Category Archives: Family

Sir Richard Lloyd

Sir Richard Lloyd (?1697-1761) was one of the Ipswich portmen who lost their posts in the 1755 coup. He had also recently lost the election to be M.P. However, one doesn’t need to feel too sorry for him. As a consolation, he was made Solicitor-General.

Lloyd had been Recorder of Ipswich since 1739, and had represented other constituencies around the country. After his failure at Ipswich, he became M.P. for Totnes. He was probably born in 1697 at Lichfield. His father was Talbot Lloyd, and his mother, Elizabeth Savage, was a natural daughter of his father’s commanding officer, the infamous General Lord Rivers. He went to Lichfield School and then on to Cambridge before training for the law in Middle Temple and being called to the bar in 1723. In the 1720s he married Elizabeth Field (or Feild), whose mother, Arabella Savage, had been another natural daughter of Lord Rivers. They had two sons and two daughters.

Lloyd was knighted in 1745 on the occasion of the loyal address after the Jacobite rising, and he was one of the prosecutors in Lord Lovat’s trial in 1746. Also in 1745, the 90-year old dowager countess of Winchelsea, widow of Heneage Finch, the 3rd Earl of Winchelsea, died, leaving Lloyd her entire estate `inexplicably’, says the DNB. This inheritance supported him in Parliament and enabled him to buy Hintlesham Hall, near Ipswich, in 1747.

Sir Richard Lloyd was also an early patron of Thomas Gainsborough in his Suffolk days. The earliest portrait Gainsborough did of members of the family is that of the eldest son, Richard Savage Lloyd and his mother, possibly as early as 1745 or 1746.

Around 1750, Gainsborough painted the elder sister, Cecil,

and also the two youngest children, Heneage and his sister Lucy:

Finally, sometime in the 1750s, although the date is uncertain, Gainsborough painted Sir Richard himself.

Sir Richard was an MP until 1759, resigning when he was appointed a judge. He was a supporter of Kirby’s, subscribing to both the Historical Account and the Method of Perspective, and knew the family well. The eldest brother of Kirby, John, born in 1715, had been trained as a lawyer, and was a junior partner to Lloyd. When John was appointed Under-Treasurer at the Middle Temple in 1748 (Lloyd was Treasurer), Lloyd wrote to him, that “the gentlemen that nominated you cannot and will not repent; for if honour, honesty, and stedfastness are required, they could not have pitched upon so proper a person as yourself, for I can answer that every one of those qualifications are thoroughly grafted in you”. Unfortunately, John Kirby died in 1750.

A letter to his son

Joshua Kirby’s son William was born in 1743.  The Kirby’s lived in Ipswich, Suffolk, but moved to London around 1755.  While in Ipswich, William had attended Ipswich Grammar school and in London he went to Westminster.  In 1759, then aged 15 or 16, William was sent back to Ipswich to study under Kirby’s friend, Thomas Gainsborough.  The following letter was written by Joshua to his son in Suffolk and shows KIrby’s deep-felt religious concern for his family.

 Aug. 12, 1759.

Dear Son,

Your letter came to hand yesterday, when I went to London, and it pleases me very much, particularly that part of it which promises an industrious application to your studies, and the proof you have given of being in earnest, by beginning the next day after your arrival at Ipswich.

It is now a time of life with you, which is, if any, the most critical ; and therefore it should be watched with the utmost care and attention. For now is commencing a season when temptations of Vice and Folly will use every bewitching art to allure you from the practice of Religion and Virtue. It is therefore my indispensable duty to watch every step you take, to guide your growing understanding, and to point out the way to true and lasting happiness, and some of the most dangerous shoals and quicksands, which are placed in the way to it ; that you may be always upon your guard, acquire a constant rectitude of behaviour, and may obtain the most invaluable of all blessings, the favour of God, and the esteem of good and wise men. ·

Thus you see, my son, I have undertaken a very arduous task, for your own thoughts will suggest what an extensive field may be opened on this occasion ; and they will likewise, in some measure, anticipate the subject of my next letter; in which I shall endeavour to form in your mind true and just conceptions of the supreme Being; in hopes of striking such deep impressions of reverence, love, and fear towards Him, as may never be effaced.

I am your affectionate Father,

JOSHUA KIRBY .

Quoted in  Some account of the Life and Writings of Mrs. Trimmer, 3e, 1825.

Kirby and his World

This site is dedicated to Joshua Kirby (1716-1774), his life, times, friends, and anything else I find interesting about mid-18th century England.

Kirby was an artist and author and I will write more about his works in later posts. He was a friend of Thomas Gainsborough and William Hogarth.  Gainsborough painted a portrait of Kirby and his wife in the late 1740’s.  Felicity Owen dates the painting ‘close to 1746’, although the National Portrait Gallery goes with 1751 or 1752.

Gainsborough's portrait  of the Kirbys