George Lyon, highwayman
Could anyone direct me to the precise location of George Lyon's grave at St Thomas' Church, Upholland. I was there today and despite being told it was under the cantilever of the steps, I couldn't find it. I know it doesn't bear his name but that of his presumed daughter, Nanny Lyon. There are 2 sets of steps, but to be fair, the graveyard was covered in fallen leaves. I need to find this as I will be assisting in making a documentary on this local 'hero' or villain when things get back to normal.
As I was already there, I took a look at a more famous grave - Robert Daglish (he was a locomotive pioneer for those who haven't heard of him). Now, the historic records describe a marble memorial; I don't know who these historians are but they should perhaps get the advice of a geologist as it is actually granite - marble outside is to be avoided. Take a look at what happened to the original Boer War statue in Mesnes Park - by the 1960s it had worn away so much that it had to be broken up and disposed of. Even as a kid I remember the face being totally indistinguishable. For memorials, granite is best, our local sandstone isn't bad too. But apart from that, the question here is where is Mr Lyon's grave? The beauty of technology - I no longer have say "Answers on a postcard please to PO box number...."!!!
Started: 23rd Oct 2020 at 16:25
Last edited by JR: 23rd Oct 2020 at 17:22:38
JR, Go to the steps that lead to the church front door at the top of the steps go a few yards to your left look over the steel fence George lyons grave is directly below up agaist the wall.
Replied: 23rd Oct 2020 at 21:23
Many thanks Diston.
I will go back and look. Are you local to Upholland as I would like to get local opinions of George Lyon, all accepted without prejudice.
Replied: 23rd Oct 2020 at 22:16
Replied: 24th Oct 2020 at 16:14
Replied: 24th Oct 2020 at 17:24
Ha ha, yes. But I dont think George was so much the Dandy!
Replied: 24th Oct 2020 at 18:01
He might've been 'Bandy'?
Anyroadup, he wasn't the last highwayman to be executed at Lancaster Castle, contrary to popular belief. He wasn't a Wigan Highwayman either. He wasn't even a bloody 'Highwayman', for gawd's sakes, or a Wiganer!
Replied: 24th Oct 2020 at 21:19
I agree. I looked at the Lancaster records and have seen other hangings for highway robbery after him. He wasn't a Wiganer but did a lot of his thieving in Wigan... and as far as I know he was merely a 'footpad' as he didn't own a horse. He borrowed one when he robbed the Liverpool mail coach.
Replied: 25th Oct 2020 at 12:16
One more question - does anyone know the house where George Lyon lived? Even if it's demolished I'd like to know the location.
Replied: 25th Oct 2020 at 13:35
JR - as far as I know it was on the site of what is now the car park of the White Lion pub opposite the Church gates. I've seen an old photograph (can't remember where) of the old building being demolished. It was exactly adjacent to the pub. The rumour was that George Lyon haunted the house and when it was demolished the haunting transferred to the pub. Seems eminently sensible to me!
Replied: 17th Jan 2021 at 22:00
Thanks bigbondy. I have found a couple of photos of the house you mention. I shall mention this in our documentary (when we get chance to make it) - hopefully later this year.
Replied: 23rd Jan 2021 at 20:20
JR - you may already know this, but another local site to feature in your documentary could be the building that was formerly the Old Dog public house. This was where George Lyon was laid out after his body was brought back from Lancaster, prior to interment. The building has ben converted into cottages, but is substantially the same building. It is where Higher Lane joins up with the bottom of Alma Hill in Upholland - now called Old Dog Cottages on a little plaque on the outside wall.
Replied: 28th Jan 2021 at 19:18
I did know about the Old Dog and have recently had a walk up there. I've also found old photos. At present I have been tracing the route of the body being returned to Upholland with a view to including this in the documentary. Thank you for taking an interest in this - it is very encouraging.
Replied: 31st Jan 2021 at 17:38
JR. In 2015 I published a family history and, to give color to the local scene, I had Lyon take up much of one chapter, several pages. If you would like my take on Lyon I will be happy to email a copy of those pages to you. I can't send you the book as it is more than 700 pages and postage to England runs close to $100.00.
Ask Admin to give me your email addy and I shall send the relevant pages to you promptly.
Replied: 2nd Feb 2021 at 20:10
Last edited by whacker: 2nd Feb 2021 at 21:05:06
Whacker, this is a very nice gesture. Thank you. I will get in touch with admin. I will certainly make mention of your book in the documentary. Many thanks.
Replied: 5th Feb 2021 at 11:38
Whacker. I have been in touch with Ron at admin. He asks will you contact him with your email as he doesn't have it.
Replied: 6th Feb 2021 at 18:05