Ancestor Pages‎ > ‎Aylwin‎ > ‎

Thomas Aylwin (1730-1791)

  1. Biography of Thomas Aylwin
  2. Timeline of Thomas Aylwin
  3. The Children of Thomas and Lucy Aylwin (in progress)



AYLWIN (Aylwyn), THOMAS, merchant and justice of the peace; b. c. 1729 in Romsey, Hampshire, England; m. 11 Sept. 1771 in Boston Lucy Cushing, and they had at least three [4] sons; d. 11 April 1791 at Quebec.

      Thomas Aylwin was probably one of the merchants who established themselves at Quebec immediately after its capture by Major-General Wolfe’s troops. He was doubtless among that set of merchants of whom Governor Murray said in 1764: they “have resorted to a Country where there is No Money, and . . . think themselves superior in rank and fortune to the Soldier and the Canadian.” In partnership for a few years with Charles Kerr, Aylwin specialized in the retail sale of imported products including dry goods, foodstuffs, wine, hardware, stationery, and other merchandise. After Kerr died in 1765 Aylwin pursued his commercial activities at Quebec until 1769, when he seems to have removed to Massachusetts for about six years.

      Returning to Quebec at the beginning of the American revolution, Aylwin set up his business on Rue Saint-Jean and later rented a house on Rue Saint-Joseph. On 23 Oct. 1777 he bought two houses on Rue Notre-Dame, in the business district, from merchant and legislative councillor Thomas Dunn for £948 (Halifax currency), paying £508 in cash. The range of products he advertised in the Quebec Gazette steadily broadened. As well, he was the supplier to certain merchants, including Jacob Bettez of Baie-Saint-Paul and also Abraham Morhouse who in June 1786 owed £1,100 to “Tho. Aylwin & Co.” In the same period Aylwin undertook to sell Samuel Jacobs’ wheat and went into the wholesale trade in biscuit. He seems to have enjoyed moderate prosperity; in fact, the inventory made after his death reveals that he lived comfortably, though not in luxury. For example, although he owned a gold trimmed porcelain tea service, mahogany furniture, and plate worth £17, two of the 12 pieces of ornamental china on the mantel were broken and the carpet in his parlour was “much wore.” His library of some 50 volumes included works of history, law, religion, and poetry, as well as books on business.

      At the end of 1790, a few months before his death, Aylwin, who was probably ill or in financial straits, put up his house and his store with its adjoining dwelling for sale or rent. The inventory of his estate revealed a net deficit of £293, not counting a considerable debt to the Quebec firm of Fraser and Young which was discovered later. However, his London supplier, Breckwood Pattle and Company, likely remained his most important creditor. At the request of Montreal merchant John Gray and of Ann, the widow of Alexander Gray of Quebec, Aylwin’s immovables were seized and were put up for auction in 1792 to pay off the debts of his estate.

      Along with his activities as a businessman Thomas Aylwin had also held office as justice of the peace from 1765 until his departure for Massachusetts; reappointed in 1785, he retained the post until his death. Aylwin collaborated in the endeavours of a group of merchants who sought recognition of their commercial interests from the political authorities. By 1764 he was a member of the Quebec grand jury chaired by merchant James Johnston which opposed Murray’s administration. On l0 and 17 Dec. 1767 the opinion of Attorney General Francis Maseres favouring the application of British law to bankruptcy cases was published in the Quebec Gazette; Maseres himself asserted that Aylwin, with George Suckling, framed the anonymous response which appeared on the 24th and 31st. In this response they set out the position of the majority of merchants who, though generally favourable to the introduction of British commercial law, were opposed in this particular instance. They alleged that, because of the economic conditions prevailing in Canada, the law would, if put into effect, entail the bankruptcy of many businessmen who with more time might pay off their debts. Later, on the occasion of Lieutenant Governor Henry Hamilton’s departure in 1785, Aylwin was among the supporters who expressed satisfaction with the interest he had taken in commerce, and especially with his inauguration of trial by jury in commercial cases. A member of the Quebec grand jury again in 1787, Aylwin opposed any tax to finance construction of public buildings, including a new prison, until the colony was in a better position to assume this financial burden and had a constitution closer to the British model. However, in 1789, under his chairmanship, this body expressed its regret to Chief Justice William Smith that there was no tax system to ensure the maintenance of Quebec streets, which were in poor condition. That same year the grand jury demanded that the government create a public fund to assist the poor, who were particularly hard hit by famine; it also suggested the organization of supervised programs of work to lessen the risk that ex-criminals left at loose ends after their release would return to crime. In 1789 also, he and other Quebec merchants signed a petition to Lord Dorchester [Guy Carleton] requesting that importation free of excise duties be permitted temporarily for West Indian rum, a commodity Aylwin had been selling since at least 1776. They asked as well that the province of Quebec be favoured over any other country in trade with these islands. The following year Aylwin signed a petition in favour of a non-sectarian university [see Jean-François Hubert; Charles-François Bailly de Messein].

