Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Henry Lloyd (1852-1920)
MSA SC 3520-1471

Governor of Maryland 1885-1888

The following essay is taken from Frank F. White, Jr., The Governors of Maryland 1777-1970 (Annapolis:  The Hall of Records Commission, 1970), 207-209.

"HENRY LLOYD, President of the Senate who became Governor upon the resignation of Robert M. McLane, was born in Dorchester County on February 21, 1852, the son of Daniel and Kitty (Henry) Lloyd. From both his mother and father, he had inherited a distinguished ancestry. On his paternal side, he was descended from Edward Lloyd, who had served as Governor in 1709, and from Edward Lloyd V, the Governor in 1809. From his mother he was a descendant of John Henry, the first United States Senator from the Eastern Shore and Governor between 1797 and 1798.

"Henry Lloyd received his early education in the public schools of Cambridge. He later entered the Cambridge Academy, from which he was graduated when he was nineteen years of age. He began his career by teaching school in the Lakes District of Dorchester County, later becoming the Principal of the Cambridge Academy. While he was teaching, he began the study of law in the office of his uncles Daniel M. Henry, then Congressman from the Eastern Shore, and Judge Charles P. Goldsborough. He was admitted to the Bar in 1873, shortly after he had become twenty-one, but he continued to teach for some years afterwards.

"In 1875, Lloyd was appointed Auditor of the Court. He served in that capacity until 1881 when he was elected a member of the Senate from Dorchester County. He served in that body for the sessions of 1882 and 1884, creating a good impression because of his discretion and executive ability. At the Legislative Session of 1884, Lloyd was elected its President. “That year,” noted the Baltimore American, “the presidency of the Senate was not much sought after and Lloyd’s genial qualities got him the place. Then McLane was sent to France and Lloyd became governor. He made no unusual record, but filled the office with credit and retired with honor.”1 In the contest for the Senate presidency, another future governor, Edwin Warfield of Howard County competed with Lloyd. Both were strong aspirants for the post, but Warfleld withdrew and Lloyd was elected. At the time, he was the youngest member of the Senate.

"Lloyd became the acting governor on March 27, 1885, when Robert M. McLane resigned to become Minister to France. He continued as such [p. 208] until January 1886, or until the Legislature met for its regular session. When Lloyd sent that body the customary message from the Governor’s office, he noted the change which had occurred in the State government by McLane’s departure. 'Justice requires me to say that he left his ‘house in order,’ and the affairs of the executive department in a most creditable condition,' he reported. 'In this new field of labor we have reasons to know that he will do honor to his State and people, and, by his management of our foreign affairs, retain the approbation of the Government which has appointed him.'2 He called the attention of the General Assembly to the need for electing a successor to Governor McLane. Feeling the need to inform the Legislature about the condition of the State, even though he was only acting governor, he submitted a series of recommendations 'trusting that some of them be regarded as worthy of legislative action, and may take shape in well-considered and digested statutes, with results which may secure the approbation and insure to the profit to the people.'3

"In general, Lloyd’s suggestions were well founded. He asked for economy in legislative expenses hoping that 'such powers will not be exercised so as to exceed the amount demonstrable needed for the performance of public duties.'4 He favored the calling of a Constitutional Convention 'to lighten the burdens of taxation which now press unduly upon the lands, houses, and visible property in this State.'5 He felt that the Governor should be able to veto particular items in an Appropriation Bill. He further advocated relieving the members of the Court of Appeals from circuit duty, and requested the General Assembly to enact legislation selling the State’s interest in all the canals. He felt, too, that no part of a county should be separated from another without the consent of the voters in the part intended to be separated as this provision in the Constitution 'makes the wishes of the people in a section of a county, or, perhaps, even in a neighborhood, paramount to the proper author of the people of the whole State, exercised by their General Assembly. 'This provision,' he felt, 'unduly restricted Baltimore’s growth and prosperity.'6

"As soon as the 1886 Legislature had organized, it commenced balloting upon Governor McLane’s successor. Lloyd was a candidate as was Robert B. Dixon of Talbot County. Of the one hundred and fourteen ballots cast, Lloyd received one hundred, and after he had been formally elected, he was inaugurated on January 21, 1886, to serve until January 11, 1888.

"Governor Lloyd’s years in office were not especially momentous ones in Maryland’s history. In general, nothing eventful, spectacular or noteworthy occurred. As he was about to retire from office, he somewhat modestly declared: “While I cannot take any special credit to myself for [p. 209] these happy results, it is, nevertheless, gratifying to know that these circumstances exist when I surrender the trust confided to me.'7

"Lloyd was a bachelor when he became governor. On October 18, 1886, he married Mary Elizabeth Staplefort, daughter of William R. and Virginia A. Staplefort of Dorchester County. They had one son.

"Like Governor Winder, Lloyd was active in the Masonic fraternity. He had been initiated in 1873, and concurrently with his term as governor, he was appointed as Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Maryland, holding this post between 1885 and 1886.

"When his term as governor ended in 1888, Lloyd resumed his law practice in Cambridge. He was not allowed to remain in private practice long, however, for after the death of his uncle, Judge Charles Goldsborough, under whom he had studied law, Governor Brown appointed him to fill the vacancy.

"He was elected for the full fifteen-year term as an Associate Judge of the First Judicial Circuit in 1893, the first former governor since Robert Wright to serve on the bench after his term had expired. He occupied this position until the Legislature of 1908 retired him because of ill health. 'As a Judge, he was always courteous, always willing to listen, but firm in his convictions and decisions.'8

"Lloyd was also active in local affairs. After the death of his uncle, Daniel Henry, he was elected President of the Dorchester National Bank.  He later became the chairman of the board of the Eastern Shore Trust Company, a successor bank, and was interested in the United Charities Hospital, serving as the President of its Board. He was a member of Christ P. E. Church in Cambridge, being a member of the Vestry for many years.

"Governor Lloyd died at his home in Cambridge on December 30, 1920, survived by his wife and son. He was buried in the Christ Church Cemetery in that city, where he rests in company with four other former governors of the State."

Notes on sources

Return to Henry Lloyd's introductory page

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