George Lloyd was born in Warwickshire on 19 September 1879, the son of S.S. Lloyd, a business man, and grandson of S. Lloyd, MP for Rugby and also for Plymouth [Devon]. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, studying Eastern politics, before travelling extensively in Burma [later Myanmar], India, the Himalayas, Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey.
In 1905 Lloyd took on his first diplomatic posting, as Honorary attaché, Constantinople [later Istanbul], then in 1908 was appointed Special Commissioner to inquire into and report upon the future of British trade in Turkey, Mesopotamia [Iraq] and the Persian Gulf. On his return home, he was elected as MP for West Staffordshire in January 1910 (a seat which he was to hold until 1918) and on 13 November 1911 he married Blanche Lascelles (late Maid of Honour to Queen Alexandra and daughter of F. C. Lascelles); they had one son.
On the outbreak of the First World War, Lloyd was mobilised into the Warwickshire Yeomanry in August 1914, but soon moved into intelligence. He served as an intelligence officer at the Dardanelles from April 1915, then in September 1915 was sent on a mission to Russia, and in the following year returned to the Middle East, serving in Hejaz [Al-Hijaz, Saudi Arabia], Palestine and the Arab Bureau. In January 1918 Lloyd became Secretary to the Inter-Allied Council, Versailles [France], then in August became Governor of Bombay.
When his term as Governor ended in 1923, Lloyd returned briefly to Britain, to be elected as MP for Eastbourne [Sussex] in 1924, but his next diplomatic posting sent him back to the Middle East in 1925, when he became High Commissioner for Egypt. He resigned this post in 1929 and returned to Britain once more, becoming President of the Navy League in 1930, Chairman of the British Council and also Air Commodore of the 600 (City or London) Fighter Squadron in 1937.
During the Second World War Lloyd returned to public duty, first as Secretary of State for the Colonies in May 1940, then briefly as Leader of the House of Lords in January 1941. He died in London on 5 February 1941.
Lloyd's publications include: The Great opportunity (1919); Egypt since Cromer (1933 and 1934); The British Case (1940).
His honours included: D.S.O. (1917); C.I.E. (1917); G.C.I.E. (1918); G.C.S.I. (1924). He was also made a Privy Councillor in 1924, and Baron Lloyd of Dolobran in 1925.
The papers consist of: personal material, including photographs, press cuttings and correspondence; papers on Eastern affairs, including reports and correspondence from Lloyd's time at Constantinople and official copies of telegrams to and from the Turkish Government; papers and correspondence from Lloyd's various Eastern postings in the First World War; papers from India, during Lloyd's governorship of Bombay and also later papers from Lloyd's membership of the India Group; official telegrams and correspondence from Egypt, with Cabinet papers and subject files; public and political subject files; constituency papers from Lloyd's West Staffordshire seat; political correspondence; Colonial Office subject files and correspondence; texts of Lloyd's speeches and articles; business papers; diaries.
The archives of the late Lord Lloyd were mainly deposited at the College by his son, 2nd Lord Lloyd in 1966 and 1967. Additional smaller accessions from Lord Lloyd arrived in 1983, and from his biographer in 1985, while two larger accessions were received from Lady Lloyd in 1986 and 1987.
Since the first Lord Lloyd's death his papers had been kept in several different places and they had been examined several times and notes made of important or interesting items. The collection was in comparatively good order because Lord Lloyd had most of the letters and papers filed and the other items bundled up or bound. From time to time single papers were found loose in the wrong file, but there was no difficulty in returning these to their correct places. The misplaced documents and the dirty state of the files no doubt reflect the various moves of the papers before they were deposited.
It proved impossible to arrange the papers in a chronological order and so they are divided into groups reflecting Lord Lloyd's interests:
Personal (1-5); Eastern Affairs (6-9); India (10 and 11); Egypt (12-15); Public and Political (16-21); Literary (22 and 23); Business (24 and 25); additional material, including diaries (26-29). However each group is not self-contained and, for example, material about India can be found both in the Personal group (2 and 3) and in Public and Political (16/26 and 17/15-32). In general cross-references have been added to the catalogue.
Lord Lloyd's papers were arranged not with a view to preserving a record of his work, but as a working tool to provide references for future speeches and articles. The two series of subject files (sections 16 and 17) in particular were designed to provide quick reference to facts and figures. The later series contains letters from politicians and other important people or the period as well as pamphlets, articles and other material. There must originally have been some means of reference to the files because each item is numbered, but this has not survived.
Although there are a considerable number of papers for West Staffordshire constituency, not even an election address has survived for his year as member for Eastbourne. This is perhaps the largest gap in a well-preserved group of archives. The only other noticeable gaps are in the papers for his term as Colonial Secretary. As he died in office these were probably retained by the Colonial Office.
As Lady Lloyd's papers arrived some twenty years after the bulk of the collection, these have been added to the end of the catalogue.
The papers are on loan from the Lloyd family.