      Like many other merchants Aylwin also took part in activities of the colony’s Masonic organization. In 1769 he was treasurer of the Provincial Grand Lodge and a member of the committee set up to obtain a grand lodge seal. At the time of the American revolution when war led to the decline of military lodges and, by the same token, freemasonry in Canada was at its lowest ebb since the conquest, Aylwin sat on a committee established to remedy the situation by encouraging the revitalization of the civilian lodges. In October 1775 he undertook to be secretary to St Andrew’s Lodge, No. 2, Quebec, at Quebec, and the following year became its master, again for a one-year period. Deputy provincial grand master by the end of 1776, he retained this post until at least 1781; as such he signed the commissions authorizing the creation of St Peter’s Lodge, No. 4, Quebec, at Montreal, and Unity Lodge, No. 13, of Quebec, at Sorel.

      Thomas Aylwin died in April 1791 leaving his wife, who survived him by only a month, and three sons who were still minors. One of his grandsons, Thomas Cushing Aylwin, was a member of the Legislative Assembly under the Union, and later a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench.

-Jean Lafleur

ANQ-Q, AP-G–313/2, George Allsopp to A.M. Allsopp, 12 March 1785;
[Archives nationales du Québec, dépôt de Québec, Archives privées - Grandes collections - 313: Allsopp, George, 1765–1804]

État civil, Anglicans, Cathedral of the Holy Trinity (Québec), 14 April 1791;

Greffe de M.-A. Berthelot d’Artigny, 13 nov. 1779;
[Notary minutes of Michel-Amabel Beterhelot d'Artigny]

Greffe de J.-A. Panet, 23 oct. 1777;
[Notary minutes of Jean-Antoine Panet]

Greffe de Charles Stewart, 28 juill., 10 août 1786, 20 avril, 29 août 1789.
[Notary minutes of Charles Stewart]

MG 19, A2, ser.3, 2, p.53; 3, pp.91, 145–46; 4, pp. 14, 95–96, 98–100;
MG 23, GII, 1, ser. 1, 2, p.55.
[Public Archives of Canada, Manuscript groups]

“Charles Robin on the Gaspe coast, 1766,” ed. A.-G. LeGros, Revue d’hist. de la Gaspésie (Gaspé, Qué.), IV (1966), 196.

Doc. relatifs à l’hist. constitutionnelle, 1759–91 (Shortt et Doughty; 1921), I, 189, 191.

“A list of Protestant house keepers in the District of Quebec (Oct. 26th, 1764),” BRH, XXXVIII (1932), 754.
[Le Bulletin des Recherches Historiques]

Maseres, Maseres letters (Wallace), 19, 74, 79, 125–28.

Quebec Gazette, 25 July 1765–17 Nov. 1768, 28 Nov. 1776–1 Nov. 1792 (there are over 140 references to Thomas Aylwin in the index of the Quebec Gazette).

