Dictionary of Welsh Biography

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

LLOYD , JOHN ( 1749 - 1815 ), lawyer and dilettante ,

was descended from the two ancient families of Wigfair (frequently, and from an early date, written ‘ Wickwer ’) near S. Asaph , and of Hafodunos (more strictly, Hafodunnos ), in Llangernyw, Denbs. ; both houses were of the ‘Fifteen Tribes’ of North Wales , and had provided sheriffs for their respective shires. Wigfair and Hafodunos had become united by the marriage of Howel Lloyd of Wigfair (d. 1729 ) and Phoebe Lloyd (d. 1760 ), heiress of Hafodunos . The estates then came to their second son Howel , who d. in May 1783 , and afterwards to this Howel 's eldest son John , the subject of the present notice.

John Lloyd , b. in 1749 , was admitted to the Middle Temple 12 Nov. 1770 , called to the bar 25 May 1781 , took silk , became Bencher of his Inn 25 Jan. 1811 , and Reader 24 April 1815 . He was a member of the first Cymmrodorion Society (list of 1778 ), and had previously been elected F.R.S. ; he was also F.S.A. and F.L.S. , and in 1793 was created D.C.L. of Oxford . In 1796 he contested Flintshire against Sir Thomas Mostyn , unsuccessfully, but he unseated Mostyn on petition in 1797 , and held the seat till Sept. 1799 , when he resigned it. He d. at Wigfair 24 April 1815 , and was buried at Llangernyw .

John Lloyd had d. unmarried, but left four sisters, of whom the two eldest were unmarried, the fourth had m. into the (cognate) family of Conway of Soughton , and the third, Dorothea , had m. Thomas Clough , rector of Denbigh (see the article on the Clough s ). Dorothea 's son Thomas Hugh Clough , sold Hafodunos , but Wigfair came into the possession of John Lloyd 's two unmarried sisters, who bequeathed it to their niece Dorothea , daughter of the Rev. Thomas Clough of Denbigh ; she m. Richard Howard , vicar of Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch , and it was from the Howard family that the N.L.W. purchased the Wigfair papers described in the second portion of this article.

John Lloyd was dubbed ‘ The Philosopher .’ He possessed a large library of more than 10,000 items (books, manuscripts, maps) and a collection of scientfic apparatus, which it took John Broster of Chester nearly a fortnight to sell by auction in 1816 ; there were rare examples of books printed by William Caxton , Wynkyn de Worde , and Richard Pynson , and some of the Welsh MSS. of John Jones of Gellilyfdy (q.v.) — see Bibliotheca Llwydiana, a Catalogue of the Entire Library (etc.); N.L.W. has copies with prices noted. The Wigfair MSS. (numbered 12401-12513) now in N.L.W. (described in the Library's Annual Reports for 1925-6 and 1926-7 , and in N.L.W. Jnl. i, 38, 76-82, 100-2, 115), include, besides a mass of family papers and letters, the only known holograph letter by the poet Siôn Tudur (q.v. — and see B.B.C.S. vii, 112-7), and the original of the ‘ Register Notebook of Thomas Rowlands … for 1595-1607 and 1646-53 ,’ which was printed by D. R. Thomas in his edition of Y Cwtta Cyfarwydd . There are also numerous letters written to John Lloyd by such correspondents as Sir Joseph Banks (P.R.S.) , the astronomers Herschel and Maskelyne , the engineer Rennie , the antiquaries Lysons , Pennant , Philip Yorke , and Dames Barrington , besides Hester Lynch Piozzi , dean W. D. Shipley , and Walter Davies ( Gwallter Mechain ) — these testify to the wide range of John Lloyd 's interests.


  • Pedigrees, in Y Cwtta Cyfarwydd (London, 1883) (ed. D. R. Thomas ) (but see the review by H. W. Lloyd in Archaeologia Cambrensis , 1884, 161-3 ), History of the Princes, the Lords Marcher, and the Ancient Nobility of Powys Fadog , iv, 385, etc., and v, 302, etc.;
  • J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families (1914) , 215, 329;
  • W. R. Williams , The History of the Parliamentary Representation of Wales (1895) , 89;
  • Foster , Alumni Oxonienses ;
  • The Middle Temple bench book being a register of benchers of the Middle Temple from the earliest records to the present time, with historical introduction (London, 1912) , 202;
  • The Gentleman's Magazine , 1815, i, 476 .


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

Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959