She often prayed that affection might never bias her judgment, but that reason and religion might govern her in every state and turn of life.

Her first marriage was to Griffith Lloyd, Esquire,[1] of Hemingford Grey in Huntingdonshire,[2] on the first day of February 1667,[3] in the twenty-third year of her age.[4] He was a gentleman of good repute and estate, of great usefulness in his country whilst in commission of the peace;[5] and afterwards, as a reconciler of differences and common patron to the oppressed. [6] He was of a very active and generous spirit, a person of great piety and singular temper, and steady faithfulness to his friends.[7] They lived together about fifteen years (to April 13, 1682)[8] with such a mutual love and pleasure as to be taken notice of by all their neighbours; envied by some and glorified in by others, especially their own relations.[9]

Her second marriage was to myself on May 29, 1697: but with what care and fear and cautious procedure she managed the same, let her own diary say. Sure I am, had not she or some of her particular confidants been fully satisfied of the clear conduct of providence[10] in the whole affair from first to last, it could never have come to pass. What solemn addresses did she make to heaven upon this occasion! And how solemnly did she adjure[11] others to do the like! And how impartially did she compare God’s answers to both! What her yearly remarks were upon this day it is a pleasure for me to find in her diary, but does not concern others.

As to her relative duties,[12] she made great conscience of them and was very exemplary in them.

It was not possible, I think, there should be a more observant, tender, indulgent and compassionate wife than she was. It was never in her temper to desire any greater authority than God had given her.

I cannot but with great affection – and let others pardon me in it – read over her constant and too solicitous concern for me; and how many hours and days of prayer by herself and (by her procurement) with others were observed upon my account for the recovery of my health, and continuance and success in my ministry: to which I am persuaded, under God, I owe my life, and many instances of grace in the course of my preaching. It has grieved me to think how many weary days, and waking nights, and hazardous journeys, and anxious thoughts the ill state of my health has caused her from year to year.

Nor can I, without great thankfulness to God, reflect upon the many comforts of our lives, our mutual endearments and unbroken affection to each other: the peace and pleasure we have had, without the alloy[13] of any one quarrel, passion or dispute, for almost twenty-three years together, which, next to the grace of God, was chiefly owing to her singular prudence and patience, and the excellency of her natural and Christian temper.

Nor must I forget (what others have never known till now) with what meekness and humility and submission – in the most obliging, as well as inoffensive manner – she has sometimes hinted what she suspected amiss in my conversation and conduct. Innumerable infirmities, no doubt, she industriously covered. But in tenderness of affection to me, she would never let any such sin lie upon me which she thought might be observed by others, or prove any blemish to my profession.

In one thing she was apt to be smart upon me, and that was for not dealing faithfully with her in the slips I observed in her own conversation; and would often say she left that guilt upon me which I observed in her, and she not in herself: but I hope my conscience can answer me against that charge.

As a mistress, she was very careful in the choice of her servants (where she could have choice); [and] was always afraid of strife and contention in her family, lest she should be ruffled in her own spirit, and the common interest of religion obstructed by intestine[14] jars and disaffection. She never took any into her service till she had solemnly prayed to and pleaded with God, and submitted herself to his direction. Whenever she treated with any, she did not only acquaint them with the business of the place but also with the religious orders of the family, to which she had their explicit consent.

When once admitted, it was her first and constant care to inquire into the state of their souls; to instruct and catechize;[15] to reprove and encourage; to warn them of the snares and dangers of their age and place; and to enjoin them to take time for secret prayer, reading the Scripture, meditation and self-examination. She always charged it as a duty upon herself to talk over every sermon they heard together, especially on Sabbaths, and to inculcate that upon them, in a particular manner, in which she thought they were most concerned. She sometimes took an account of them together; but at other times, when her health and strength would allow it, she examined them singly and apart, that such as could remember but little might not be discouraged by those that could do better; and that she might have a fairer opportunity of closer application to their particular state, as she saw occasion. By this means she became a servant to her servants and took pleasure in all her pains with them, though oftentimes to extreme faintness.

