Dick Lloyd 1917-2007
Reprinted from Saffron Walden Historical Journal No 14 Autumn 2007
Dick Lloyd, who died in August aged 89, was one of those historians whose legacy far outweighed public awareness of what he had achieved – indeed there are probably many involved in the history of Essex who did not know him, for he quietly beavered away in the background, campaigning for various local history causes. It is to him, in large part, that we owe the existence of a branch of the Essex Record Office in Saffron Walden, as he persuaded the ERO to set up a facility to serve this part of Essex.
To him, also, must go the credit for re-publication of one of the most important historical sources of Elizabethan social history, William Harrison’s Description of England. For the launch he secured the attendance of the prominent Tudor historian Jasper Ridley to lecture. He also instigated and edited the 1988 publication of A Deuce of an Uproar, the remarkable story of Eden Nesfield, the architect who designed Barclays Bank in Saffron Walden. The book won an award and was widely praised, but Dick would not take any credit and left his own name out of the book. At its launch, he arranged for the prominent architectural historian Andrew Saint to speak. He later pursued the bank to ensure that important documents relating to Nesfield were not lost.
Dick’s own personal research interests centred on one of his maternal ancestors, John Wilson , who was a General in the American War of Independence,
Born in Chigwell, Dick had a passion for history since his time at Chigwell Public School, where he became head boy. He served in WW2 and later ran an antiques business, before moving first to Radwinter, then Great Sampford and finally to Eastacre, Saffron Walden. While in Radwinter he served as churchwarden, helped found the Friends of Radwinter Church and was Local History Recorder. He gathered a huge collection of archival material, including oral history, which he donated to the village. He was a staunch supporter of many history causes – the Town Library Committee, the Saffron Walden Historical Society and its Journal, and the Uttlesford Local History Recorders.
Dick was a fine historian, who campaigned for the importance of preserving, publishing and improving access to historical archives: the history community of north-west Essex has lost a great man. Jacqueline Cooper