LLOYD OF MICHAELCHURCH-ON-ARROW

 

No birth or baptism entries have been found for the sons and daughters of Hugh Lloyd of Baynham Hall in Michaelchurch-on-Arrow, Radnorshire, but several children can be identified from various sources. Although the 1841 census returns do not state relationships, living with Hugh at the time were John Lloyd, Richard Lloyd, William Lloyd, Hugh Lloyd and Sarah Lloyd, of plausible age to be his children,[1] and their identifications as such are confirmed by their marriage certificates. In addition, William is identified as Hugh’s son in the 1851 census returns.[2]

 

The placement of Ann Lloyd, wife of John Davies, as a daughter of Hugh is based on her son Edward being recorded as a nephew of William Lloyd in the 1861 census returns.[3] It can also be seen that one of John and Ann’s sons was named Hugh Lloyd Davies, probably after his grandfather, and that Hugh Lloyd Davies appears to have been at Baynham Hall with William Lloyd at the time of the 1861 and 1871 censuses.[4]

 

Mary Lloyd, wife of John Griffiths of Portway, Bryngwyn,[5] was also evidently a daughter of Hugh Lloyd of Baynham Hall. Ann (Lloyd) Davies’s son William is identified as a nephew of John Griffiths in the 1851 census returns[6] and her daughter Mary as a niece of John Griffiths in the 1861 returns.[7] William Lloyd of Baynham Hall made Thomas Griffiths of Flintsham Court one of the executors of his will and Thomas was the son of John and Mary (Lloyd) Griffiths.[8]

 

Thomas Lloyd who married Sophia Lloyd in 1839 at Llansantffraed is shown by his marriage certificate to be son of a Hugh Lloyd, and it appears that this was Hugh Lloyd of Baynham Hall. Thomas’s will names John Griffiths of Portway (husband of Mary, daughter of Hugh Lloyd of Baynham Hall) as an executor.[9] John Arthur Stratton (1920-1993) was a great-grandson of Thomas and Sophia (Lloyd) Lloyd. John considered Thomas to be a son of Hugh Lloyd of Baynham Hall and had evidently been in contact with some of the descendants of Thomas’s siblings. John’s mother Sarah Janet (Lloyd) Stratton lived until 1989.

 

Hugh Lloyd was married to a woman named Ann.[10] There was a marriage of a Hugh Lloyd, widower, to Anne Crewdar, spinster, on 30 November 1805 at Llanddewi Ystradenni.[11] Since that was the parish where Hugh Lloyd of Baynham Hall is stated to have been born, the marriage would at first seem likely to be his. However, there was also a marriage of a Hugh Lloyd, bachelor, and Ann Dakins, spinster, on 1 August 1806 at Llangynllo.[12] It can be seen that John, son of Hugh Lloyd of Baynham Hall, was born at Llangynllo and his baptism is recorded there under the date 22 February 1807. The Llanddewi Ystradenni parish registers show the baptism of a Sarah Lloyd, daughter of Hugh and Ann, on 8 March 1807, only two weeks after the baptism of John Lloyd at Llangynllo and so presumably to different parents.[13] It seems more likely that the Dakins marriage relates to the Hugh Lloyd who later lived at Baynham Hall.

 

SILVER JOHN

 

Mention should be made of the legend of Silver John, said to be a bonesetter called John Lloyd, living in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. It is alleged that he was murdered by some men from New Radnor for the silver gifts he acquired when tending broken bones and that his body was not discovered for some time until it was found in the frozen Llyn Hilyn near Llanfihangel-Nant-Melan.[14] Bonesetting was evidently a talent of Hugh Lloyd of Baynham Hall[15] and a number of his descendants,[16] leading to speculation that Silver John was a near relative of Hugh.

