Victorian newspaper proprietor,

publisher and entrepreneur







Early Works

First 25 Years

Romances and Penny Bloods

Plagiarism, copyright

Who wrote Sweeney Todd?


Industrial innovation

Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper

Daily Chronicle


Lloyd the Radical

Lloyd the Liberal: Lloyd's Weekly

Lloyd the Liberal: Daily Chronicle

Radicals and Chartists

Liberal Party

The Rise of Literacy


(with links for Edward's children)

Biography (with some myths)

Lloyd the Man

Edward's Will



Edward's will

The will is a horrible document, written over seven pages in copperplate with no punctuation, sentences or paragraphs. Moreover, it is so ambiguous in parts that his heirs had to get legal advice after Edward's death, then after Maria's death, and then again when the trust was wound up in 1911. From the last episode it is possible to discern some friction among the heirs.

Before he died, Edward set up a trust independent of his will. Slightly more than half the shares in Edward Lloyd Ltd were held by four of his sons in trust for the grandchildren, with the children entitled only to a life interest.

The will provided generously for Maria, giving her all personal and household effects and the right to live in or receive the rent from three of Edward's properties. In addition to receiving an income equal to the sons' shares, she received an annuity of £1,000.

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Edward Lloyd 1815-1890

Edward Lloyd was born on 16 February 1815 into a modest family. His father was in trade in the City of London and no stranger to the bankruptcy court.

He was the youngest of three sons. Nigel Lloyd's research suggests a family with the attitudes of the middle class, albeit without the financial security that would normally have gone with it. The children may have been encouraged to aim high. His eldest brother, Thomas, made a successful career in medicine but the middle son, William, died in poverty.

Edward's education to the age of 14 was fairly generous at a time when the poor received little or no schooling. He was intelligent, energetic and enterprising, and claimed to have started on his life's career of publishing as soon as he left school.

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Lloyd the man

Edward Lloyd comes across as intelligent, cheerful and inspiring of loyalty and affection among those who knew him. For example, Tom Catling, a long-term employee and later editor of Lloyd's Weekly, wrote warmly of him. His stories of life at the newspaper show Edward's propensity for both humour and humanity. He won the esteem of many who met him in the course of business.

This is greatly at odds with his reputation as it developed in the 20th century. Most commentators simply ignored him. Of those that mentioned him, many were contemptuous – his business practices were condemned as greedy, unscrupulous and mean, his private life as licentious, and his publications as worthless.

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This plaque commemorates Edward in St Margaret's Church, Westminster. The verse is by Sir Edwin Arnold, a popular poet and editor of the Daily Telegraph for 15 years. "The pens that break the sceptres" caught the fancy of Lord Tennyson. At the time, he was writing a verse for William Caxton who was buried at the church in 1492 and commemorated by the London printing trade in 1892.

A memorial window to Edward was seriously damaged by a bomb blast in World War II, along with the adjacent window dedicated to Caxton. They were in the north wall, next to the window dedicated to Admiral Robert Blake (1598-1657).

Depicting "work", the three larger window panels of Lloyd's window showed Jesus in a carpenter's workshop flanked by two angels and the three smaller ones, a sower sowing seed, Caxton at his presses and a reaper harvesting grain.

Edward's memory is also celebrated in Holy Trinity Church, Algiers, where he is remembered as "the first to show the value of alfa fibre [esparto] for the manufacture of paper".


For those interested in their own lineage, the relevant surnames at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries were Lloyd, Ballantine, Bullen, Coggin, Hartley, Macrae, Mills and Muir

The children



















Family tree (first two generations only)


Maria and Edward…

… Maria and some of the children in the 1890s

… Edward, Maria and some of the family in the back garden at Water House

The Lloyd wealth

It is clear that Edward Lloyd's net worth greatly exceeded what was left in his will, ample though that was. It included less than half the shares in Edward Lloyd Ltd. Four of his sons held the rest in trust for the grandchildren. This is explored further in Edward's will (left).

Yet more may already have been distributed. It seems likely that he gave capital to his children when they came of age or on marriage. All except the two youngest daughters were adults when he died. He would surely have wished to give his sons, aged 21 to 36 at their father's death, the dignity of independent means, not have them depend on paternal hand-outs.