Henrico County: Virginia: Beginnings of IT Families Part III p. 262

by William Clayton Torrence

. . .

In the Henrico list of Heads of Families in 1679 we find the following names before which the significant term "Mr." is placed:  ... Benjamin hatcher, ... Richard Lyggon ...RIchard Ward, Senior ... [Robert] Hancocke.


page 263

page 264

of the position of their bearers as was the term "Mr."  A reference to the Henrico lists of 1679 (see Quarterly, this volume, page 131 et seq.) shows that William Byrd, William Randolph, Thomas Chamberlaine, WIlliam Lygon, John Farrar are referred to by their military titles.  These families of Randolph and Byrd, together with Cocke and Eppes have already been treated, the Farrars, Chamberlaines, and Lyggons will be referred to presently.

page 266

... In Henrico, as in every community of great age, phenomenon of "rise and decline" is apparent in the social, economic and political orders.  In their "beginnings" in Henrico the Hatchers, Farrars, Branches, Wards, Lyggons, ... were very "well-to-do people."  Christopher Branch, William Hatcher, Thomas Osborne, John Baugh, Thomas Lyggon ... Members of the Farrar and Lyggon families were prominent militia officers.  But by the beginning of the eighteenth century these families, which had been so prominent in the earlier life of the community, were virtually swamped by the accumulation of large wealth (for that day) and political offices of greater responsibility and profit in the hands of

p267 Hatchers

the Randolphs, Cockes and Eppses.  Other families were also beginning to come into the community and to accumulate wealth...

The Hatchers (one branch of the family moved to North Carolina), Lyggons and Farrars moved up James River to new lands and at a later day we find them holding offices of responsibility and profit in the counties of Goochland, Cumberland and Powhatan.  One branch of the Jefferson Family moved to the south side of James River, Lunenber, later Mecklenburg County, where they occupied the same position which the family had formerly held in Henrico.  Another branch of this family represented by Peter Jefferson, moved into Goochland, later Albemarle, where its members occupied the foremost positions.  When Henrico County lost her territoy to the south of James RIver, by the erection of Chesterfield County in 1749 she also lost her worthy familes of Ward ...

pagve 271 Ward Family

page 272 Ward

page 272 Ward

page 278 Robert Hancock, Henry Hatcher

"Mr. Robert Hancock, a man of comparatively comfortable means in his day, left many descendants.  Robert Hancock mar-

page 279 Hancock, Lygon

ried Johan (who was evidently daughter of Thomas Lyggon and his wife, Mary, daughter of Thomas Harris, who came to Virginia in 1611, and was living in Henrico in 1625).  From the sons of Robert and Johan Hancock there is a numerous descent, including people in all walks of life; their daughters married a Moseley, a Hatcher and a Bailey.

. . .

p289 Lygon of Madresfield, Worcester, England and Henrico, Virginia

by John Bennett Bodie

The history of the Lygon family in England is really the history of the Manor of Madresfield in Worcestershire, for this manor has been in continuous possession of the descendants of its first owners, the DeBracys from near Doomsday down to the present time.  THe manor has passed from father to daughter twice in that time, once in 1420 when Joan, only child of William DeBracy married Thomas Lygon, who took up his residence there.  The other time was in 1713 when Reginald Pyndar married Margaret Lygon.  Their eldest son becoming heir to the Madresfield Manor assumed the surname of Lygon.  The Lygons still remain for it is now the seat of Sir William Lygon, 8th Earl Beauchamp of Powyck.

p290 Sir Robert DeBracy continued

(Sir Robert DeBracy) He was a commissioner for raising the men of Worcester against the Scots 5 Aug 1316 (F.R.).  He was Overlord of Madresfield Manor 20 Mar. (Inq.).  Custodian of Hanley Castle, 20 Jun 1327 (F.R.) and an overlord in Salop 25 May 1335 (Inq.).

page 291 Thomas Lygon

Thomas Lygon in 7 Henry VI (1429) was certified in the exchequer to hold lands in Warnedon which Robert Braci sometime had; for in 7 Henry V (1420) Joan Braci, the heir of the family had married Thomas Lygon.