 

The earliest published version of the Silver John legend that I have seen is by John Hutchinson (1829-1916)[17] and dates from 1881. It does not mention Silver John’s surname or bonesetting, but says that he “seems to have been a combination of a Welsh drover and a freebooter”, whose sobriquet derived from his habit of wearing silver buttons on his coat when he appeared in public. It is said that, “Though leading a sort of outlaw’s life, he occasionally, like some Italian bandit of the Abruzzi, showed himself unblushingly in the market-place of Radnor, the inhabitants of which it was his delight on these occasions openly to defy, to bully, and, if any of them were rash enough to invite a combat, to thrash”. Even at that date it was unclear whether the story was founded on fact. The verse often quoted in connection with Silver John is given:[18]

 

“Silver John” is dead and gone

(So they came home a-singing);

The Radnor boys

Pulled out his eyes

And set the bells a-ringing!

 

The accuracy of the modern accounts of Silver John as the bonesetter John Lloyd is in considerable doubt, especially in light of the records of the Court of Great Sessions. One of the cases was the murder of John Jones of Llanfihangel Rhydithon at New Radnor after a drunken fight on 12 December 1773. More than once it is stated that Jones was known as Silver John. His corpse was found on 4 April 1774 “upon the forrest” and was carried down to New Radnor and home to Llanfihangel Rhydithon. The records of the case also state that a witness said he saw two or three people walking on Llyn Hilyn when it was frozen over and that there appeared to be “a dark place” in the pool near which the people stood for some time. In the descriptions of the wounds to John’s body when it had been found, it was noted that some parts of the corpse had been eaten and that “both Eyes were out”.[19]

 

An account of Silver John from 1941 accords remarkably well with this, stating that John lived at Llanfihangel Rhydithon, came to an inn at New Radnor and after a quarrel was followed on his return journey, killed, and buried on the hill above Nibletts Quarry. The main difference is that Silver John is said to have lived “About eighty years ago”. Again, John’s surname is not given and there is no mention of bonesetting.[20]

 

Sid Wright’s account published in 1943 is the earliest version of the legend I have seen that describes Silver John as a bonesetter called John Lloyd. This was closely followed by Howse’s Radnor Old and New in 1944, which mentions S. Wright as a source.[21] Wright notes that his account of Silver John resulted from time spent at the Forest Inn (near Llanfihangel-Nant-Melan) in 1942 and 1943 and that the tale was told to the author “by David Green Pryce (Dai), the rabbit catcher, one evening at the Forest Inn during last wimberry picking”.[22] In this version, it was Mary, the landlord’s daughter from the Forest Inn, who discovered the body of Silver John in the frozen lake.

 

The concurrence of many of the details makes it very likely that the murder of John Jones was the basis for the legend of John Lloyd the bonesetter. In fact, it is not impossible that a John Lloyd could also have been known as John Jones at that time in Radnorshire.[23] However, the discrepancy in the surname and the different characterisation of Silver John in the earliest known published accounts are significant reasons for thinking that the historical event has been associated with the Lloyd family in error.

 

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LLOYD

 

1          JOHN LLOYD.

 

                Children of John Lloyd:

                2              i               HUGH LLOYD  (1771-1856); m ANN.

                                ii              THOMAS LLOYD, bap 1 May 1774, Llanddewi Ystradenni.[24]

 

2          HUGH LLOYD of Baynham Hall, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow, farmer, was born at Llanddewi Ystradenni, baptised there on 20 January 1771,[25] and died on 9 March 1856 at Michaelchurch-on-Arrow.[26] He married on 1 August 1806 at Llangynllo, ANN DAKINS,[27] daughter of John and Ann Dakins. Ann (Dakins) Lloyd was born at Llanfihangel Rhydithon,[28] baptised there on 10 August 1783,[29] and died on 11 November 1855 at Michaelchurch-on-Arrow.[30]

 

                Children of Hugh and Ann Lloyd:

                                i               JOHN LLOYD of Michaelchurch-on-Arrow, farmer, b Llangynllo, bap there 22 Feb 1807,[31] d 29 Jun 1870, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow;[32] m 27 Sep 1842, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow, ANN (GRIFFITHS) MAINWARING.[33]

                                ii              THOMAS LLOYD of Glascwm and Kington, farmer,  b ca 1810, Cascob,[34] d 19 Feb 1880, Kington;[35] m 16 May 1839, Llansantffraed, SOPHIA LLOYD.[36]

                                iii             ANN LLOYD, b ca 1812, Glascwm,[37] d 28 Feb 1886, Brilley;[38] m 1 Aug 1833, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow, JOHN DAVIES[39] (see here).

