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Philemon Lloyd (1)

(Indian Commissioner)


In the year 1659, when Edward Lloyd (1) the Puritan, took out a warrant for 3,050 acres of land extending from Oxford to Dickinson'f; Bay, to which he gave the name "Hier Dier" (variously spelled), he claimed, under the Lord Proprietor's conditions of plantation, an allowance of acres for Philemon Lloyd, whom, with others, he had "transported into this Province, here to inhabit." It is not absolutely certain, but it is highly probable, that the person named in the patent was his own son; if so, this son must have been a mere child, for Philemon Lloyd (1), the son of Edward Lloyd (1), the immigrant from Virginia, was born in the year 1647, but two years before the expulsion of the Puritans from Virginia and their settlement at Providence now Annapolis. Assuming that Philemon Lloyd, for whom the Puritan Councillor under Gov. FendaU received 100 acres, part of his tract as mentioned, was the son of the patentee of " Hier Dier Lloyd," it is proposed to give such account of him as very scanty records will allow.

He was born in Virginia upon the Nausemond or Elizabeth river, where the Puritans were settled, and where his father was resident. Upon the expulsion of these people from the Dominion, he accompanied his parents to Maryland and grew up in Anne Arundel county, but at an early age made his home in Talbot on Wye River.

Of his education we know absolutely nothing, but that it was not neglected, we may be sure, from the facts that his youth was spent among a people who have always and everywhere valued learning, the Puritans, and that at a very early age we find him chosen for civil positions, for the proper discharge of the duties of which more than ordinary literateness was required, if not professional training and acquirements. But he had obtained under his father the best of all kinds of education, for one of his environments, that is to say, experience and self reliance in the administration of affairs. In 1668, when he was but twenty-one years of age, his father, going to England, gave him full power of attorney for the management of his great estate in Maryland, and for the conduct of the commercial business which already had been established in this province. How well this paternal confidence was bestowed is shown by the success which attended all the adventures, whether in land spec- ulations, planting or trading. Before this date, he had become a resi- dent of Talbot county, and after the departure of his father he made his home at Wye House, which has ever been regarded as incunabula majorum -the very cradle of the family. In 1668 the land records of the county indicate that he had purchased of Stephen Whetstone the "great island in Wye river," which at first having no special name has been variously called, according as it has been owned wholly or in part by different persons, " Lloyd's Insula," Chew's, Boardley's or Paca's Island. It is now commonly designated as Wye Island. In 1669 we find,Mr. Lloyd named in the provincial records as living in this county and holding a commission as Captain of the Militia. Later he became Colonel, and this title has become, as it were, hereditary, for it has been borne by the head of the family from the time of Col. Philemon Lloyd to the present, whether he has been performing military service or not. These and the like titles, which have long lost their significance, are now given in mere courtesy and often borne without authority, at one time in Maryland had a meaning indicative of military command and yet more, of social eminence, if not precedence. They now hardly distinguish those who, however legitimately and worthily, bear them and not infrequently they provoke ridicule for their inappropriateness.

At or about this time, 1669, the precise date not having been pre- served, Mr. Philemon Lloyd (1) contracted a most advantageous marriage and as it proved most happy, with Madam14 Henrietta Maria Bennett, the widow of Mr. Richard Bennett, the son of that Richard Bennett who, at one time Governor of Virginia, was the Commissioner of Parliament for settling the government of Maryland. Mr. Richard Bennett, Junior, was drowned in early manhood, leaving children amply provided for and a widow with a large dowry. Mr. Edward Lloyd (1) the Puritan, had been intimately associated politically and socially, with Gov. Bennett, and the marriage of his son with this gentleman's daughter-in-law, young, attractive and rich, was a very natural result of this association. The memory of this lady is held in great affection and veneration by her numerous descendants, and her name is perpetuated in many families which claim her as a progenetrix. She was the daughter of Capt. James Neal, who before coming to Maryland, according to his petition to the General Assembly for the naturalization of his four children, presented April 19th, 1666, had " lived diverse yeares in Spain and Portugall, following the trade of merchandize, and likewise was there employed by his Majesty of Great Britain [Charles III and his Royal Highness the Duke of Yorke in several emergent affairs, as by the Commissions herewith presented may appeare.15   While living in Spain and Portugal four children were born to him, of whom Henrietta Maria was one, who was named in honor of the Queen of Charles 1. There is a tradition in the families tracing descent to this estimable lady, whether well or ill founded matters little to those who are ready to believe what flatters their pride, that her mother, born in Maryland, was a maid of honor to, or at least was in the service of Queen Henrietta Maria; and that when her daughter was baptized that royal personage was graciously pleased to act as god-mother, presumably by proxy.

