Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lloyd, Bartholomew

LLOYD, BARTHOLOMEW (1772–1837), provost of Trinity College, Dublin, born at New Ross, co. Wexford, 5 Feb. 1772, was descended from a Welsh family which, about the end of the seventeenth century, settled in co. Wexford, and was son of Humphrey Lloyd, himself the son of the Rev. Bartholomew Lloyd of the Abbey House of New Ross. His father died while he was still a boy, and an uncle, the Rev. John Lloyd, rector of Ferns and Kilbride, to whose care he had been committed, did not long survive, so that he was left to struggle for himself. He entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1787 as a pensioner. In 1790 he gained first scholarship, in 1792 graduated B.A., and in 1796 obtained a junior fellowship on passing a remarkably high examination. He graduated M.A. in the same year, B.D. in 1805, and D.D. in 1808. In 1813 he was appointed Erasmus Smith's professor of mathematics on the resignation of Dr. Magee, afterwards archbishop of Dublin, and in 1822, Erasmus Smith's professor of natural and experimental philosophy in succession to Dr. Davenport. In both chairs he imported a radical change into the methods of teaching, and raised the study of mathematics to a position which it had never before reached in the university. Until his day the higher departments of analytical science were unknown in Ireland. He was the first to introduce the French mathematics into Trinity College. His versatility and the wide range of his attainments are shown by the facts that in 1821 and again in 1823 and 1825 he was elected regius professor of Greek in the university, and in 1823 and again in 1827 Archbishop King's lecturer in divinity. In 1831 he was elected provost of the college, in succession to Dr. Kyle, then appointed bishop of Cork. His administration of collegiate affairs was exceedingly vigorous. He provided additional means for fostering the study of mental and moral philosophy, and he introduced many improvements into the courses of study and the general arrangements of the college and university. ‘To no one man during the present century does the university owe so much,’ says Dr. Stubbs (The Books of Trinity College, p. 116).

The magnetic observatory of the college was founded through his influence. In 1835 he was appointed president of the Royal Irish Academy, in the affairs of which he took an active interest, and in the same year acted as president of the British Association meeting at Dublin. His inaugural address dealt mainly with ‘the correspondence of the objects of science with divine revelation.’ He died suddenly of apoplexy, 24 Nov. 1837, and was buried in the chapel of his college. The ‘Lloyd Exhibitions’ were founded by subscription in 1839 in his memory. A marble bust of him by T. Kirk, R.H.A., stands in the library of Trinity College, and a portrait hangs in the provost's house.

Lloyd was married early in life to Miss Eleanor McLaughlin, by whom he had ten children, four sons and six daughters. The eldest, Humphrey (1800–1881) is separately noticed.

In addition to many scientific papers and other small publications, Lloyd was author of 1. ‘A Treatise on Analytic Geometry,’ London, 1819. 2. ‘Discourses, chiefly Doctrinal, delivered in the Chapel of Trinity College, Dublin,’ London, 1822. 3. ‘An Elementary Treatise of Mechanical Philosophy,’ Dublin, 1826.

[Memoir by the Rev. J. H. Singer, D.D., in Proceedings of Royal Irish Academy for 1837; Dublin University Mag. 1838, vol. xi.; Gent. Mag. 1838; The Books of Trinity College, Dublin, 1892; Taylor's Hist. of Trinity College, Dublin; Dublin Univ. Calendars.]

T. H.