Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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LLOYD , WILLIAM ( 1627 - 1717 ), bishop of S. Asaph ( 1680-1692 );

b. 18 Aug. 1627 , son of a royalist divine ( Richard Lloyd of Sonning , q.v. ), grandson of an Anglesey poet ( Dafydd Llwyd o'r Henblas , q.v. on p. 102), and member of a Welsh family that had an unprecedented number of bishops and clerics in its pedigree lines. He became Fellow of Jesus College , Oxford , M.A , in 1646 , D.D. in 1667 . His career during the republic was difficult and full of vicissitude; after the Restoration he was promoted from one high office to another, became a prebendary of S. Paul's , chaplain to the princess Mary , and preached the funeral sermon, alive with anti-Popery, of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey ( 1678 ). He was Protestant of Protestants and an uncompromising Anglican , as was witnessed when he became archdeacon of Merioneth in 1668 , dean of Bangor in 1672 , and especially when he was appointed bishop of S. Asaph in 1680 . It is true he held conferences with the leading Dissenters of his diocese ( 1680-2 ), with John Evans the Independent , Thomas Lloyd the Quaker , Philip Henry and James Owen (qq.v.), the Presbyterians , but his letters to archbishop Sancroft prove that he meant such meetings to have only one conclusion; that he abated not one jot of his high Anglican pretensions; his letters to lord chancellor Jeffreys , besides being unnaturally obsequious, prove how very irritated he was by the stubbornness of some sectaries, the dilatoriness of Denbighshire sheriffs, the weak intermittent authority of the Court of Great Sessions ; and (like his brother prelate and namesake (q.v) of Llandaff ) he was worried by the Chancery writs of ‘supersedeas.’ That he was a vigorous prelate there is no possible doubt; in 1680 he ordered ‘notitia’ of his various parishes to be compiled , and kept them up till 1686 ; he advocated sound and effective preaching, and went far to secure it; and though there is some doubt whether he himself could speak Welsh , he took strong measures to see that Welsh cures were served by good Welshmen and administered some stiff rebukes to an English monoglot, Clopton , rector of Castle Caereinion . His aggressive Protestantism and his loyal Anglicanism made him one of the Seven Bishops; in fact, it was from Lloyd 's hand that king James took the famous petition. He was one of the foremost in supporting the Revolution of 1688-9 ; in 1692 he was translated to Lichfield , and in 1700 to Worcester . He d. in 1717 , 90 years of age, his last years being distracted by too much meddling with local politics and a too literal study of the prophecies of Daniel and the perplexing verses of Revelations . A learned man he undoubtedly was — it was bishop Wilkins 's opinion that Lloyd had more learning in ready cash than any man he ever knew — and a ready controversialist; he wrote a series of substantial pamphlets against Popery , and a more ambitious Historical Account of Church Government , published in 1684 . Occasionally he touched upon more secular matters, as when he discussed problems connected with Geoffrey of Monmouth 's History in a long and learned letter to Thomas Price of Llanfyllin .


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families (1914) , 122;
  • Thomas , A History of the Diocese of St. Asaph , i, 124, 135;
  • A. G. Edwards , Landmarks in the History of the Welsh Church (1912) , 278-80;
  • Tanner Manuscripts xxx (24, 172), xxxiv (31, 64), xxxv (135, 171, 190), cxlvi (30, 33), xciv (103-6), cclxxxii (138);
  • Diaries and letters of Philip Henry, M.A. of Broad Oak, Flintshire, A.D. 1631-1696 (London, 1882) , 309, 311, 313-4, 316, 335-6.


Thomas Richards, D.Litt., (1878-1962), Bangor

Published date: 1959