LYTE, Anthony (by 1522-80), of Greenwich, Kent.
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Family and Education
Member of Queen Elizabeth’s chamber in 1558; gent. usher by 1563-d.; commr. sewers, Kent 1568; escheator, Devon and Cornw. 1571-2.2
Anthony Lyte was a younger son in a family seated in Somerset but with lands extending into Devon and Dorset. His eldest brother John Lyte led some 100 men against the western rebellion of 1549, and the reversion to the right to grant export licences for tin bestowed two years later on Anthony Lyte may have been the reward for similar action. Either brother’s service could have attracted the attention of Sir John Russell, Baron Russell, who, as 1st Earl of Bedford, was presumably Anthony Lyte’s patron at Tavistock in the spring of 1553. By then Lyte had probably obtained a minor post in the royal household since it was as ‘the King’s servant of the King’s special grace’ that in 1552 he received a lease of the capital messuage and rectory of Butleigh, Somerset; his brother Edmund Lyte was a sewer of the chamber and his wife was a niece of Thomas Weldon, officer to Edward VI and Elizabeth.3
Lyte is not known to have served Mary although in 1554 he was granted a Somerset wardship. After re-entering the royal service on the accession of Elizabeth he lived at Greenwich where he had a ‘fair house’ but he retained an interest in the west country until his death, being appointed escheator for Devon and Cornwall at a relatively advanced age. He died intestate on 28 Jan. 1580 and was buried in the chancel of Greenwich church, his wife and children having predeceased him. Letters of administration were granted on 29 Jan. to his next of kin, his niece, Bridget Smith alias Lyte.4
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard
- 1. Date of birth estimated from father’s death and his having a younger brother. E150/911/1.; Som. Arch. and Nat. Hist. Soc. Proc. xxxviii. 32-33; Collinson, Som. iii. 193; Vis. Som. ed. Weaver, 44.
- 2. Lansd. 3 (89), f. 193; CPR, 1569-72, p. 220; Som. Arch. and Nat. Hist. Soc. Proc. xxxviii, 33.
- 3. Som. Arch. and Nat. Hist. Soc. Proc. xxxviii, 40-42, 45; CPR, 1550-3, p. 54; E315/224, f. 325; PCC 5 Babington.
- 4. Som. Arch. and Nat. Hist. Soc. Proc. xxxviii, 33-35; CPR, 1553-4, p. 11; Mill Stephenson, Mon. Brasses, 268.