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02/24/2021 07:19 PM
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House Speaker Biographies


David Lloyd

Born: 1656, Manafon, Montgomeryshire, Wales.  Died: April 6, 1731, Chester, Chester County (now Delaware County), PA. Member of the Colonial Assembly: Chester County, 1693-1695, 1712-1719, 1723-1724, 1725-1729; Philadelphia County, 1702-1705, 1706-1710, 1711-1712; Philadelphia City, 1705-1706.  Affiliation: Quaker.

David Lloyd was born in 1656 in Montgomeryshire, Wales.  Lloyd studied law in England under George Jeffreys, who later became Lord Chancellor of England.  Lloyd served as legal counsel to William Penn for issues surrounding Penn’s proprietorship of Pennsylvania, and Penn gave Lloyd a commission to be Attorney General of Pennsylvania.  Lloyd relocated to Pennsylvania and held the office of Attorney General from 1686-1688, 1691, and from 1695-1700.  Lloyd was briefly married to his first wife, Sarah, before marrying the former Grace Growden, daughter of former Speaker of the Pennsylvania Colonial Assembly Joseph Growden, in 1697.  The couple had one son, Thomas.

In addition to his service as Attorney General, Lloyd also served in the Colonial Assembly.  He was first elected to the Assembly to represent Chester County for the 1693 session, and he was re-elected a total of 22 more times, either representing Chester County, Philadelphia County, or the city of Philadelphia.  Lloyd drafted numerous pieces of legislation during his time in the Assembly, including a bill to regulate the courts which, when enacted, benefitted county justices and expanded their jurisdiction.  He also worked on a joint committee that drafted the Charter of Privileges in 1701.

Lloyd was elected the 9th Speaker of the Assembly on April 2, 1694.  Lloyd was re-elected Speaker 13 more times during his lengthy career in the Assembly.  During his time as Speaker, Lloyd published an important set of rules that provided for swift and orderly debate in the House, as well as afforded the Speaker the power to control debates.  Despite his early relationship with Penn, Lloyd eventually became adversarial towards the proprietorship and advocated for more power to be in the hands of the elected members in the Assembly.

In addition to serving as Attorney General and a member of the Assembly, Lloyd concurrently held numerous offices both in the colonial government as well as at the county and city levels.  He served as clerk of the Provincial Council in 1686 and 1691, as well as clerk of the Provincial Court in 1689 and 1691.  He was clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1689 and register general in 1697.  Lloyd later served as the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania from 1717-1731 and justice of the Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1728.  He was the clerk of the peace for Philadelphia County in 1686, 1689, 1699, 1700, 1701, and 1702, and the deputy register of the County from 1687-1689.  He was the city of Philadelphia’s clerk in 1691, and recorder and justice of the peace from 1704-1708.  He was also commissioner of Chester County in the years 1715, 1718, and 1722.

Thomas Lloyd died on April 6, 1731, in the city of Chester, Pennsylvania.  He is interred at St. Paul’s Burying Ground in the city of Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.