Thomas Lygon first appears in the records in 1414 and 1416 when he is a commissioner of the King for Worcester (P.R. p265 and 77).

In 1422 Thomas Lygon and others seized the manor of Humfrey Stafford, the King's knight - 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 of Mortimer.  The Peerage (Collins VOl. 9, 507-509), seems to have confused his records with that of his son of the same name for it says "Thomas Lygon mentioned 10 Henry IV (1409) was M. P. 16 E IV" (1477) which is hardly probably.

Thomas Lygon was his son according to the Visitations.  He first appeared in the records in 1461 (P. Rolls 1461 p. 98) when "Richard, Earl of Warwick, John Beauchamp of Powyck, Kt, and Thomas Lygon were to array the men of Worcester against the King's enemies."  The King at that time was Edward IV and this definitely places Thomas Lygon as a Yorkist in the War of Roses.  This arraying of the men of Worcester was just bfore the Battle of Towton, fought in 1461, in which the Orkists led by the Earl of Warwick, the Kingmaker, obtained a decisive victory over hte Lancatrians.  Before the battle, Hume says (Vol. ll p311) "The Earl of Warwick dreading the consequences of disaster at a time when a decisive action was every hour expected, immediately ordered his horse 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."  Generals die in bed nowadays.

Thomas Lygon was a commissioner of the peace for Worcester in the 1, 2, and 3 years of Edward IV whose reign began in 1461 (P. R. 525) 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 (P.R. 218).  In 1472 Thomas Lygon, Esq. was granted lands of the King's enemies (P.R.345) and was on commissions to collect taxes (P. 406). In 1475 he was on an inquisition to determine what lands Richard of Beauchamp had left in Warwick (P. R. 496-526).

He was on various commissions until 1484-85 when he was again called upon to array the men of Worcester.  Richard III was king then and the array was probably for the battle of Bosworth Field fought 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 (P.R. 280)

He was M.P. for Worcester in 1477 (Collins).  In 1491 he was custodian of the Castle of Cloucester, 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 Milcote

page 292 Richard Lygon

page 293 Sir Richard Lygon

Sir Richard Lygon married Margaret, third daughter and coheir of Sir WIlliam Greville one of the Judges of the Court of Common Please, in 1510.  She brought him the estate of Arle Court near Cheltenham.

In 1523 Sir Richard was on a commission to collec the subsidy in Worcester (L & P p.1361). He was knighted in 1533 at the coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn.  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 also sheriff of Gloucester in 1534 (p. 558). In 1535 he was a Justice at a session held at Great Malvern and bound over James Asche parson of Staunton to the council for calling the king antichrist (p425)

In 1536 Sir RIchard Lygon was called upon to furnish 100 men to be sent against Northern Rebels and to attend the king in person (p232) In 1545 the expenses of the Hundred Courts of the town of Slaughter were held by Sir RIchard Lygon, Chief Steward, (p202) and also he was CHief Steward of the Kings Court at Cheltenham (p144).

He was Sheriff of Worcester in 1547 and died in 1557. William  Henry, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Berkeley of Stoke, Gifford. 

He is probably the Henry Lygon of Upton whose will was probated in the Consistory Court of Gloucester, 1577. ... (his children lsited on the document)

Ursula, married Humfrey Andrews
Elizabeth, married Ralph Sheldon
Margery, married John Mynge
Susanne Barbara of Hanley Castle, Worcester, admin. and Inv. filed 1693 (Worcester Consistory Court 107B).
Ferdinando, died in Spain
WILLIAM LYGON married Eleanor, daughter of SIr William Dennis and Anne, his wife, daughter of Maurice, Lord Berkeley. In 1538 he was among the gentlemen listed by Lord Cromwell as meet to be preferred in the King's service (p.49 P.R.) In 1544 William Lygon was in the army against France and is shown in the Vanguard with 10 foot. (p154 and 158).  This was the time when Henry VIII invaded France and captured Boulogne but soon afterwards made peace with Francis and returned home.  (Hume, VOl. 3, p60).  His father Sir RIchard Lygon furnished 60 foot (L & P, F&M, Vol. XIX)

page 294 Children of William Lygon

William Lygon was Sheriff of Worcester in 1549 and died at Madresfield in 1567.

