John Lyon (school founder)

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John Lyon
Born1514
Died1592
Resting placeSt Mary's, Harrow on the Hill
ResidencePreston Hall, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex
NationalityEnglish
OccupationLandowner
Known for
Relatives
John Lyon memorial, St Mary's, Harrow on the Hill
John Lyon memorial, St Mary's, Harrow on the Hill

John Lyon (1514–1592) was a wealthy English landowner, who was the founder of Harrow School. The John Lyon School, the John Lyon's Charity, and a Harrow School house, Lyon's, are named after him.

Lyon also established a trust for the maintenance of Harrow Road and Edgware Road, which are now owned by the local council; the income from his estate is dispensed by John Lyon's Charity, which gives grants to benefit young people in nine London boroughs: Barnet, Brent, Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Harrow, Hammersmith & Fulham, and the Cities of London and Westminster. Grants are awarded to registered charities and state schools.

He lived at Preston Hall, Harrow-on-the-Hill, and had the greatest land income of all landowners in Harrow, he was a member of an ancient house, the House of Lyons, and a first cousin of Sir John Lyon, who was Lord Mayor of London for the year 1553–1554.

Life[edit]

Lyon was born into the Middlesex line[1] of an ancient house, the House of Lyons,[2] that owned owned substantial estates at Harrow-on-the-Hill,[3][2][4] he was the son of John Lyon (b. c.1450),[1] and the first cousin of Sir John Lyon, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1553–1554,[5][6] who was a member of the Worshipful Company of Grocers.[1]

John (d.1592) descended from John Lyon, who was admitted to lands at Kingsbury in the parish of Edgware in 1370.[2] Some sources identify his mother as a woman named Joan, who married his father:[2] others identify his mother as Emma Hedde (b. c.1470).[1]

John Lyon (d.1592) was born in 1514, and resided at Preston Hall in Harrow, Middlesex. He was highly educated.[7] In 1564, had the largest land-rental income in Harrow.[2] Lyon died on 3 October 1592, without leaving issue: his wife, Joan, died on 30 August 1608. Both he and his wife were buried in St Mary's, Harrow on the Hill, where there are memorials to both of them. A monumental brass bearing the effigies of John and his wife, with an inscription, was removed from the floor during a modern restoration, with injury to the figures, and placed against the wall of the church. However, in 1888, a marble slab with Latin verse inscription was laid over his grave.[2]

Legacy[edit]

John was the founder, in 1572, under Royal Charter, of Harrow School.[2][8][9] The John Lyon School, the John Lyon's Charity, and a Harrow School house, Lyon's,[9] are named after him.[8][3] New buildings for Harrow School were built in 1615, after John Lyon's death, by another John Lyon.[7]

Lyon (d.1592) also established a trust for the maintenance of Harrow Road and Edgware Road, which are now owned by the local council. The income from his estate is dispensed by John Lyon's Charity, which gives grants to benefit young people in nine London boroughs: Barnet, Brent, Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Harrow, and the Cities of London and Westminster. Grants are awarded to registered charities and state schools.[10]

There are memorials to this John Lyon (d.1592) and his wife, Joan Lyon, at St Mary's, Harrow on the Hill. A monumental brass bearing the effigies of John and his wife, with an inscription, was removed from the floor during a modern restoration, with injury to the figures, and placed against the wall of the church. However, in 1888, a marble slab with Latin verse inscription was laid over his grave.[2]

Lyon's family bore a lion in its coat of arms, which is represented as a supporter in the modern coat of arms of the London Borough of Brent and as a crest in the London Borough of Harrow's municipal arms.

Benefactor[edit]

Coat of arms of John Lyon

For many years Lyon spent twenty marks a year on the education of poor children. On 13 February 1572 Queen Elizabeth granted him a Royal Charter by Letters Patent to found a free grammar school for the education of boys at Harrow, constituting his Trustees a body corporate as Governors of the "Free Grammar-School of John Lyon", he also invested in property at Marylebone in 1571, to be held by himself, his wife, and the Governors of this school, the rents to be applied to the repair of the high-road between Edgware and London, and the surplus to the repair of the road between Harrow and London. In that year, the Clerk to the Signet having proposed to levy £50 from him as a loan to the State, Sir Gilbert Gerard, Attorney-General, interposed on his behalf, representing that Lyon should not be forced to sell lands bought for the maintenance of his school.[2]

Lyon drew up statutes for his school in 1590, providing for a schoolmaster with the degree of M.A., and an usher with a B.A., both to be unmarried; these covered admission, fees, and amusements for the scholars (eg. driving a top, tossing a handball, running, and shooting), all of whom were to learn the Protestant catechism and attend mass regularly. Greek was to be taught in the two highest forms, the fourth and fifth, and the whole course of study was set down with specifics.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Hewitt, Michael (2014). A Most Remarkable Family: A History of the Lyon Family from 1066 to 2014. AuthorHouse.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Lyon, John (1514?-1592)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  3. ^ a b Cockburn, J. S.; King, H. P. F.; McDonnell, K. G. T., eds. (1969). "Schools: Harrow School". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 1, Physique, Archaeology, Domesday, Ecclesiastical Organization, the Jews, Religious Houses, Education of Working Classes To 1870, Private Education From Sixteenth Century. London: Victoria County History. pp. 299–302 – via British History Online.
  4. ^ "'Harrow, including Pinner: Other estates', in A History of the County of Middlesex, Vol. 4 [...], (ed. T. F. T. Baker, J. S. Cockburn, and R. B. Pugh". British History Online. pp. 211–218.
  5. ^ "Notes on the Aldermen, 1502-1700". British History Online.
  6. ^ Thornbury, Walter. "The Temple: Church and Precinct (Part 3 of 3)". British History Online.
  7. ^ a b "Cromwellian Britain: Harrow, Middlesex".
  8. ^ a b "John Lyon's Charity: History".
  9. ^ a b Tyerman, Christopher (2000). A History of Harrow School. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-822796-5.
  10. ^ "John Lyon's Charity".

External links[edit]