Mrs. Martyr : Hannah Lyman's Misfortunate Family

Type of resource
Mrs. Martyr : Hannah Lyman's Misfortunate Family
The author outlines the biography of Vermont-born Hannah Lyman (1799-1881), the wife of Montreal Mayor John Easton Mills, elected in 1846 and who died from typhus the following year while attending the sick and dying Irish immigrants who landed on the shores of Montreal that year. He became known as the "martyr mayor," and his wife the martyr mayor's widow. Hannah Lyman had already suffered the loss of her four sons in 1841 from scarlet fever, and the author explains how Hannah Lyman, following the death of her husband, was determined to keep her remaining children, four daughters, "close at hand and under careful scrutiny." He describes how she became the controlling matriarch over her daughters, even over those who married, when they continued to either live with her or within close proximity to her home. The author also describes the management of the villa and property, known as Belair Cottage, on the lower slopes of Mount Royal that Hannah Lyman inherited after her husband's death, and how she used it to keep her daughters close at hand. In 1867, Hannah Lyman had her Montreal estate sub-divided into 18 long lots in two rows, fronting on either Dorchester Street or Belmont Street which she sold for $40,000. She also sold Belair Cottage to Edwin Atwater and donated a large lot for the St. Paul`s Presbyterian congregation. With the money from the sale of the estate, Hannah Lyman retired to England with one of her unmarried daughters, to be closer to another newly married daughter. When she died in 1881, her body was returned to Montreal for burial.
Quebec Heritage News
Vol. 16
no. 3
Summer 2022
MacLeod, Rod. “Mrs. Martyr : Hannah Lyman’s Misfortunate Family.” Quebec Heritage News, Summer 2022.
Find in a library