Thomas Lynch, Jr. (1749 - 1779) MP

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Birthplace: Hopsewee Plantation, Prince George's Parish, SC, USA
Death: Died in At sea - Caribbean
Cause of death: With wife on ship bound for St. Eustatius in the West Indies. Their ship disappeared in a storm and was never found.
Occupation: Lawmaker; planter
Managed by: Ann Vermeulen
Last Updated:

About Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr. (August 5, 1749–1779) was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of South Carolina. He and his father, Thomas Lynch, Sr., were the only father-son team that served concurrently in the Continental Congress. His father was unable to sign the Declaration of Independence because of illness.

Although ill himself, Lynch had made the onerous trip to Philadelphia. He stayed there throughout the summer, long enough to vote for and sign the Declaration of Independence at the age of 27. By the end of the year, the failing health of both men compelled them to start homeward. En route, at Annapolis, Maryland, a second stroke took the life of the senior Lynch.Thomas, Jr. was broken in spirit and physically unable to continue in politics. Late in 1779, he and his wife, heading to southern France in an attempt to regain his health, boarded a ship bound for the West Indies. The ship was never seen again. The couple died childless.

Thomas Lynch, Jr. was born at Prince George Parish, Winyah, in what is now Georgetown, South Carolina, the son of Thomas Lynch, Sr. He was schooled at the Indigo Society School in Georgetown before being sent to England, where he studied at Eton College and at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. He studied law at the Middle Temple in London, returning to America in 1772.

His stepfather was South Carolina Governor William Moultrie; a nephew was South Carolina Governor James Hamilton, Jr. His grandfather was Jonas Lynch from the Galway lines of the Lynch family who were expelled from Ireland following their defeat in the Irish wars of William of Orange.

He became a company commander in the 1st South Carolina regiment in 1775 and was elected to the Continental Congress. He was taken ill at the end of 1779 and sailed, with his wife, for St. Eustatius in the West Indies. Their ship disappeared at sea in a storm and was never found.

Before he departed for his ill fated voyage he made a will, which stipulated that heirs of his female relatives must change their surname to Lynch in order to inherit the family estate. The family estate, Hopsewee, still stands in South Carolina. He was an only child.

Thomas Lynch Jr. 1749-1779

Representing South Carolina at the Continental Congress

Birthplace: Winyah, South Carolina Education: Graduated Cambridge University. (Lawyer) Work: Captain of a South Carolina Regimental Company, 1775; Delegate to the Continental Congress, 1776. Died: ca. 1779

Thomas Lynch, Jr., was born in South Carolina on August 5, 1749. He received an education in England and graduated with honors at Cambridge. He studied law in London and then returned home in 1772. He was politically engaged as soon as he returned home, and was commissioned a company commander in the South Carolina regiment in 1775. Soon afterward he was elected to a seat in the Continental Congress. He fell ill shortly after signing the Declaration and retired from the Congress. At the close of 1776, he and his wife sailed for the West Indies. Their ship disappeared.

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Thomas Lynch, Jr., signer of the "Declaration of Independence"'s Timeline

August 5, 1749
May 14, 1772
Age 22
August, 1779
Age 29
At sea - Caribbean
Atlantic Ocean