Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lloyd, William (1627-1717)

LLOYD, WILLIAM (1627–1717), successively bishop of St. Asaph, Lichfield and Coventry, and of Worcester, grandson of David Lloyd of Henblas, Anglesey, and son of Richard Lloyd (1595–1659) [q. v.], by his wife Joan Wickins, was born at Tilehurst on 18 Aug. 1627. William, who was educated at home by his father, showed an extraordinary precocity in the study of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. He matriculated at Oriel College, Oxford, on 25 March 1639, and in the following year was elected to a scholarship at Jesus, subsequently becoming a fellow. He proceeded B.A. 25 Oct. 1642, M.A. 9 Dec. 1646, and B.D. and D.D. 2 July 1667. In 1649 he was ordained deacon by Robert Skinner, bishop of Oxford, and subsequently held the post of tutor in the family of Mr. (afterwards Sir William) Backhouse of Swallowfield, Berkshire. Lloyd is said to have attended the English court in France in 1651, and to have held services in the embassy chapel in Paris; but this statement rests upon little or no authority. In December 1654 he was presented to the rectory of Bradfield, Berkshire, by Elias Ashmole [q. v.]; but though he satisfied the ‘triers’ he resigned the living on the right of his patron to the advowson being disputed. Lloyd was ordained priest by Ralph Brownrig [q. v.], bishop of Exeter, in 1656, and in the same year accompanied his old pupil, John Backhouse, to Wadham College, Oxford, where he remained with him as his private tutor for three years. While there Lloyd, ‘as he himself used to make his braggs,’ was the author of ‘a piece of waggery to impose upon the royallists,’ in consequence of which he was obliged to leave the university for a time (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. i. xxxviii–ix). He was incorporated M.A. of Cambridge on 5 Sept. 1660 (Kennett, Register, 1728, p. 250), and was installed a prebendary of Ripon by proxy on 7 Sept. 1660, and again in person on 3 June 1663. In July 1666 he was appointed one of the king's chaplains, and on 16 Dec. 1667 was collated to a prebendal stall in Salisbury Cathedral. He was presented by the crown to the vicarage of St. Mary's, Reading, on 9 Jan. 1668, and from 1668 to 1672 held the post of archdeacon of Merioneth. On 2 May 1672 Lloyd was installed dean of Bangor, and on the 4th of the same month was collated to a prebendal stall in St. Paul's Cathedral. He succeeded Lamplugh as vicar of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields on 31 Jan. 1677, and thereupon resigned the Reading living and the prebend of St. Paul's. Lloyd was appointed chief chaplain in the household of Princess Mary on her marriage with the Prince of Orange in November 1677, but held this post only for a short time. He had already written several tracts against popery, and his puritanical tendencies further showed themselves in allowing the princess to attend the congregationalist chapel in the Hague, and in the violent anti-papal sermon which he preached at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields at the funeral of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey [q. v.] on 31 Oct. 1678.

Lloyd was consecrated bishop of St. Asaph on 3 Oct. 1680, and thereupon resigned all his other preferments. On 4 May 1688 an order of the king in council was made, directing the bishops to send the second Declaration of Indulgence to their respective dioceses, with orders that it should be read in every church and chapel throughout the country. On the 18th Lloyd attended the meeting at Lambeth, and in company with William Sancroft, archbishop of Canterbury, Francis Turner, bishop of Ely, John Lake, bishop of Chichester, Thomas Ken, bishop of Bath and Wells, Thomas White, bishop of Peterborough, and Sir John Trelawny, bishop of Bristol, signed the petition for the recall of the order. Proceeding to Whitehall with the five other bishops Lloyd presented the petition to the king, and took a leading part in the discussion which ensued (Correspondence of Henry Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, ii. 172, 478–80). On 8 June Sancroft and the six bishops appeared before the privy council to answer to a charge of publishing a seditious libel against the king, when they refused to give bail for their appearance before the king's bench, and were thereupon committed to the Tower by an order of the council (ib. ii. 175, 481–4). On the 15th they were brought by water to the court of king's bench at Westminster, where they pleaded not guilty to the charge, and were released on their own recognisances. Lloyd was unable to get through Palace Yard by reason of the crowds of people, who pressed round him in their enthusiasm and kissed his hands and garments, and was rescued by Lord Clarendon, who took him home in his carriage by a circuitous way (ib. ii. 177). On 29 June they were tried before the Lord-chief-justice Wright and Justices Alibone, Holloway, and Powell. The trial lasted over nine hours. Wright and Alibone were in favour of a conviction, but Holloway and Powell maintained that the defendants had not been guilty of libel. At seven in the evening the jury retired to consider their verdict, and at ten o'clock on the following morning returned one of not guilty, ‘upon which there was a most wonderful shout that one would have thought the hall had cracked, insomuch that the court took notice of it’ (ib. ii. 179).