Her servants themselves will own what natural care she took of them in sickness as well as health. And her diary will abundantly prove how incessantly she prayed for them and suited her prayers to the particular exigencies of every state. How often do we find her there mourning over the unteachableness of some, and melted into tears for them, and lodging her appeals with God as to the sincerity of her endeavours to have done them good; and rejoicing over others, that God had answered her prayers, and blessed her instructions, and brought them under the bonds of the Covenant,[16] and planted them in families and made them blessings there. I cannot remember any that were brought under her care but had learned something of the method of a sermon before they left her; and very many whose memories were improved so far as to bring home all the particular heads of two sermons in a day, though many.

Whenever she inclined to part with a servant, she always consulted God in it; would then take them into her closet and very pathetically advise them, and teach them a proper conduct of life, that they might be acceptable in other services. And such was the success of these her religious methods that I know not of any one servant she ever had but was, first or last, under some awakenings of conscience, and spiritual convictions, and seeming resolutions for God and religion, however they wore off afterwards. It is common with some of them still, upon every occasion, to speak of their mistress’ care of them and prayers with them when the family was left with her, as, in the necessary absence of others, it often was.

If we consider her with respect to her other relations, we shall find her a constant sharer with them in all their joys and sorrows. A more sympathizing spirit is very rarely to be found. She never ceased to pray for them, as parts of herself; [and] was often mourning for their sins and afflictions; rejoicing in the piety of some, and thirsting after the conversion and return of others. When a distance from any, she had a particular talent in writing to them; and such was the pertinency, pathos and pungency of all her letters that everyone valued and was greatly pleased with them. When present with others, she was always feeling which way their pulses beat; insinuating herself[17] into their affections; instilling something proper into their minds; observing, persuading, warning and directing as she thought it necessary. She has an honourable testimony in the consciences (I believe) of all her relations, who honour her memory, and own her a pattern of great integrity, piety, ingenuity and faithfulness. Her animadverting[18] upon her friends (in the manner she used to do it) was so far from offending, that it was oftentimes very pleasing to them: [it] begat in them some awful regard[19] to her person, and a true decorum in their own lives.


[1] Griffith Lloyd (c.1620–82), former Captain of Horse in the New Model Army. Of Welsh descent, he had relatives in Llandeilo Talybont, near Pontarddulais, Glamorganshire. His parents were Maurice Lloyd and Elizabeth Guilliams of Glamorganshire. The surname is written variously in English documents: Floyd, Loyd, Loid etc. Spufford (The World of Rural Dissenters, 1520–1725) is mistaken in asserting ‘We know little of her first husband, a graduate, barrister and JP’, apparently on the strength of Venn and Venn’s entry in Alumni Cantabrigiensis, which relates to a different man. That particular Griffith Lloyd who matriculated at Queens’ College, Cambridge in 1658 was ‘of Wales’, whereas Capt. Lloyd had been known as a Huntingdonshire man ‘of Hemingford’ and ‘of St Ives’ long before that date, and had been appointed by Cromwell as a Commissioner for Cambridge University in 1654; the Griffith Lloyd admitted to Gray’s Inn on April 11, 1660 and called to the Bar June 25, 1667 was son and heir of William Lloyd, Esq. of Lanarthney, Carmarthen; and the Griffith Lloyd admitted to the Inner Temple November 29, 1670 (February 8, 1672?) and called to the Bar on November 29, 1677 was from Masepandy, Merionethshire. Neither of these was Elizabeth’s husband.

[2] They were married at the parish church of Rampton in Cambridgeshire, two miles south-east of Willingham, the adjoining parish. It is understandable that Elizabeth would not wish to be married in Willingham parish church, from where her stepfather Nathaniel Bradshaw had been ejected.

