George Lyon

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Post by Lolly on Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:44 pm


On the morning of Saturday 22nd April 1815 three men went to the gallows at Lancaster castle. They were William Houghton, aged fifty three, David Bennett, thirty five, and George Lyon, who was fifty four. The men had actually been convicted of a burglary at Ince, near Wigan, although that was by no means their only crime. Lyon alone was similarly accused of eleven other such offences, but it was the burglary at the home of Charles Walmesley that finally put paid to what had become a notorious gang.

GEORGE LYON -THE UP HOLLAND HIGHWAYMAN
The Lancaster Gazette was a-buzz with news of the case, and followed the trial closely. The newspaper reported the words of the judge as he passed sentence, and gave a graphic description of the hangings themselves:

‘On Saturday last, about noon, George Lyon, David Bennett and William Houghton, convicted at our last Assizes of burglary near Wigan underwent the awful sentence of the law, on the Drop behind our Castle. Houghton was the first brought on the platform, who seemed to pray most fervently, as did the others, especially Lyon, who was the last tied up, and was dressed in black with topped boots. After hanging the usual time the bodies were taken down…and given to their friends for interment.’

– LANCASTER GAZETTE 29TH APRIL 1815

http://www.lancastercastle.com/history-heritage/people-stories/george-lyon/
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Post by Lolly on Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:47 pm

The sentences were duly carried out by Old Ned Barlow, who was hangman of Lancaster Castle and who in his career executed some 133 people.

After his death Lyon's body was handed over to Simon Washington, landlord of The Old Dog Inn in Up Holland, and a companion, for its return to Up Holland for burial.

The Old Dog Inn building still stands on the steep street called Alma Hill, in the village.

Lyon had not wanted his body left at Lancaster as it would have been handed over to surgeons for dissection as was the normal procedure with the bodies of executed criminals. In a poignant letter to his wife written on the 14th of April with the aid of the prison chaplain the Reverend Cowley, who had visited all the prisoners on death row, he implored her to arrange for his body to be returned home.

That return journey home undertaken by Simon Washington and companion was horrendous, made during a raging thunder storm, so bad, with thunder and lightning all around the cart, that at one stage both men had to shelter under it from the torrential rain, Washington declared that the devil himself had followed them throughout the journey, and he swore he would never make such a journey again.


http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Upholland/highwaymen.html
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Post by Tommytee on Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:02 pm

Is this his grave?

George Lyon 50073c338b1d5659900545609d321e73fde1005a

Below the level of the roadway, on the extreme western edge of the church burial ground and directly opposite the White Lion Hotel, lies a flat tombstone, with the single name 'Nanny Lyon' inscribed on its surface. This is believed to be the grave of George Lyon, the UpHolland, highwayman,' and his two accomplices David Bennett and William Houghton, who were all hanged at Lancaster in April 1815, for an offence of burglary at Westwood Hall, Ince, Wigan.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/lancashire/content/articles/2008/05/30/history_michael_graves.shtml

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