[ dictionary: glossary ]

lyberty: obsolete spelling of "liberty". Examples available from 1500 - 1850 ; frequently used (for example) during the time of the American revolution.


1523: Boke of Husbandry, Fizherebert, [an English household guide]:
quote from "Staging Domesticity" by Wendy Wall :
"While speaking "a lyttell" about essential domestic work, the author nervously explains that he won't tell wives "how" to perform their mysterious labors. The experience that Fitzherbert has lauded now becomes the province of female orality and practice. This leads him, in one instance, to reassure the female reader of her "lyberty" in chooing to heed his advice of not." [0]

1539: English translation of Erasmus -
'Proverbs or adagies with newe additions gathered out of the Chiliades of Erasmus' by J. Taverner (London, 1539) [a.k.a. "TAVERNER Erasm. Prov." , 1552] page 43  :
"This unleful lyberty or lycence of the multytude is called an Anarchie."
[This unlawful liberty or license of the multitude is called an Anarchy  / Anarchic.] [1]

Vincentio Saviolo, ‘His Practise. In Two Bookes.’ [A practical fencing manual] (note two spellings in one paragraph):
"Now when the maister hath placed his scholler in this sorte, and that the scholler hath received his Rapier into his hand, let him make his hand free and at lyberty, not by force of the arme, but by the nimble and ready moving of the joynt of the wriste of the hand, so that his hand be free and at libertie from his body, and that the ward of his hand be directlye against his right knee, and let the teacher also put himselfe in the same ward, and holde his Rapier against the middest of his schollers Rapier, so that the point be directly against the face of his scholler,. . ." [2]

January 1663:
In Jan 1663, in a document in which he was described as a "planter," John Libby (also LYBBYE; an immigrant to America) received from Henry Jocelyn,
"a certain tract of land bounded as followeth, vise. the Marsh to begine at the next cricke to ye Eastward of the sayd Libby's coman landing place, and from thenes to his dwelling house, according as his fence goeth, & was formerly bounded by mee, [Jocelyn], from thence Westward & North Westward to a tree marked by me formerly & from thence to goe over upon a viswall lyne upon the dwelling house of Mr. Hene: Watts at Bleu poynt, [across the mouth of Nonesuch River,] So far as the flatts Also the Marsh halfe of that Necke his dwelling house stands upon, according to the bounds formerly be mee layd out // // & further all the Marsh to ye Eastward of the Bridg [over Libby River] on that side the cricke to the Upland so far as the Mayn Cricke called the pine Cricke & over against Godfrey Shelldens house & soe far up the sayd Cricke until it comes close up unto the upland //
// & also fivety acres of upland adjoining to the sayd Marsh & and to go into the land according to the marked trees formerly laid out unto him, one hundred and sixty pooles to every acer Sixteen foote & an a halfe to every poole, also to have free comage, with lyberty of fishing & fowling & cutting for ordinary uses in any Swamp or Elsewhere, unbounded forth to others, in such lands as is or shall be unfenced"; // in consideration of him his heirs, administrators, and assigns, "Yielding & paying unto the sayd Henery Jocelyn his heyres & Assignes for every fivety acers of Upland & Meddow annually three days worke forever, that is to say two days worke in harvest, or foode tyme, & one day in cutting of wood, against the feast of Christ tyde, if it bee lawfully demanded." [3]

Isaac Barre, trying to defend the English colonies in America, during the Stamp Act debates in Parliament:
"[The colonies] planted by your Care? No! Your Oppressions planted [them] in America. They fled from your Tyranny to a then uncultivated and unhospitable Country--where they exposed themselves to almost all the Cruelties of a Savage foe. And yet, actuated by Principles of true English Lyberty, they met all these hardships with pleasure, compared with those they suffered in their own Country, from the hands of those who should have been their Friends.

They nourished up by your indulgence? They grew by your neglect of [them]: as soon as you began to care about [them], that Care was Exercised in sending persons to rule over [them] . . . who were perhaps the Deputies of Deputies to some Member of this house--sent to Spy out their Lyberty, to misrepresent their Actions and to prey upon [them]; men whose behaviour on many Occasions has caused the Blood of those Sons of Liberty to recoil within them. " [4]

September 1847:
Journal of a Voyage from New London to the North West coast of America in the Whale Ship Vesper Captain Clark; September 19, 1847; California San Francisco -
" First part moderate breezes from the __ at 2 PM strong breezes from the __ the larboard watch ashore on lyberty. Mr Morris and the Cook remains on shore this 24 hours and part of both watches" [5]


See also: Libertas ; liberty ; technology & freedom- what is Lyberty?


[0] PDF version of Staging Domescticity
[1] Oxford English Dictionary; "anarchy"
[2] The Practical Saviolo [hosted by ARMA]
[3] Genealogy of Patty Rose
[4] Birth of the "Sons of Liberty"
[5] Journal of a Voyage ... in the Whale Ship Vesper Captain Clark

define:lyberty ; last updated: May 28, 2005 ; last modified: Jan 2007