Lloyd was a staunch supporter of the revolution, and by his ingenious arguments is said to have reconciled a number of the clergy to the change of government. He assisted at the coronation of William and Mary, and was shortly afterwards appointed lord high almoner. On the death of Thomas Wood, Lloyd was translated to the see of Lichfield and Coventry (20 Oct. 1692), and on 29 April 1695 was sworn in a commissioner for managing ecclesiastical affairs (Luttrell, iii. 466). From Lichfield he was translated to Worcester, in succession to Edward Stillingfleet, on 20 Jan. 1700.

On 2 Nov. 1702 Sir John Pakington preferred in the House of Commons a complaint against Lloyd and his son for endeavouring to prevent his return to parliament for Worcestershire. After hearing some evidence on the 18th of the same month the house resolved that Lloyd's proceedings had been ‘malicious, unchristian, and arbitrary, in high violation of the liberties and privileges of the commons of England,’ that an address should be presented to the queen, requesting her to remove him from the office of almoner, and that his son should be prosecuted by the attorney-general ‘after his privilege as a member of the lower house of convocation is out’ (Journals of the House of Commons, xiv. 37). Though the House of Lords on the following day agreed to an address representing to the queen that it was ‘the undoubted right of every lord of parliament and of every other subject of England to have an opportunity of making his defence before he suffer any sort of punishment’ (Journals of the House of Lords, xvii. 168), Anne promptly removed him from the office of almoner.

Half crazed by an unremitting study of the apocalyptic visions Lloyd came to number himself among the prophets. Accordingly, on 30 June 1712, he ‘went to the queen by appointment, to prove to her majesty, out of Daniel and the Revelation, that four years hence there would be a war of religion; that the king of France would be a protestant and fight on their side; that the popedom would be destroyed, &c.; and declared that he would be content to give up his bishopric if it were not true’ (Swift, Works, 1814, iii. 92). Harley, who was present at the interview, appears to have ‘confounded him sadly in his own learning’ by offering another interpretation to one of his texts, whereupon Lloyd excitedly exclaimed to the queen: ‘So says your treasurer; but God says otherwise, whether he like it or no’ (Burnet, Hist. of my own Time, i. 345–6 n.) On another occasion Lloyd expounded his prophecies to Evelyn and Pepys (Diary and Correspondence of John Evelyn, ii. 309). Whiston, who had the greatest respect for Lloyd as an interpreter, declares that he had heard him ‘thank God for being able to read the prophecies as he read history’ (Memoirs, pt. i. p. 33). Lloyd died at Hartlebury Castle, Worcestershire, on 30 Aug. 1717, in the ninety-first year of his age, and was buried on 10 Sept. following in Fladbury Church, near Evesham, where there is a monument with a long Latin inscription to his memory.

Lloyd was an excellent scholar and a hard-working man. Though his temper was irritable his piety and his learning commanded general respect. According to his friend Burnet, Lloyd ‘had read the most books, and with the best judgment, and had made the most copious abstracts out of them of any in this age; so that [Bishop] Wilkins used to say he had the most learning in ready cash of any he ever knew’ (Hist. of my own Time, i. 345). Lloyd was more scrupulous than many of his contemporaries in the matter of admission to holy orders, and was one of the five bishops who entered into a solemn compact to resist any laxity on that point. While bishop of St. Asaph he held a number of livings in commendam (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714, iii. 931). He continued to the end of his life to believe that the Prince of Wales (James II's son) was a supposititious child, and his reasons for this erroneous belief are preserved among the Addit. MSS. in the British Museum (Nos. 32096, 33286). There is no record of any of his speeches in the House of Lords, and only four protests appear to have been signed by him (Rogers, Protests of the House of Lords, 1875, Nos. lxxix. lxxx. cxvi. cxlii.). He is ridiculed under the name of ‘Mysterio’ in William Shippen's ‘Faction Display'd,’ 1704, pp. 5–6, a poem which is sometimes erroneously attributed to Defoe. A half-length portrait of Lloyd was lent by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Exhibition of National Portraits at South Kensington in 1866 (Catalogue, No. 1006). There are engravings of Lloyd by Logan, Sturt, and Vertue. His portrait also appears on the eight different medals which were struck, and in the numerous prints which were engraved in commemoration of the acquittal of the seven bishops (see Plumptre, Life of Thomas Ken, i. 9–10, 292).

