Thomas Lynch, Jr., signer of the "Declaration of Independence"

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Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Birthplace: Hopsewee Plantation, Prince George's Parish, SC, United States
Death: August 1779 (29-30)
At sea - Caribbean (With wife on ship bound for St. Eustatius in the West Indies. Their ship disappeared in a storm and was never found.)
Place of Burial: Burial: Body lost at sea-Atlantic Ocean
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Lynch, Jr. and Elizabeth H Allston
Husband of Elizabeth Shubrick
Father of Katy Lynch
Brother of Esther Lynch; Sabina Lynch; Sarah Lynch and William Lynch
Half brother of Elizabeth Hamilton and Ruthy Adkins

Occupation: Lawmaker; planter
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Thomas Lynch, Jr., signer of the "Declaration of Independence"

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.


Birth: Aug. 5, 1749
Death: 1779

Signer of the Declaration of Independence from South Carolina. Born near Georgetown, South Carolina, Thomas Lynch, Junior, graduated from Cambridge University and studied law in London. He returned home and married Elizabeth Shubrick, and settled down to life as a lawmaker and wealthy planter. At the start of the American Revolution, he volunteered for the Army, and while in North Carolina, he became severely ill, possibly from malaria, which left him a semi-invalid for the rest of his life. While representing South Carolina in the Second Continental Congress, his father, Thomas Lynch Senior suffered a stroke on February 20, 1776, and in March the SC Legislature elected Thomas Jr. to go to Congress to care for his father and to take over his father’s duties as an additional delegate. Although in poor health himself, Thomas Jr. found his father too ill to continue, and remained just long enough in Philadelphia to vote for independence and to sign the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Lynch Sr. eventually improved, but not enough to sign the Declaration of Independence himself. In late 1776, father and son headed home together. While stopping in Annapolis, Maryland in December 1776, Thomas Senior suffered a second stroke and died. Thomas Jr. reached home, but his own health was failing. Hoping that an ocean voyage and a change in climate would help him recover, he and his wife, Elizabeth, embarked on an ocean voyage in late 1779. The ship was lost at sea with all aboard. The couple had no children. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)

Family links:

 Thomas Lynch (1727 - 1776)
 Elizabeth Allston Lynch (____ - 1755)


 Elizabeth Shubrick Lynch (1749 - 1779)*


 Esther Lynch (1747 - 1825)**
 Sabina Lynch Bowman (1747 - 1812)**
 Thomas Lynch (1749 - 1779)

*Calculated relationship

  • *Half-sibling

Burial: Body lost at sea

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Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: Apr 26, 1998 Find A Grave Memorial# 2782

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

August 5, 1749
Hopsewee Plantation, Prince George's Parish, SC, United States
August 1779
Age 29
At sea - Caribbean
Burial: Body lost at sea-Atlantic Ocean