name stands second on the original "first purchasers"
of Taunton. This purchase was made in 1637, from the General
Court of Plymouth Colony, and is known as the Tetiquit Purchase,
and includes the present towns of Taunton, Raynham, and Berkeley.
Its boundaries were fixed by Captain Miles Standish and John
Brown in 1640. He also made other purchases of land in 1668,
1672, and 1680. The town of Dighton, MA, is named to honor and
perpetuate his wife's family name of Dighton. He was a tanner
and a deacon of the church and, at his death, was the largest
owner of the Taunton Iron Works, which his wife continued to administer
after his death. Taunton is the oldest settlement in Bristol
County and in point of time, third in the Plymouth Colony, after
Plymouth itself, to be incorporated in 1639. Frances and Richard
had the following children:
1. John Williams, born 1634, in Gloucester,
England. Another source has him baptized about 1636. No other
2. Elizabeth Williams, born in 1635, in
Gloucester, England. Another source has her baptized about 1636,
3. John Williams (?) According to Mormon
records, he was born about 1635, in Taunton, Bristol County, MA.
Possible confusion with the John listed as 1. above. No other
4. Samuel Williams, born and baptized about
1637-38, in Taunton, Bristol County, MA.
5. Nathaniel Williams, born November 17,
1639, in Taunton, Bristol County, MA. He married in 1688 Elizabeth
Rogers, daughter of John Rogers and his wife Ann Churchman, granddaughter
of Thomas Rogers, the Mayflower Pilgrim.
6. Joseph Williams, born February 7, 1641,
in Taunton, Bristol County, MA. He married Elizabeth Watson,
born January 18, 1648, in Plymouth, Plymouth County, MA.
7. Thomas Williams, born about 1645, in
Massachusetts. Additional data not available.
8. Elizabeth Williams, born in 1647, died
in 1724, married John Bird, born in Dorchester, Suffolk County,
MA, 1641, died in 1732. They had a daughter Hannah Bird, born
December 16, 1677, in Dorchester, Suffolk County, MA., died in
1728, married John Dean, who was born in Taunton, MA, in 1674,
and died in 1724. This line continues through Anna Dean, John
Barney, Sarah Barney, Benjamin Barney Belcher, to Aurelia Belcher,
died in 1864, married about 1844 Arthur MacArthur, born at Glasgow,
Scotland, January 26, 1815, died in Atlantic City, NJ, August
24, 1896. He was Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the
District of Columbia from 1870 to 1888. Their son was Lieut.
Gen. Arthur MacArthur, father of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, born
at Little Rock, Arkansas, January 26, 1880. He commanded the
entire Pacific Theater in World War II. against the Japanese,
and died following the Korean War.
9. Hannah Williams, born 1649 or 1650, of
Taunton, Bristol County, MA. She married John Parmenter, born
10. Benjamin Williams, born in June 1651,
of Taunton, Bristol County, MA. He is also listed as being born
in 1652 and 1657, and married to Rebecca Macey, born about 1656,
of Taunton, Bristol County, MA.
4. Katherine Deighton, married (1) Samuel
Hackburne, (no children listed in available records) and married
in 1644 (2), as his 2nd wife, Thomas Dudley, an eminent Puritan,
second Governor of Massachusetts, 1634-1650. He arrived in America
in 1630, settling in Boston and founding the First Church. He
was a founder of Harvard College in 1637; owned large estates,
appointed Sergeant Major General, then the highest military office
in the Colony. He died in Roxbury July 31, 1653. They had the