An importer of British goods who stubbornly defends his right to do so.
Theophilus Lillie is an example of a shopkeeper that found himself between a rock and a hard place when the popular protest movement asked him to join a boycott of British imports called the Non-importation movement. The Sons of Liberty used peer pressure and intimidation to make the shopkeepers in town comply, but Theophilus Lillie is interesting because he not only resisted, but also fought back.
For more information on Theophilus Lillie, try:
- Theophilus Lille: Shopkeeper, Importer, Seeker of Liberty from the blog Boston 1775- This posting tells the story of how Theophilus Lillie became a political figure.
- Seeing the Death of Christopher Seider from the blog Boston 1775- This discusses the death that happened outside Lillie’s shop and show the surviving woodcut image of the event where Lillie’s shop can be seen.
- The Loyalists of Massachusetts and the Other Side of the American Revolution by James Henry Stark- This book profiles several Loyalists including Thoephilus Lillie and his father who had the same name.