Family Life

 
Family Life
 
 


Family Life

Sarah Carlyle bore seven children. Unfortunately, five of these children died young. The family Bible lists a progression of births and quick deaths. John wrote to his brother George of his beloved Sally’s depression and physical ailments and his own disappointment. He wrote “The Loss hangs Very heavy On My Wife & makes her Illness much worse...”
 
Sarah gave birth to their first son the day they moved into Carlyle House, August 1, 1753. Young William Carlyle died two years later. Sarah Fairfax Carlyle, their fifth child, was the first child to survive early childhood. Sadly, John’s beloved wife Sarah died giving birth to their seventh child, a daughter named Ann. Devastated, his wife gone, John had to care for a four-year old daughter and a one-day old baby.

John then married the daughter of fellow town trustee, Hugh West. There is little personal information known about Sybil West. In ten years together, Sybil and John had four children. Only one of these children, George William, survived his mother. Although wealthy Virginians typically remarried several times, John Carlyle did not remarry after Sybil’s death in 1769. Again, John was left without a wife and now had three young children to raise. He worried about the welfare of his children as he traveled on business and left the children alone with the servants. He also worried about providing a good education for them. Wealthy young ladies typically learned reading, writing, music and household accomplishments. As a boy, and John’s heir, George William’s education was more extensive. Initially, John Carlyle had planned to send his sons to England to be educated. When George William was old enough to be sent abroad, the war between England and the colonies made this plan impossible. John’s will left provisions for George William’s education.
 
George William died one year after his father and so was not able to receive the education for which John Carlyle had planned. Ann had predeceased her father, dying in childbirth in 1778. Only Sarah Carlyle lived to grow old. She married William Herbert in 1777 and her son, John Carlyle Herbert, inherited Carlyle House when George William died in 1781.