Lyon, Thomas (DNB00)
|←Lyon, Patrick (1642-1695)||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 34
LYON, Sir THOMAS, Master of Glammis (d. 1608), lord high treasurer of Scotland, was the younger son of John, seventh lord Glammis [q. v.], by his wife Janet Keith, daughter of Robert, lord Keith, and sister of the fourth Marischal. He was one of the youths who attended King James in Stirling during his minority. His original style was Sir Thomas of Auldbar and Balduckie. On the death of his elder brother, John, eighth lord Glammis [q. v.], in 1578, he became tutor to his nephew, Patrick, ninth lord, and, being after Patrick the nearest presumptive heir to the title, was known as Master of Glammis. He married Agnes Gray, widow of Alexander, seventh lord Home, who died in 1575; and his right to the keeping of Hume Castle in opposition to Andrew Kerr, commendator of Jedburgh, was confirmed by the privy council on 8 Nov. 1578 (Reg. P. C. Scotl. iii. 50). On 17 Dec. 1579 he gave security in 5,000l. not to 'make trouble' for the widow of John, lord Glammis, or his daughter in 'the bruiking and possessing of their lands ' (ib. p. 249). On 12 Dec.he was relieved by the privy council of the keepership of Hume Castle (ib. p. 250).
The Master of Glammis was one of the principal supporters of the Earl of Gowrie against the ascendency of Lennox and Arran, and a main contriver of the raid of Ruthven. The precise form which the conspiracy should take had not been determined when the plotters received intelligence that Lennox was aware of their design, and conspiring against them. Advantage was therefore at once taken of the king's visit to Ruthven Castle, a seat of the Earl of Gowrie, near Perth, to gain possession of his person. On the morning of 23 Aug. 1682 the castle was surrounded by an armed force of a thousand men, under Gowrie, Glammis, and Mar, so as to prevent the access of Lennox and his supporters to the king. Glammis and his friends placed before James a loyal supplication, with special reference to the wrongs committed against them by Lennox and Arran (printed in Calderwood, iii. 637-640). Next day they escorted the king to Perth, whence on the 30th they proceeded to Stirling. On arriving at Stirling the king expressed his intention to proceed to Edinburgh; but this, they informed him, 'was not expedient,' and at last they plainly told him that either 'the duke or they should leave Scotland.' On the king moving towards the door, the Master of Glammis rudely 'laid his leg before him' (ib. iii. 643). The indignity caused the king to burst into tears, whereupon Glammis made the unsympathetic comment, 'Better bairns greet than bearded men.' After the king's escape from the Ruthven raiders to St. Andrews in August 1683, Glammis was ordered to enter into ward in Dumbarton Castle within three days (ib. iii. 724; Reg. P. C. Scotl. iii. 595), but made his escape to Ireland (Hist. of James the Sext, p. 199). On 31 Jan. 1583-4 he was charged to leave Scotland, England, and Ireland under pain of treason (Reg. P. C. Scotl. iii. 626), and on 29 March his adherents and those of the other banished lords were commanded to leave Edinburgh within twenty-four hours (ib. p. 644). By this time probably Glammis and his associates had arrived Scotland, for on 17 April they captured the castle of Stirling. The achievement was, however, rendered futile by the arrest of Gowrie two days afterwards at Dundee; and on learning that the king was setting forth against them from Edinburgh with a force of twelve thousand men, they abandoned Stirling and fled to England, ultimately taking up their residence 'in a lodging in Westminster,' where they entered into secret communications with Elizabeth (Calderwood, iv. 340). At the parliament held in Scotland in the following August sentence of forfeiture was passed against them, but the attempt to induce Elizabeth to deliver them up was unsuccessful. They returned, with the connivance of Elizabeth, to Scotland in October 1585. Arran's overthrow followed, and Glammis on 4 Nov. was along with other lords pardoned and received into favour (Reg. P. C. Scotl. iv. 31). On 7 Nov. he was admitted a member of the privy council, and appointed captain and commander of the king's guard (ib. p. 33). In the new ministry he was also appointed lord high treasurer for life, with a salary of 1,000l. Scots. At the parliament at Linlithgow in December an act was also passed restoring him to his estates. On 9 Feb. 1585-6 he became an extraordinary lord of session.