Almanach de Québec, 1780, 60; 1788, 18; 1791, 34, 82.

“Juges de paix de la province de Québec (1767),” BRH, XLII (1936), 13.

J. H. Graham, Outlines of the history of freemasonry in the province of Quebec (Montreal, 1892), 47–49, 56.

Charles Langelier, L’honble Thomas Cushing Aylwin, juge de la Cour du banc de la reine . . . (Québec, 1903), 11.

J. R. Robertson, The history of freemasonry in Canada from its introduction in 1749 . . . (2v., Toronto, 1900), I, 478.

Pemberton Smith, A research into early Canadian masonry, 1759–1869 (Montreal, 1939), 6–47.

“La famille Aylwin,” BRH, LI (1945), 241.


Timeline of Thomas Aylwin


Thomas Aylwin

Siblings of Thomas Aylwin

Other Aylwin, or not known


1729       Birth ca 1729 in Romsey, Hampshire, England; as per The Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online[1].

1745, 30 Dec       Birth of Thomas Aylwin’s wife Lucy Cushing in Scituate, MA.[2]

1748       Birth of Obadiah Aylwin in Romsey, England as per his tombstone[3].

1752       From the book The Loyalist’s of Massachusetts: Their Memorial, Petitions, and Claims[4] by Alfred Jones: “According to records of the Goldsmith Company of London, Thomas was the son of Thomas Aylwin, of Romsey, Hampshire, and was apprenticed to Richard Sharp, goldsmith, of London, for seven years from June 4, 1752. He received the honour of the freedom of the Goldsmiths Company, March 6 1782.” While the writer Jones is referring to the Thomas Aylwin of Massachusetts and Quebec, it’s probable that this particular fact about him being an apprentice is in error, and the records of the Goldsmith Company that Jones found are likely referring to a different Thomas Aylwin.

1757, 5 Dec         Thomas’ sister Mary Aylwin marries William Plyer in Romsey[5].

1761       Record of a “Thomas Aylwin, hat-maker” in The American Negotiator.[6]  A Thomas Aylwin is listed as a subscriber. It is likely that this references a different Thomas Aylwin. It is not clear from the text whether this Thomas Aylwin lived in the Colonies, or in England.

1763       From Jones’ Loyalist’s: “[Thomas Aylwin] left England in 1763 with merchandise for Quebec and settled there as a merchant.” Thomas would have been about 34 years old. From Picturesque Quebec[7] by James Le Moine:  “George Allsop, a British merchant, came from England to this country in the last century with Thomas Aylwin, grandfather of Judge Thos. Cushing Aylwin.”

1764, 16 Oct.      Thomas Aylwin is listed as a grand juror at Quebec in a document entitled Presentments of the Grand Jury of Quebec[8]

1764, 26 Oct.      Thomas Aylwin is listed as one of the first English settlers in the newly conquered Canada in Quebec Under Two Flags[9]: “In the year 1764, eighteen months after the formal cession of Canada to England, there are only one hundred and forty-four protestant house keepers in Quebec, and out of these there were less than ten freeholders, as we find by the certificate of General Murray date the 26th of October, 1764.”

1769, 23 Aug       William Aylwin, brother of Thomas Aylwin, marries Mary Wright at St. Clement Danes church in London, per The Register Book of Marriages Belonging to the Parish of St. George, Hanover Square, in the County of Middlesex.[10]

1770       From Jones’ Loyalist’s:  “In 1770 he removed to Boston…”

1770, 4 May        Thomas Aylwin named as a defendant in Ruddock vs. Aylwin[11] a case seeking payment for the charter of a vessel from Chaleur Bay, Quebec to Boston. Thomas lost the suit to opposing attorney John Adams.

1771, 26 Apr       Thomas is present at St. John’s Grand [Masonic] Lodge representing the Second Lodge of Boston as a “Junior Warden” per Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts 1733-1792.[12]

1771, 4 May        Thomas becomes a member of the Boston Marine Society in 1771. He is listed in their 1896 history Manual of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Boston Marine Society[13].

