This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back 30 generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from my own as (1)
EARLY LILLYS (13)
Wingham stands on the Canterbury-Sandwich road, 6 miles east of Canterbury. Wingham manor belonged to the see of Canterbury.
On many of the pages of the early registers the ink has faded, leaving sections illegible. Some of the gaps can be filled by using the Marriage and Burial indexes, but many entries are lost to us.
Before Isaac , the only Lilly entry which can be read is the burial of Richard Lully on 2 Feb 1594/5. The name Richard was used often by our Lillys. This Richard may be the father, but more likely the grandfather, of Isaac.
In 1670, Michael Lilly of Wingham, probably Isaac’s son, named one of his own sons Repent. There is a cluster of this highly unusual name Repent Lilly in and around the village of Boughton Aluph, 4 miles NE of Ashford in mid-Kent.
There are marriages for men called Repent Lilly in 1581, 1589 and 1592.
In 1595 we have the baptism of Repent, son of Repent Lilly, in Boughton Aluph. He is probably a son of the 1581 marriage. There were four daughters, the first baptised in 1582. Repent was the youngest child, and the only son.
He himself married in 1619 and had at least one child of his own in Boughton Aluph.
It is highly likely that the Wingham Lillys were related to this Boughton Aluph family.
There is a possible link to the Richard Lilly , who was buried in Wingham in 1595. In 1563, Richard Lyllie, parents unknown, was christened in Boughton Aluph. This could be the same Richard, but if so, he died when only 32. This would make him Isaac Lilly’s father, rather than his grandfather.
Another unusual name was the previously mentioned Michael Lilly of Wingham. We have found only two earlier instances of this name in Kent. One of them was born in 1609 in Patrixbourne, less than four miles from Wingham. His father was Thomas Lilly. There is a possible baptism in 1565 for Thomas Lilly, son of William, in Boughton Aluph.
Although we cannot make a definite identification, the cumulative evidence suggests an origin for the Lillys in this parish.
We should, however, note that the name Repent was used by families other than the Lillys, some in Sandwich and Canterbury, much nearer to Wingham. Also we cannot rule out the possibility that there were earlier Lillys in Wingham whose entries in the register can no longer be read.
Boughton Aluph was on the Pilgrim Way to Canterbury. The substantial church of All Saints has a larger than usual porch with a Tudor fireplace. The connection of the Lilly family with Boughton Aluph can be traced back to the reign of Elizabeth I.
It is thought that pilgrims rested in this porch. In particular, they waited there until they had assembled a sufficient number to undertake the dangerous passage of Kings Wood ahead, which was a notorious haunt of robbers. A gang from Kings Wood looted the church at Boughton Aluph in 1552.
The Wingham Lillys had a fondness for Old Testament names: Isaac, Abraham, Amos. This is often indicative of Puritan sympathies. The name Repent underlines this.
Puritanism came into being in England in the late 16 th century. Henry VIII’s Reformation of 1634 separated the Church of England from the papal authority of the Roman Catholic Church, but Puritans believed that had not gone far enough. They wanted to do away with all Catholic ceremonies and customs, such as the wearing of ecclesiastical vestments and the veneration of saints. They opposed the use of the Book of Common Prayer. They would not have approved of pilgrimages to pray at the shrine of the murdered Thomas ŕ Becket in Canterbury.
The movement reached its height in the mid-17 th century, when Puritans sided with Parliament against King Charles I. After Cromwell’s victory, many Puritans were given the living of parish churches, but lost them again at the Restoration of 1660.
As well as sobriety of dress, worship and morals, the Puritans adopted Biblical names for their children, and made new names from religious qualities, such as Repent.
The Lillys of Wingham and Boughton Aluph appear to be part of this movement.
Next Generation: 12. LILLY-BARROW