CHESTER’S Grosvenor Museum has bought the only known portrait of the city’s most famous bishop.
The painting, by an unknown artist in 1606, depicts George Lloyd, the builder of Bishop Lloyd’s Palace in Watergate Street.
The Art Fund, the UK’s leading independent art charity, aided the acquisition with a grant of £2,500, and further support came from the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the Grosvenor Museum Society and Chester Civic Trust.
George Lloyd was born in 1560/1 in Denbighshire. He was educated at the King’s School, Chester and at Jesus College and Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he became a doctor of divinity. In 1594 Lloyd was elected to the divinity lectureship in Chester Cathedral, and three years later became rector of Heswall, Cheshire. He became bishop of Sodor and Man in 1599, and then bishop of Chester in 1604. Attentive to his administrative duties and moderate with both Puritans and Roman Catholics, he was a skilful preacher, admired by Henry, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester. Lloyd died in 1615 and was buried in Chester Cathedral. He was the great-grandfather of Elihu Yale, after whom Yale University in the USA was named.
Peter Boughton, the museum’s Keeper of Art, said: “George Lloyd is the bishop of Chester best known to both residents and visitors, since he built Bishop Lloyd’s Palace in Watergate Street. This now houses the headquarters of Chester Civic Trust.”
The Art Fund’s Director, David Barrie, said: “The Art Fund was delighted to help the Grosvenor Museum in its recent acquisition of the portrait of George Lloyd, Bishop of Chester.”
Painted in oil on oak panel in 1606, shortly after he became bishop of Chester, this previously unpublished picture is the only known portrait of George Lloyd.