Fonds GB 0210 DAVLLO - David Lloyd Papers

Identity area

Reference code



David Lloyd Papers


  • 1893-1997 (accumulated [c. 1925]-1997) (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.13 cubic metres (10 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

David Lloyd, the Welsh tenor, performed in opera and appeared at music festivals and concerts of choral societies in Europe, the USA and Canada and throughout the British Isles. He gave radio broadcasts for the BBC and also appeared on BBC and ITV television. He was an excellent exponent of Mozart and Verdi but is best remembered by most Welshmen for his rendering of the songs and hymns of Wales. Recordings of his singing have been released by the Columbia, Decca, Delyse, Qualitone and Sain recording companies.

Born in Berthengam, Flintshire, 6 April 1912, the son of a coal miner and one of seven children, David George Lloyd was a product of the eisteddfod system. He left school at the age of fourteen and became an apprentice carpenter. Between the age of eighteen and twenty-one he sang at local eisteddfodau and acquired a reputation as a concert artist. In 1933 he entered the Guildhall School of Music, having won the Sam Heilbut Major Scholarship to study singing under Walter Hyde. Whilst at the Guildhall he won a number of prestigious prizes, namely the Catherine Howard Prize in 1934, the Gold Medal in 1937 and the Knill Challenge Cup and Silver Medal and the Worshipful Company of Musicians' Silver Medal in 1938.

He joined the Glyndebourne Opera Company in 1938 as principal tenor under the baton of Fritz Busch, making an immediate impression as Macduff in Verdi's Macbeth. In the same year he was principal tenor at a Mozart festival in Belgium and Verdi festivals in Denmark and Sweden. He was principal tenor at Sadler's Wells when the Second World War broke out in 1939. After serving for five years in the Welsh Guards, he resumed his career in 1946 as principal tenor at the Verdi and Mozart Festival of Holland and also principal tenor at the Verdi Festival of Britain under Sir Thomas Beecham. In June 1954 he met with a serious accident whilst making a programme for the BBC, resulting in the fracture of his spine. Six years elapsed before he started performing again on concert platforms, making his comeback at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod in July 1960.

In 1961 he toured the USA and Canada, giving concerts and conducting Welsh festivals. He adjudicated at the National Eisteddfod at Caernarfon in 1959 and at Swansea in 1964. David Lloyd died on 27 March 1969.

Archival history

Following the death of David Lloyd in 1969, his records, papers, books, etc., were acquired by his sister, Miss Mona Lloyd. They were passed to his nephew, Mr D. P. Lloyd, following the death of Miss Lloyd in July 2000. The material was sorted by Mr Lloyd prior to their transfer to NLW, and some personal papers were retained.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by Mr D. P. Lloyd, Holywell, nephew of David Lloyd, December 2000.; A2000/93

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds comprises the personal and professional papers, 1896-1997, of the Welsh tenor David Lloyd, including corresondence, diaries, personalia, contracts, BBC scripts, hymns and songs, concert programmes and items relating to performances at the Glyndebourne Festival, at Copenhagen and in the United States and Canada; together with a group of papers reflecting his student days at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


Accruals are possible

System of arrangement

Arranged according to provenance into five groups: personal papers, 1938-1969; Guildhall School of Music, 1932-1939; professional papers, 1893-1969; repertoire, 1893-[?1969] and tributes and biographies, 1969-1997.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright previously owned by David Lloyd belongs to Mr D. P. Lloyd, Holywell, Flintshire, December 2000; otherwise usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, Welsh

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Records from David Lloyd's collection are in the Sound and Moving Image Collection, printed books in the Department of Printed Books, and a framed photograph in the Department of Pictures and Maps.

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH.


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

December 2001.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Barbara Davies.

Archivist's note

The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: W. O. Lloyd, 'David Lloyd' in Record Collector, vol. 31, nos 6 and 7 (1986), and Huw Williams, David Lloyd (1912-1969): llais a hudodd genedl (Pwyllgor Cerdd Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru Rhyl a'r Cyffuniau, 1985).

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