Lloyd, Charles (1775–1839)

Poet. Eldest child of Charles, a wealthy Quaker banker, and his wife Mary. He matriculated at Caius College, Cambridge in 1798 but did not take his degree. He married Sophia Pemberton in 1799 and they moved to Ambleside in 1800. His works included: contributions to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Poems (1797), Blank Verse (1798) (co-authored with Charles Lamb), the controversial roman-à-clef Edmund Oliver (1798), Nugae Canorae (1819), Desultory Thoughts in London (1821), Poetical Essays on the Character of Pope (1821), and The Duke d’Ormond (1822). Lloyd met Southey at Burton in August 1797, when he and Charles Lamb unexpectedly turned up on Southey’s doorstep. Lloyd remained with Southey and his family for several months. Southey recognised in him a fellow man of strong emotions, a kindred — yet also unlike — spirit, and worried that Lloyd’s ‘feelings ... are not so blunt as we could wish them — or as they should be for his own happiness’. Indeed Lloyd’s continued presence was increasingly unwelcome and in 1798 his tale-telling led to a major quarrel between Southey and Coleridge which was not healed until 1799. After Southey moved to Keswick in 1803, he and his family saw Lloyd, who lived at Low Brathay near Ambleside, regularly. Lloyd’s later life was clouded by mental illness. He was briefly confined in the Quaker-run asylum The Retreat, York, and died in a sanatorium near Versailles. In his edition of Cowper (1836–1837), Southey made his final public observations on Lloyd’s tragic history: ‘[his] intellectual powers were of a very high order ... when in company with persons who were not informed of his condition, no one could descry in him the slightest appearance of a deranged mind.’

Mentioned in

142 pages


Addressed in

Lloyd, Charles (1775–1839) has not been addressed on any pages