Born at Coedlannau-fawr, Llanwenog, Cardiganshire. His father was descended from David ap Llewelyn Lloyd, lord of Castellhywel, Cardiganshire, who was of the lineage of the 'lord' Rhys. His mother was Hester, sister of Jenkin Jones (1700? - 1742) of Llwynrhydowen. He attended the school kept by John Evans (1680 - 1741) of Llanwenog. He never went to the Carmarthen Academy, but Thomas Morgan (1720 - 1799) says that he was at Samuel Thomas's school at Carmarthen when he himself was there in 1743 (Cofiadur, 1923, 10). He is said to have succeeded his uncle at Llwynrhydowen (1742-79), Alltyblaca (1742-79), Pen-rhiw (1756-79), and Ciliau (1769-79), but he was not ordained until 1745. He was an eloquent preacher, wrote poetry in Welsh, was a master of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and spoke French and Italian fluently. Very little of his work has survived in writing apart from his poetry, his letters, and notes on his sermons, which have been preserved in one of Timothy Davis's diaries (N.L.W. MS. 5496). One of his letters, dated 29 May 1767, suggests that he was an Arian. He kept a school for a short time, but declined an appointment as a tutor at Carmarthen Academy. He was twice married - first in 1752 to his cousin, and secondly in 1759 to Letitia Lloyd of Llanfechan, who, like himself, was descended from the lords of Castellhywel. He had six children: Jenny (from his first wife), Richard (minister of Llwynrhydowen), John, father of David Lloyd of Carmarthen, 1805 - 1863), Margaret, Charles (1766 - 1829), and David, from the second wife.
David Lloyd of Brynllefrith was in his day the greatest religious genius and the greatest influence in the cause of religious freedom in Cardiganshire, if not in the whole of Wales; in lord Aberdare's view (Ymofynnydd, 1946, 83) 'he was the only Welshman who up to that time had won a European reputation.' He died 4 February 1779 at the age of 55 and lies in Llanwenog churchyard. His works consist of his letters to his brother (Lloyd Letters), his edition of Hymnau a Chaniadau by Jenkin Jones, 1768, and his poems printed as Gwaith Prydyddawl Dafydd Llwyd, 1785.
Published date: 1959
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