Thomas Lynam Quaker c 1626–1690

John Lynam Quaker 1631–1698

Thomas Lynam Quaker c 1659–aft 1728

John Lynam Quaker c 1640 – ?

We know quite a bit about some of the Lynam Quakers and how they suffered for their beliefs.

Thomas Lynam, husbandman of Pilsley gave the sum of two shillings and six pence to Parliament to help with the crowning of Charles II to be King. England was in great debt at this time with over three million pounds owing. Charles said if he was crowned he would pardon all the people, for their misdemeanours and allow more religious freedoms. Like many political promises it was worthless. Thomas, a Quaker, probably thought things would get better after the Coronation; and they did for a time and then the persecution started again.

Background to the “Free and Voluntary Present
1649 King Charles I has his head chopped off by Parliament and the country is ruled by Parliament, its Army and General Oliver Cromwell. The Scots and the Irish want Charles’ son Charles II as king.
1650 King Charles II is crowned in Scotland
1651 Cromwell defeats Charles at Worcester. Charles escapes to France. Parliament is incompetent, Cromwell becomes Lord Protector and rules as an unwilling dictator
1658 Cromwell dies of malaria at fifty-nine and his son Richard becomes Lord Protector. Richard is a “weak and mild man” and the Army turns him out.
1659 Richard resigns. Most English people now want Charles II back.
1660 Parliament recalls Charles II from Holland. The monarchy returns to a throne in debt and without finance.
1661 To alleviate this problem, the Speaker of the House of Commons presents a Bill for confirmation of an Act for a “Free and Voluntary Present” (from the people of England)
Receivers were appointed to collect donations and a warrant was given to allow the receivers of the “Free and Voluntary Present” in pursuance of an Act of Parliament twelve pence in the pound in recompense for their charge and trouble.
Roger Allestry of Derby and Ralph Weldon were appointed head receivers for Derbyshire and collections were taken in various towns and 5,000 people contributed a total of 2,299 pounds in the County. The occupations are given for the Hundreds of High Peak and Scarsdale but unfortunately not for the other four. Whilst most people gave around one or two shillings the more well off and the gentry gave more. A number of Knights and Barons gave forty or fifty pounds but Sir John Curzon of Kedleston gave the most by far, his donation was one hundred pounds.
Source: Wirksworth Parish website

Some of the suffering the Quakers endured was recorded in 1753 by Joseph Besse in a book with the wonderfully long title:

A collection of the sufferings of the people called Quakers, for the testimony of a good conscience from the time of their being first distinguished by that name in the year 1650 to the time of the act commonly called the Act of toleration granted to Protestant dissenters in the first year of the reign of King William the Third and Queen Mary in the year 1689 (Volume 1)

What follows are the entries for Quaker Lynams in that book.

1661 John was imprisoned in Derby gaol for non-payment of tithes to the South Wingfield vicar, Revd Coates – who persecuted John and his wife Margaret over many years. Shortly after John was imprisoned, thirty-one men and ten women from Eyam were also sent to be imprisoned at Derby, having to walk there via Crich. They were kept overnight in Squire Claye’s Barn without food, water or covering. Margaret and other Quakers from Fritchley heard of their plight and gave them comfort. What followed has passed into Quaker history and lore.

Besse quaker entry
Besse Quaker record

Read Margaret Lynam's tale about these Quakers imprisoned at Crich.

1662 John Lynam was fined 25 shillings by the vicar of South Wingfield and a cow worth £3-10-4d was taken as payment.
In 1663 the South Wingfield vicar struck again. John had a cow worth £3-3s-4d confiscated in lieu of tithes. Later in the year he was excommunicated.

Bess entry for Quakers

1665 Thomas Lynam was imprisoned for three months for being at a meeting.
He had cattle taken from him worth £7 and also fined seven shillings.

Besse enyy for Quakers
Besse entry for Quakers


Besse entry for Quakers
Besse entry for Quakers

In about 1668 Thomas Lynam was excommunicated.

Besse entry for Lynam Quakers

1673 Thomas Lynam held a meeting at his house, William Cooper attended had taken from him not only his cow, hay, and household goods, but also his coat and all the food he had provided for his wife and three young children.  Thomas Ellis who attended was a smith had he lost his bellows and all other tools and was unable to follow his trade.  Four other friends who attended the meeting lost goods to the value of £23-3s-4d

Besse Lynam Quaker
Besse entry for Lynam Quaker


1676 John Lynam in the parish of Pentrich fined 5/- and £3-15-0d more for persons unknown who also attended the meeting and was at a meeting at Eggstone in the parish of North Wingfield.
They used to fine people they only suspected of attending the meetings, no proof was required that they did.

1688 Thomas Lynam for Tithes in corn and goods – seven shillings

Besse entry for Lynam Quaker

Tupton Quaker Meeting House
By 1673, or earlier, there may have been a meeting house in Tupton. Records show a burial of John Storrs, on Oct 16th and in the same year William Cooper attended a meeting at Pilsley in the house of Thomas Lynam.
1670 an act of Parliament was passed that inflicted fines of £20 for every meeting at which more than five persons beyond the inmates of that house were assembled, £20 for a preacher and five shillings each for any worshipper. The first house mentioned was in Matlock – that of Anthony Bunting and the fine total was £90-3s-4d. Goods were taken to pay the fines.