                                iv             MARY LLOYD, b ca 1815, Glascwm,[40] d 13 Jun 1900, Hereford;[41] m 2 Aug 1836, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow, JOHN GRIFFITHS.[42]

                                v              RICHARD LLOYD of Old Radnor, farmer, b ca 1820, Glascwm,[43] d 22 Jun 1869, Huntington;[44] m 13 Feb 1846, Old Radnor, SARAH PROBERT.[45]

                                vi             WILLIAM LLOYD of Michaelchurch-on-Arrow, farmer, b ca 1821, Glascwm,[46] d 11 Jun 1885, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow;[47] m 19 Apr 1855, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow, JANE GRIFFITHS.[48]

                                vii            HUGH LLOYD of Bryngwyn, farmer and bonesetter, b ca 1825, Glascwm,[49] d 13 Jul 1895, Bronllys;[50] m(1) 24 Jul 1846, Newchurch, ELIZABETH LEWIS;[51] m(2) 31 Jan 1860, Ebenezer Chapel, Hay, SARAH EVANS.[52]

                                viii           SARAH LLOYD, b ca 1828, Glascwm,[53] d 22 Oct 1914, Bryngwyn;[54] m 1 Jun 1848, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow, JAMES EVANS.[55]



[1] 1841 census returns, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow (National Archives, HO 107/1456/11, fol. 5).

[2] 1851 census returns, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow (National Archives, HO 107/2492, fol. 76).

[3] 1861 census returns, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow (National Archives, RG 9/4227, fol. 62).

[4] 1861 census returns, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow (National Archives, RG 9/4227, fol. 62); 1871 census returns, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow (National Archives, RG 10/2720, fol. 6). In the latter, Hugh Lloyd Davies’s place of birth is given as Glasbury, whereas John and Ann’s son of that name was born at nearby Llandeilo Graban, but there does not seem to be another Hugh Lloyd Davies who could be the one at Baynham Hall in 1871.

[5] The birth certificate of Thomas Griffiths (b 17 Aug 1843, Bryngwyn) confirms that the maiden surname of Mary, wife of John Griffiths, was Lloyd.

[6] 1851 census returns, Bryngwyn (National Archives, HO 107/2491, fol. 194).

[7] 1861 census returns, Bryngwyn (National Archives, RG 9/4224, fol. 20).

[8] Will of William Lloyd (dated 8 Jun 1885, proved 20 Jul 1885 at Hereford); national probate calendars, entry for John Griffiths of Bryngwyn, 1882.

[9] Will of Thomas Lloyd (dated 11 Feb 1880, proved 28 May 1880 at Hereford).

[10] Monumental inscription at Michaelchurch-on-Arrow.

[11] Llanddewi Ystradenni parish registers (Powys County Archives Office).

[12] Llangynllo parish registers (Society of Genealogists, London, Mf 2516).

[13] Llanddewi Ystradenni parish registers (Powys County Archives Office).

[14] See, for example, Sid Wright, Silver John (Hereford, 1943) and Robin Gwyndaf, Welsh Folk Tales (Cardiff, 1992), 74.

[15] His monumental inscription at Michaelchurch-on-Arrow includes the following verse (possibly with different capitalisation):

                A talent rare by him possessed

                T’adjust the bones of the distressed

                Whenever called he ne’er refused

                But cheerfully his talent used

                But now he lies beneath this tomb

                Till Jesus comes t’adjust his own

[16] Letters from John A. Stratton, 21 Nov 1992 and 5 Dec 1992.

[17] See R.C.B. Oliver, “John Hutchinson: Teacher, Poet and Librarian, 1829-1916”, The Transactions of the Radnorshire Society, 50(1980):34-55.

[18] J. Hutchinson, “Chats on Counties: Radnorshire”, Time, 6(1881-82):75-80. The account of Silver John in W. Bowen Hamer, Radnorshire in History, Topography and Romance (Llandrindod Wells, 1914), 117-18, uses almost identical wording.