All this may be a legend founded upon a name, probably suggested to worthy Capt. Neal and his wife Anna Gynne by their intense loyalty to their king, who at the date of the birth of their child was probably in the hands of his enemies, and by their sympathy for his suffering wife, a refugee in France. However Henrietta Maria acquired her name- whether it was bestowed by royalty or prompted by loyalty---she was thought to be fortunate when she married young Mr. Bennett, the presumptive heir of a great fortune; though there were some who believed this alliance ill asserted, she the daughter of a royalist and a Romanist, he the son of a republican and a Puritan. There is no reason to believe this marriage was any otherwise than happy, until Mr. Bennett was suddenly cut off, leaving a son and daughter, the former of whom became, it is said, the richest man of his day in America. His widow, as has been noted, married Philemon Lloyd, and brought him a large fortune, chiefly derived from her former husband. Mrs. or as was the custom of the day, Madam Lloyd was a devout Catholic, having been born of Maryland Catholic parents, and in a foreign Catholic country.  It is said of her that she threw over the Roman Catholic priests the protection of her long social standing in Maryland, on both shores and that no Archbishop * * * could have been more a of stay and prop to American Catholicism than this estimable woman.

It was through her instrumentality and probably at her sole expense, with the approval of her Protestant husband, that the Romish chapel at Doncaster or Wyetown, was built-the first place of worship for the people of this obedience ever erected in this county, and long the only one. In 1693 we find that she-then a widow for the second time-- was appointed executrix of John Londey, a Jesuit priest, probably in charge of this chapel, who bequeathed to her one-half his estate, and the other half  unto the proper use and behoof and the upholding and benefit of ye Roman Catholic Chappell, built at ye mouth of Wye River.

This chapel long since disappeared, and for years its very existence was forgotten; but the memory of the fair and gentle lady, its founder and patroness, is still fresh and fragrant as the flowers that bloom upon the site of this early shrine. The town itself has perished and the plow share, as it turns a richer soil within the fertile fields of Wyetown farm, reveals the only signs of the former existence there of a mart and place where men did congregate to hail the last arrival from the great world beyond the seas, or to speed the departing ship that carried their fortunes in her swelling sides. Mrs. Lloyd long survived her husband, but dying she was buried at Wye House, where over her remains was erected by Richard Bennett, her son, a tomb, now much shattered, which bears or bore this inscription beneath the arms of the Lloyds, quartered with those of the Neals:

Shee who now takes her rest within this tomb,
Had Rachells face and Leas fruitful womb,
Abigails wisdom, Lydeas faithful heart,
With Marthas care and Marys better part.
Who died the 21st day of May (Anno)
Dom. 1697 aged 50 years -
months 23 days
To whose memory Richard Bennett dedicates this tomb.

Below the inscription is a shield embracing mortuary emblems. This lady must have possessed personal charms and mental qualities of unusual excellence to justify such eulogium, even though inscribed by the partiality of filial affection. Maternity is the glory of woman. Who, standing by the tomb of Henrietta Maria Lloyd, will say the poorest praise this epitaph bestows is that she was a fruitful mother? Who that knows how fondly and proudly a numerous progeny in several generations have loved to link her name with theirs, in repetitive instances, and call her mother, but must believe she was endowed with peculiarly strong or amiable traits of character to have so impressed her descendants, and to have caused her memory to be so greatly honored above that of most women in purely private station.

On the 17th day of Dec. 1670 a commission was issued by Governor Charles Calvert, to these gentlemen as Justices of the Peace for Talbot county viz.: Richard Woohnan, William Coursey, Philemon Lloyd, Thomas South, Seth Foster, Thomas Hynson, Philip Stevenson, James Ringoid, William Hambleton, Jonathan Sybery, Richard Gorsuch, Ed- ward Roe and John Wells. The four persons first named were to be Justices of the Quorum, without one of whom no court could be held.16 This honorable and responsible office he held until his death, the last court at which he made his appearance having been that of Feb. 17th, 1684-5.

In the year 1670 commissions were issued for a general election through- out the Province. Proclamation having been made by the sheriff , the election was accordingly held on the 17th of January, 1670-1, when four Burgesses or Delegates were chosen to represent the freemen of this county in the General Assembly, the Justices of the Court acting as Judges of election. These gentlemen were returned: Richard Wool man, Philemon Lloyd, Joseph Wicks and William Hambleton. Mr. Lloyd continued to be returned at each succeeding election until his death. In 1681 he was honored by being made the Speaker of the Lower House.

