What does one do with a blog prompt titled “Close Up”? Is this Up Close and Personal, or something that is close to your heart, or is it that you’ve looked at something close up and it has revealed more than that first glance, or a close up photo!? In week 9, I wrote about “Where there’s a Will“, well, that certainly took more than a first glance and getting Up Close for it to reveal the interesting information that it contained.
For this blog, I’m going to show you a Close Up photograph of the person who wrote that will. Adam Lymburner, my 5th great-granduncle, is the 6th child and 2nd son of John Lymburner (1693-1773) and his second wife Agnes Dickie (1714-1785).
Adam was born on the 1st April 1747, Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland and died 10th January 1836 in Bloomsbury, Middlesex, England. He left a very substantial will and in it was a request for my 2x great grandfather to change his name from Adam Lymburn Delisser to Adam Lymburn Lymburner. If the request was acknowledged (which it was) Adam jnr was to received 16,000 pounds or the money was to be left to Adam Lymburner MATHIE, a grand nephew through Adam snr’s sister Janet Lymburner.
Adam was a very wealthy man, who owned houses in Aldermanbury, America Square and Tavistock Square, accommodation in Doctor’s Commons and the Somerset Coffee House in the United Kingdom. He immigrated to Canada to take over the affairs of his brother John, who disappeared at sea in 1772. Adam never resided in Montreal, so while he carried on the business in fishing, sealing and whaling and also invested money in fur-trading ventures, these were run by men in Montreal. He seems to have been much more interested in politics than in business and at the earliest opportunity brought in two younger members of the family, his brother Mathew and his nephew John Crawford (my 4 x great-grandfather) and trained them in management of business affairs in time, leaving them in charge in order that he could return to London and Europe where he died childless and unmarried.
During the American invasion of Quebec in 1775, Adam served in the British militia where with other officers he “insisted” that Governor Carleton order the American residents to leave the city or take up arms in its defence. At the beginning of December he was no longer in the militia. It is said he fled to Cherbourg, but the motives for his decommissioning remain obscure as do all the displacements during that winter. On the 31 December, his house on Sault-au-Matelot Street at the base of Quebec City was the site of a violent combat. (Bob and I visited this site in 2002).
At the end of 1775, Adam had interest in Great Britain and places rather remote from the colony. He owned one of the 11 ships which engaged in commerce departing Quebec and had ties with the Montreal milieu in the fur trade. In 1776 he guaranteed the permit of a fur trader from Montreal. In 1783, Adam and his brother Mathew and their associates, William Grant and Thomas Dunn, were dominant along the coast of Labrador and the Gulf of St Lawrence in the hunt for seals. Because of the end of hostilities that year, the fishing territories became the objects of greater rivalry.
Constantly courteous and often hospitalised because of chronic asthma, he possessed a way with people which served him well in his dealings with the “grands personages” of Quebec.
Adam Lymburner resided in England after 1791 because of his affliction of an asthmatic type for which he was told that the extremely cold Canadian air was extremely noxious. While taking care of himself he never missed an opportunity to present his opinions on the affairs of Lower Canada.
In 1799 he returned to Quebec, and attempted to occupy his seat on the Executive Council, but since he had ignored a notice from Lord Dorchester in 1794 which summoned him to assist in the reunions of the Council or be dismissed, he was shamefully excluded because of absenteeism after a unanimously adopted motion. He protested to England without result. In spite of his stays in England, he continued to receive interesting revenues from his fisheries in Labrador. In 1795 he sold his commercial properties in the low village of Quebec to his brother who continued his commerce in salmon until around 1823.
In 1807, Adam returned to England for good without losing interest in Lower Canada. He suffered from severe rheumatism resulting to him from his inactivity during the winters there. Very rich, he travelled Europe in 1822 and observed with consternation at what point the seeds sewn by the French Revolution had taken root.
Adam died on the 10th January 1836 aged 88 and was interred at St George’s Church of Bloomsbury, London beside his old friend Alexander Auldjo who he had met in the colony. He left donations which totalled 88,150 pounds to numerous nephews and nieces, to their children, to the children of his friends and to others. His properties in Kilmarnock of which, certain ones came from his father went to a grand-nephew of “la-bas”.
Our line of Lymburner’s is through Adam’s oldest sister, Agnes (1733-1786) who married Matthew Crawford in 1759.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography -http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/lymburner_adam_7E.html
Parish Registers of Kilmarnock, Ayr, Scotland
Brenda Young, Alix Howatt, Jean Lymburner