Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lyon, John (fl.1608-1622)

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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.]

T. F. H.