Lloyd, William Watkiss (DNB01)
LLOYD, WILLIAM WATKISS (1818–1893), classical and Shakespearean scholar, the second son of David Lloyd of Newcastle-under-Lyme, was born at Homerton, Middlesex, 11 March 1813. He was educated at the grammar school of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, and made so much progress that the master, the Rev. John Anderton, offered to contribute towards the fees of a university course. At the age of fifteen, however, he was placed in the counting-house of his cousins, Messrs. John and Francis Lloyd, the tobacco manufacturers of 77 Snow Hill, London, of which firm he afterwards became a partner; he retired from business in 1864. For a period of thirty-six years his days were devoted to uncongenial duties and his nights to books. At one time he lived at Snow Hill, and for many years never left London. With an inborn love for learning he added to a solid basis of Greek and Latin a wide knowledge of modern languages and literatures, as well as of ancient art, history, and archæology. To these pursuits every leisure hour, even to the close of his life, was applied. The firstfruit of his studies was an historical and mythological essay on the 'Xanthian Marbles: the Nereid Monument' (1845), followed by other contributions on subjects of Greek antiquities, some printed in the 'Classical Museum.' In 1854 he supplied certain 'Arguments' to Owen Jones's 'Apology for the Colouring of the Greek Court in the Crystal Palace.' In the same year he was elected a member of the Society of Dilettanti, chiefly through the friendly offices of Monckton Milnes (afterwards Lord Houghton). Until his death he 'was one of the principal guides and advisers of the Dilettanti in their archæological undertakings,' and acted temporarily as secretary and treasurer in 1888 and 1889 (Cust, History of the Soc. of Dilettanti, 1898, pp. 187, 206).
As a labour of love he supplied essays on the life and plays of Shakespeare to S. W. Singer's edition of the poet published in 1856 (2nd ed. 1875). The essays show acute criticism and thorough knowledge of Elizabethan literature, and were collected by the author in a private reprint (1858, and reissued without the life in 1875 and 1888). A memoir on the system of proportion employed in the design of ancient Greek temples was added by him to C. R. Cockerell's 'Temples of Jupiter Panhellenius at Ægina and of Apollo Epicurius,' published in 1860. The subject was also treated in 'A General Theory of Proportion in Architectural Design and its Exemplification in Detail in the Parthenon, with illustrative engravings (London, 1863, 4to; lecture delivered before the Royal Institute of British Architects, 13 June 1859), his most original work, of which the conclusions have since met with wide approval. His literary interests were now turned in a different direction, and he published 'The Moses of Michael Angelo : a Study of Art, History, and Legend' (1863, 8vo), followed by 'Christianity in the Cartoons, referred to Artistic Treatment and Historic Fact' (1865, 8vo), in which artistic criticism is coupled with a free treatment of religious matters, and 'Philosophy, Theology, and Poetry in the Age and Art of Rafael' (1866, large 8vo). In 1868 he married Ellen Brooker, second daughter of Lionel John Beale, and sister of Dr. Lionel S. Beale. Ancient Greek history and art were the subjects of his next two publications, perhaps the most generally interesting of his writings: 'The History of Sicily to the Athenian War, with Elucidations of the Sicilian Odes of Pindar' (1872, 8vo), and 'The Age of Pericles: a History of the Politics and Arts of Greece from the Persian to the Peloponnesian War' (1875, 2 vols. 8vo), the last a complete conception of the social life and art of Greece at its highest point. In 1882 he delivered four lectures on the 'Iliad' and 'Odyssey' at the Royal Institution, of which body he acted as one of the managers from 1879 to 1881. He was elected a member of the Athenæum Club in 1875, and for many years was an active member of the committee of the London Library. He was a correspondent of the archaeological societies of Rome and Palermo.
Lloyd died at 43 Upper Gloucester Place, Regent's Park, on 22 Dec. 1893 in his eighty-first year, leaving a widow (d. 1900), a son, and a daughter. His portrait by Miss Bush was bequeathed to the Society of Dilettanti (Cust, History, p. 236). Another portrait by Sir William Richmond, R.A., is in the possession of the family.
Watkiss Lloyd was a remarkable instance of a lifelong devotion to learning, stamped by disinterested self-denial. Without a university training, and never recognised by any academic body, he had the strong qualities and some of the weaknesses of the self-taught. His books manifest conscientious industry, originality, and sound scholarship; but while his judgment was solid and his thought clear, he was not endowed with the faculty of expressing his ideas in attractive literary form. Power of condensation and artistic arrangement of materials were wanting. One half of his life was passed in solitude, but during the last half he mixed in the world, and the angularities of the student became softened. He was a charming talker, modest, unpedantic, and a staunch friend. In personal appearance he was tall and impressive; even to the end he was strikingly upright in carriage, and showed few outward signs of his advanced age.
Besides the books above mentioned, he published:
- 'Explanation of the Groups in the Western Pediment of the Parthenon,' London, 1847, 8vo (from 'Classical Museum,' pt. 18); 'The Central Group of the Panathenaic Frieze' (from 'Trans. Roy. Soc. Lit.' n.s. vol. v. 1854); 'The Eastern Pediment of the Parthenon' (from ib. n.s. vol. vii. 1862).
- 'Artemis Elaphebolos: an Archæological Essay,' London, 1847, 8vo (privately printed).
- 'The Portland Vase,' London, 1848, 8vo.
- 'Homer, his Art and Age,' London, 1848, 8vo (Nos. 3 and 4 reprinted from the 'Classical Museum').
- 'The Eleventh of Pindar's Pythian Odes,' London, 1849, 8vo.
- 'On the Homeric Design of the Shield of Achilles,' London, 1854, large 8vo.
- 'Pindar and Themistocles,' London, 1862, 8vo (a prose translation of Pindar's eighth Nemean ode).
- 'Panics and their Panaceas: the Theory of Money, Metallic or Paper, in relation to Healthy or Disturbed Interchange,' London, 1869, 8vo.
- 'Shakespeare's "Much Ado about Nothing," now first published in fully recovered Metrical Form with a Prefatory Essay,' London, 1884, 8vo (he contended that all the plays were written in blank verse).
- 'Elijah Fenton: his Poetry and Friends,' Lond. 1894, sm. 8vo (posthumous).
Lloyd contributed many articles to the 'Classical Museum,' the 'Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature,' the 'Architect,' the 'Athenæum,' and the 'Journal of Hellenic Studies,' and, although he published much, left behind a great quantity of unprinted manuscripts, among them being 'The Battles of the Ancients'—military history always attracted him—others, bequeathed to the British Museum, include 'A Further History of Greece,' treating of the later Athenian wars; 'The Century of Michael Angelo,' a treatise on 'The Nature of Man,' 'Shakespeare's Plays metrically arranged,' 'Essays on the Plays of Æschylus and Sophocles,' and upon the Neoplatonists, a translation of the Homeric poems in free hexameters, translations of Theocritus, Bion, and the odes of Pindar, besides materials for the history of architecture, painting, and sculpture.
[Information from Col. E. M. Lloyd; see also Memoir by Sophia Beale, with list of works and photogravure portrait included in Lloyd's Elijah Fenton, 1894; Times, 27 Dec. 1893 and 17 Jan. 1894; Athenæum, 30 Dec. 1893, p.916; Architect, 23 Dec. 1893, p. 399; Publishers' Circular, 30 Dec., p. 752; Allibone's Dict. of English Literature, 1870, ii. 1111; Kirk's Suppl. to Allibone, 1891, ii. 1010.]