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

LLOYD, HENRY, or HENRY HUMPHREY EVANS (1720?–1783), author of ‘A Political and Military Rhapsody,’ born probably in 1720, was the son of a Welsh clergyman, from whom he received a liberal education, and is described as of Cwmbychan, Merionethshire (Williams, Eminent Welshmen; Biog. Univers.) Cwmbychan is a farm in the upper part of Llanbedr parish, Merionethshire, owned by the Lloyds for centuries, and recently sold on the emigration of the last of the family. The parish registers of Llanbedr, however, go back no further than 1745 (information from the Rev. D. Owen, vicar). Lloyd's friend, John Drummond, first met him in France in 1744, and says that he was then between twenty and thirty, a lay brother in a religious house. Lloyd stated that he was the son of a Welsh clergyman, and, after some training for the church and the law, had come to France to obtain a commission in the French army. Disappointed in this, he had entered the novitiate as a monk. Lloyd was recommended to the Drummonds as a military instructor who had taught geography and field-fortification to some officers of the Irish brigade. At Fontenoy (11 May 1745) Lloyd was with Drummond, then a lieutenant in Lord John Drummond's Royal Écossais. Lloyd's clever sketches of the villages round Fontenoy attracted the notice of M. Richauard, the French commanding engineer, who obtained permission from Marshal Saxe for Lloyd to accompany the army as a mounted draughtsman, with the rank of sub-ensign (sub-engineer?). Lloyd was appointed third engineer, with a captain's commission from the Pretender, in the expedition of 1745 to Scotland; and, Drummond says, was on board the Elizabeth, and severely wounded in her action with the Lion [see Brett, Sir Peircy]. Lloyd followed the prince from Moidart to Carlisle, where the rebel forces arrived early in November 1745. He was then sent on a mission to ‘friends’ in North Wales, and did not rejoin in Scotland. A rising in Flintshire was at the time generally expected (H. Walpole, Letters, i. 404). He reconnoitred Milford Haven and Bridgwater and Barnstaple bays, and the approaches to Plymouth, and carefully examined the coast from Dover and the Downs round into the port of London, where he was arrested on suspicion. When Drummond (protected by his French commission) arrived in London after Culloden (16 April 1746), he found Lloyd in custody of one Carrington, a king's messenger, in Jermyn Street. He probably changed his name, as it has not been found in the ‘Home Office Lists’ of ‘prisoners in charge of messengers’ about this time. Drummond made interest for Lloyd with ‘a relative, a noble duke,’ and took him as his English tutor, pretending he had never seen him before. They went back to France together, and Lloyd distinguished himself as an engineer at the siege of Bergen-op-Zoom in 1747, and was made a major in the French army. When Drummond entered the Spanish service in 1748 his father recommended Lloyd to Marshal Keith (1696–1758) [q. v.], and Drummond understood that Lloyd entered the Prussian service. By another account he was travelling to collect information respecting the various armies of Europe, much of which was published, in tabulated form, in 1760, by Millan of Whitehall, as ‘Capt. Lloyd's Lists.’ In 1754 Drummond found Lloyd again in the service of France, a lieutenant-colonel, with pay of five livres a day. Lloyd was sent to England to report on the feasibility of a descent on the southern coast. He adopted the guise of a ‘rider’ or commercial traveller. Drummond states that it was chiefly due to Lloyd's representations that the Marshal de Belleisle's project of an invasion was abandoned. Drummond adds that Lloyd afterwards served in the Austrian and Russian armies, and that when he next met him in London in 1756, Lloyd explained that he too had made his peace with the British government, and was in receipt of a pension of 500l. a year.