1771, 29 June     Thomas is a signatory on a letter denouncing the ‘Committee of Correspondence’, a pro-revolutionary group. The letter is known as the Protest against the Proceedings of the Town Meeting in Boston[14].

1771, 11 Sep       Thomas is married to Lucy Susannah Cushing in Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts. From Records Relating to the Early History of Boston[15] and The Genealogy of the Cushing Family. [16] Thomas would have been about 42 years old.

1772, 25 June     Thomas joins the Selectmen of the city of Boston on a tour of the Free Schools. From A Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston Containing the Selectmen’s Minutes from 1769 Through April, 1775[17]:  “Voted, that there be a Visitation of the Free Schools in this town on Wednesday the 1st of July Instant and that the following Gentlemen be invited to accompany the Selectmen therein, and that they be notified to attend the Selectmen’s Chamber at 8 O Clock in the Morning of said Day in order to proceed on this Visitation: … Thomas Aylwin…”

1773, 21 Oct.      From the book Memoir of Increase Sumner, Governor of Massachusetts[18]:  “The following paragraph in a letter from Thomas Aylwin, a merchant, to his brother-in-law Col. Cushing, dated 21 Oct., 1773, shows what an awful consequence was apprehended in Boston from the introduction of tea into the colonies: ‘The East India Company has liberty to export teas to America, which makes us uneasy, as it will not only hurt our sales, but drain the continent of silver.’”

1774, 24 Apr.      Thomas, and his brother Obadiah are included in the records of Boston’s West Church in “The Names of Persons owning the Covenant, on making a publick Profession of their Faith…” from the NEHGR Vol. XCIV 1940[19]. This is the first mention of Obadiah Aylwin in America. He would have been 26 years old in 1774, but it’s possible he arrived earlier than 1774.

1774, 30 May      Thomas is listed as a signer of the ‘Address of the Merchants and Others of Boston to Governor Hutchinson’. From the book Loyalists of Massachusetts and the Other Side of the American Revolution[20] by James Stark: “For the next seven years the Addressers were held up to their countrymen as traitors and enemies to their country. In the arraignments, which soon began, the Loyalists were convicted not out of their mouths, but out of their addresses. The ink was hardly dry upon the parchment before the persecution began against all those who would not recant, and throughout the long years of the war, the crime of an addresser grew in its enormity, and they were exposed to the perils of tarring and feathering, the horrors of Simbury mines, a gaol or a gallows.”

1775, 19 Apr       From Jones’ Loyalist’s: “… and on the day of the skirmish at Lexington, General Gage [British general, commander of North American forces] asked him to enroll himself as a volunteer for the defense of Boston; he was discharged from this duty later in the day.”

1775, late Apr    From Jones’ Loyalist’s: “A few days later [after the battle of Lexington] he sailed for Quebec, accompanied by his wife and family, and settled there.”

1775, Summer   From Jones’ Loyalist’s: “He was appointed magistrate, and when the city of Quebec was threatened with invasion by the Americans, he was appointed a Lieutenant in the militia and did duty until disabled by ill-health.”

1775, 17 Sep-18 Nov       From notes in an Orderly Book included in the book Blockade of Quebec in 1775-1776.[21] “Mr. Peter Stuart is appointed Lieutenant to Captain Thomas Ainsly’s Company, in room of Lieut. Thomas Aylwin, appointed to Captain Charles’s Grant’s.” 

 “October, 21st 1775, Parole, St. Felix, G.O. [General Orders]: Field Officer of the day, to-morrow, Major Ecuyer. The British Militia takes the guard to-morrow. R[egular] Orders:  For guard to-morrow, Capt. Harrison, Lieut. Aylwin, Ensign Meredith and Lieut. Patterson, with the non-commissioned officers and privates of Capt. Vialar’s company.