But the most notable if not the most useful service rendered by Col. Philemon Lloyd to the province of Maryland was the negotiation of a treaty of peace with the Iroquois or Five Nations, inhabiting what is now the State of New York. These tribes had made frequent irruptions into Maryland and Virginia, weakening or destroying the tribes of Indians intervening, and inflicting great suffering upon the whites seated in out-lying and exposed situations. In 1678 Col. William Coursey, in this county, which at this date embraced the territory of Queen Anne's had been sent by the Lord Proprietary to Albany for the purpose of negotiating a treaty of amity with the Five Nations, and he also acted for the neighboring province of Virginia. The treaty then formed had been disregarded, and bands of Iroquois continued to infest the northern and western settlements, committing murders and barbarities upon the friendly Indians, "Christians," and carrying off or destroying much property. It was deterniined by the Maryland authorities again to send a.n embassy to these northern tribes to seek redress for the injuries already inflicted, and secure a more binding or effectual treaty of peace. Accordingly the Governor and Council of Maryland appointed Col. Henry Coursey and Col. Philemon Lloyd, Commissioners for the Proprietary to treat with the confederate Iroquois, at Albany, in New York, in behalf of the people of both Maryland and Virginia. It would appear that these gentlemen made three fruitless journeys to the appointed place of meeting and it was not until Aug. 1682, that they were successful in securing the attendance of the chiefs of the tribes. Negotiations were held at the Court House, commencing on the 3d of the month and continuing to the 13th. They were opened with the presenta- tion of certain "propositions" by Cols. Coursey and Lloyd to the chiefs of the Senecas, who returned their answer denying that the wrongs had giving, but with reluctance, the name "Jacob Young," as that of the man who instigated them to make war on the Piscataways. Presents were given and received frequently during the conference, which was concluded, apparently to the satisfaction of each of the contracting parties.17

After twelve or fifteen years had passed since the restoration of royal authority in England, and the Proprietary rule in Maryland, there was a revival here similar to that which had taken place there, of a jealousy, hatred and fear of the Roman Catholics. Lord Baltimore was suspected of entertaining a purpose of effecting in his Palatinate what the Mng and his brother were suspected of planning for the reahn at large, the suppression of Protestantism and the institution of Romanism. These malicious and ill-founded suspicions were instigated by a reprobate Anglican clergyman named Coode, and it is probable they would have secured lodgment in the minds of none but for alarming reports received from the mother country. Of the panic which was set up in England by the alleged "Popish Plot" and its attendant circumstances, there were those in this distant land, who professed to feel the tremors, and to apprehend the horrors. There may even have been those who were willing to see visited upon their fellow colonists some of those penalties for differing from them in religious opinion which were suffered by suspected Romanists at home. But Col. Philemon Lloyd, though the ,son of a Puritan father, and a member of the church of England, entertained no such sentiments in regard to the Lord Proprietary and his co-religionists, for we find him in May, 1682, uniting with many others of the same religious persuasion, or, as they call themselves, Protestants, in a declaration as to their perfect freedom in the enjoyment and practice of their religion, as to the impartiality of the Lord Proprietary in the distribution of offices, without any respect or regard to the religion of those appointed, and as to the falsehood of those scandalous and malicious aspersions which inveterate malignant turbulent spirits have cast upon his Lordship and his government. This act of Col. Lloyd indicates that religious and political prejudices-at this time they were one-had not obtunded his fine sense of honor, or his obligations of justice and gratitude to the Lord Proprietary.18

But if we were not informed by this "remonstrance declaration,as it is called, of the religious belief and practice of Col. Lloyd, his will written in the very same month and year, May 1682, with its codicil written just before his death, May 1685, would furnish even fuller attestation. After directing that his children should be educated according to their condition in life he said:

I will that my children be brought up in ye Protestant religion and carried to such and such church or churches where it is preached and to no other, during their minority and until such years of discretion as may render them best capable to judge what is most consonant to ye good will of Almighty God, unto which, pray God of his mercy to direct them.

