Godfrey Lushington

Sir Godfrey Lushington GCMG KCB (8 March 1832 – 5 February 1907), British civil servant and promoter of prison reform, was Permanent Under-Secretary of State of the Home Office of the United Kingdom from 1886 to 1895.

Lushington was born in Westminster, London, in 1832 to Stephen and Sarah Grace (née Carr) Lushington; his twin brother was Vernon Lushington, Q.C., a county court judge. Educated at Rugby School and Balliol College, Oxford, he later became a fellow of All Souls and the President of the Oxford Union. He married Beatrice Anne Shore Smith (b. 3 June 1865), daughter of barrister Samuel Smith.

With his brother Vernon, he advocated positivist philosophy, motivated by the ideas of Auguste Comte. A supporter of labour movements, he, and fellow positivist intellectuals A.J. Mundella, Edward Spencer Beesly, Henry Crompton, and Frederic Harrison, played a leading role in the acceptance of trades’ union legitimacy.[1]

Influenced by Frederick Denison Maurice, Lushington joined his brother, and Frederic Harrison, as a teacher at the Working Men's College, and became a benefactor and member of the College governing corporation.[2]

He rose to Permanent Under-Secretary at the Home Office in 1885, and was knighted in 1892. During his Home Office tenure the Whitechapel Murders gripped attention and imagination; a Jewish and Anarchist connection was seriously considered. The chalked Goulston Street message was seen by Commissioner Charles Warren to have potential for increased religious tension; Warren explained to Lushington that reason for the immediate removal of the message.[3][4]

He retired from the civil service in 1895 and became an alderman of London County Council, a position held until 1898 when he became one of the British Government delegates to the Rome Anti-Anarchist Congress, (24 November to 21 December 1898) with Sir Philip Currie and Sir C. Howard Vincent.

After retirement, Lushington gave evidence to the Gladstone Committee on prison reform:[5] “I regard as unfavourable to reformation the status of a prisoner throughout his whole career; the crushing of self-respect, the starving of all moral instinct he may possess, the absence of all opportunity to do or receive a kindness, the continual association of none but criminals, the forced labour, and the denial of all liberty. I believe the true method of reforming a man, of restoring him to society, is exactly in the opposite direction to all these.”[6]


  1. ^ Henry Compton: an overview Archived March 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ J. F. C. Harrison ,A History of the Working Men's College (1854-1954), Routledge Kegan Paul, 1954
  3. ^ Letter from Charles Warren to Godfrey Lushington, 6 November 1888, HO 144/221/A49301C.
  4. ^ Letter from Charles Warren to Godfrey Lushington, 10 October 1888, Metropolitan Police Archive MEPO 1/48, quoted in Cook, p. 78; Evans and Rumbelow, p. 140 and Evans and Skinner, Jack the Ripper: Letters from Hell, p. 43
  5. ^ Cambridge Journals
  6. ^ Prison Reform from a Social-Democratic Point of View Archived September 15, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
1887 Golden Jubilee Honours

The Golden Jubilee Honours for the British Empire were announced on 21 June 1887 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria on 20 June 1887.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.

1892 Birthday Honours

The 1892 Birthday Honours were appointments by Queen Victoria to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of the British Empire. The appointments were made to celebrate the official birthday of The Queen, and were published in the London Gazette on 24 May 1892 and in The Times on 25 May 1892.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.

Abingdon (UK Parliament constituency)

Abingdon was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (and its predecessor institutions for England and Great Britain), electing one Member of Parliament (MP) from 1558 until 1983. (It was one of the few English constituencies in the unreformed House of Commons to elect only one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.)

Catherine Eddowes

Catherine "Kate" Eddowes (14 April 1842 – 30 September 1888) was one of the victims in the Whitechapel murders. She was the second person killed in the early hours of Sunday 30 September 1888, a night which already had seen the murder of Elizabeth Stride less than an hour earlier. These two murders are commonly referred to as the "double event" and have been attributed to an unidentified serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.