Children: RICHARD married Mary, daughter Sir Thomas Russell of Strensham.  She died in 1576, and he married secondly, Margaret, daughter of Sir John Talbot.  He was sheriff of Worcester in 1573-83. Richard Lygon died at Madresfield in 1584 (Will P. C. C. 42 Watson). Children of first wife  (listed on document)

page 295 Children Richard Lygon continued

page 296 children of Richard Lygon continued

page 297 Children Richared Lygon continued

page 298 Children Richard Lygon continued

page 299 Children Richard Lygon continued and child 2-4 of William Ligon

2. Thomas of Elstone in Wiltshire, married Frances, daughter of Hugh Dennis of Pucklechurch in Gloucester

3. Ralph, s.p. beyond seas

4. Hugh of Upton on Severn, Worcester, was B.A. of Oxford 1570 and a student at Grays Inn 1571.  His first wife was Elizabeth.  His second wife was Barbara Foliot, sister of SIr John Foliot of Perton.  She made her will dated 1604 2 James.  No place of burial named.

page 300 Children Hugh Ligon

page 301 Child 5 William Ligon

5. Francis m. Grace, daughter of William Bubbe of Bennington in Gloucester.  As Francis Lygon of Great Witcombe Co. Gloucester, Gent, he made his will 12 November 1601 (Gloucester Consistory Court), as follows: . . .

page 302 Children William Lygon continued

6. Ferdinand

7. Margaret Lygon m. 1) Sir Thomas Russell who died without issue 2)Sir Henry Berkeley of Bruton in Somerset ...

page 303 Children Margaret Lygon

page 304 Children 8 and 9 William Lygon continued

8. Cicely Ligon, married Edward Georges of Wraxall, father of Sir Ferdinand Georges, colonizer of Maine

9. Katherine Lygon, m. Thomas Foliot of Perton County, Worcester, who died in 1617 ... (children listed in document)

page 305 Child 10 - WIlliam Lygon continued

10. Elizabeth Lygon m. William Norwood of Leckhampton, Gloucester, at Cheltenham October 18, 1569 (Par. Reg).  He died September 23, 1632.


page 306 Children Elizabeth Ligon

page 307 Thomas Ligon and Francis Dennis

Thomas Ligon, second son of William Lygon and his wife Eleanor Dennis, is said by Smith in hi "Lives of the Berkeleys" (Vol. II, p. 184) to live at "Elliston in Cloucester" but from the will of his wife, his residence seems to have been Elstone farm in Wiltshire.

Elstone is a hamelt in the Parish of Orcheston, St. George, Wilshire, six and one-helf miles northwest of Amesbury.  The parish registers begin in 1647.

Thomas Lygon married his cousin Frances, daughter of Hugh Dennis of Puckleshurch in Gloucester.

Wm. Dutton, Esq. and John SMyth levied a fine to Thomas Spencer and Thomas Lygon for the use of Lord Henry Berkeley and his heirs of the Manor of Wotton, als Wotton Underedge Gloster (Smith Vol II, p. 376).  Lord Henry Berkeley died 1614.  (The Peerage by G.E.C.. Vol. II, p. 144-45).

Frances Lygon made her will 17th October 1622 and same was probated by her son Thomas, 1st June 1625, as follows: (P.C.C.70).

"Frances Lygon, now being at Merson Co. Wilts. Widow.  Lame is my feet.  ALmost all I have to dispose of is an annual rent payable by Mr. Don Colton to whom by consent of my friends and children I have assigned my right in Elstone farm, during my years, for a yearly rent of £75, all which rent during time then to come, to my two sons, THOMAS and RICHARD LIGON, the whole £60 equally, excepting one-half years rent and the other £15 amongst my son GARRATTS children at their father's pleasure except one-half years rent.  To my servant ELizabeth Coxe 40/- etc, for her great pains in the time of my lameness.  TO poor of this town or where i die 40/--.  To poor of prsh, of Elston what my son thinks necessary.  To my son LYGON the whole half years rent.  My son THOMAS LYGON to be exor.  Written by my own weak hand.
Titns. Richard Lygon, Tho. Lygon
Proved 1 June 1625 by THOMAS LYGON, son and exor,"
Coventry in Act Book.

