Quakers in the World

Quakers in the World

The Lloyd Family


The Lloyd family can trace its history back to the days of the early Quakers in the 17th Century, and two brothers, Charles and Thomas, of Dolobran in Montgomeryshire, Wales. 

Charles Lloyd became a Quaker in 1662. Like many other Quakers he refused to express his loyalty by swearing an oath to the king, and was soon imprisoned in Welshpool jail. This jail had the worst reputation of any jail in Wales, but in 1663 his brother Thomas obtained permission for Charles to live in a small house within the prison walls. Astonishingly Charles’ wife Elizabeth then chose to join him there, and to ”share the little straw that was his bed”.  Her sons Charles II and Sampson I were born in this prison.  After 10 years imprisonment, Charles and his fellow Quakers were released under the Declaration of Indulgence in 1672.  He returned to Dolobran where he built a Meeting House.  He died in 1698 and was buried at Bull Lane Quaker Burial Ground in Birmingham, where his son Charles had settled. 

Thomas Lloyd became a Quaker in 1664 and was soon also imprisoned at Welshpool prison until he was also released in 1672.  In 1683 he decided to take his family to Pennsylvania, which had recently been founded by William Penn.  Within months of his arrival he was made Master of the Rolls.  The following year he was elected to the provincial council.  He became deputy governor for Pennsylvania under William Penn until 1693.  He opposed the introduction of a militia into the province and was the most powerful and popular leader in Pennsylvania during this period. He died in 1694 and is buried in Philadelphia.

Charles' son, Sampson Lloyd I left Dolobran to escape the continued persecution of Quakers. He went to live in Birmingham, a much safer place for Quakers at the time, as it was not a corporate borough. (Under the Five Mile Act of 1665, Quakers and other nonconformist ministers were forbidden from living within five miles of a corporate borough). Sampson I had married Mary, the daughter of Quaker ironmonger Ambrose Crowley, and worked in the iron business himself.   His eventual headquarters were in Edgbaston Street where he founded one of the largest slitting mills for making nails.  In due course Sampson Lloyd’s branch of the family became responsible for the operation of the largest iron foundry in the British Isles.

The next generation entered the banking business, laying the foundations of the future Lloyds Bank. Until 1640 the merchants of London had left their money and valuables under Crown Protection in the Royal Mint.  However when King Charles I was refused money for the army by Parliament he raided the merchants’ bullion and 'borrowed'  £150,000. The merchants then turned to the goldsmiths and their strongrooms as a safer place to keep their gold.  The notes that they were given became forerunners of bank notes.  Quakers, regarded as honest and trustworthy, were ideally placed to become custodians of the gold,  first as goldsmiths, and later as bankers.

 In 1765 Sampson Lloyd II, son of Sampson I, entered the banking business, as a partner of  button-maker John Taylor, in a bank called Taylor and Lloyd.  Each of the partners introduced a son into the business.  There was no legal documentation concerning the partnership as it was based on Quaker trust. Sampson Lloyd II was prominent in the day to day running of the bank.  He was joined by his stepbrother Charles who had learnt his banking skills at the bank called Freame, Barclay, Freame and Co.  His sister had married Charles Barclay, one of the partners.

In 1770 Osgood Hanbury, who was Sampson Lloyd II’s son-in-law, founded a bank in London named Hanbury, Taylor, Lloyd, and Bowman, and Sampson Lloyd II's son (Sampson III), and John Taylor junior, became partners. This became the London partner of the prosperous Taylors and Lloyds bank in Birmingham.

During his lifetime, and in his will, Sampson Lloyd III provided his three eldest sons with partnerships in both the Lloyd iron firm and the Birmingham bank. His fourth son, John, was placed in London where he became a partner in the Hanbury tobacco business in 1772 and in the Hanbury bank in 1790. In the next century, the Lloyd family abandoned the iron business, and focussed on banking, making Lloyds Bank a major player. By the end of the century the bank was a limited company, and no longer a family business.

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