Charles Warren

General Sir Charles Warren, (7 February 1840 – 21 January 1927) was an officer in the British Royal Engineers. He was one of the earliest European archaeologists of the Biblical Holy Land, and particularly of the Temple Mount. Much of his military service was spent in British South Africa. Previously he was police chief, the head of the London Metropolitan Police, from 1886 to 1888 during the Jack the Ripper murders. His command in combat during the Second Boer War was criticised, but he achieved considerable success during his long life in his military and civil posts.

County Borough of Leeds

The County Borough of Leeds, and its predecessor, the Municipal Borough of Leeds, was a local government district in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, from 1835 to 1974. Its origin was the ancient borough of Leeds, which was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. In 1889, when West Riding County Council was formed, Leeds became a county borough outside the administrative county of the West Riding; and in 1893 the borough gained city status. The borough was extended a number of times, expanding from 21,593 acres (8,738 ha) in 1911 to 40,612 acres (16,435 ha) in 1961; adding in stages the former area of Roundhay, Seacroft, Shadwell and Middleton parishes and gaining other parts of adjacent districts. In 1971 Leeds was the fifth largest county borough by population in England. The county borough was abolished in 1974 and replaced with the larger City of Leeds, a metropolitan district of West Yorkshire.

Elizabeth Stride

Elizabeth "Long Liz" Stride (née Gustafsdotter; 27 November 1843 – 30 September 1888) is believed to have been a victim of the notorious unidentified serial killer called Jack the Ripper, who killed and mutilated several women in the Whitechapel area of London from late August to early November 1888.Stride was nicknamed "Long Liz". Several explanations have been given for this pseudonym; some believe it came from her married surname "Stride" because a stride is a long step, while others believe it was either because of her height, or the shape of her face. At the time of her death, Stride resided in a common lodging-house at 32 Flower and Dean Street, Spitalfields, within what was then a notorious criminal rookery.

Goulston Street graffito

The Goulston Street graffito was a sentence written on a wall beside a clue in the 1888 Whitechapel murders investigation. It has been transcribed as variations on the sentence "The Juwes are the men that will not be blamed for nothing". The meaning of the graffito, and its possible connection to the crimes attributed to Jack the Ripper, have been debated for over a century.

Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper was an unidentified serial killer generally believed to have been active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. In both the criminal case files and contemporary journalistic accounts, the killer was called the Whitechapel Murderer and Leather Apron.

Attacks ascribed to Jack the Ripper typically involved female prostitutes who lived and worked in the slums of the East End of London whose throats were cut prior to abdominal mutilations. The removal of internal organs from at least three of the victims led to proposals that their killer had some anatomical or surgical knowledge. Rumours that the murders were connected intensified in September and October 1888, and letters were received by media outlets and Scotland Yard from a writer or writers purporting to be the murderer. The name "Jack the Ripper" originated in a letter written by someone claiming to be the murderer that was disseminated in the media. The letter is widely believed to have been a hoax and may have been written by journalists in an attempt to heighten interest in the story and increase their newspapers' circulation. The "From Hell" letter received by George Lusk of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee came with half of a preserved human kidney, purportedly taken from one of the victims. The public came increasingly to believe in a single serial killer known as "Jack the Ripper", mainly because of the extraordinarily brutal nature of the murders, and because of media treatment of the events.

Extensive newspaper coverage bestowed widespread and enduring international notoriety on the Ripper, and the legend solidified. A police investigation into a series of eleven brutal killings in Whitechapel up to 1891 was unable to connect all the killings conclusively to the murders of 1888. Five victims—Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly—are known as the "canonical five" and their murders between 31 August and 9 November 1888 are often considered the most likely to be linked. The murders were never solved, and the legends surrounding them became a combination of genuine historical research, folklore, and pseudohistory. The term "ripperology" was coined to describe the study and analysis of the Ripper cases. There are now over one hundred hypotheses about the Ripper's identity, and the murders have inspired many works of fiction.

