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This report is taken from PN Review 244, Volume 45 Number 2, November - December 2018.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
I have been providing some marginal assistance to a research project on Frank Lloyd Wright and, as often happens in such cases, have had my curiosity aroused by the subject. ‘Lloyd’ may be sufficiently common in the anglophone world for its Welsh roots to pass unrecognised, but the word is an adaptation of the Welsh ‘llwyd’, meaning ‘grey’. The ‘ll’ is a single letter in the twenty-eight letter Welsh alphabet and its sound is formally described as a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative. The aspirate in the anglicised spelling of the name of the sixteenth-century physician and antiquary Humphrey Lhuyd is an attempt at an approximation to the Welsh pronunciation. ‘Lloyd’ is not an unusual companion to ‘Jones’ in Welsh names. Richard Lloyd Jones, Frank’s maternal grandfather, borrowed it from his mother Margaret’s ancestry, to distinguish, and add distinction to, plain ‘Jones’, which is a relic of the patronymic ap John (son of John). Kyffin Williams used to tell a story of meeting on the road old Mrs Jones, a farmer’s wife, with a pretty lamb on a lead: ‘“Bore da, Mrs Jones,” I said, and (pointing to the lamb) who is this?’ “Mary,” said Mrs Jones. “Oh, Mary Jones is it?” I said. “No, Mary Lloyd Jones,” the old lady replied.’ Anyway, that ‘Lloyd’ figures in the name of perhaps the most famous of American architects suggests a Welsh connection. But how Welsh was he?

Richard Lloyd Jones, a small farmer and hat-maker, his wife, Mary, and their children emigrated to America in 1844. They came from south-west Wales, the parishes ...


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