Sylvester Lloyd

Life
1680-1747 [Sylvester Lewis Lloyd; or Silvester]; b. a Protestant, prob. in Wales, and served in the army of William III in Ireland; deserted, converted, and became priest, then bishop; became a staunch supporter of James III, who had the nomination of Irish bishops to 1766; wrote a 184pp. “Dissertation” on Irish history, with strictures on Keating’s Foras Feasa ar Eirinn, published as a preface to Memoirs of … The Marquis of Clanrickarde [ ] To which is Prefix'd A Dissertation (1722); as Guardian of Fransciscans in Dublin he rebuilt St. Adam and Eve’s following a collapse of the older structure with fatalities among those awaiting his own sermon; carried out diplomatic mission to Duke of Orlèans in search of influence to ameliorate a Penal Bill; also issued catechetical works; Bishop of Killaloe, 1729; appt. to see of Waterford, and Lismore, 1739; wrote a will in 1743, before fleeing to the continent, pursued by Hanoverian authorities; d. Paris, 1747; will proved Aug. 1748. ODNB

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Works
[Anon,] “A Dissertation, Where-in several Passages of these Memoirs are illustrated With a Digression containing an Account of the Education and Studies of the ancient Irish Fillim, or Poets, and of their Works; out of which Dr. Keating has chiefly compiled his Historical Collections relating to Ireland. To which are added some Particulars of Dr. Keating's Life, and the Occasion of his making those Collections” [prefatory to] Memoirs of the Right Honourable The Marquis of Clanricarde (London: Woodman 1722).

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Criticism
Patrick Fagan, An Irish Bishop in the Penal Times, the chequered history of Sylvester Lloyd, 1680-1747 (Dublin: Four Courts Press 1993), [207]224pp. See also Séamus Ó Casaide, “The Anonymous Prefacer, 1722”, in The Irish Book Lover, Vol. XVI, No. 1 (Jan. & Feb. 1928), 10 [infra].

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Commentary
Séamus Ó Casaide, “The Anonymous Prefacer, 1722”, in The Irish Book Lover, Vol. XVI, No. 1 (Jan. & Feb. 1928), 10: ‘[...] The author of the Dissertation had occasion to indicate the limitations of Keating's Forus Feasa Ar Eirinn as an authority on early Irish history, and commented several on the assertions in certain recent Advertisements of an English Version, “which is getting ready for the Press”. This criticism was apparently directed against Dermod O’Connor ( vide IBL, III, pp.125, 155) whose translation of Keating was published early in 1723 with a rejoinder accusing “this Prefacer” of having only an elementary knowledge of the Irish language, and of having for some years past promised the public a History of Ireland, which he had never produced. The controversy was continued in the Post Boy of January, 1723, in which the Prefacer stated that he had “in Foreign Universities taken all the Degrees in the Civil Law, and resided in one of our Inns of Court these last twelve years”, and that as to his knowledge of Irish he was prepared to “submit to a trial with the modest Mr. O’Connor, who thought he had Irish enough when he applied to him for assistance, and offered him a share in the profits of the Edition”. / The Prefacer’s identity was not revealed by O’Connor and for over two centuries it has remained a problem. The British Museum cataloguer's authority for assigning them to Robert Lindsay, a Puisne Judge in Dublin and a subscriber to O’Connor’s work (1723) is unknown according to Henry R. Plomer (IBL, III, p.127). [...] The Very Rev. W. Canon Burke, P.P. of Lismore, the greatest authority on the Ireland of the Penal Days , in formed me some time ago that the author of the Dissertation of 1722 was Silvester Lloyd, the Franciscan, who was regarded by his contemporaries as the ablest man in Ireland, whether of native or foreign extraction. (p.10.) [...&c.]

Thomas Bartlett, reviewing Patrick Fagan, An Irish Bishop in the Penal Times: The Chequered History of Sylvester Lloyd, 1680-1747 (1993), called it ‘useful corrective to still popular image of hunted episcopacy’, in Linen Hall Review (Spring 1994) [q.p.].

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