Kenelm Edward Digby

Sir Kenelm Edward Digby (9 September 1836 – 21 April 1916) was an English lawyer and civil servant. He was Permanent Under Secretary of State at the Home Office from 1895-1903.

Digby was born in Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire, England, the son of Hon. and Revd. Kenelm Henry Digby (1811–1891) and his wife Caroline. The Digby county family, established in Dorset, had a history of public service. The Revd. Kenelm Henry Digby was the younger brother of Edward Digby, 9th Baron Digby) and Jane Digby.

Digby schooled at Blakeney in Norfolk and then at Harrow School. He graduated in 1859 from Corpus Christi College Oxford, and was called to the bar as a member of Lincoln's Inn in 1865. From 1868-1875 he taught at Oxford University, and published An Introduction to the History of the Law of Real Property in 1875, which soon became a standard textbook. He was a strong supporter of Gladstonian Liberalism and believed in "the greater importance of giving substantial power to the working classes". Later in his life he was involved in working out fair and effective means of compensating workmen for industrial injuries.

In 1892 Digby was appointed County Court Judge in Derbyshire, and in 1891 he became a bencher of Lincoln's Inn and in 1904 took silk. In 1894 he was unexpectedly approached on behalf of the Liberal Home Secretary, H. H. Asquith, about an appointment as Permanent Under Secretary of State at the Home Office. However, a strong devotion to public duty weighed in the balance against his fears about his inexperience in administration and public office. In January 1895 Digby was appointed Permanent Under Secretary of State at the Home Office, succeeding Sir Godfrey Lushington.

Digby was created KCB in 1898, retired in September 1903 and was created GCB in 1906. Over the subsequent ten years he sat as a member of numerous departmental committees of inquiry, chairing the Home Office departmental committee on workmen's compensation (1904), and acted as an arbitrator in labour disputes. In 1914 he was appointed a member of the commission to investigate alleged German war atrocities in Belgium.

Digby married Caroline (1848–1926) on 30 August 1870, the second daughter of liberal politician Edward Strutt, 1st Baron Belper. They had four children - two sons and two daughters. One of his sons was Edward Aylmer Digby. One of his grandchildren was Kenelm Hubert Digby, the proposer of the notorious 1933 "King and Country" debate in the Oxford Union, and later Attorney General and judge in Sarawak. Digby died on 21 April 1916 at Studland in Dorset.

Legal Adviser to the Home Office

The Legal Adviser to the Home Office is a senior government lawyer and the chief legal adviser to the Home Office. The office was formally established in 1933, but older offices with similar functions date back to the early nineteenth century.

List of Presidents of the Oxford Union

Past elected Presidents of the Oxford Union at the University of Oxford are listed below, with their college and the year/term in which they served. Iterum indicates that a person was serving a second term as President (which is not possible under the current Union rules).

List of permanent under secretaries of state of the Home Office

This is a list of permanent under secretaries of state of the Home Office of the United Kingdom.

Sir Philip Rutnam 2017-present

Sir Mark Sedwill 2013– 2017

Helen Kilpatrick 2012–2013 (acting)