The hope of the presbyterian clergy that the return of the banished lords would effect a change in the ecclesiastical policy of the king was not fulfilled. The Master of Glammis, 'upon whose wit they [the nobles] depended,' advised that 'it was not expedient to draw out of the king, so addicted to bishops, any reformation of the kirk for the present, but to procure it by time with his consent and liking' (Calderwood, iv. 449); consequently the nobles declined to come to the help of the kirk. On 14 Dec. 1586, Glammis, as the represent alive of his house, and David, earl of Crawford, by one of whose followers the eighth Lord Glammis had been slain, gave mutual assurances to each other (Reg. P. C. Scotl., iv. 128); and on 15 May 1587 they walked arm in arm before the king to and from the banquet of reconciliation at the Market Cross of Edinburgh (Calderwood, iv. 614; Hist. of James the Sext, p.229). The feud between the two families remained, however, very much as it was before; and it was by no means mitigated by the action of the king in November 1588 in taking the captaincy of the guard from Glammis and giving it to Alexander Lindsay, afterwards first lord Spynie [q. v.], the Earl of Crawford's uncle. Glammis was deeply offended, and a scene took place between him and Bothwell. To prevent the quarrel proceeding further, Bothwell was commanded to ward within the palace of Linlithgow, and Glammis within the castle of Edinburgh (Moysie, Memoirs, p. 71). Shortly afterwards the captaincy of the guard was transferred to Huntly (ib.) Glammis was present with the king in the Tolbooth when the intercepted letters, revealing the treasonable communications of Huntly and others with Spain, were opened and read (Calderwood, v. 7). In April 1589 Glammis was surprised by Huntly at Meigle, and chased to his house of Kirkhill. On refusing to surrender, the house was set on fire, and he was carried captive to the north. On the appearance of the king with a force at Aberdeen, Huntly set him free on 22 April (Moysie, pp. 74-7; Calderwood, v. 54-5).
At the coronation of the queen, 17 May 1590, Glammis received the honour of knighthood. The favour in which he was held at court since the queen's accession began to arouse the jealousy of the chancellor Maitland. Maitland complained that he supped at Leith with the outlawed Earl of Bothwell in June 1591, and his hereditary enemy, Lord Spynie, was thereupon empowered to apprehend him. Spynie was unsuccessful, but Glammis was shortly afterwards committed to Blackness Castle, and then warded beyond the Dee (Moysie, p. 87).
On 6 Nov. 1591 he was deprived of the office of extraordinary lord of session, which was conferred on Montrose. Not long afterwards he was restored to royal favour, and the chancellor Maitland was compelled to retire from court. On 8 March 1593 he appointed extraordinary lord of session on the 28th he was admitted an ordinary lord and sat till 28 May. Glammis had now become an avowed opponent of Bothwell, and one of the conditions of agreement between Bothwell and the king, in August 1593 [see Hepburn, Francis Stewart, third Earl] was that Glammis as well as the chancellor should retire from court till November (ib., p. 103; Calderwood, v. 258). At a convention held at Stirling in September this agreement was renounced, and Glammis and others returned to court (Moysie, p. 104). Shortly afterwards Glammis and Maitland were reconciled (Calderwood, v. 260). In February 1595-6 the eight commissioners of the exchequer, known as Octavians, were appointed, but Glammis declined to resign the office of treasurer, and he had ultimately to be compensated by a gift of 6.000l. (Moysie, p. 125; Calderwood, v. 394). From this time he ceased to take a prominent part in public affairs. He died 18 Feb. 1608. On learning his decease, the king is said to have exclaimed 'that the boldest and hardiest man of his dominions was dead.'
He married, first, Agnes, third daughter of Patrick, fifth lord Gray, and widow of Sir Robert Logan of Restalrig, and Alexander, fifth lord Home; and secondly, Lady Euphemia Douglas, fourth daughter of William, earl of Morton. He had a daughter Mary, married to Sir Robert Semple of Beltries, and a son John Lyon of Auldbar.
[Reg. P. C. Scotl., vols. iii-viii.; Calderwood's History of the Kirk of Scotland; Moysie's Memoirs (Bannatyne Club); Hist. of James the Sext (Bannatyne Club); Crawford's Officers of State; Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood), ii. 564.]