LLOYD, Sir Richard (?1696-1761), of Hintlesham Hall, Suff.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. ?1696, s. of Talbot Lloyd of Lichfield. educ. Lichfield; St. John’s, Camb. 12 June 1713, aged 16, fellow 1718-23; M. Temple 1720, called 1723. m. Elizabeth, da. of William Field of Crustwic, Essex, 2s. 1da. suc. fa. bef. 1713; kntd. 23 Nov. 1745.
K.C. 1738; bencher M. Temple 1738, treasurer 1747; solicitor-gen. 1754-6; baron of the Exchequer 1759-61; recorder of Harwich, Orford, and Ipswich.
In 1754 Lloyd contested Ipswich where he had been recorder since 1739. Newcastle, in his ‘Present State of Elections for England and Wales’, noted: ‘A strong contest between Lloyd and [Edward] Vernon—success doubtful’; and in a paper of 15 Mar.:1 ‘Sir Richard Lloyd told Lord Dupplin and the solicitor-general, that in case he lost his election at Ipswich, he was to be brought into some other place after the Parliament should be chosen.’ On 19 Apr. he declined the poll at Ipswich.
On 20 Apr. he was appointed solicitor-general, and on 24 Apr. Hardwicke reported to Newcastle a conversation with the King about Lloyd’s defeat:
The King took no notice of it, but I thought it was right for me to do it. I told him how much I was surprised and disappointed. His Majesty said so was he, but that he had heard that he had starved the cause. I told him that the gentleman had himself assured me that he had spent £3,000 ... The King did not make the least reflection, or express any remorse at having appointed him; but referred in general to the reasons why he had done it, and said ... that he might be taken care of at some place or other.
‘I shall choose your solicitor at Totnes’, wrote Newcastle to William Murray on 28 Sept., ‘but he is a terrible load upon us, and has brought us into difficulties.’2
In the Commons Lloyd was overshadowed by William Murray; his stature as a lawyer was not high. On 6 May 1754, when it was thought that Murray might become master of the rolls, Newcastle wrote to Hardwicke:3 ‘Sir Richard Lloyd’s character will not support him as attorney-general.’ Nor was he considered equal to the rolls, should Murray decline: the most that could be offered him was the chief justiceship of Chester, which it was known he would not accept.
When in June 1756 Murray became lord chief justice Lloyd asked to be made attorney-general. ‘There is nothing to be found in my conduct’, he wrote to Hardwicke on 3 June, ‘which can make me unworthy of the continuance of his [the King’s] goodness to me.’ But Newcastle and Hardwicke favoured Robert Henley.
I did not expect [wrote Hardwicke to Newcastle on 7 Oct. 1756] that your Grace’s conversation with Mr. Solicitor-General would be a very pleasant one, but am sorry it proved so unpleasant ... When he talked to me, as he did to your Grace, about his being made attorney-general for the present I told him as your Grace did, that I thought it was gone too far. I endeavoured to show him that it was impossible; and indeed so it is and would be thought ridiculous ... I have no prejudice indeed to Sir Richard Lloyd, but I am convinced that he cannot be made attorney-general.
Newcastle replied on 10 Oct.: ‘The only question ... is whether he should fall gently and I am sure I wish it for the man’s own sake.’ And Hardwicke on 11 Oct.: ‘He has declared over and over again that if Mr. Henley is made attorney over his head he would immediately quit his present office. The point is to let him fall gently and not lose a vote.’ He fell unlamented but not gently: the office which he had asked for his son as a douceur was denied him.4
In September 1758 he thought of himself for chairman of the committee of privileges—‘Betwixt you and me I should not be sorry to have a plausible reason for leaving a daily attendance’, he wrote to Charles Yorke on 4 Sept. Yorke discouraged him, yet pleaded his cause with Hardwicke:
The Duke of Newcastle, out of the abundance of Treasury grants in reversion, might easily find something for one with whose conduct he was greatly pleased last winter and who, in like circumstances, may be of some utility again.5
In September 1759 he at last obtained the reward of his labours and an honourable retreat from Parliament. Mansfield wrote to Newcastle on 3 Sept. about a vacant judgeship of the Exchequer:6 ‘Sir Richard Lloyd I believe will have no competition; he refused being a judge many years ago; has been solicitor-general since, is the oldest K.C., has been long in Parliament, and has a great fortune.’
He died 6 Sept. 1761.