Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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LLOYD , CHARLES ( 1766 - 1829 ), Unitarian minister and schoolmaster ;

b. 18 Dec. 1766 , fourth son of David Lloyd of Brynllefrith ( 1724 - 1779 (q.v.) . On his father's death he passed into the guardianship of his uncle John Lloyd of Coedlannau-fawr . In 1784 he went to ‘Carmarthen’ academy , at the time located at Swansea . In 1788 , already ‘a fairly high Arian ,’ he was called to Oat Street meeting at Evesham (a church which has had several Welsh pastors ); he insisted, successfully, on administering communion without prior ordination, but when he went on to refuse christening infants his resignation was accepted. By this time he regarded himself as a General Baptist , and took charge of a General Baptist church at Ditchling ( Sussex ), where again he refused ordination. In 1792 he began to keep school , and in 1793 gave up his church and removed his school to Exeter , where he was quite successful. But in 1799 he took to farming at Coedlannau , and lost much money at it. Now a declared Unitarian , he sought to become co-pastor with David Davis of Castellhywel (q.v.) , at Llwynrhydowen , but Davis (an Arian ) would have none of him — at that time. Arianism and the ‘new’ Unitarianism were in conflict (see the appendix to R. J. Jones 's Unitarian Students at Carmarthen , and Hist. Carms. , ii, 241-2). Unitarian sympathisers at Llwynrhydowen seceded, and in 1802 founded Unitarian churches at Pantdefaid and Capel-y-groes (see Lloyd 's own article in the Monthly Repository , 1817 , 740 sqq. ) — this was the official beginning of Unitarianism in Cardiganshire , and in that sense Charles Lloyd was its ‘father.’ But in 1803 he removed to Palsgrave ( Suffolk ), to minister and to keep school . He received the LL.D. degree from Glasgow in 1809 , removed his school to London in 1811 , and d. at Lampeter (while on a visit to Wales ), 23 May 1829 ; he was buried at Llanwenog .

A man of great abilities, Lloyd , as the above account of him testifies, was a crank — intractable, ill-tempered, restless, with a biting tongue and a vitriolic pen. His autobiography, Particulars of the Life of a Dissenting Minister , is an odd book; it was published anonymously in 1813 , and reprinted (by George Eyre Evans , q.v. ) in 1911 , and is a valuable historical source; its descriptions of some of Lloyd 's fellow- Arians and Unitarians are pretty scathing. Lloyd wrote frequently in the Monthly Repository , and published other works whose titles are given in Alexander Gordon 's admirable article on him in D.N.B.


  • Add to the above sources Lloyd Letters (1754–96) (1908) (ed. G. Eyre Evans ), xxviii-xl, 35-42;
  • T. Oswald Williams , Hanes Cynulleidfaoedd Undodaidd Sir Aberteifi (Llandysul, 1930) .


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959