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Edward Lloyd (II)

The President


When Edward Lloyd (I), the Puritan, died in the city of London, in the year 1695, at an advanced age, he devised the plantation that was his home when in Maryland, but then in the occupancy of his widowed daughter-in-law Henrietta Maria (Neal, Bennett) Lloyd, reliet of his son Philemon (I) to his eldest grand-son Edward (11). It is of this Edward Lloyd, the second of the name, that it is now proposed to recite the life-story as far as very imperfect records and doubtful tradition have preserved the incidents. He was born Feb. 7th, 1670, and probably at Wye House, the residence of his father Philemon (I) the Indian Commissioner. He was but fifteen years of age at the death of his father, and therefore his early education devolved upon his mother, that lady upon whose tombstone, filial affection has inscribed, with questionable propriety, that she had "Abigail's wisdom." His first lesson in "good letters " may have been received from one of those teachers who were often brought from the transport ships, as indentured servants; but as it was the custom of the day for people of condition to send their sons to the old country for their education, and as his grandfather was a wealthy merchant of London, it is greatly probable Edward Lloyd (II) received his academic and perhaps a professional training in the schools and inns of court of the metropolis. He may have taken his seat upon a form at Eton or Harrow, and even matriculated at one of the great universities. It is very certain his education was such, however and wherever acquired, as to qualify him for the highest stations in the province.

The first authentic information we have of Ed. Lloyd (II), after he had attained his majority is of his having been commissioned, Jan. 16th, 1697, by Governor Francis Nicholson one of the Worshipful Commissioners and Justices of the Peace. He is spoken of as Colonel, so that he had received the acolade of provincial knighthood before he had been invested with the judicial ermine. He was also named in the Commission as one of the Quorum, a fact that seems to indicate that he was versed in the law. He continued to hold his seat upon the bench until Aug. 19th, 1701.23 Soon after, in 1702, he was made one of the Governor's Council, and as such he was still qualified to act as a County Justice and preside in court when present; but he does not seem to have exercised this right.

In the year 1697 the General Assembly was dissolved by proclamation of the Governor, and writs were issued, Jan. 11th, 1698, for a new election of Delegates, at which Col. Lloyd was chosen to be one to represent the freemen of Talbot, the Upper House or Council being composed of the appointees of the Governor. His associate delegates were Col. Thomas Smithson (who was made Speaker of the House), Mr. Richard Tilghman and Mr. Will. Hemsley. The last named gentleman died in 1699, and a brother of Mr. Lloyd, Philemon (II) was chosen in his place. During the time of Mr. Lloyd's service in the Lower House the most important measure that occupied its attention was the establishing of the Church of England as the church of the province. In 1692 Maryland had been made a Royal province, and Baltimore deprived of his Palatinate rights. The bill for the establishment of the English church, first passed in 1694, had met with more than one mishap, and was not finally approved by royal assent, until 1702. It encountered most stringent opposition from two classes of citizens, the Roman Catholics and the Quakers, the last of whom were numerous and influential in this county. Whether this bill had Col. Lloyd's approval is doubtful, for he could not have been unmindful of the people of his excellent mother's faith, 24 and the Friends were too strong to have their protests disregarded by a politic statesman.

On the 16th of March, 1702, about the date of the accession to the throne of "good Queen Anne," Mr. Lloyd was called from the Lower House of Assembly to a seat in the Council, which constituted the Upper House,25 by Governor Blackiston. In 1708 he was raised to the military rank of Major General of the Maryland Militia. Governor Seymour, who in 1704 succeeded Blackiston, dying in 1709, General Lloyd, at this date President of the Council, became, as such de facto Governor of the Province; and this honorable position was held by him until the appointment by King George I, of Mr. Hart, in 1714. The fact that five years elapsed between the death of Gov. Seymour and the appointment of Gov. Hart, during which interim Gen. Lloyd was acting by virtue of his election as President of the Council, may justly be taken as evidence that his official duties were discharged with satisfaction to both the authorities in England and the people of the Province. The period of his occupancy of the executive chair of the commonwealth was one of peace, if it was not one of great prosperity. Maryland now being under royal protection, as it had been since 1692, the old contests between the Proprietary and the people were unknown, and even the acerbity of religious controversy had greatly subsided by reason of the hopelessness of any effort to overthrow the established order. The legis- lation effected under President Lloyd indicates that there was little political interest and activity, either because there was a lack of evils to be redressed or from an unconsciousness of their existence. The truth is, the conversion of Maryland into a royal province had given peace but it had produced stagnation; and this had reacted upon the prosperity of the colony, which had sensibly declined. The period of the administration of President Lloyd is marked by no important events; but it may be esteemed happy, according to the dictum of the philosopher, because it has no history. President Lloyd's authority as chief executive, terminated with the arrival of Gov. Hart, May 29th, 1714. Soon after the government of his province, his private rights never having been infringed, was restored to the Lord Proprietary, Benedict Leonard Calvert, who ahnoi3t immediately dying, his title and rights devolved upon his infant son Charles Calvert. Governor Hart was recommissioned, and Genl. Lloyd retained his position in the Councit-a position which he continued to hold until his death in 1718-19.26