Lloyd married at Westminster Abbey, on 3 Dec. 1668, Anne, the eldest daughter of the Rev. Walter Jones, D.D., prebendary of Westminster, by his wife Philippa, daughter of Dr. Samuel Fell, dean of Christ Church, Oxford. His widow survived him only two years, and died on 18 Sept. 1719, aged 72. Their son William became rector of Fladbury on 15 Aug. 1713, and was appointed chancellor of the diocese of Worcester. The proceedings against him in accordance with the resolution of the House of Commons of 18 Nov. 1702 appear to have dropped. His ‘Series Chronologica Olympiadum, Pythiadum, Isthmiadum, Nemeadum,’ &c. (Oxford, 1700, fol.), is supposed to have been principally written by his father. Whiston says that he married a daughter of ‘the Lady Caverly’ (Memoirs, pt. i. p. 182). He died in September 1719, aged 45.

Lloyd engaged Burnet to undertake ‘The History of the Reformation of the Church of England,’ furnishing him ‘with a curious collection of his own observations,’ and correcting it ‘with a most critical exactness; so that the first materials and the last finishing of it are from him’ (Burnet, Hist. of the Reformation, &c., 1829, i. ix.). He assisted John Wilkins [q. v.], bishop of Chester, in writing ‘An Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language,’ &c. (London, 1688, fol.), and compiled ‘The Alphabetical Dictionary’ appended thereto. He is said to have suggested to Matthew Poole the execution of his ‘Synopsis Criticorum aliorumque S. Scripturæ Interpretum’ (London, 1669–76, fol. 4 vols.), and under his advice Moses Pitt published ‘The English Atlas’ (Oxford, 1680–2, fol. 5 vols.). He translated into English ‘The Life, Martyrdom, and Miracles of St. George, written in Greek at Ashmole's request by Jeremy Priest and Dr. of the Eastern Church’ (Ashmolean MS. No. 1134), and left an unfinished manuscript, entitled ‘A Discourse of the three Orders in the Ministry of the Christian Church, now called Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, shewing out of the Holy Scriptures that they are of Divine Institution.’ Many of his manuscripts have been destroyed (D'Israeli, Miscell. of Literature, 1840, p. 88), but several of his letters are preserved among the Sloane and Addit. MSS. in the British Museum. Among the Cole MSS. in the museum is a curious letter, dated 21 Nov. 1702, from a clergyman of the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry to Bishop Watson of St. Davids, in which the character of ‘the late prophet Malachi,’ i.e. Lloyd, is sketched in the most uncomplimentary terms (xxxv. 103 a, 104 a). His large folio Bible, ‘interleaved and interlaced’ with ‘an immense treasure of remarks,’ but ‘all in shorthand known only to himself and to his chaplain,’ cannot now be traced (Nichols, Lit. Anecdotes, 1812, iv. 731; see also Whiston, Memoirs, pt. i. pp. 34–5). A Welsh edition of the Bible, sometimes known as Bishop Lloyd's Bible, was published in 1690 (Rhydychain, fol.). The chronology is Lloyd's. He also superintended an edition of the ‘English Bible’ (Oxford, 1701, fol.), to which he added the chronological dates and an index.

