LOYD, Samuel Jones (1796-1883), of 22 New Norfolk Street, Park Lane, Mdx.
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Family and Educationb. 25 Sept. 1796, o.s. of Lewis Loyd, banker, of 43 Lothbury, London and 1st w. Sarah, da. of John Jones, banker, of Manchester. educ. Kentish Town 1804; Chiswick (Rev. Thomas Horne) 1809; Eton 1809-13; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1814. m. 10 Aug. 1829, Harriet, da. of Ichabod Wright, banker, of Mapperley Hall, Notts., 1s. d.v.p. 1da. cr. Bar. Overstone 5 Mar. 1850; suc. fa. 1858. d. 17 Nov. 1883.
Sheriff, Warws. 1838-9.
Loyd was returned unopposed for Hythe in 1820, having established himself there on the ‘independent’ interest ten months earlier with the aid of the wealth provided by his family’s flourishing banking business. He made no mark in the House, where he was a very infrequent attender, and neither side could rely on his consistent support.1 He voted with opposition to establish parliamentary control over the droits of the crown, 5 May 1820, and against the exclusion of Queen Caroline’s name from the liturgy, 26 Jan. 1821, but sided with the Liverpool government in defence of their general conduct towards her, 6 Feb. 1821. He voted for Catholic relief, 28 Feb. He was in the ministerial majority against cuts in expenditure, 6 Mar., but voted to reduce the army by 10,000 men, 14 Mar. 1821. On 17 May 1821 Loyd was granted six weeks’ leave of absence, and a month later he embarked on a foreign tour which took him to France, Switzerland and Italy. From Berne he wrote to his mother, 31 July:
Moralists and philosophers may argue as much as they like about the nature of happiness and the mode of obtaining it; but I know from experience that my path to happiness lies up the side of a mountain and that true felicity is always to be found at the summit.
More soberly, he reported to his father from Florence, 18 Oct. 1821:
The Tuscans are perhaps at present in the enjoyment of the best possible government, an absolute monarchy administered by a mild and humane prince, who is really anxious to increase the happiness and prosperity of his subjects, and he is amply repaid by their devoted attachment.
Soon afterwards, news of his mother’s illness (she had in fact died on 1 Oct. 1821) brought him prematurely home.2
Loyd resumed his desultory parliamentary career, voting with ministers against more extensive tax cuts, 11 Feb., abolition of one of the joint-postmasterships, 13 Mar. 1822, and the repeal of the Foreign Enlistment Act, 16 Apr. 1823, but against them in favour of inquiry into the prosecution of the Dublin Orange rioters, 22 Apr. 1823. He voted to end flogging in the army, 15 Mar., and he may have been the ‘J.J. Lloyd’ who was listed in the majority against Brougham’s condemnation of the conviction of the Methodist missionary John Smith for exciting insurrection among the slaves in Demerara, 11 June 1824. (Eight years later he was publicly accused, on the strength of this evidence, of favouring slavery, but he strongly denied the charge.)3 His only recorded votes in 1825 were for Catholic relief, 1 Mar., 10 May. The following year he was listed in minorities for taking securities for notes of issue, 27 Feb., against giving the president of the board of trade a ministerial salary, 10 Apr. (as ‘S.G. Lloyd’), and (once more as ‘J.J. Lloyd’) for relaxation of the corn laws, 18 Apr. His friend William Prescott later wrote that ‘notwithstanding his facility of expression’ in private, Loyd ‘was always averse to public speaking’;4 he is not known to have uttered a syllable in debate. He retired at the dissolution of 1826, possibly under pressure from his father, who seems to have regarded politics as a distraction from the essential business of increasing the family fortune.5
This Loyd, who became active in the firm in the early 1820s, helped him to do with outstanding success. In 1842, John Cam Hobhouse* visited the London bank and found ‘these masters of millions ... in their little back room as hard at work as if they had their bread to gain by it’.6 Two years later Loyd took over as head of the bank, which he sold in 1864. The family acquired several landed estates, notably Overstone in Northamptonshire and Lockinge in Berkshire, which at the time of Loyd’s death were worth over £58,000 per annum, supplementing a personal fortune in excess of £2,000,000.7 Loyd unsuccessfully contested Manchester in 1832 as a moderate reformer independent of party ties. He made no further attempts to re-enter the Commons, but rose to prominence as a leading authority on banking and finance, who exercised considerable influence on the fiscal policy of Victorian governments. His views, expressed in his evidence before select committees in 1832 and 1840 and in a series of pamphlets, did much to shape the Bank Charter Act of 1844, which he steadfastly defended thereafter. He had the ear of Charles Wood*, chancellor of the exchequer in the Russell administration (1846-52), which rewarded him with a peerage (only hesitatingly accepted). An infrequent speaker in the Lords, but active in committees, he later became a Conservative in politics.8
Prescott wrote of him in 1863:
His characteristics, as a banker, in addition to his wealth, were his thorough comprehension of the principles of business and his consistent application of them to his own affairs ... He was perhaps too cautious to have created the business, but his judgement in managing the banks ... was unrivalled ... I have always regarded him as one of the most upright minded and honourable men I have ever known; scrupulous and sensitive even to a fault ... He is a first rate adviser both as a friend, and as a man of business, capable of taking rapid and clear views of any matter submitted to him. His ability in conversational discussion is remarkable. He is a close reasoner, quick in detecting and exposing the fallacy of an argument, ready to give the reasons for his own opinions, and capable of expressing himself with unusual clearness and vigour. Strictly just himself he is not tolerant of shift or subterfuge in others and from feeling his own strength he does not make much allowance for the weakness or the ignorance of an adversary.9
A widower for the last 19 years of his life, Loyd died in November 1883.
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: David R. Fisher
See The Correspondence of Lord Overstone ed. D.P. O’Brien, 3 vols. (1971).
- 1. Black Bk. (1823), 172; Session of Parl. 1825, p. 474.
- 2. Overstone Corresp. i. 155, 166, 183, 187.
- 3. Ibid. i. 21.
- 4. Ibid. iii. 1025.
- 5. Ibid. i. 231.
- 6. Broughton, Recollections, vi. 53.
- 7. See Overstone Corresp. i. 17-47 and R.C. Michie, ‘Income, expenditure and investment of a Victorian millionaire’, BIHR, lxiii (1985), 59-77.
- 8. Oxford DNB.
- 9. Overstone Corresp. iii. 1024-5.