Griffith Lloyd, who was the same age as Elizabeth’s mother, lived six miles away at Hemingford Grey, near St Ives. Griffith Lloyd would certainly have known Elizabeth’s late father, for they had both been captains of horse in the New Model Army, they had fought in the same battles, and it is recorded that both took part in the conventions of army officers at Saffron Walden in March 1647 (Journal of the House of Lords).

[3] This date is incorrect, and the error is reproduced by the Dictionary of National Biography (1886 and 2004) and all other biographies examined. They were married by licence on February 1, 1666 (1665 according to the old calendar). Identifying the year when dates are between January 1 and March 24 is notoriously difficult. According to the official calendar (where the year started on March 25) it was February 1, 1665; by our modern dating, 1666. Probably Samuel Bury was given the already ‘corrected’ date as February 1, 1666, and, thinking it being in the old form, ‘corrected’ it to 1667. The original details in the Vicar-General allegations for the marriage licence sworn on January 24, 1665/6 are ‘Griffith Lloyd, of St Ives, co. Huntingdon, Esq., Bachr, abt 23, & Elizabeth Lawrence, of same, Spr, abt 20; consent of mother [blank] Bradshaw alias Lawrence; at Rampton co. Cambridge’ (Chester, ed. Armitage).

[4] Elizabeth was 21, and so ‘about 20’ as per the licence, but Griffith Lloyd was much older than the 23 years stated therein: in fact, he was twice that age. Where there was a large age difference, it seems to have been something of a practice to put the husband’s age just a few years older than the wife’s; for example, on Elizabeth’s second marriage, Samuel Bury’s age is given (correctly) as ‘34 yeares’ whereas she is described as ‘aged 30 yeares or thereabouts’, though she was actually aged 53.

Lloyd was friends with luminaries in the Commonwealth and Protectorate such as his regimental officer Charles Fleetwood (described by Griffith Lloyd himself as ‘my good friend’), James Berry, John Owen DD and Samuel Disbrowe, who were a generation older than his wife Elizabeth.

There were no children of the marriage but it appears that Griffith Lloyd had at least two children before his marriage to Elizabeth. In September 1668, we find Charles Lloyd, son of Griffith Lloyd, Esq. of Hemingford, Huntingdonshire, apprenticed to Stephen Blackwell of the Fishmongers’ Company. In Griffith Lloyd’s will dated 1680 it is evident that he also had a married daughter, for he remembers ‘my daughter Mrs Elizabeth Filbee’ and ‘my sonne [-in-law] Thomas Filbee’. Clearly, in the words of his will, these children were not considered ‘lawfull issue begotten of my body’.

[5] From 1649 to 1660 some officers in the army were appointed as JPs and there was significant military involvement in the ‘commission of the peace’. In 1655 the country was divided into twelve military districts under the rule of a major-general with a ‘police force’ of several thousand mounted men. Fleetwood was responsible for much of eastern England where he discharged the major-generalship through his deputy Hezekiah Haynes.

[6] Perhaps more than any other officer in the army, Griffith Lloyd was employed as a trusted intermediary, though this was not always a happy situation for him. The following examples show how he was a man of good repute, and a reconciler of differences. For an account of Griffith Lloyd’s military career and his military associates see the footnotes appended to his last will and testament towards the end of this work.

During March 1647 Griffith Lloyd was present at the stormy army meetings at Saffron Walden to consider Parliament’s request to send troops to Ireland. Lloyd then became implicated in drafting and circulating a petition of the army. ‘Lloyd had been employed in drawing up the grievances of the army, and had formulated those of the regiment. Fairfax sent him to explain the proceedings, intentions, and present condition to the officer commanding Rossiter’s regiment…and characterized him as “a faithful man” who could be trusted to give “a full account of all our whole business”’(Firth). However, when this came to the attention of Colonel Rossiter, he informed Parliament, and on March 29 it was resolved by the House of Commons ‘that Lieutenant Griffith Lloyd be forthwith sent for to attend this House’, doubtless to hear of the House’s displeasure. A subsequent hasty parliamentary motion that branded those who signed such petitions as ‘enemies of the state’ led to the serious breakdown of trust between the army and Parliament.

