I recently stumbled upon a newspaper advertisement from the Hereford Journal dated 1786. It was for the sale of the Heol-ddu and Middleton Hall Estates, late the property of Mr Philip Lloyd, Gentleman, deceased. The sale was forced due to a decree from the Court of Chancery to satisfy the creditors of the late Mr. Lloyd. I was intrigued by this advert and began to investigate further.
Who was Philip Lloyd? He was a native of the parish of Llanarthne, growing up at Morfa Melin, owned by his father Arthur. In adulthood he became an agent for John Vaughan, of Golden Grove, later becoming his principal agent for his South Wales Estate. He seems to have accrued land in his own name and built up a large real estate.
A daughter and heir?
Philip eventually died intestate in 1782, leaving one daughter and only heir, Elizabeth Lloyd. Philip left behind a complicated financial situation, owing money to a large number of people both locally and nationally. The court case mentioned above is an attempt by his creditors to sue his estate for the money still owing to them. The court papers make fascinating reading and show that Philip took out a mortgage in 1777 for £10,000, with which he buys the Middleton Hall Estate.
The minute level of detail gives a fascinating insight into this man and his personal possessions and real estate. The documents describe his financial situation along with the tenants and rents he received. The contents of his property, including how much each item made at a sale and who purchased them. Perhaps of as much interest is the light it throws upon the local society in the late eighteenth century. These documents truly provide us with a detailed glimpse of the estate during period of which we previously had little knowledge and will provide a rich source of research for many months to come.