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LOYD, SAMUEL JONES, first Baron Overstone (1796–1883), only son of the Rev. Lewis Loyd, a Welsh dissenting minister, by his wife Sarah, only daughter of John Jones, banker, of Manchester, was born 25 Sept. 1796. He was educated first at Eton, where his name occurs in the school lists in 1811, then for a year by Blomfield, afterwards bishop of London, under whom he became a good classical scholar, and finally at Trinity College, Cambridge, where, without reading for honours, he graduated B.A. in 1818 as captain of the poll, or first among the passmen. He proceeded M.A. in 1822. His father had given up his ministry to accept a partnership in Jones's Manchester bank, and had then founded the London branch of Jones, Loyd, & Co., which was afterwards merged in the London and Westminster Bank, founded in 1834. (For an account of the foundation and early history of the London and Westminster Bank see J. Francis's ‘History of the Bank of England,’ ii. 94; J. W. Gilbert's ‘Proceedings of the London and Westminster Bank,’ privately printed, 1847; J. W. Gilbert and A. S. Michie's ‘History of Banking,’ 1852). On his retirement in 1844, Samuel Jones Loyd succeeded him, and inheriting thus both wealth and a lucrative business, he pursued the course of legitimate banking so successfully that he died one of the richest men in England. He had already taken some part in politics. He sat as liberal member for Hythe from 1819 to 1826, and in 1832 he had unsuccessfully contested Manchester as a liberal. Though a persuasive speaker he never again stood for any constituency, or engaged in mere party politics. In 1833 he first came forward as a pre-eminent authority on banking and finance. He was examined at great length and with some hostility before a parliamentary committee in that year on the working of the Bank Act, and expressed a strong opinion against multiplying the issue of paper money and permitting more than one bank of issue, and in favour of the regular publication of the accounts of the bank reserve. He subsequently republished his evidence, and in 1837 produced his ‘Reflections on the State of the Currency.’ In 1840 he maintained the same views before the committee of the House of Commons upon banks of issue (Report of Committee on Banks of Issue, 1840). In order to secure the convertibility of bank-notes, he proposed to separate the departments of the Bank of England, and to fix a ratio between the amount of notes issued and the reserve maintained. His views, expressed both before the committee and in a pamphlet published in the same year, were again received with much opposition, but ultimately they prevailed, and the Bank Act of 1844, substantially based on his principles, passed into law. He was a witness before the committee of 1848 on the suspension of that act, and in 1857 before another committee on the same subject, and, as before, he subsequently published his evidence. During this period he had issued numerous pamphlets on financial questions, and was known to be a close adviser of at least one chancellor of the exchequer, his friend Sir Charles Wood (1846–52). Though his influence upon all the financial side of current politics was known to be great, it was in reality greater probably than the public ever knew. He was an active and successful opponent of decimal coinage, and a supporter of the commission for poor-law reform. He was chairman of the Irish famine committee of 1847, a leading promoter of the Great Exhibition of 1851, and an active member of the volunteer commission in 1860. In 1850 he became a trustee of the National Gallery, and was raised to the peerage on 5 March 1860 as Baron Overstone of Overstone and Fotheringay. On 8 June 1854 he was created D.C.L. by the university of Oxford. He married in 1829 Harriet, third daughter of Ichabod Wright of Mapperley Hall, Nottinghamshire. He died at his house, 2 Carlton Gardens, London, 17 Nov. 1883, leaving one surviving child, Harriet Sarah, wife of Colonel Loyd-Lindsay, afterwards Baron Wantage, who inherited great part of his wealth. His personal estate was sworn under 2,100,000l. In 1857, with the assistance of J. R. M'Culloch, he republished a valuable series of tracts on financial subjects, such as national debt and sinking fund, currency and banking, economical tracts and commercial tracts, and his own financial tracts were published in 1858.

[Annual Register, 1883; Times, 19 Nov. 1883, 4 Jan. 1884; Saturday Review, 24 Nov. 1883; M'Culloch's Theory and Practice of Banking; Lawson's History of Banking, ed. 1850, p. 233; W. G. Humphry's Memorial Sermon on Lord Overstone; Edinb. Rev. cvii. 248.]

J. A. H.