Several members of the family appeared at one time or another in the Quarter Sessions records,

Ruth and Sarah, the respective wives of James Lyon (born 1795) and Christopher Lyon (born 1776) had a scrape with the Law. Sarah was 6 years older than her husband, and was in fact 2 years older than her husband’s aunt Ruth, and with this generation slip Sarah and Ruth probably got on well together, and were certainly involved together in at least one escapade. At the Quarter Sessions dated the 3rd August 1820 there was a Conviction:

whereby Ruth the Wife of Christopher Lyons and Sarah the Wife of James Lyons both of Croydon in this County, Labourers, were convicted of having pluck’t off and split divers branches of Ash Wood and having the same in their custody in the said Parish of Croydon, the property of Thomas Cockerill of the said Parish, Farmer, contrary to the Statute in that case made and provided, and were adjudged to pay the said Thomas Cockerill the sum of 20s/, being the first offence, and the further sum of 15s/ in equal shares, being the charges previous to and attending the said conviction.


Considering next James Lyon (born 1817, son of James and Sarah). He married Mary Bull, and they had six children including Levi (born 1838) and Samuel (born 1846). There were numerous mentions in the Quarter Sessions relating to James, his wife Mary, sons Levi and Samuel, as follows:

In 1841 James Lyon was caught assaulting a servant of the Earl of Hardwicke [of Wimpole Mansion] while poaching. Case dismissed.

[According to the Rector of Croydon, James was Imprisoned about 1842 for poaching, but no details found.]

In 1847 James Lyon was charged with 6 offences, viz 3 of being in possession of stolen goods, and 3 of larceny. He was acquitted on all but the one involving lead from the roof of Wimpole Mansion, for which he was sentenced to 18 months hard labour, plus a further 2 weeks in solitary confinement. [The Earl of Hardwicke, at Wimpole Mansion, was also Lord Lieutenant of the County responsible for Law and Order, and definitely not a person to be trifled with.]

1850 March 19th, James Lyon trespassed in search of game at Arrington. Fined £2.

1852 March 4th, James Lyon trespassed in search of game at Longstowe. Fined £2.

1852 November 14th, James Lyon made unlawful use of a gun for the purpose of killing game at Arrington. Fined £5.

1853 February 5th, James Lyon trespassed in search of game at East Hatley. Fined 30 shillings.

1853 May 29th, James Lyon and Joseph [Josiah his brother] used dogs to take game at Arrington. Both fined £2. 10s.

1853 August 9th, James Lyon maliciously “injured” certain grass, the property of Thomas Jackson at Croydon.

Fined 2 pence. For the same offence James Gates was similarly fined. [James Gates had married Mary Ann Lyon, daughter of Christopher and Ruth (1843). The Gates family went to Leeds in the 1860’s.]

1854. Levi Lyon and Mary Lyon (his mother) were convicted of larceny. Mary received a sentence of 14 days in prison, whilst Levi received three months hard labour, including the last 14 days in solitary confinement.

1854 November 24th, James Lyon trespassed in search of game at West Witcham. Fined £2. [Also on the same occasion he assaulted and beat Joseph Preston, which cost him a further £3. 6s. fine.]

1855 March 20th, Levi Lyon unlawfully used dogs for the purpose of killing game. Fined 10s.

1855 June 6th, Levi Lyon unlawfully killed one pigeon. Fined £1.

1855 October 29th, Levi Lyon unlawfully killed three pigeons. Fined £1. 6s. 3d.

1857 May 2nd, Mary Lyon stole wood belonging to Isaac Thompson at Croydon. Given 21 days imprisonment.

1859 January 18th, Samuel Lyon (a juvenile) stole a steel vermin trap belonging to Sidney Wentworth Stanley at Longstowe. [Punishment not known.]

1860 March 24th, Samuel Lyon (a juvenile) stole a rabbit belonging to William Badcock at Wendy. Given three weeks imprisonment with hard labour, and to be once privately whipped.


There were two further references to a James Lyon, who may have been either this James or else the son of Christopher and Ruth:

1850 November 2nd, James Lyon beat William Lyon at Croydon. Fined £2. [If this was James the son of Christopher (1821), then William would have been the son of James (1828). This was the William who had a child by Elizabeth, whilst she was married to James, and perhaps he kept coming back.]

1853 March 21st, James Lyon assaulted and beat David Lee at Croydon. Fined £2. [Probably James the son of Christopher.]


There were another reference to a William Lyon, again very likely the one who finally married Jane Thacker:

1852 October 17th, William Lyon unlawfully used a gun and dog for the purpose of killing game at Abington Pigotts. Fined £3.