Sir John Lyon, lord mayor of London in 1534, was probably born about 1514, being over twenty in 1534, when he applied for admission to certain lands held by his father in Harrow; he came of an ancient house, for his descent is traced to John Lyon or Lyoun, who was admitted to lands at Kingsbury in the parish of Edgware in 1370. He was wealthy, and in 1562 had the largest rental in Harrow. For many years he spent twenty marks a year on the education of poor children. On 13 Feb. 1571–2 he obtained from Queen Elizabeth a charter and letters patent for the foundation of a free grammar school for boys at Harrow, constituting his trustees a body corporate as governors of the ‘Free Grammar-school of John Lyon.’ He bought lands in Marylebone in 1571, to be held by himself, his wife, and the governors of his 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 50l. from him as a loan to the state, Sir Gilbert Gerard [q. v.], the attorney-general, interposed on his behalf, representing that Lyon should not be forced to sell lands bought for the maintenance of his school. He drew up statutes for his school in 1590, providing for a schoolmaster of the degree of M.A., and an usher a B.A., both to be unmarried. A regulation of importance as regards the future of the school allowed the master to ‘receive so many foreigners over and above the youth of the parish as the whole number may be well taught and the place can contain,’ and of these, if not of the founder's kin, he might receive ‘such stipend and wages as he could get.’ The amusements allowed by Lyon to his scholars were ‘driving a top, tossing a hand-ball, running, shooting, and no other.’ All were to learn the church catechism and attend church regularly. Greek was to be taught to the two highest forms, the fourth and fifth, and minute arrangements were made by the founder as to the whole course of study to be pursued at the school. Lyon died on 3 Oct. 1592 without leaving issue; his wife Joan died on 30 Aug. 1608. Both were buried in the parish church of Harrow. A brass bearing their effigies, with an inscription, was during a modern restoration torn from the floor, with injury to the figures, and placed against the wall of the church; but in 1888 a marble slab with Latin verse inscription was laid over his grave. Besides those appropriated to his school and the repair of roads Lyon left some other benefactions, such as 10l. to be paid yearly for thirty-seven sermons in Harrow Church, the schoolmaster or the vicar of the parish to be preferred as preacher. His house, built before 1400, is still standing at Preston.
[Thornton's Harrow School and its Surroundings, containing, besides an account of Lyon in the text, a calendar of the Lyon papers preserved at the school; Carlisle's Endowed Schools, ii. 125 sq.; Ackermann's Hist. of the Colleges … and the Free Schools of Harrow, &c.]
LYON or LYOUN, JOHN (fl. 1608–1622), of Auldbar, the supposed author of ‘Teares for the Death of Alexander, Earle of Dunfermeling,’ was eldest son of Sir Thomas Lyon [q. v.] of Auldbar, apparently by his first wife, Agnes, daughter of Patrick, lord Gray, and widow of Sir Robert Logan of Restalrig, and Alexander, fifth lord Home [q. v.] He was served heir to his father on 6 Aug. 1608. Subsequently he was frequently warded (i.e. imprisoned) for debt (Reg. P. C. Scotl. vols. viii–x. passim). He married a daughter of George Gladstanes, archbishop of St. Andrews, but died without issue. The date of his death is unknown. The poem, of about 250 lines, on the death of Alexander Seton, earl of Dunfermline, printed by Andro Hart in 1622, was reprinted by the Bannatyne Club in 1823. Only one copy of the original print is known to exist—that in 1823 in the possession of Robert Pitcairne. In the dedication to Lady Beatrix Ruthven, Lady Cowdenknowes, daughter of the first Earl of Gowrie, the poet states that he is related to her by ‘band of blood,’ and signs himself ‘your Ladiships Cousen, most humblie devoted to serue you, John Lyoun.’ This may be explained by the relationship between the lady's husband, Home of Cowdenknowes, and Lyon of Auldbar's mother, by her marriage to Lord Home.
[Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood), ii. 564; Crawfurd's Officers of State, pp. 392–3; Reg. P. C. Scotl. passim; Maidment's Preface to the Bannatyne Club's edition of the poem.]
LYON, JOHN, ninth Earl of Strathmore (1737–1776). [See under Bower, Mary Eleanor, Countess of Stratmore.]
LYON, JOHN (1702–1790), antiquary, was born in 1702. He was elected scholar of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1727, graduated B.A. in 1729, M.A. in 1732, and accumulated his degrees in divinity on 22 Oct. 1751 (Dublin Graduates, as ‘Lyons’). On 2 Aug. 1740 he became minor canon of St. Patrick's, Dublin (Cotton, Fasti, ii. 199). He was made prebendary of Rathmichael in the same cathedral on 12 April 1751 (ib. ii. 172), of Ta-sagart on 15 Nov. 1771 (ib. ii. 163), and