The Travels of John Tyzack, Broadglass maker

John Tyzack was born to Robert Tyzack and Jane Brewster on 18th September 1648 and was christened in All Saints Newcastle on Tyne. Shortly before then, in 1646, with a parliamentary army surrounding royalist Oxford, Charles I escaped in disguise and headed north. In 1649, just after John’s birth, Cromwell persuaded the House of Commons to convict Charles I of treason. During John’s childhood, Charles II was invited to return as king, the body of Oliver Cromwell was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, the Act of Uniformity ejected many clergy from their livings, the Great Plague of London caused a total of 100,000 deaths in a year and the Great Fire of London destroyed 13,200 houses, but none of this stopped John marrying Sarah Langford on 6th August 1674.

They had four children, the last of whom was Nathan born 4th November 1680.
One other child Abigail deserves a mention. James Clephan wrote a book about her which was published by Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-on-Tyne, in 1879. Abigail was born 21st December 1679 but died 7th February 1680. The reason such a short life was recorded is due to the fact that James Clephan lifted an old worn stone in Armstrong Park Newcastle and found that on the underside was the engraved tombstone of little Abigail.
John Tyzack and Sarah did not record any more children and that is probably because he left her and he took a well paid job as a Broadglass maker at Leith in Scotland in 1681.
from Jill Turnbull ------_____    

The English Workforce  
Apart from John Baptista Mercier, most of the other glassmakers recruited to work at Leith appear to have been English. There was considerable financial outlay involved in recruiting such a workforce. Both Daniel Kirby and Baptista Mercier went to London at different times to set up contracts with glassmakers, who then had to be transported to Leith: for example. £50 4s 0d Scots was paid to David Gillis 'for the passage of John Hannie, Andrew Newby, John Davie & their wifes’.  
Names of Glassmen known to have worked at North Leith  
Thomas London - clerk 1678
John Ffarquhair - glasshouse clerk 1678, 1682
John Warde alias Montgomory 1678, 1682
John Baptista Mercier 1678, 1682
Daniel Kirby 1678, 1682
John Richards, - principal glassmaker 1678
William Barrow 1678, 1682
James Bristoll - 1682
Moses Henzell 1679
John Leggor 1681
John Tyzack

David Gillis 1682
William Smith 1682
John Hannie 1682
Andrew Newby 1682
John Davie 1682
Peter Hart 1682
Richard Shepherd 1682
Philip Taylor (Tyler)  
Londoner from Dublin 1687
John Long , (Longe)  
Londoner from Dublin 1687

We do not know how long he stayed in Leith but he was gone by 1684.

Both John and his wife Sarah Langford were Quakers. The Quakers signed a certificate of good character for them when they left Gateshead Society of Friends. In 1684 John Tyzack was imprisoned for three weeks for refusing to swear an oath of Conformity. In 1684 he removed to London, where "bonds and afflictions" awaited him, for he was one of those tried at the Guildhall for holding a Quakers' meeting near to Angel Court. They would have found many other Friends in Stepney as it had a thriving Quaker community and may have been the reason he chose Stepney:

1684 Convictions for unlawful religious meetings of Quakers
Middlesex Sessions
NamePersonsAddressWhere meeting heldNotes
Robert Dalimore forty + Quakers Street, Stepneyunknown preacher preached and taught
Edward Nobleforty + Quakers Street, Stepneyunknown preacher preached and taught
Richard Pricetwenty   unlawful conventicle,
William Bingley  St. Gregory's London  wholesaleman
Richard Collett  Charing Cross  vintner,
Christopher Thomasforty +  The Ambry Street  
Edward Stevensfifty six individuals  Whitechappell 
Thomas Wynne one hundred The Quakers' Meeting House in Stepneyyeoman preached and taught
Richard Butcher twentySt. Martin's-le-Grand London bodicemaker,

John must have been well aware that, in 1681, King Charles II handed over a large piece of the land he owned in American to William Penn, an early Quaker, to satisfy a debt the king owed to Penn's father. After the grant, Penn immediately sailed to America in 1682 and the granted land became present-day Pennsylvania.
John may have also known of Joshua Tittery, another glassmaker, who went to Pennsylvania in 1683, probably at the behest of Penn, to start a glassworks. It is recorded that William Penn wanted a glassworks established there and it is likely that the 1683 venture was not successful. So in 1687 John Tyzack also set sail for Pennsylvania. By 1689 there are several records of John Tyzack making land sales and purchases in Pennsylvania.

Here is an example:

And there are many others.
Then in 1691 we find him back in England, advertising his ability to conduct transactions concerning land or property in Pennsylvania in the London Gazette on 25 June.

In 1692, a will dated 20 May by William Roydon left £10 to John Tizacke, Merchant, of City of London.
In 1692/3, W. Markham, of Pennsylvania, granted John Tyzack, of London, Broadglass maker, a “Piece of land within the Liberties of Philad'a”. And there are many other such records.
But by this time John was living in St Dunstan's, Wapping Hamlet, Stepney where his Warehouse for Newcastle glass near the Old Swan Stairs was well known.

His fixed abode at this time was asserted by the following excerpt from
Middlesex County Records.
Calendar of Sessions Books 1689-1709
Sessions Book 484—April, 1691.
Upon the petition of James Bayly and James Pulman, mariners, and John Tyzack, gentleman, inhabitants of Wapping Hamlet, Stepney, showing they were chosen scavengers, contrary to a certain Act, it is ordered that James Bayly and James Pulman be discharged from serving as scavengers, they being masters of ships and seldom at home, but that John Tyzack be duly elected to the said office [vide ante, p. 75] (p. 96)

Scavenger was a parish or ward office probably for tax collection.

Unlike the mariners, John was not expected to be away travelling. However, his newly acquired sedentary lifestyle was not to last long.
Soon a German, whom they refer to as Commissarius Schrader, was travelling in Holland and England on a so called study trip, (Studienreise), in order that he could familiarize himself with the newest achievements of glass manufacture. On his return he became the first administrator of the glass works, (Glashütte), called Lauenstein. During his study trip he must have become aware of John Tyzack, Broadglass maker, living in Wapping Hamlet, Stepney.
Not surprisingly, John, having worked in Mansell’s glassworks in Newcastle, in the Leith Glassworks in Scotland, and in Pennsylvania, was fully familiar with how to operate a glassworks. Additionally, since these operations were during the time of Mansell’s monopoly, whereby glass furnaces were only permitted to be fired using what was then called stone coal, he must have been practised in that technique. Now aged 52 years and seemingly still a keen traveller, it was not difficult for Schrader to persuade John to travel to Ostwald in Germany in order to assist him, and the man with the money, Conrad Wedemeyer, to start up their glassworks at Lauenstein. Since there was a suitable source of Steinkohle (stone coal), nearby, it was also not difficult to make use of it to heat the ovens.
In the process of writing up the records of the new works however they followed the normal tradition of spelling names phonetically. In John Tyzack’s case his name changed into Tisag in the German records. It remains in the records to this day in that form! In 1714 the German Elector George of Hanover nearby, became George I, King of Great Britain.
The final record of John to come to light is in Grazebrook’s book, “Collections of the Genealogies for the Noble Families of Henzey, Tyttery and Tyzack” in which it says that John Tyzack of St Dunstan’s, London died intestate in Germany, where he had property, (we do not know exactly when he died); and his goods were administered to by his son Nathan Tyzack in 1740.
Back to page one