Lloyd states that he made the earlier campaigns of the seven years' war in the quartermaster-general's department of the Austrian army, under Count Lacy, and that in 1760 he ‘was entrusted with a very considerable detachment of cavalry and infantry, with orders never to lose sight of the Prussian army, which he punctually complied with, and was never unfortunate’ (Hist. of the War, vol. i., Preface). Lloyd is said to have suddenly quitted the Austrian service, in which he held the rank of major-general, owing to a dispute about promotion. His further statements imply that he made the concluding campaigns of the same war on the opposite side, with Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick (ib.), to whom the first volume of his account of the war (London, 1766) is dedicated. Lloyd is sometimes stated to have been employed in negotiating the marriage of Queen Charlotte with George III. Although this is improbable, he may have been known to and employed by Colonel David Græme of Gorthy, who was sent on a confidential mission to Germany previous to the marriage (cf. Jesse, Hist. George III, vol. i. chap. vi.), and was intimate with the leading Jacobites. A British passport issued to Lloyd in 1767 describes him as ‘the Sieur Lloyd, major-général, sujet de Sa Majesté Britannique’ (Home Office Passes, 1760–84, p. 61). In 1774 Lloyd distinguished himself in command of a Russian division at the siege of Silistria, and was afterwards nominated to command a force of thirty thousand men against the Swedes. He left the Russian service suddenly, the alleged ground being the refusal of the order of St. Anne, on the score of his plebeian birth. He appears to have subsequently travelled in Italy and Spain, and visited Governor Eliott at Gibraltar just before the famous siege. Lloyd states (Rhapsody, 5th edit. p. 67) that upon the alarm of invasion in 1779 he thought it his duty to examine the possible movements of the enemy and the best way of meeting them, the results being given in his ‘Rhapsody.’ Lloyd seems to have quitted England for Belgium soon afterwards, and to have there resided, occupied exclusively, it was said, with literary pursuits until his death in 1783. The second portion of his history is dated at Brussels in 1781.

Lloyd was never in the British army. There is no record at the treasury of his pension, which presumably was secret service money. He married a sister of the Chevalier James de Johnstone [q. v.], a lady remarkable for her likeness to Prince Charles Edward, in mistake for whom she was once arrested. Hannibal Evans Lloyd [q. v.] was a son by the marriage. Lloyd died suddenly at Huy, Belgium, on 19 June 1783. It is stated (Biog. Univers. vol. xxiv.) that upon his death an English emissary seized and carried off some of his papers on a plea of debt.

Lloyd was an able, though too dogmatic a writer. It has been suggested (ib.) that his axiom, Russia falls when Moscow is taken, was not without bearing on the French reverses of 1812. Carlyle describes him as ‘a man of great natural sagacity and insight, decidedly luminous and original, though of somewhat crabbed temper now and then; a man well worth hearing on this (battle of Lobowitz) or whatever else he handles’ (Hist. Frederick the Great, vol. vii. note to p. 91). Lloyd's principal works were: 1. ‘History of the War between the King of Prussia and the Empress of Germany and her Allies.’ The first volume, by a ‘General Officer who made several Campaigns with the Austrians,’ appeared in London in 1766. The second part in two volumes, including miscellaneous dissertations, is dated at Brussels, and was published in 1782 in London. The author gives his name, and promises a continuation of the history, which never appeared. A German translation, with a continuation, was published in five volumes at Berlin in 1785, by the Prussian general Templehof, and Lloyd and Templehof were followed by Jomini in his great treatises on the art of war. 2. ‘A Political and Military Rhapsody on the Defence of Great Britain’ was first published in 1779 in London. On the author's death one hundred guineas is said to have been paid by a nobleman for a single copy. Four posthumous English editions appeared between 1790 and 1805, to which the biographical account by John Drummond is prefixed. Lloyd's works have been translated into other languages and re-translated, and portions of them have been published separately, under other titles, and without acknowledgment.

[Williams's Eminent Welshmen and Encycl. Londinensis, under ‘Lloyd, Henry;’ Biog. Universelle (Michaud), vol. xxiv.; Lowndes's Bibl. Manual; Brit. Mus. Cat. of Printed Books under ‘Lloyd, Henry;’ Lloyd's Works; Monthly Rev. xxxv. 84, vol. lxvi.; State Papers, Domestic and Foreign, in Public Record Office.]

H. M. C.