[19] National Library of Wales, Great Sessions, 4/526/8.

[20] J. Bounds, “Silver John of New Radnor”, The Radnorshire Society Transactions, 11(1941):38.

[21] W.H. Howse, Radnor Old and New (Hereford, 1944).

[22] Wright, Silver John, 4, 7.

[23] This was pointed out in 2007 in a post in the Radnorian blog at http://tredelyn.blogspot.com/2007/07/silver-john.html, where the existence of the Great Sessions records relating to the murder of Silver John was noted.

[24] Llanddewi Ystradenni parish registers (Powys County Archives Office). He was likely the Thomas Lloyd of Llanddewi Ystradenni, farmer, who died on 1 May 1818 and was buried on 4 May 1818 at Llanddewi Ystradenni, aged 44, with administration being granted to his widow Mary (National Library of Wales, BR/1818/44; National Burial Index).

[25] Llanddewi Ystradenni parish registers (Powys County Archives Office); 1851 census returns, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow (National Archives, HO 107/2492, fol. 76).

[26] Death certificate.

[27] Llangynllo parish registers (online at www.findmypast.co.uk).

[28] 1851 census returns, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow (National Archives, HO 107/2492, fol. 76).

[29] Llanfihangel Rhydithon parish registers (online at www.findmypast.co.uk); Llanfihangel Rhydithon bishops’ transcripts (searched on my behalf by Dianne Foster). There is another entry in 1786 for an Anne, daughter of John and Anne Dakins, but that one has been crossed out in the register.

[30] Death certificate.

[31] Llangynllo parish registers (Society of Genealogists, Mf 2516); 1851 census returns, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow (National Archives, HO 107/2492, fol. 75).

[32] Death certificate.

[33] Marriage certificate. This describes the bride as Ann Mainwaring, a widow, but does not name her father. The birth certificate of their son John Lloyd (b 9 Jan 1843 at Michaelchurch) also does not provide Ann’s maiden name, referring to her as Ann Lloyd, formerly Mainwaring. However, Thomas Mainwaring of Michaelchurch-on-Arrow and Ann Griffiths were married on 21 Apr 1829 at Llansantffraed-yn-Elfael and Llansantffraed is where Ann, wife of John Lloyd, is said to have been born (Llansantffraed-yn-Elfael parish registers, Powys County Archives Office; 1851 census returns, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow, National Archives, HO 107/2492, fol. 75).

[34] 1851 census returns, Glascwm (National Archives, HO 107/2492, fol. 106).

[35] Grant of probate.

[36] Marriage certificate.

[37] 1851 census returns, Llowes (National Archives, HO 107/2491, fol. 234).

[38] Death certificate.

[39] Michaelchurch-on-Arrow parish registers (Society of Genealogists, Mf 2047).

[40] 1861 census returns, Bryngwyn (National Archives, RG 9/4224, fol. 20).

[41] Death certificate; monumental inscription at Hermon Chapel, Rhosgoch.

[42] Michaelchurch-on-Arrow parish registers (Society of Genealogists, Mf 2047).

[43] 1851 census returns, Old Radnor and Burlingjobb (National Archives, HO 107/2492, fol. 190).

[44] Death certificate; monumental inscription at Michaelchurch-on-Arrow.

[45] Marriage certificate.

[46] 1851 census returns, Michaelchurch-on-Arrow (National Archives, HO 107/2492, fol. 76).

[47] Grant of probate.

[48] Marriage certificate.

[49] 1861 census returns, Bryngwyn (National Archives, RG 9/4224, fol. 15).

[50] Death certificate; 1871 census returns, Bryngwyn (National Archives , RG 10/5592, fol. 17); 1881 census returns, Llanstephan (National Archives , RG 11/5469, fol. 80); 1891 census returns, Bronllys (National Archives, RG 12/4578, fol. 13).

[51] Marriage certificate.

[52] Marriage certificate.

[53] 1851 census returns (National Archives, Brilley, HO 107/2492, fol. 55).

[54] Death certificate.

[55] Marriage certificate.