Actors, Musicians and Theatre Personalities with Scottish Links ~ Horatio Lloyd,
(1807 - 1889)

1.   Horatio

Horatio Lloyd, 1807 - 1889

1.   Horatio Lloyd, 1889, charcoal drawing reproduced in the Chile,¬† 25th of May, 1889.  Image reproduced with Kind Permission - www.arthurlloyd.co.uk.

Frederick Horatius Lloyd is a comedian to his finger tips. Other men are actors on occasion.  They can by turns be Anthony or Macbeth, Toby Belch or Toby Lumpkin, but Lloyd is always Lloyd.  No exertion is needed on his part to make us laugh, either with or at him. 

Mr Lloyd is the son of a hatter, who migrated in the first years of the century from Beverley, in Yorkshire, to the great metropolis, where our hero was born in the year 1805. Tradition avers that he came into the world while the bells of St. Paul's were tolling for the obsequies of the hero of Trafalgar; hence his handsome and historical name of Horatius. He was bred in boyhood to the paternal trade, but he had aspirations to cock a beaver rather than to dress one, and the fact that his father's shop was next door to the Pavilion Theatre in Whitechapel soon turned these aspirations towards the stage.

From Glasgow Lloyd found his way to Edinburgh, where he joined the Theatre Royal under W. H. Murray.  His style, however, did not hit the Modern Athenians very hard. One of the critics remarked that he was 'Mr Lloyd from London,' and pointed out to him that the cheapest way of returning to the metropolis was by the Leith smack, which went twice a week - weather permitting! The hint was not taken, and his stay in Edinburgh lasted from twelve to fourteen years.

During this period he renewed his acquaintance with Glasgow every now and then by appearing for a night or two as a star. On one occasion he assumed the role of management for a dozen nights, having hired the theatre from Mr Alexander; but a hitch of some kind or other took place between landlord and tenant, which resulted in Lloyd laying his story before the public in the form of a pamphlet. Alexander quickly followed suit, and with such vigour as to knock Lloyd fairly out of time, and cause him to retire from the field with something of the air of a well licked puppy. This, as may be easily understood, concluded his conection with Alec. Not long afterwards, however, Prince Miller erected the Adelphi at the foot of the Saltmarket, and the 'Man you know' made his bow on several occasions to Mr Miller's friends as the eminent comedian from Edinburgh.'

In 1858 Mr Lloyd took his 'farewell of the stage as an actor,' on account, as he stated, of his being unable to make a living by his profession. Together with his son Arthur, he started a species of 'drawing-room entertainment,' but this did not flourish.

In certain characters Mr Lloyd has not only no superior but he is even without any equal. Most of his inspiration, however, is drawn from older men. His Tony Lumpkin, and Bob Acres, and Major Galbraith, and Mock Duke recal W. H. Murray, while his Touchstone and Verges suggest the Touchstone and Verges of old Mackay.

Text based on an Article in 'The Bailie' No.177 Glasgow, Wednesday March 8th 1876, reproduced in full on arthurlloyd.co.uk, The Music Hall and Theatre History Website

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Horatio Lloyd, 1807 - 1889

From Edinburgh Lloyd went to Dundee, and returned again to the Caledonian Theatre. On Nov. 15th, 1830, he made his first appearance at the Glasgow Theatre Royal, in Dunlop Street.

On the following Monday he writes:- 'I first had the honour of meeting in the theatre, the great Edmund Kean. His representations will never be effaced from my mind. They are beyond any description I can give of them.'

Lloyd then accompanied Mr Alexander to Dumfries, 'Here,' he writes, 'I first met Mr Phelps. He was very poor then but very studious. I thought him clever, but Mr A. thought otherwise, and discharged him at rehearsal as being incompetent to lead the business. I never saw him again until after he became a London favourite.'

In 1832, Lloyd received an offer from Mr W H Murray, of the Theatre Royal Edinburgh. He opened with him on the following October 1st. With him, Lloyd remained for sixteen years, 'It was,' so Lloyd often told me, 'the happiest time of my Professional career. He, (Mr Murray), was a gentleman in every sense of the word; a great actor, but a most unassuming man and a splendid stage manager.'

'The Green Room then,' said Lloyd, 'was, a Green Room. No one who was out of the place ever thought of entering it, without putting on evening dress.

[In 1851] He assumed the reins at the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh, with a company; the expenses of which ruined him.  His leading lady on the occasion, was Miss Fanny Vining. His principal vocalist, Miss Eliza Nelson, the daughter of the composer of 'Mary of Argyle.' Miss Marie Wilton, (now Mrs Bancroft), the soubrette; Miss Nicol, old woman, and Miss Eliza Arden, comedy. These were supported by actresses, each and all of whom made subsequently a name. Amongst these were Mrs Weston, Miss Josephine Manners, Miss Fanny Bland, Miss Victor, (now of Terry's Theatre), Miss Cruise, and a ballet of sixteen coryph√©es, headed by Madame St. Louis.

Amongst the gentlemen, were the great American tragedian W. H. Davenport, Harcourt Bland, H. J. Craven, author and dramatist, Mr Edwin Valores, the late Mr Henry Webb, comedian; Mr W. Cooper, Mr George Fisher, uncle of David Fisher; Niccolo Dalian, Paul Dalian, Mr Butler Wentworth, and Mr W. Morgan, the first Husband of the present Mrs J. B. Howard.

Lloyd's managerial career proved a disastrous failure, and shortly afterwards, he returned once more to Glasgow, where till the advent of travelling companies in 1864, he was the stock low comedian, at Dunlop Street.

[Text selected from biographical notes of Mr Lloyd's stage career provided by Mr Walter Baynham for the obituary published in The ERA, 7th December, 1889.]

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Horatio Lloyd, 1807 - 1889

When Murray retired, his Edinburgh monopoly was divided for a short time, with Lloyd at the Theatre Royal and Wyndham at the Adelphi Theatre.

In order to compete with the Theatre Royal, Wyndham reduced prices. The Dress Circle was 2s.6d., pit (or orchestra stalls ) 2s., pit 1s., gallery 6d., half-price (at half-time) 1s. 6d. and 1s.  The prices were, on average, 6d. less than those charged by Lloyd. There were frequent clashes of repertory between the two theatres: Shakespeare's Macbeth, Gulliver's Travels, Rob Roy and The Corsican Brothers (Dionysus Boucicault, 1852) could often be seen in both theatres in the same week.

Despite rivalry the two managers were friendly to each other: We were particularly gratified with the enthusiastic reception given to Mr. Wyndham, the manager of the rival theatre, whose attendance at the Theatre Royal evinced the existence of cordiality and friendship between those whose position tends to produce estrangement. The whole Theatre rose on his appearance, and for several minutes the huzzas were absolutely deafening. To these tokens of esteem and regard Mr. Wyndham feelingly responded.

The short period of Lloyd's management at The Theatre Royal quickly became over-extended financially, unable to cope with the wage costs of over one hundred members of the stock company. Wyndham took over the management, reducing the payroll to thirty-five actors, until he was forced to sell the theatre in 1859 to the government, for construction of the General Post Office.

[Text based on Howard and Wyndham Actor-Managers in Edinburgh, 1851-94 and The Theatre 25th November, 1851]

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Lloyd Anecdotes  ~  At a Loss in Ayr  ~  Death Notice ~ Lloyd and Murray

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