By Act of Parliament 1649, crown lands could be sold to pay arrears due to the army, and in 1651 was made a ‘Petition to the Committee of the Navy by Capt. Griffith Lloyd of Lt.-Gen. Fleetwood’s Regiment that he has contracted for Woodstock Park as part of the Regiment’s arrears’. Woodstock was a confiscated crown estate that had surrendered to Fleetwood’s forces around April 26, 1646. The timber was allocated for the Navy’s use but they had apparently been felling it prodigiously. In 1652, Lloyd, acting for Lt.Gen. Charles Fleetwood, completed the purchase of Woodstock manor, the park and Wooton hundred, Oxfordshire.

In September 1654 Oliver Cromwell appointed Griffith Lloyd and several other army officers such as John Lambert, John Disbrowe, and Edward Montagu as Commissioners for visiting Cambridge University.

In 1656, Griffith Lloyd, an ‘officer of the regiment much trusted by the government’ (Firth), was employed in a confidential mission to Generals-at-sea Blake and Montagu, carrying messages back and forth between them and Cromwell, who wrote, ‘we have thought fit to send this honest man, Captain Lloyd, who is known to us to be a person of integrity’.

In October 1659 the army in England put a stop to the sitting of the restored Rump Parliament, which action set Fleetwood and Lambert at odds with Monck in Scotland. Griffith Lloyd was employed as a negotiator. ‘When the breach between army and Parliament took place…Major Haynes was a whole-hearted supporter of Fleetwood and Lambert, but Lloyd was dubious. In relating the revolution of October 1659 to Montagu, he showed his fear of the results, and complained that “wee live in a very unsettled, distracted ayre”. He endeavoured to apologize for some of Fleetwood’s acts, and was employed by him and Lambert to negotiate with Monck’ (Firth).

[7] Griffith Lloyd appointed his ‘beloved wife Elizabeth’ as sole executor of his will and left monies for many including the poor of Hemingford Grey and St Ives, and Elizabeth’s mother and stepfather Nathaniel Bradshaw and all her sisters, half-sisters and brothers-in-law, and their children. He did not forget his friends and associates from the days of the Civil War and Commonwealth, whether in military, religious or civil orders: he bequeathed ‘into the hands of my good friend Charles Fleetwood Esq. twenty pounds to bee by him distributed according to his discretion amongst poor Officers and Souldiers and their widdowes who have been under his command in the Parliament’s Service either in England, Scotland or Ireland’. As well as Charles Fleetwood himself, he remembered James Berry, who had been a cavalry officer in the same regiment as Elizabeth’s father and rose to became Major-General for Herefordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Wales, and who suffered long imprisonment following the Restoration; he remembered Samuel Disbrowe, who held high civil offices and was brother to the military leader John Disbrowe; and he remembered John Owen DD, the puritan divine and army chaplain most closely associated with the Commonwealth, who had gathered a church that Fleetwood, Desborough, Berry and other army officers attended before the Restoration, meeting at Wallingford House, Fleetwood’s residence. Thus Griffith Lloyd’s will (1680) remembers John Owen, James Berry, Samuel Disbrowe and ‘my good friend Charles Fleetwood’; Fleetwood’s will (1690) in turn remembers Samuel Disbrowe and ‘my ancient friend James Berry’ (Lloyd and Owen had died). Owen, Lloyd, Fleetwood, Berry, and Disbrowe were a close circle of friends from the days of the Civil War and Commonwealth to the end of their lives, and therefore Elizabeth almost certainly interacted with them during her years of marriage to Griffith Lloyd until his death in 1682. Samuel Disbrowe, in particular, lived only four miles from Hemingford Grey, at Elsworth in Cambridgeshire. ‘From 1664 onwards Owen’s wife and children lived primarily at Stoke Newington…Their hosts were Charles Fleetwood and his new wife…Here Owen gathered a small congregation that included various former Cromwellian military officers – Fleetwood, Desborough, Berry, Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffrey Ellaston [sic], and Captain Griffith Lloyd – as well as Bridget Bendish, daughter of Henry Ireton and granddaughter of Cromwell’ – Greaves, DNB (Oxford 2004). ‘To the contemporary onlooker it must have seemed that this church was as much a society of old friends and former associates of Oliver Cromwell as a gathered church…there were at least five former soldiers, their wives, relatives and servants connected with the church. They were Charles Fleetwood, John Desborough, James Berry, Jeffrey Ellaston [sic] and Griffith Lloyd’ – Toon, God’s Statesman (Exeter, 1971).

