Thomas James Lloyd
Thomas James LloydÂ (1849 – 1910)Â Â painter, principally of landscape, but also of genre and marine subjects. Living in London, Walmer Beach and Yapton, Sussex. Exhib from 1870 at the RA, 1871 – 1910 SS, OWS (83 works), and elsewhere. AJ 1877 August ‘In Pastoral’ (RA 1877) the lighting up of the hill beyond is remarkably like nature, and ‘Nearly Home’ is very faithful to rural circumstances, as well as natural fact…This artist is making rapid strides, and bids fair to become one of our great landscape-painters.’
The following is a copy of a letter from Thomas James Lloyds step daughter:
Tuesday March 29th 1983
Dear Mrs James
Thank you for your letter and the lovely card which I am very pleased to have. I have not seen this picture till now and I am glad to see the typical little cat enjoying a saucer of milk, while the large dog- a colly? Looks on so intently. I suppose the venue may be Walma Beach but I don’t know if there is land near there or hills of any sort.
I will proceed to tell you all that I know of Tom Lloyd, which is not a very great deal.
He was born on August 4 1849, I think in London, but I do not know in which part. His father was an art dealer and there is a story about him in:
A Victorian canvas- The memoirs of W.P. Frith RA- edited by Neville Wallis- published 1957- pages 84-85.
This recounts how ‘Lloyds’ the picture dealers brought Frith’s picture “Life at the Seaside,” the first of his large scale pictures of contemporary life, for a thousand guineas, but on hearing that Queen Victoria wished to buy it allowed her to have it for the same price, but he retained the engraving rights for three years and so was not entirely deprived of his profits! There is a reproduction of this scene at Ramsgate Sands in the book.
I do not kow if anything of Tom Lloyd’s life till he and my mother met in 1907 but I have in my possession the certificate of his admission to membership “Royal Society of Painters in watercolour 1904,” known to me as the R.W.S. (Royal Watercolour Society). This imposing framed certificate is inscribed after a lengthy preamble as follows:
‘Given at our Royal Palace at Osborne on the tenth day of February 1887 in the 50th year or our reign. . . . . . ‘ Victoria R (signed by her)
The diploma begins by setting out the various titles of the Queen . . . . Defender of the faith, Empress of India, etc., to our trusty and well beloved Tom Lloyd Esquire Greeting.
I know that this grandeur, in relation to his quite humble origin, always amused him.
When Tom Lloyd was about seven years old his portrait was painted in Highland costume and exhibited in the Royal Academy. His son intended me to have it but unfortunately did not put his intention in his will, but only in a note book where I saw it several times. This note book could not be found after his death and in any case would not have been binding. This caused me most intense regret. It went with his other belongings to the owner of the hotel at which his son died in 1971. This was Mrs Foxwell of Seaton, Devon. She did allow me to have a pastel portrait of my stepfather by E.R. Hughes (born 1951) who also did pastel drawings of my brother and me.
In 1907 my mother, then a widow 40 years of age was living at Littlehampton with my brother and me. Her mother came to stay with us and told her that a cousin of theirs was living not far away at Yapton. I doubt if they had ever met but my grandfather had bought a large oil painting by Tom Lloyd called “Promising Youngsters”, and this later came into my mother’s possession. Anyway, the two ladies decided to hire a brougham and drive over to call on Tom Lloyd at Yew Tree House, Yapton. At this time I was several years old and it was a great delight when this unknown gentleman started bicycling over to call on my mother. He often brought with him packets of V and suchard chocolates individually wrapped, first in silver then in coloured paper- maroon for plain chocolate and mauve for milk! Tom Lloyd’s wife had died fairly recently, I don’t know why, but I believe that she ‘had a problem’ as it is enphemist- and that her death had been something of a relief. Whether she was ever the romantic and beautiful girl in the pictures, I have no idea. I feel that she was at any rate somewhat romanticised, but I do not have any knowledge of her at all.
In 1907 my mother took us for a holiday in the Isle of Wight and we stayed at Ventnor- Tom Lloyd must have stayed near as I have photographs taken by my mother on what was called the Undercliff near B Church. I suppose these places till exist.
On June 20, 1908 Tom Lloyd and my mother were married in London, and spent their honeymoon at Leamington Spa. We were all very happy at this event, but this was to be short lived. In 1909 my stepfather was very ill with some kind of kidney disease. It must have been the beginning of cancer but he received the best treatment then available, both in Hampstead where my mother had friends in the medical world and then convalescing at Hindhead. His health greatly improved and they set about plans for moving away from Littlehampton to some place with better schools for us children. They looked at Lewes but finally settled at Eastbourne (The corner House, 44 Arlington Road), where they built on a good studio with North lights. They moved, I think, in August and cannot have had any idea of what was in store. For illness soon struck again- the same trouble and Tom died in November 1910 to our very deep sorrow and regret.
Tom Lloyd had two brothers younger than himself- Stuart and Malcolm. Stuart was also a painter rather largely of sea scapes I think. I have none of his work, but I seem to remember bright skies and sunsets. However, I have been shown a reproduction of a gently river scene. I always supposed that Stuart only took to painting because his elder brother made a success of it. I may be wrong as he seems to have exhibited at the R.A. quite as many pictures as Tom. But I do know that he needed financial help from time to time and this my mother continued after Tom’s death. Malcolm was rather a withdrawn character, but I have a number of small sea scapes painted by him. I do not think he earned any money by painting and in his later life was provided for by his nephew Tom E Lloyd, the only child of Tom. He was known as Uncle Dick and his initials were R M Lloyd. I don’t know why the three boys all had Scotch names- James, Stuart and Malcolm and the kilt and glengarry worn in the aforesaid portrait.
There must have been a Scottish connection of which I know nothing. The connection with my mother’s family came through two sisters called Elizabeth and Sophia Sears (1783). One was the grandmother of Tom Lloyd and the other of my mother’s mother- so my mother and Tom E Lloyd were of the same generation.
Yours with warm regards,
E L (Tom Lloyds step-daughter).