Children: (From SMith's Berkeley, Vol. II p. 184)
1. Thomas m daughter of Dennis Pratt of Stokes Coventry, Warwickshire.  He married secondly Mary Harris in Henrico Co. Va. 
2. Francis d. s.p. not mentioned in mother's will
3. William d. s. p. not mentioned in mother's will
4. Richard was probably the RIchard Lygon of whom the Earl Beauchamp says: (more on document)

page 308 children Thomas and Frances Lygon continued

5. John, according to Smith, "was attendant on George, Lord Berkeley, in Oxford at the finishing of these collections, a partaker of his travels and since died without issue."
6. Katherine m. Mr. Gerrard of Stamford in Somerset and had six daughters.
7. Joan d. s. p.
8 Alice, M. 1) Mr. Brokesby, 2) Mr. Berry

Thomas Lygon, the oldest son of Frances (Dennis) and Thomas Lygon was a farmer residing at Calloudon in 1630, and was a receiver for the property of Henry, Lord Berkeley (Smith's Berkeley, Vol. 11, P.184)

Calloudon, in the "History and Topography of Warwickshire" by West, is a manor in Warwick sometimes spelled "Caloughdon," commonly "Calidon."  It was the ancient seat of the Lords Segrave from shom it descended to the Barons Berkeley by marriage of one of the daughters of Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk.  This manor is shown to be in or near Coventry.
John Smith of Nibley, the Berkeley historian, says that Thomas Lygon married a daughter of Dennis Pratt and had issue living in 1630.
A Dennis Pratt of the Parish of Stoke, Coventry, died in 1614, leaving a wife Anne, and children whose names were not shown in his will dated July21, 1614. (Dicoese of Coventry and Lichfield WIlls)
The parish registers of Stoke and Holy Trinity Coventry, have been searched without finding any reference to either Pratt or Lygon.  No record of this Thomas Lygon is found in the wills or administrations of the P.C.C. or of the Diocese of Coventry and Lichfield up to 1700; neither is there any record in the will calendars of Worcester, Wiltshire, Gloucester, or of the London Courts.
All of the other Lygons in England are accounted for but this one.  It is evident that he came to VIrginia and was an agent or representative of SIr WIlliam Berkeley, as shown by the following letter of the 

page 309 Thomas Lygon continued

Governor's recorded in Charles City County (Book 1655-65, P144, Va. Mag. 41 P.194)

    I shall desire you to send the account what tobbo you received the last yeare and what is behind, for I have given Mr. Price order to pay you what remaines.  I will not dispute whether the tobbo Mr. Ligon paid you for the two servants were part of this debt, but leave it to yourselfe who can best Judge of itt, Sir if your boate comes downe I would desire you to send the Salt-Sellers with itt.  Pray present my service to your Lady.
Your humble servant
William Berkeley

For my honoured Friend
Mr. Thomas Stegge
(Rec. May 21, 1658)

The destruction of the Henrico records prior to 1677 prevents us from obtaining very much information about Thomas Lygon.  In 1657 Thomas Lygon boutght a tract of land from Col. Wm. Byrd (Byrd's Reports).  He was a member of the House of Burgesses from Henrico in 1655 and 1656.  He was also a Justice in Henrico and Lieutenant Colonel as evidenced by the following:

Ambler Papers, Congressional Library
(Va. Mag. Vol. 12, p205)
Henrico COunty Court, Feb 1669
Hon. Coll. Thos. Stegge, Esqr.
Mr. WM. Baugh, Lieut. Coll. Thomas
Ligon, Maf. Wm. Farrar, Capt. Frances Eppes, Comrs.