Besides a number of single sermons preached on various public occasions Lloyd published: 1. ‘The Late Apology [by Roger Palmer, earl of Castlemaine, and Robert Pugh] in behalf of the Papists, reprinted and answered in behalf of the Royallists,’ London, 1667, 4to (anon.); another edition, London, 1667, 4to; fourth edition corrected, London, 1675, 4to. This pamphlet has been also attributed to Charles, earl of Derby. 2. ‘A Seasonable Discourse, shewing the Necessity of Maintaining the Established Religion in opposition to Popery,’ London, 1673, 4to (anon.); the second, third, and fourth editions, London, 1673, 4to; the fifth edition, corrected according to the mind of the author, London, 1673, 4to. This pamphlet has also been ascribed to Dr. Fell. 3. ‘A Reasonable Defence of the Seasonable Discourse, shewing the Necessity of Maintaining the Established Religion in opposition to Popery. Or, a Reply to a Treatise [by Roger Palmer, earl of Castlemaine, printed at Antwerp, 1673], called A Full Answer and Confutation of a Scandalous Pamphlet,’ &c., London, 1674, 4to (anon.) 4. ‘The Difference between the Church and Court of Rome considered; in some Reflections on a Dialogue entituled A Conference between two Protestants and a Papist. By the author of the late “Seasonable Discourse,”’ London, 1674, 4to; second edition, corrected and augmented, London, 1674, 4to. 5. ‘Papists no Catholicks: and Popery no Christianity,’ London, 1677 (anon.); the second edition, much enlarged, London, 1679, 4to. 6. ‘Considerations touching the True Way to suppress Popery in this Kingdom; by making a Distinction between men of loyal and disloyal Principles in that Communion. On occasion whereof is inserted an Historical Account of the Reformation here in England,’ London, 1677, 4to (anon.). Lloyd's object in writing this was to distinguish between the ‘church catholicks’ and the jesuitical party, and to urge that toleration should be granted to the former. 7. ‘An Alarme for Sinners,’ &c., London, 1679, 4to. This was published by Lloyd from the original copy of the confession of Robert Foulkes [q.v.] . 8. ‘An Historical Account of Church Government, as it was in Great Britain and Ireland, when they first received the Christian Religion,’ London, 1684, 8vo; the second edition, London, 1684, 8vo. Reprinted in vol. i. of Pantin's edition of Stillingfleet's ‘Origines Britannicæ, or the Antiquities of the British Churches,’ 1842, where an account of the controversy which Lloyd's book aroused will be found. 9. ‘An Answer to the Bishop of Oxford's Reasons for abrogating the Test impos'd on all Members of Parliament anno 1678, Octob. 30 … By a Person of Quality,’ London, 1688, 4to. 10. ‘A Letter to Dr. Sherlock, in vindication of that part of Josephus's History which gives an account of Iaddus the high-priest's submitting to Alexander the Great while Darius was living. Against the Answer to the piece intituled Obedience and Submission to the Present Government,’ London, 1691, 4to (anon.); the second edition, 1691, 4to. 11. ‘A Discourse of God's ways of disposing of Kingdoms [on Psalm lxxv. 6, 7],’ part i. London, 1691, 4to. No further part appears to have been published. The proposal that this book should be burnt was negatived in the House of Lords by eleven votes on 2 Jan. 1693 (Life of Anthony à Wood, 1772, p. 368). 12. ‘The Pretences of the French Invasion examined, for the information of the People of England,’ London, 1692, 4to. (anon.). This pamphlet has been also ascribed to the Earl of Nottingham; it was translated in 1693 into French and German. 13. ‘A Chronological Account of the Life of Pythagoras, and of other Famous Men his Contemporaries. With an Epistle to … Dr. Bentley about Porphyry's and Iamblichus's Lives of Pythagoras,’ London, 1699, 8vo. This is reprinted in vol. xii. of Lord Somers's ‘Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts,’ 1814, 2nd edit. pp. 74–101. He printed, but did not publish, the three following unfinished works: 1. ‘An Exposition of the Prophecy of Seventy Weeks which God sent to Daniel by the Angel Gabriel. Dan. ix. 24–7,’ 4to. 2. ‘A System of Chronology,’ fol., whence Lloyd's chaplain, Benjamin Marshall, compiled his ‘Chronological Tables’ (Oxford, 1712, fol.), in which was inserted Lloyd's ‘Exposition of the Prophecy of Seventy Weeks,’ &c. 3. ‘A Harmony of the Gospels,’ 4to.

[Burnet's Hist. of my own Time, 1833; Correspondence of Henry Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, 1828; Luttrell's Brief Historical Relation of State Affairs, 1857; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. 1820; Diary and Correspondence of John Evelyn, 1857; Diary and Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, 1858, iii. 22, 329, iv. 248, 260; Memoirs and Travels of Sir John Reresby, 1875, pp. 394–398; Lake's Diary, Camden Miscell. 1847, i. 17–18, 23–4; Calamy's Historical Account of his own Life, 1830, i. 195, ii. 68–71, 185, 382–4; Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Mr. William Whiston, 1749, pt. i. pp. 31–5, 106–9, 124, 148, 182, 248, 427–9; Salmon's Lives of the English Bishops, 1733, pp. 147–56; the Evidence given at the Bar of the House of Commons upon the Complaint of Sir John Pakington, &c. 1702; Mackintosh's Hist. of the Revolution in England in 1688, 1834, pp. 239–78, 623–4; Macaulay's Hist. of England, 1889, i. 496–505, 508–9, 511–21, 544–5, 560, 713, ii. 112, 715; Hearne's Collections, ed. Doble; Howell's State Trials, 1812, xii. 183–524, xiv. 545–60; Plumptre's Life of Ken, 1889, i. 66, 140, 145, 293–316, ii. 1–10, 302; Abbey's English Church and its Bishops, 1700–1800, 1887, i. 125–8, ii. 25; Biog. Brit. 1760, v. 2986–92; Chalmers's Biographical Dictionary; Nash's Hist. of Worcestershire, 1781, pp. 449–51, 454 (with three portraits); Coates's Hist. of Reading, 1802, pp. 102, 110–15; Memorials of the Church of SS Peter and Wilfrid, Ripon, 1886 (Surtees Soc.), ii. 298–9; Chester's Westminster Abbey Registers, 1876 (Harl. Soc.), p. 5; Granger's Biog. Hist. of England, 1775, iv. 287–9, Continuation by Noble, 1806, ii. 81–83; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Anglic. 1854; Cole MSS. (Brit. Mus.) xxv. 102 b, 103 b, 103 a, 104 a; Cat. of Oxford Graduates, 1851, p. 418; Notes and Queries, 7th ser. xi. 27, 88; Watt's Bibl. Brit. 1824; Halkett and Laing's Dict. of Anon. and Pseudon. Lit. 1882–8; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

G. F. R. B.