Between 1665 and 1677 Thomas Lynam was a witness at four Quaker weddings.

Constables Presentation 1683 Parish of Morton.
All Quakers – Ellen and James Wolstenholme; Margaret, wife of Richard Calow; Thomas Lynam, Carpenter, and Elizabeth his wife; John Calow, Carpenter.

Chesterfield Monthly Meeting Minute Book 1691 – 1732Transcribed by Joan Goodwin, 1987

Quaker Records for Tupton

19/11/1691/2 ordered by this Meeting that Richard Clayton and Thomas Lynam gather the collection for the National Stock on Tupton side . . . to be brought to the next quarterly meeting
17/03/1692 This day Thomas Lynam and Hannah Stopport of Pilsley in the county of Derby hath declared their intention of marriage also signifying both their clearness from all others in this nature and producing certificates from their relations on both part(e)s of their consent thereunto so finding nothing to object against them why the(y) should not proceed after your consideration at the quarterly meeting then to proceed as they shall see convenient.
15/11/1694/5 This day Thomas Lynam was spoken to concerning his testimony against Tythes and was exorted to be more faithful if he had failed in anything of that nature, that so the truth may be kept clear and a faithful testimony may be borne against that grand oppression of Tythes
21/02/1696 Paid to Tho. Lynam for window shuts for the meeting house . . . 12s-6d
18/05/1699 Ordered by this meeting that Joseph Hatton go and speak to Tho. Linam to come up to the next monthly meeting
21/06/1707 This Meeting is willing to give to Tho. Lynam upon consideration that he take as apprentice Joseph Green; and to have £3 paid to him when ready.”
22/05/1708 “Paid to Tho. Lynam the sum of one pound four shillings which is the remainder of the three pounds which he was to have with George Green for his Apprentice

Quaker Records for Chesterfield

17/10/1713 This meeting being informed that Thomas Linem of Pilsley lies under the scandal of having a Bastard Child laid to him by a bad woman of the world and not only so but that he hath given Bond for the maintainance of the same therefore friends of this meeting being for truths sake concerned and desirous to hear and know the truth of it appoints Geo. Turpin of Pilsley and Jos. Kirk of Hardstoft to speak to him to come to our next monthly meeting either to clear himself and the truth and give friends more satisfaction therein.
19/11/1713 Thomas Linem of Pilsley this meeting being here according to friends request last monthly meeting and friends have enquired into the matter concerning his having a Bastard Child laid to him; and he himself utterly denies that he had anything to do with the woman in the case: therefore friends seeing no full reason but suspicion to charge him therewith but if he hath been known too much to frequent bad alehouses etc. therefore friends having admonished him to beware of these evils and dangers leaves the matter to the Lord who sees all things and will recompense to all according as their deeds are
17/08/1728 Paid Thomas Lynam a bill for repairs of Tupton Meeting house . . . .15s-0d”

References in pencil-written notes (may be those referred to in note attached to inside cover of blue binder, in which case they come from Quarterly Meeting minutes)
1685 Quarterly Meeting at Thos Lynam’s house at Pilsley, 25.4.1685
1687 Quarterly Meeting Tupton 24.4.1687
Thomas Lynam’s name included in a list of Friends ordered to be at John Frith’s house at Chesterfield on 5th next month . . . . etc. etc.

1694 Quarterly Meeting Tupton 4.8.1694
a. Paid to Thomas Lynam for making a paper window for the meeting house at Tupton.
(A paper window was a window made from waxed or greased paper rather than glass which at the time was prohibitively expensive. It was held in place in a frame, mullioned and transomed (vertical and horizontal bars). Linen was also used).

In another set of pencil-written notes, Thomas Lynam is mentioned in a list of Friends fined heavily after 1661: “Thomas Lynam £26”.

In the North Wingfield Parish Registers, there is a list of Quakers unbaptised and on it is Hannah Lynam born 4/4/1702. So, they must have come back into the Church of England because Hannah was baptized as a adult christening 11/6/1722, all three children christened on the same day.
Maybe they didn't want to be Quakers any more.

His son, John Lynam 1692–1783, was brought up as a Quaker but converted back to the established church when he was baptised in 1722 aged about thirty. This was probably so that he could marry in a recognised church.

John Lynam c 1640–?

Unsure as where this John Lynam links in to the other Lynam families.

In 1685 John Lynam was heavily fined for a meeting at the house of Thomas Holland in Heanor; also for another meeting at his own house. Such was the oppression that even a funeral could be deemed an illegal meeting. John was fined £6 (worth about £500 in 2010) for attended the funeral of a Friends wife. It was at this funeral, his wife’s, that Samuel Rowe was fined £30 (worth about £2,500 in 2010). John was also fined five shillings in this year because his wife attended a meeting at Tupton. If the fines were not forthcoming goods and valuables were seized even cattle and what little tools they had. Clothing and furniture was also taken.

Besse report on Johan Lynam