 “November 2nd. 1775, Parole, St. Gabriel, G.O.: Field Officer of the day, to-morrow, Colonel Voyer. The British Militia takes the guard to-morrow. The main guard is for the future, to consist of one captain, one subt., 2 sergeants, and twenty one privates. The British Militia to be under arms on Sunday morning at 9 o’clock, it is expected that the sergeants will be very attentive to every part of their duty, and will be very careful to warn every man for guard, it is hoped every man will attend very closely his duty, no absentee will be dispensed with. The artillery company are to mount with arms. R.O.: For guard to-morrow, Capt. Ainsley, Lieut. Fargues, Lieut. Scott, Lieut. Aylwin, 9 sergeants, 1 corporal, 4 gunners, 104 privates.”

 “November 18th. Parole, Paris, G.O.: Field Officer of the day, to-morrow, Major Ecuyer. The Great Bell of the Cathedral, is not to ring, but in case of an alarm, when it does ring, every man to assemble immediately on the Grand Parade. Lieut. Fargues is appointed first Lieut. To Capt. Lester’s company, Mr. William Lindsay is appointed second Lieut. In the room of 1st Lieut. Fargues, Mr. Shepherd is appointed first Lieut. to Capt. Harrison’s company, in the room of Lieut. Patterson. Mr. Lymburner is second Lieut. Mr. William Grant Ensign, Ensign Davidson is the appointed second 2nd Lieut. to Captain Grant’s in the room of Lieut. Aylwin, sick, and Mr. William Grant Ensign, Ensign Meredith is appointed Second Lieut. to Capt. Ainsley’s Company, in the room of Lieut. Stuart, and Mr. Samuel Philips Ensign.”

1776       From Jones’ Loyalist’s: “His brigantine Little Lucy (named after his wife), with a cargo was dispatched from Quebec bound for Antigua in 1776, in charge of one Edmund Dwyer, who treacherously disposed of part of the cargo in Antigua and agreed with Americans at St. Lucia to take possession of the vessel. His claim, £3,173 2s. 10d., for this vessel and cargo rejected. (A.O. 13/81).”

1778, 2 Apr          Thomas Aylwin is a signer of The Petition of the Merchants and such Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec as are at Present in London. A complaint against the English Government of Quebec signed by 24 Quebec merchants who were present in London noted in The Scots Magazine[22].

1778, 14 Apr       A letter from  James Heseltine, the Grand Secretary of the Masons Lodge of England to the Master of the newly established Union Lodge in “Detroit in Canada”, in The History of Freemasonry in Canada[23] mentions Thomas Aylwin:  “… As there is a Provincial Grand Lodge for Canada, regularly established at Quebec, you will from your situation, of course, be properly within that jurisdiction, and we wish you to correspond and act in conjunction with them accordingly. The Provincial Grand Officers there are well worthy of your attention and their union we trust will become beneficial to both parties. The bearer of this letter is our worthy brother Thomas Aylwin, Esq., the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Quebec, who has been some time in England on business, and who will forward the packet to you accompanied by a letter on the part of the P. G. Lodge.”

1780, 14 Apr       Thomas mentioned in History of Royal Arch Masonry[24]: “Royal Arch Masonry was first established in Canada at Quebec City by a charter to Unity Chapter No. 19, on February 11, 1780… A draft of such warrant… It was to have been issued to Thomas Aylwin…, and the draft bears the date April 14, 1780. Thomas Aylwin was a member of St. Andrew’s Lodge…”

1785       Thomas and brother Obadiah named on a list of Quebec jurors.[25]

1786, 29 Jun        From: the Quebec Gazette[26]: “The following contains a correct List of Commissioners in His Majesty’s Commission for the Peace for the Districts of Quebec and Montreal, in the Province of Quebec. District of Quebec, General Commission. The Honorable Members of the Legislative Council…, Thomas Aylwin...”

1787, 4 Jan          Thomas and his brother Obadiah are listed as jurors in the “Original List of Jurors filed in the office of the Court of Common pleas for the District of Quebec” contained in Documents Relating to the Constitutional History of Canada 1759-1791”[27].