Of President Lloyd's personal character nothing whatever is known, and as little of his habits and pursuits. His elevation to some of the highest positions in the provincial government must be taken as evidence of ability and of honest repute. He was a man of affairs as well as poli- tician, and added to the fortune inherited from his grandfather and father. His home was at Wye House, but his public duties required his frequent and long attendance at Annapolis. On the first of February, 1703, he married Miss Sarah Covington, of Somerset county, Md. Family tradition has preserved or invented an interesting story of his courtship and marriage. It was the custom of the Friends or Quakers to hold their yearly or half yearly meetings at the " Great Meeting House at Third Haven "-that is at the meeting house still standing but unused near the town of Easton, a celebration of the bicentennial of the erection of which was made in the past year. To these meetings not only Friends from every portion of the Eastern and Western Shores resorted, but many persons of other communions and many more who acknowledged no religious connection. Nor were all who assembled moved by pious motives. Booths were erected for the sale of trumpery of one kind or another and especially for the sale of liquors. Horse racing and other rough country sports were indulged in by the ungodly; and of course where there was an assemblage of young people of both sexes there was much coquetry and serious courting. It is related that among the "visiting friends" from Somerset (of whom it may be said incidentally that they belonged to one of the very earliest of the Quaker societies formed in America) was a beautiful Quakeress, Sarah Covington, who came to the meeting from her distant home, seated on a pillion behind her father, and dressed in the simple garb of her people, which rendered her charms more pleasing by contrast with its plainness. The two young Lloyds, Philemon (II) and Edward (II) had ridden over from Wye House, to meet their acquaintances, participate in any sport that was passing and to witness whatever might be done by the Quakers in their exercises, or by the worldly people assembled for amusement, as if at a fair or merry making. They were both attracted by the great beauty of the young woman from Somerset, and each resolved to pay his addresses; but each concealed his purposes from the other.

The meeting being over, Philemon quietly took horse and made his way to the fair maiden's home on Somerset county. On reaching Miss Covington's door, to his distress and dismay he saw the well known 'turn out' of his brother Edward with accoutrements for special gala days. The two brothers, thus rivals and far from home, had to adjust the difficulty as best they could. * * Philemon proposed that whoever saw her first should be the first to offer his heart and hand; and by comparison of their accounts it was found that Edward had seen the young lady upon the road, before her arrival at the meeting house, where Philemon had first seen her. He said:

my purpose was then fixed to make her my wife, if her mind and character were like her face. Philemon yielded the prize and Sarah Covington became Mrs. Edward Lloyd, the mistress of Wye House.

A portrait of this lady is in the possession of descendants. She was the mother of several children, among them Edward (III) the Secretary, but her husband dying she married Mr. James Hollyday, and became the mother of the very distinguished lawyer and statesman of the same name. She died in London in 1755 at an advanced age, at the home of her daughter Mrs. Anderson, the wife of a merchant long en- gaged in trade with Maryland, surviving her second husband. Gen. Edward Lloyd (II), the President, died March 20th, 1718, and was buried at Wye House, where a monument is erected to his memory, with this inscription:

Here lieth ye body
of ye Honorable Coll.
Edward Lloyd, son of
Philemon Lloyd and Henrietta Maria his
Was bom ye 7th of Feb. 1670 and
died March ye 20th 1718.
He had by his wife Sarah 5 sons and one
daughter, all living except one
son. He
served his country
in several honorable stations
both civil and military and was
one of ye Council many
  1. The names of his associates upon the bench at the first court he attended, held Aug. 17th, 1697, were Capt. James Murphy, Mr. Richard Tilghman, Mr. William Hemsley, Mr. Hugh Sherwood, Mr. Thomas Robins, Jr., Mr. Richard Carter, Mr. John Coppedge, Mr. John Needles, Mr. Robt. Macklin, Mr. Matthew Smith, and Mr. Edward James. The three first named, with Col. Lloyd, were of the Quorum, without one of whom present no court could be held.
  2. Mr. John Bozman Kerr, upon what ground or authority it is not known, except the doubtful one he suggests, says of Col. Lloyd: "He was at heart a Roman Catholic. Had he acknowledged it openly, it would have done him injury, no doubt, politically, at this time. I judge from the perfect confidence between his good mother and himself." This is almost certainly erroneous, for Col. Lloyd could not, as an honorable man, have held office, when it was forbidden by law for a Catholic to do so. Mr. Kerr does injustice to him by an implied impeach- ment of his sincerity or frankness. It is probable be was Puritan as Paptist, for his father had enjoined, by his will, that he should be educated a Protestant, and that may have meant educated in disregard of both Popery and Prelacy.
  3. McMahon in Hist. of Md., Vol. i, p. 267, says that after Gov. Blackiston returned to England, in consequence of feeble health, the "Government devolved upon Col. Edward Lloyd, the President of the Council, in whose hands it remained, until the arrival of Governor Seymour in the spring of 1704." This is probably erroneous. See Scharf, Vol. i, p. 367, and MeSherry, p. 389, also Bacon's Laws.
  4. In a record of the meeting of a council in 1716, Mr. Ed. Lloyd's name did not appear.
  5. Genealogical Notes of the Chamberlaine family.