The Family of a Minor Devon Worthy

Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VI, (January 1910 to October 1911), pp. 29-30.


T.C Dale

Prepared by Michael Steer

Edward Lye (1694–1767) was an 18th-century scholar of Old English and Germanic philology, was born at Totnes, Devon, the son of Thomas Lye, vicar of Broadhempston and a schoolmaster at Totnes, by his wife Catherine (née Johnson). He was educated at his father's school and at Crewkerne School, Somerset and went to Hart Hall, Oxford, where he entered 28 March 1713, and graduated B.A. 19 October 1716, M.A. 6 July 1722. He was ordained in 1717, and in 1721 was admitted vicar of Houghton Parva, Northamptonshire. On 4 January 1750, Lye was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He resigned Houghton Parva in about 1750, on being presented by James Compton, 5th Earl of Northampton to the rectory of Yardley Hastings. He was at this time supporting his mother and two sisters. Lye died, aged 73, on 19 August 1767 of gout, from which he had long suffered, at Yardley Hastings, where he was buried. His library was sold in 1773. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers..

17. THE FAMILY OF A MINOR DEVON WORTHY. - Edward Lye, the famous Anglo-Saxon scholar of the eighteenth century, was the son of the Rev. Thos. Lye by Catherine, née Johnson, his wife. Thomas Lye was schoolmaster of Totnes Grammar School, and was presented by the Crown to the Vicarage of Broadhempston, Devon, April 14th, 1705. His will, dated Dec. 26th, 1709, mentions his wife Katharine, his sons Thos., Edw. and Richard, his daughters Joane, Mary and Anne, and his kinsman Edw. Langworthy, of Totnes: proved July 27th, 1711, in the Consistory Court of Exeter. His inventory amounted to £156 5s., and comprised books £20, silver plate £10, and clothes £10. Edw. Lye was baptized at Totnes Sept. 6th, 1694, an d educated at Hertford Coll., Oxford (so D.N.B., presumably Magdalen Hall). He died 1767 at Yardley Hastings, Northants, of which place he was Vicar. In his will (dated Aug. 13th, 1767, proved P.C.C. Sept. 4th, 1767) he mentions only one Lye, Edw., of Crewkerne, Somerset (relationship not given), and various relations (degree not given) living in or near Crewkerne. Can anyone give me particulars about the ancestors or collateral descendants of Edward? There were Lyes at Crewkerne in the seventeenth century. One of them, Thos., son of Edw. Lye, of Crewkerne, matriculated at Wadham Coll., Oxford, in 1672, being then aged 16. His father, Edward, blacksmith, by his will proved at Taunton, Oct. 17th, 1688, left his son, Thos., all his Latin and English authors and his "physicall and chirurgicall" books.

Was the Thos. Lye, a well-known Nonconformist divine of Commonwealth times, of this family? He was born 1621, B.A.. of Wadham Coll. 1641, died 1684. Will proved P.C.C. (Hare 78) 1684. Was the Crewkerne family a branch of the Devon family?          T. C. Dale.