1790, 29 Mar      From: The History of Freemasonry in Canada[28]: “In the archives of the Unity Royal Arch chapter No. 20, Quebec, is the Royal Arch certificate of Bro. Robert Kerr dated Quebec, 29th March, 1790. It is signed by Companions “James Davidson, Z,:  John Lynd, H.: and Thos. Aylwin.”

1791, 11 Apr       The date of 11 April 1791 is cited in The Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online  and the year of 1791 is also cited as the date of Thomas Aylwin’s death in Woodbridge vs. Austin[29], a case listed in Reports of Cases Argued and Determined…  A Vermont State case involving claims against the estate of Thomas Aylwin. Thomas would have been about 62 years old at the time of his death.

 1792, 3 Jan         Thomas and his wife Lucy are named in a petition from an heir of John Cushing who is unaware that Thomas is dead. “On the petition of Andrew Ellet… said rights of land were by virtue of a devise in the last will and testament of the Hon. John Cushing, late of Scituate… were given to the following heirs, viz: … Thomas Aylwin of Quebec, and Lucy his wife in her right, ...that the said Thomas Aylwin and his wife have resided in Quebec ever since the year 1775, and now reside there …that he the said petitioner knows not that the said Aylwin and wife have an attorney within this Commonwealth, and that he is desirous of enjoying is eighth part of said rights of land…”. Transcribed in the Maine Historical and Genealogical Recorder[30] in 1884.


[1] Lafleur, Jean. “Thomas Aylwin” in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, 1771-1800 (Volume IV). Toronto: University of Toronto, 2000. Digital image,, accessed October 2011.   

[2]  Cushing, Lemuel 1877. The Genealogy of the Cushing Family. Montreal: Lovell printing and Pub. Co.

[3] Tombstone of Obadiah Aylwin states he was 79 years old at death in 1827, and that he was born in “Rumsey, England”. Search term: “Obadiah Aylwin”, memoria#69643699, accessed 25 Dec 2011.  

[4] Adams, C. K., and E. Alfred Jones. 1930. "Review of The Loyalists of Massachusetts, Their Memorials, Petitions and Claims". The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs. 57 (331): 200-201.

[5] England Marriages, 1538-1973, index; “Family Search website”,, batch number M13669-6, film number 1041215, search terms: Aylwin, Plyer, accessed 25 December 2011.

[6] Wright, John. 1761. The American negotiator or the various currencies of the British colonies in America; as well the islands, as the continent. ... Reduced into English money, by a series of tables, ... By J. Wright. London: printed by J. Everingham. For the author.

[7] Le Moine, J. M. 1882. Picturesque Quebec: a sequel to Quebec past and present. Montreal: Dawson Bros.

[8] Public Archives of Canada. 1918. Documents Relating to the Constitutional History of Canada, 1759-1828. Ottawa: J. de L. Taché. 212  

[9] Doughty, A. G. and N. E. Dionne. Quebec Under Two Flags: A Brief History of the City from its foundation until the present time. Quebec: The Quebec News Company, 1903

[10] St. George's Church (Westminster, London, England), John Henry Chapmen, and Sir George John, Bart Armytage. 1886. The register book of marriages belonging to the parish of St. George, Hanover square, in the county of Middlesex. London: Mitchell & Hughes. 189

[11] Adams, John, L. Kinvin Wroth, and Hiller B. Zobel. 1965. Legal papers of John Adams. The Adams papers. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 48.

[12] “Grand Lodge of Masons of Massachusetts Membership Cards 1733-1990” database. New England Historic Genealogical Society. Card for Thomas Aylwin.

[13] Boston Marine Society. 1896. Manual of the constitution and by-laws of the Boston Marine Society. Boston: Rockwell and Churchill.

[14] Force, Peter. 1837. American archives: fourth series, containing a documentary history of the English colonies in North America from the King's message to Parliament of March 7, 1774 to the Declaration of Independence of the United States. Washington: Published by M. St. Clair Clarke and Peter Force. 490.