[8] Actually a little over 16 years. He was 62 years of age, so his death cannot be considered premature.

[9] There is a monument to him with a Latin inscription in the south wall of the chancel of the parish church of St James, Hemingford Grey. The inscription and its translation is given in full in the footnotes appended to Lloyd’s last will and testament towards the end of this work, and includes (in translation) that he was ‘a righteous man who paid due respect to God and men, brave in an unfortunate war, fortunate in sweet peace, liberal to his household (like a father), and a most excellent husband, mourned by his sorrowing widow Elizabeth, daughter of Adams Lawrence and Elizabeth Cutts’.

[10] The care and superintendence that God exercises over his creatures.

[11] Charge earnestly and solemnly.

[12] Duties towards her relations, whether by blood or marriage.

[13] Evil mixed with good.

[14] Internal, in this case domestic; the adjective is only applied to evils.

[15] To instruct in the Christian religion by asking questions, receiving answers, and offering explanations and corrections. Normally, a published catechism would be used, and we read that Elizabeth Bury used the Westminster Assembly’s Catechism, possibly both the Larger and the Shorter, which were subordinate standards in the Presbyterian church. Her husband Samuel, possibly encouraged by Elizabeth’s brother-in law, John Hooke, a founder member of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge in 1699, abridged a catechism to suit it for use in local charity schools: A Scriptural Catechism, being an abridgement of Mr Owen Stockton’s, designed especially for the use of Charity Schools in St Edmund’s Bury (1699). Owen Stockton (1630–80), Presbyterian minister, ejected from St Andrew’s Colchester in 1662, moved to Suffolk in 1665 and assisted Dissenters in Ipswich. His work A Scriptural Catechism was published in 1672. It is called a scriptural catechism because, as Stockton explains, all the answers are ‘nothing but the express words of Scripture’. He adds, ‘There is a singular advantage in learning a Scriptural Catechism above others, because no instructions are so powerful…as those which are drawn out of the holy Scriptures.’

Owen Stockton’s wife’s sister had married John Meadows (1622–97), ejected from Ousden, Suffolk, and who had been the first dissenting minister to officiate in Stowmarket. In 1688 John Meadows moved to Bury St Edmunds and was to be a great encouragement to Samuel Bury in his first settlement, describing him as ‘his loving friend’. They were both trustees of the first Presbyterian meeting house in Churchgate Street in 1690.

[16] Ezekiel 20:37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.

William Burkitt (1650–1703): ‘The apostle amplifies and sets forth the glorious excellency of that mystery which here he had made mention of; namely, that the Gentiles should have access into the church without an entrance by the door of circumcision, be joint-heirs of the heavenly inheritance with all believers, and together with the Jews taken into the bond of the covenant; and finally, that they were brought into this happy estate by the preaching of the gospel, and by believing and obeying of it’ – commentary on Ephesians 3:4.

[17] Entering gently; insensibly winning favour and confidence.

[18] Remarking by way of criticism or censure.

[19] Profound respect.

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