He and Capt. Wm. Farrar patented 335 acres in 1664 (Book 5 P.417) and as "Colonel" Thomas Lygon he patented 1468 acres in 1672 (Book 6 P.425).  As Thomas Ligon, senior, ne was granted 340 acres in 1672 (Book 6 P447)

Col. Ligon made his will the 10th day of January 1675.  This perished in the destruction of the Henrico records.  We know the date because of a law suit instituted against his grandson William in 1740 (Tyler Vol. 1 P 118).  This suit states that his eldest son was WIlliam, second son Richard, other two Thomas and Hugh.

He married Mary, daughter of Captain Thomas Harris of Henrico, for in 1691 Mrs. Mary Lygon, Sr. conveyed ot her sons, Richard and Hugh, 200 acres in Curles, formerly granted to her father Captain Thomas Harris and devised to her.  The Harris connection is further proven by the fact that Thomas Harris, brother of Mrs. Mary Harris Lygon, Sr. in his will June 2, 1679, bequeathed horses and colts to his "cozen" (nephew) Richard Lygon.  Also on November 1, 1679 Mrs. Mary Lygon, Sr. desposed that she and her brother Harris had agreed that Harris should hold the surveyor's place until her son came of age.  Mrs. Mary Lygon, according to a deposition, was born in 1625.  Her will was probated in Henrico Feb. 1st, 1703-04, as follows:
Henrico Book 1697-1704  Page 365-7
Probated February 1, 1703-04
(Extract from will)

page 310 Thomas Lygon continued

IN the name of God, Amen, I Mary Ligon of Henrico CO., Va., being weak of body but of perfect memory praise be to God, do will make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following.
Impremis, I give and bequeath my soule to God my Creator and Redeemer, my body to be buried at the discretion of my daughter Joan Hancock, in sure and certain hope of a joyful resurrection at ye last day etc.
I give and bequeath to my son Hugh Ligon and my daughter Joan Hancock all sheep to be equallyh divided between them, etc.  My son in law Robert Hancock and my daughter Joan Hancock to be my executors.
Mary Ligon (Seal)
Teste - Abraham Womack, John Hatcher, John Brown

It is probable that Thomas Lygon came over with Governor Berkeley in 1642.  The close association of the Lygons and Berkeleys in England was continued in Virginia, and the Lygons seem to have been beholden to the Berkeleys, as the latter was the mroe powerful and influential House.  Richard Lygon, brother of Thomas, in his will in 1662 leaves his property to his cousin Edward Berkeley because he had stood security for his debts to Henry Killegrew
Governor Berkeley not onlhy appointed Thomas Lygon, County Lieurtenant, but he also made him surveyor of Henrico County, a lucrative office in that day and time.
Several other relations of Thomas Lygon and the Governor came to Virginia and held office.  Henry Norwood was Treasurer of Virginia, 1661-73. Charles Norwood was clerk of the Assembly, 1654-56.  william Norwood settled in Surry County.  The Reverend Edward Foliot was minister of Hampton Parish, York County.
Thomas Lygon's wife survived him 29 years, dying in 1704 at the age of 79.  His first wife probably died in England.  All of his children in Virginia were those of his second wife.  His first son, WIlliam, was probably named for Governor Berkeley, who may have been William's godfather.  In those days children were often named for their godfathers and godmothers and this sometimes resulted in having two children of the same name in one family.
The names of the children of Colonel Thomas Lygon were similar to those of his family in England.  Richard, the second son, was probably named for his brother who died in ENgland in 1662.  Thomas, was the third son.  Hugh, the fourth son, had a family name  Joan was the COlonel's only daughter and she bore the name of his sister.
Colonel Lygon's land, also the Harris land, was near Malvern Hills, where one of the famous battles of the Civil War was fought.  It may be that Colonel Lygon gave this name to the Hills, as the noted Malvern Hills of England was near Madresfield in Worcester.  The Cocke family of "Pickthorne" may have been the ones, however, who gave the Virginia Hills it sname, as they probably came from near Pickthorne in Shropshire, also in sight of the Malvern Hills of England.  