[15] Boston (Mass.), William Henry Whitmore, William S. Appleton, Edward Webster McGlenen, and Walter Kendall Watkins. 1876. Records relating to the early history of Boston. Boston: Rockwell and Churchill, City Printers. 43.

[16] Cushing, James Stevenson. 1905. The genealogy of the Cushing family, an account of the ancestors and descendants of Matthew Cushing, who came to America in 1638. Montreal: The Perrault printing Co. 96

[17] Boston (Mass.). 1893. A Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston: Containing the Selectmen's Minutes from 1769 through April, 1775. Boston: Rockwell and Churchill.

[18] Sumner, William H., and William Blake Trask. 1854. Memoir of Increase Sumner, Governor of Massachusetts. Boston: S.G. Drake.

[19] West Church (Boston, Mass.). 1940. Records of the West Church, Boston, Mass. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society.

[20] Stark, James Henry. 1910. The loyalists of Massachusetts and the other side of the American Revolution. Boston: J.H. Stark.

[21] Würtele, Frederick Christian, Anthony Vialar, Robert Lester, L. Homfray Irving, Gabriel Elzéar Taschereau, Allan Maclean, Daniel Claus, and Thomas Ainslie. 1905. Blockade of Quebec in 1775-1776 by the American Revolutionists (Les Bastonnais). Quebec: Pub. by the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec.

[22] The Scots Magazine. April 1778. Edinburgh: Printed by A. Murray and J. Cochran

[23] Robertson, J. Ross. 1900. The History of Freemasonry in Canada from its Introduction in 1749... by J. Ross Robertson. Toronto: G. N. Morang.

[24] Turnbull, Everett R. 2007. A History of Royal Arch Masonry V2. Gardners Books.

[25] Canada. 1907. Documents relating to the constitutional history of Canada 1759-1791: / printed by order of Parliament ; ed. by Adam Shortt... and Arthur G. Doughty. Ottawa: S. E. Dawson.

[26] Cruikshank, Brig. Gen. E.A. 1896-1939. Records of Niagara 1784-1787, No. 39. Niagara Historical Society. Niagara (Ontario, Canada):n.p.

[27] Doughty, Arthur G., and Adam Shortt. 2003. Documents relating to the constitutional history of Canada, 1759-1791. Ottawa: J. de L. Taché.

[28] Robertson, “The History of Freemasonry…”, 478.

[29] Tyler, Royall. Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Judicature of the State of Vermont, 2 vols. (New York: J. Riley, 1810), vol. II:364, Woodbridge v. Austin (1803, Jan)

[30] The Maine Historical and Genealogical Recorder. 1884. Portland, Me: S.M. Watson. Vol.1, No.1, pp 13-14





The Children of Thomas and Lucy Aylwin


Thomas Aylwin was born about 1730 in Romsey, Hampshire, England. He married Lucy Cushing in 1771 in Boston. Thomas Aylwin died in 1791 at Quebec, Canada.  Thomas’ wife Lucy was born in 1745 in Scituate, Plymouth, MA. Lucy died one month after her husband Thomas in 1791 in Quebec.

Thomas Aylwin and Lucy Cushing had the following children:

Lucy Lees Aylwin was born in 1774 in Boston. She moved to Quebec, Canada with her parents in 1776. When Lucy’s parents died in 1791 she lived for a number of years with her uncle Obadiah in Quebec before moving with him to Boston. She never married. Lucy Aylwin died in 1821 and is buried at the 'Granary Burying Ground' cemetery in Boston. She shares a tomb with her sister-in-law Sarah Aylwin and several other Cushing relatives[1].

Thomas Cushing Aylwin - See individual biography.

John Cushing Aylwin was born 1778 in Quebec. He was unmarried. He died from wounds received in battle aboard the warship USS Constitution in 1812.