As if exceedingly solicitous for the religious welfare of his children he adds in a codicil written three years after his will:

Whereas by my said last will I left it in charge of my overseers [execu- tors] those innamed, to cause my children to be brought up in ye Protestant religion, in which religion I would still have them continue, yet least my meaning and intent therein should be mistaken and disorders will [arise] not forseen between my wife and overseers af'd. that I make it my only request to her by obligations of a loving husband to see my will therein performed and yat ye said overseers put her in mind thereoff and so God's will be done.19

It is very evident from the will and especially from the codicil, that the education of his children in the Protestant faith was a matter of solicitude. It is also evident that he was not 'without apprehension, notwithstanding his affection for his wife, that her devotion to her own church, and the influences of her spiritual directors, would prompt her to a disregard of his injunctions in this particular; and so, while he charged her to be remembering her obligations to obey, he also enjoined upon his executors to remind her of her duty should she seem oblivious to its requirements. There is reason to believe his wishes were faithfully observed, for no Lloyd of Wye, has ever been an adherent of the church of Rome.20

The political opinions of Col. Philemon Lloyd are inferable from his religious convictions, for with him as with others of his day, the two were correlative, if not coincident. His mind being dominated by the latter, from them the former took their direction. He lived long enough to feel the first breathings of that storm which shaking the very foundations of the English constitution, drove the Steuarts from the throne, and wafted in William of Orange; but he did not live to see the "glorious revolution" as it was called, of 1688, which would have gladdened his heart. He was a friend of the Proprietary, and though Baltimore was a Romanist he defended his rights and prerogatives; but there is substantial reason for believing he was a Whig in politics as he was a Protestant in religion; on the contrary, his widow, in after years, was suspected of being a Jacobite, for in 1689 a band of "Associators in arms for the defense of the Protestant religion," headed by one Sweatnam, a neighbor, visited her planatation on Wye and removed the arms that were in her possession21 under a pretext that they were to be used for defense against the Indians.

Col. Philemon Lloyd's life was a very brief one, but he lived long enough to serve his country usefully, and to become the father of a large number of children, who intermarrying with prominent and influential families of Maryland and the adjoining provinces, have now representatives in almost every part of this country, who trace with becoming pride their descent from the earnest churchman, the upright judge, the wise legislator and the skillful Indian diplomatist, Col. Philemon Lloyd (I), of Wye. He was buried at Wye House, where a tomb was erected to his memory bearing this inscription.

Here Lies
Interred the body of
the son of E. Lloyd and Alice his
wife, who died the 22nd of June 1685,
in the 39th year of his age leav-
ing three sons and seven
daughters all by his be-
loved wife Henrietta
Maria. "No more than this the father says,
But leaves his life to speak his praise."22
  1. This appellation was evidently used by the early Marylanders as a title of honor and dignity, and was almost the equivalent of "Lady" in England, for it was bestowed only upon those enjoying social distinction. As the Lord Proprietary by the terms of his charter was forbidden to establish orders of nobility such as those existing at home, certain familiar titles were adopted which soon acquired a conventional significance and importance and were therefore sought after and claimed as indicative of rank. Some of these were 'Honorable,' still retained, and in many cases most signally inappropriate, if meant to express personal character as well as official station-' 'Worshipful,' which has entirely disappeared, under the restricted meaning of its root; military titles from "Major General" to "Lieutenant," which still survive with much diminished lustre since the war of the Rebellion. The titles applied to women were "Madam" as indicating the highest provincial grade, and "Mistress," one step lower in the social scale. Those of no distinction from wealth or official station were spoken of with theirsimplename. The term 'Dame,' now used colloquially only,and with levity -almost with reproach-has nowhere been discovered in the county records or in private letters or memoranda. If ever used by our people it quickly disappeared.
  2. Maryland Archives, Vol. ii, page 90.
  3. The form of the Commission may be found in the clerks office of this county, in Liber B. B., No. 2. Pagination irregular.
  4. For a more particular account of this treaty, which has received little attention from Maryland historians, see "Documents relating to the Colonial History of New York,' Vol. 111. pages 321-328.
  5. Scharf's Hist. Md., Vol. 1, page 289.
  6. It may well enough to note that one of the witnesses to the will was the Rev. James Clayland, one of the first ministers of the church of England that came to this county.
  7. It would be surprising if a mother of such amiable traits and deep piety as Madam Lloyd's, should not have impressed some of her children with her religious opinions, in spite of the stated preachings of Parson Clayland, or Parson Lillingston; so there is a tradition, which at least has the support of plausibility, that the second Philemon Lloyd had inclinations towards the Roman Catholic Church.
  8. Scharf's Hist. Md. VOL. 1, page 323.
  9. Genealogical notes of the Cbamberlaines family, Page 34.