Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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LLOYD , WILLIAM ( 1717 - 1777 ), cleric and translator .

His antecedents can be established by collating Morris Letters , ii, 158; J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees , 93, and church records at N.L.W. He was of the family of Merddyn Gwyn , Pentraeth , Anglesey , though Lewis Morris confused him with William Lloyd of Trallwyn in Eifionydd (see Griffith , op. cit., 212). His father was also a William Lloyd , an exciseman , who was chorister in Bangor cathedral ; his mother was Elizabeth Hughes of Tre'r-dryw ; he had (says William Morris ) a full brother who was a ship's captain (perhaps the ‘ Owen Lloyd ’ who was christened a year before him at Flint ); he had a half-brother; he was nephew of Owen Lloyd , chancellor of Bangor ; and he was cousin to William Jones of Trefollwyn ( fl. 1718-79 ) (q.v.) , one of the earliest Methodists of Anglesey . Though the Cymmrodorion lists give ‘ Anglesey ’ as his county, he was b. at Flint , and christened there 4 Dec. 1717 . According to Venn , Alumni Cantab. , he was at Beaumaris grammar school , whence he went, in 1736 , to Trinity College , Cambridge , graduating in 1740 ; he was ordained in the same year. At an unknown date he became curate of Llanrhuddlad , Anglesey — he was there in 1743 at latest, and probably before that. The incumbent was Edward Bennett , master of Friars School at Bangor . The two men were doubly related by marriage; it was, therefore, natural that Lloyd should become ( 4 Feb. 1748 ) usher at Friars , with the attached curacy of Llandygai ( 4 Aug. ); there is a letter of his from Llandygai in Welch Piety , 1750-1 54. There, he was neighbour to Evan Evans ( Ieuan Fardd , 1731 - 1788 , q.v.) at Llanllechid ; a volume of Lloyd 's MS. sermons in U.C.N.W. ( Bangor MS. 5322 ) contains a note by Ieuan asking Lloyd to fill his place on two Sundays at Llanllechid . Many years later ( 1767 ) the poet , in a letter to Edward Richard ( N.L.W. 11729 ), testifies that Lloyd was a poet in Greek , Latin , and English (there is in fact verse of his, including an autobiography, in Panton MS. 2 ), a skilful player on the spinet and the flute , and ‘a heroic Christian .’ William Morris , for some reason, takes him lightly, calling him ‘ Will Bo-peep ’ and ‘ a simple little man .’ In 1760 Lloyd published Y Sacrament a'r Aberth Cristionogol , a translation of a work by the Frenchman Daniel Brevint , who was Fellow of Jesus College , Oxford ( 1637 ), and afterwards dean of Lincoln Richard Morris insinuates ( Morris Letters , ii, 538) that the Welsh of this is so much better than the Welsh of Lloyd 's letters as to suggest that the credit was due to William Morris . At the end of 1761 Lloyd was made rector of Cowden ( Kent ); he was now within reach of the Cymmrodorion Society , and in 1762 became a corresponding member; thus, from 1762 on we frequently hear of him in Richard Morris 's letters. He kept up his friendship with Evan Evans (see Gwaith Ieuan Brydydd Hir , 231, the Morris Letters , and Ieuan 's letter already cited), got him a small annuity ( 1766 ), and curacies in Kent and Sussex ( 1767 ), and welcomed him to his rectory. Lloyd d. at Cowden 18 Dec. 1777 (inscription on his tombstone in Cowden church ).

According to J. E. Griffith (loc. cit.) Lloyd left no issue. In fact, William Morris tells us in 1760 that he had eight children, and Ieuan Fardd in 1767 that all eight were then alive. Certainly, one at least survived him, namely WILLIAM LLOYD , one of twins christened at Bangor 1 April 1749 . He went up to University College , Oxford ; Ieuan Fardd and Richard Morris ( Additional Morris Letters , p. 722) speak of his copying Nennius in Bodley ( 1767 ), and Foster ( Alumni ) gives him a B.A. 1769 , M.A. 1773 , B.D. and D.D. 1802 . According to A. Ivor Pryce , he got the mastership of Beaumaris school in July 1774 (1773 according to John Williams 's history of that school), and was licensed to Llandegfan and Llansadwrn 17 July 1775 , a day after his priesting. He resigned the school in 1776 ( John Williams , 26); nothing is known of him after that.


  • Besides the sources cited above, there are letters from Lloyd to Evan Evans in Panton Manuscripts at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth 39 (13) and 74 (21-2).
  • Mr. E. D. Jones , Keeper of MSS., kindly furnished details from The Records of the Church in Wales at the National Library of Wales (and others) at N.L.W.


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

Published date: 1959