Charles Felix Aylwin was born in 1779 in Quebec. He married Mary Painter in 1817 in Montreal, Canada. Charles and Mary did not have any children. Charles died in 1876 in Montreal, Canada.

Susannah Aylwin was born in 1782 in Quebec. She moved to Boston around 1806 with her younger sister Hannah. By 1829 Susannah and Hannah had moved to Windsor, Vermont. In her later years she followed her sister Hannah and moved to Providence, Rhode Island. She died in Providence in 1865 at age 83.

William Cushing Aylwin was born in 1784 in Quebec. He probably moved to Boston as a young adult sometime around 1805 or 1806[2]. William had two uncles on his mother’s side who were judges or lawyers in Boston in 1805, and one of his cousin’s was married to an attorney[3]. William may have started reading law in the office of his uncle Charles Cushing, or Charles Cushing’s son-in-law, Charles Paine. William was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1808[4]. In 1823 he married his cousin[5] Sarah Cushing Paine[6]. Sarah’s father was Charles Paine, a Boston attorney; and her grandfather was Robert Treat Paine, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. In 1825 William Aylwin was appointed clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for the County of Suffolk, and Court of Common Pleas[7]. It is not known whether William ever attended any college, but he was granted an honorary degree by Harvard in 1831[8]. William’s wife Sarah died in 1848 and is buried with William’s sister Lucy Aylwin in the Charles Cushing family tomb[9]. William Cushing Aylwin died in 1851 and is buried in Malaga, Andalucía, Spain.

Hannah Aylwin was born on 26 October, 1786 in Quebec, Canada. She moved with her sister Susannah firstly to Boston by 1806, then by 1829 to Woodstock, Vermont. In 1843 she married Benjamin Hoppin of Rhode Island. She did not have any children with Benjamin Hoppin. She died in1873 in Providence, Rhode Island. She is buried near her sister at Swan Point Cemetery in Providence.


[1] The Essex Institute, Gravestone Inscriptions and Records of Tomb Burials in the Granary Burying Ground, Boston, Mass. (Lynn, Mass. : Thos. P. Nichols & Sons, 1918), 27, digital images, Family Search, Family History Books, (; accessed 25 Feb 2012.)

[2] Although William is assumed to be one of the four unnamed children who are listed on Obadiah Aylwin’s August 1805 Quebec census, William is also noted by name as a witness on a July 1805 indenture in Boston between Charles Cushing (probably his uncle) and William Tudor regarding Cushing renting a room in Tudor’s house.

[3] William’s uncle William Cushing was a United States Supreme Court Justice; and his other living Cushing uncle, Charles Cushing, was an attorney in Boston. Charles Cushing’s son-in-law (and William’s future father-in-law), Charles Paine, was also a Boston attorney.

[4] Hollis R. Bailey, Attorneys and their Admission to the Bar in Massachusetts, (Boston: W.J. Nagel, 1907), 45, digital book, Google Books, (, accessed 25 Feb 2012)

[5] She was actually his first cousin, “once removed”. That is, Sarah Cushing Paine’s mother Sarah Sumner Cushing was a cousin to William Cushing Aylwin. There was an 18 year age difference between William and Sarah.

[6] “Massachusetts Marriages, 1695-1910." Index, Family Search ( accessed 24 February, 2012. Entry for William C Aylwin and Sarah C Paine, married 30 Sep 1823, Boston, MA; citing Marriage Records,  FHL microfilm 818094; Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.

[7] Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Catalogue of Records and Files in the Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk. (Boston: A.C. Getchell, 1880), digital book, Hathi Trust, (, accessed 25 Feb 2012.)

[8] Harvard University, Quinquennial Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of Harvard University, 1636-1920. (Cambridge: The University, 1905), 945, digital book, Google Books, (, accessed 25 Feb 2012.)

[9] Essex Institute. Gravestone Inscriptions…in the Granary Burying Ground, Boston, Mass., 27.


This page last updated Saturday, March 17, 2012.
All links on this page last checked Saturday, March 17, 2012.