Dame Helen Ghosh 2011–2012

Sir David Normington 2006–2010

Sir John Gieve 2002–2006

Sir David Omand 1997–2002

Sir Richard Wilson 1994–1997

Sir Clive Whitmore 1988–1994

Sir Brian Cubbon 1979–1988

Sir Robert Armstrong 1977–1979

Sir Arthur Peterson 1972–1977

Sir Philip Allen 1966–1972

Sir Charles Cunningham 1957–1966

Sir Frank Newsam 1948–1957

Sir Alexander Maxwell 1938–1948

Sir Russell Scott 1932–1938

Sir John Anderson 1922–1932

Sir Edward Troup 1908–1922

Sir Mackenzie Dalzell Chalmers 1903–1908

Sir Kenelm Digby 1895–1903

Sir Godfrey Lushington 1885–1895#

Hon Sir Adolphus Liddell 1867–1885

Horatio Waddington 1848–1867

Samuel March Phillips 1827–1848

Henry Hobhouse 1817–27

John Beckett [later Sir John Beckett, Bart.] 1806–1817

John King 1792

Scrope Barnard 1789


Lushington may refer to

Edmund Law Lushington (1811–1883), English academic

Henry Lushington (1812–1855), English colonial administrator, chief secretary to the government of Malta

Charles Manners Lushington (1819–1864), MP for Canterbury

Godfrey Lushington (1832–1907), British civil servant and advocate of prison reform

Vernon Lushington (1832–1912), British judge and civil servant

Alfred Wyndham Lushington (1860–1920), Anglo-Indian botanist

Augustus Nathaniel Lushington (b. 1869), first African American to earn a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine

Stephen Lushington (disambiguation), for people of that name

Philip Currie, 1st Baron Currie

Philip Henry Wodehouse Currie, 1st Baron Currie, (13 October 1834 – 12 May 1906), known as Sir Philip Currie between 1885 and 1899, was a British diplomat. He was Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1893 to 1898 and Ambassador to Italy from 1898 to 1902.

Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

This article lists past and present Under-Secretaries of State serving the Home Secretary of the United Kingdom.

Vernon Lushington

Vernon Lushington KC, (8 March 1832 – 24 January 1912), was a Positivist, Deputy Judge Advocate General, Second Secretary to the Admiralty, and was associated with the Pre-Raphaelites. He was a Cambridge Apostle.

Lushington was born in Westminster, London, to Stephen and Sarah Grace (née Carr) Lushington; his twin brother was Godfrey Lushington, KCB GCMG, Permanent Under-Secretary of State of the Home Office. He was educated at East India College, Haileybury, Hertfordshire, and Trinity College, Oxford. He became a QC, a county court judge, Secretary to the Admiralty in 1871, and Deputy Judge Advocate General from 1878 to 1912. He married Jane Mowatt, daughter of Francis Mowatt, on 28 February 1865. From 1877 to 1903 the Lushington family's country residence was Pyports, Cobham, Surrey.With his brother Godfrey, he advocated positivist philosophy, motivated by the ideas of Auguste Comte, and was a follower of Frederic Harrison. Influenced by Frederick Denison Maurice, he joined the Working Men's College as a singing teacher, and promoter of art and music appreciation; he became part of the group that formed the first College governing Corporation in 1854. At the death of Maurice in 1872, he, with his brother, and Frederick James Furnivall, Thomas Hughes, and Richard Buckley Litchfield, became a unifying force at the College.He was a friend to artists, authors and activists, particularly those of The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the Arts and Crafts Movement who gravitated to the Working Men's College. In 1856, it was he who first introduced Edward Burne-Jones to Dante Gabriel Rossetti in his college rooms. Rossetti used Lushington’s wife, Jane, as a model in 1865.Lushington, friend of William Morris, was a frequent visitor to Kelmscott Manor. He was a close friend of Leslie Stephen and his family; Stephen’s daughter Virginia (later Woolf) based her character Mrs. Dalloway on Lushington’s daughter Kitty. He was also a close friend of Working Men’s College founder Richard Buckley Litchfield and his wife Etty, daughter of Charles Darwin; the Lushingtons were regular visitors to Darwin’s Down House. As Thomas Carlyle’s friend, he edited Carlyle’s first Collected Works, (Chapman and Hall, 1858).

Working Men's College

The Working Men's College (or WMC), is among the earliest adult education institutions established in the United Kingdom, and Europe's oldest extant centre for adult education. Founded by Christian Socialists, at its inception it was at the forefront of liberal education philosophy.

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