LLOYD, Thomas (?1771-1829), of Beechmount, nr. Rathkeale, co. Limerick and 1 Merrion Square East, Dublin
Available from Cambridge University Press
Family and Educationb. ?1771, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Col. Thomas Lloyd of Beechmount and Ellen, da. of Thomas Lloyd, ?MP [I], of Kildromin and Drumsallagh, co. Limerick.1 educ. Trinity, Dublin aged 15, 4 July 1786; G. Inn 1791; King’s Inns 1791, called [I] 1794. m. 1797, Catherine, da. of Eyre Evans of Miltown Castle, co. Cork, 2s. 2da. d. 18 Dec. 1829.
Asst. barrister, co. Limerick ?1804-25; KC [I] 1816.
Lloyd, whose family was of Welsh origin, was descended from the Thomas Lloyd of Tower Hill, county Limerick, whose brother Charles was awarded a baronetcy in 1661. This Thomas’s grandson, the Rev. Thomas Lloyd, chancellor of Cashel and chanter of Limerick, whose will was proved in 1746, had, with his second wife Frances, a fourth son, another Thomas, this Member’s father, who was a colonel in the army and purchased Beechmount in 1805. He, like his half-brother William of Tower Hill, had married one of his second cousins, the daughters of his namesake, who owned the estates of Kildromin and Drumsallagh. This Thomas Lloyd, who was called to the Irish bar in 1762 and became recorder of Limerick in 1782, was probably the lawyer of that name who sat in the Irish Commons for Tralee, 1777-83.2 This Member, who thus shared his name with his father and both his grandfathers, married the daughter of Eyre Evans, who was no doubt the son of Thomas Evans of Miltown Castle, Member for Castlemartyr, 1737-53, and nephew of the 1st Baron Carbery. Like his maternal grandfather, he became a barrister, serving on the Munster circuit, and from about 1804 he held the office of assistant barrister, or chairman of quarter sessions, for his native county.3 Lloyd, whose elder brother William, a naval lieutenant, was drowned at sea in 1805, at some point thereafter succeeded his father to Beechmount. His next younger brother Richard, lieutenant-colonel of the 84th Foot, was killed at the Nive in 1813 and was mentioned as a promising young officer in Wellington’s subsequent dispatch.4 Three of Lloyd’s other brothers served in the army, while a fourth, John, was rector of Cashel.
Lloyd occasionally participated in county Limerick politics, for instance in seconding the candidacy of the unsuccessful independent challenger Standish O’Grady* at the general election of 1818, and he had a substantial territorial interest.5 Nevertheless, he caused considerable surprise by his decision to resign as assistant barrister in the autumn of 1825, by which time he had established a local reputation amounting almost to veneration, in order to contest the county. He staked his claim as a supporter of Catholic relief at the Munster provincial meeting of Catholics in Limerick, 24 Oct., and Daniel O’Connell* thought he was certain to throw out O’Grady.6 In January 1826, when he received addresses of thanks from the magistrates of the Limerick and Rathkeale divisions of the county on his retirement after 22 years’ assiduous service, he declined to attend the Dublin dinner to the friends of civil and religious liberty got up by O’Connell.7 That April he clashed with O’Grady at a county meeting, insisting that Limerick should petition against the suppression of small Irish banknotes, and he stood against him at the general election that summer, when he claimed his local record of service as an indicator of how he would carry out the ‘honest and anxious performance’ of his parliamentary duties. Having given cautious support to the Liverpool government, he was returned in second place after a severe contest at the expense of O’Grady, largely because of the territorial interests arrayed in his favour.8 He survived a petition.
Lloyd presented several county Limerick petitions for Catholic claims, 9 Feb. (as he did in the following session), and voted for them, 6 Mar. 1827.9 He was one of the liberal Protestant Irish Members who was threatened with O’Connell’s retribution if he failed to back the pro-Catholic Canning in his attempt to form a government early that year.10 He was appointed to the select committee on Irish grand jury presentments, 6 June 1827. He divided for repeal of the Test Acts, 26 Feb., and Catholic relief, 12 May 1828. He supported the salmon fisheries bill at the request of his constituents, 30 Mar., and brought up their petition for protection from foreign wool, 7 May. He sided with opposition for reducing the grant to the Royal Cork Institution, 20 June 1828. Seconding the motion for a petition at the Irish Protestants’ pro-Catholic meeting in Dublin, 20 Jan. 1829, he declared that its success ‘would destroy a system of monopoly, which had been too long suffered to exist, to the injury of the many for the benefit of the few, and which was most detrimental to the power and the happiness of the empire’.11 He presented petitions for repeal of the Irish Subletting and Vestry Acts from Newcastle, county Limerick, 13 Feb., and Rathkeale, 24 Feb., and rebutted allegations of electoral interference by Catholic priests, 3 Mar. He supported relief as a means of providing Ireland with peace and prosperity, 26 Feb., when he denied that most of the Protestants of his own county were hostile to it. He had been listed by Planta, the Wellington ministry’s patronage secretary, as likely to be ‘with government’ on Catholic emancipation, and duly voted for it, 6, 30 Mar. He explained that he had been against the disfranchisement of the Irish 40s. freeholders, but was willing to defer to the opinion of others in its favour, 26 Mar., when, however, he objected to its being applied to such county boroughs as Limerick. His only other known votes were for transferring East Retford’s seats to Birmingham, 5 May, and allowing O’Connell to take his seat unimpeded, 18 May 1829.
In mid-December 1829 he was reported to have recovered from a dangerous and painful illness, but he died suddenly, aged 58, that month, when it was suggested that his constitution had never really recovered from the severe shock it had received during the general election campaign.12 He was succeeded by his eldest son Thomas (1798-1873), an army officer, who briefly offered as a Conservative for county Limerick in 1841, but never entered Parliament.13
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: Stephen Farrell
- 1. The Thomas Lloyd who was this Member’s father was an army officer, so it is unlikely that he was the man of this name who sat in the Dublin Parliament (as conjectured in Hist. Irish Parl. v. 101); as the Thomas Lloyd who briefly represented Tralee was evidently a barrister, he was quite possibly this Member’s maternal grandfather.
- 2. Ibid.; Burke Irish LG (1904), 343; Burke Irish Fam. Recs. (1976), 727-9.
- 3. Limerick Chron. 19 Dec. 1829.
- 4. J.A. Hall, Hist. Peninsular War, viii. 349.
- 5. General Advertiser and Limerick Gazette, 3, 7 July 1818; NLI mss 14118, 14119.
- 6. Dublin Evening Post, 22 Sept., 27, 29 Oct. 1825; O’Connell Corresp. iii. 1253.
- 7. Limerick Chron. 28 Jan. 1826; O’Connell Corresp. iii. 1278.
- 8. Limerick Chron. 12 Apr., 7, 10, 24, 28 June, 1, 5, 12 July 1826.
- 9. The Times, 10 Feb. 1827.
- 10. O’Connell Corresp. iii. 1364.
- 11. The Times, 24 Jan. 1829.
- 12. Limerick Chron. 12, 19 Dec.; Limerick Evening Post, 18, 22 Dec. 1829; Gent. Mag. (1830), i. 381.
- 13. O’Connell Corresp. vii. 2895.