was descended from the two ancient families of Wigfair (frequently, and from an early date, written ‘Wickwer’) near S. Asaph, and of Hafodunos (more strictly, Hafodunnos), in Llangernyw, Denbighshire; both houses were of the ‘Fifteen Tribes’ of North Wales, and had provided sheriffs for their respective shires. Wigfair and Hafodunos had become united by the marriage of Howel Lloyd of Wigfair (died 1729) and Phoebe Lloyd (died 1760), heiress of Hafodunos. The estates then came to their second son Howel, who died in May 1783, and afterwards to this Howel's eldest son John, the subject of the present notice.
John Lloyd, born in 1749, was admitted to the Middle Temple 12 November 1770, called to the bar 25 May 1781, took silk, became Bencher of his Inn 25 January 1811, and Reader 24 April 1815. He was a member of the first Cymmrodorion Society (list of 1778), and had previously been elected F.R.S.; he was also F.S.A. and F.L.S., and in 1793 was created D.C.L. of Oxford. In 1796 he contested Flintshire against Sir Thomas Mostyn, unsuccessfully, but he unseated Mostyn on petition in 1797, and held the seat till September 1799, when he resigned it. He died at Wigfair 24 April 1815, and was buried at Llangernyw.
John Lloyd had died unmarried, but left four sisters, of whom the two eldest were unmarried, the fourth had married into the (cognate) family of Conway of Soughton, and the third, Dorothea, had married Thomas Clough, rector of Denbigh (see the article on the Clough s). Dorothea's son Thomas Hugh Clough, sold Hafodunos, but Wigfair came into the possession of John Lloyd's two unmarried sisters, who bequeathed it to their niece Dorothea, daughter of the Rev. Thomas Clough of Denbigh; she married Richard Howard, vicar of Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch, and it was from the Howard family that the N.L.W. purchased the Wigfair papers described in the second portion of this article.
John Lloyd was dubbed ‘The Philosopher.’ He possessed a large library of more than 10,000 items (books, manuscripts, maps) and a collection of scientfic apparatus, which it took John Broster of Chester nearly a fortnight to sell by auction in 1816; there were rare examples of books printed by William Caxton, Wynkyn de Worde, and Richard Pynson, and some of the Welsh MSS. of John Jones of Gellilyfdy — see Bibliotheca Llwydiana, a Catalogue of the Entire Library (etc.); N.L.W. has copies with prices noted. The Wigfair MSS. (numbered 12401-12513) now in N.L.W. (described in the Library's Annual Reports for 1925-6 and 1926-7, and in N.L.W. Jnl. i, 38, 76-82, 100-2, 115), include, besides a mass of family papers and letters, the only known holograph letter by the poet Siôn Tudur — and see B.B.C.S. vii, 112-7, and the original of the ‘Register Notebook of Thomas Rowlands … for 1595-1607 and 1646-53,’ which was printed by D. R. Thomas in his edition of Y Cwtta Cyfarwydd. There are also numerous letters written to John Lloyd by such correspondents as Sir Joseph Banks (P.R.S.), the astronomers Herschel and Maskelyne, the engineer Rennie, the antiquaries Lysons, Pennant, Philip Yorke, and Dames Barrington, besides Hester Lynch Piozzi, dean W. D. Shipley, and Walter Davies (Gwallter Mechain) — these testify to the wide range of John Lloyd's interests.
Published date: 1959
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