page 311 Wlliam Ligonn and Mary Tanner

William Lygon was evidently a Major in the Henrico County militia, for in June 1679 as "Major William Lygon," he was ordered to furnish three armed men to the Henrico forces (W&M 24, p131).  William Lygon of Henrico County, dated January 21, 1688-9 and probated August 1, 1689, was as follows:
"sons Thomas and WIlliam Ligon, plantation I now dwell on divided between them; son John, my part of Ashen Swmap tract; son Joseph Ligon and Thomas Farrar, Jr. land joining Mr. Hancock's line; daughter Mary and child my wife now goes with, land back of Curls, adjoining Solomon Knibb; should wife remaind widow until children come to age of 21 years they are to continue with her, but if she marries then they are to be at their own disposal at age of 16 years; each son, a gun, as he comes of age; residue of estate to wife during widowhood and if she marries half to be equally divided between my children and wife to have other half; Captain Frances Epes, Mr. Robert **** (Hancock ?) and John Worsham, to see will performed (W&M 25, p199)

page 312

2. Richard Lygon, married Mary Worsham.  He was left horses and colts in the will of his uncle, Thomas Harris, in 1679.  April 1681 Richard Lygon acknowledged receipt of his wife's estate from Mrs. Elizabeth Eppes, whose first marriage was with WIlliam Worsham, father of Mary.  On May 8, 1704 Richard Lygon petitioned the General Assembly begging to be restored ot the place of surveyor of Henrico from which he had been suspended on August 26, 1703.  The House from which he had suspended on August 26, 1703.  The House requested the Governor to restore him and this request was granted.

3. Thomas Lygon died before 1689.  Married Mary -- and had the following children given below.  "On August 21, 1692 Mrs. Mary Lygon, the younger, petitioned the County Court as next of kin to her son, THomas Lygon, complaining of waste committed on her estate by Mrs. Mary Lygon, Sr. who claimed a life interest in it, from Col. Thomas Lygon, ancester of Thomas Lygon aforesaid."
On August 28, 1689... (children listed in this document)

4. Hugh Lygon was living in 1704 when he was mentioned in his mother's will.

5. Johan Lygon was born in 1653 according to a desposition she made in Henrico in 1683, in which she gave her age as 30 years.  She married Robert Hancock about 1672.  In 1708, shortly before his death, Robert Hancock deeded his daughter Johan Hancock and his son-in-law Samuel Hancock, her husband, 200 acres of land.  Robert made his will the 18th Oct. 1700.  Same was probated March 1st, 1709. Johan, his wife, made her will Feb 22, 1726, and same was probated Nov. 7, 1728.

Mr. J. Rives Childs, in an able article on the Hancock family in the VIrginia Magazine (Vol. 33, p316-319) gives a complete account of this family.

Samuel Hancock, the son-in-law mentioned above, married his cousin Johan Hancock, April 15, 1700 (Henrico Parish p227).  Their son Samuel's wife's name is unknown.  It was Samuel hancock, Jr. who married Elizabeth Jameson before 1747, and not Samuel. Sr.  Samuel Hancock made his will 1st Sept. 1760 ... and mentions his daughter Sarah Jones and grandson Daniel Jones.  Thomas Jones died about 1770.  His daughter Johanna Jones married William Reade of Chesterfield, later Bedford ....

page 313

. . . The Earl was of the opinion that the Lygon family became extinct on the death of William Lygon at Madresfield in 1720.  The Lygons in Virginia, however, were from a junior line and had been over here 80 years or more at that time.  These junior members would not have inherited Madresfield even if they had been in England, because that manor would have passed just as it did - to the heiresses of the last Lygon owner... The Lygons are numerous and are allied with most of the early families of Henrico and Chesterfield. . . 

The Earl Beauchamp on the last page of his article on Madresfield says:  "From the bow window at the end of the room you will see the Malvern Hills."  Was "Malvern Hills" in Virginia named by the Ligons?  They first settled near the Malvern HIlls of Virginia and no doubt from the windows of their first home could be seen those low lying hills where so many Southern soldiers were to lose their lives . . .