Frederick Lugard, 1st Baron Lugard

The Right Honourable
The Lord Lugard
Governor-General of Nigeria
In office
1 January 1914  8 August 1919
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Sir Hugh Clifford (as Governor)
Governor of the Northern Nigeria Protectorate
In office
September 1912  1 January 1914
Preceded by Sir Charles Lindsay
Succeeded by Office abolished
Governor of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate
In office
September 1912  1 January 1914
Preceded by Sir Walter Egerton
Succeeded by Office abolished
14th Governor of Hong Kong
In office
29 July 1907  16 March 1912
Preceded by Sir Matthew Nathan
Succeeded by Sir Francis Henry May
High Commissioner of the Northern Nigeria Protectorate
In office
6 January 1900  September 1906
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Sir William Wallace (acting)
Personal details
Born (1858-01-22)22 January 1858
Madras, British India
Died 11 April 1945(1945-04-11) (aged 87)
Dorking, Surrey, England, UK
Spouse(s) Flora Shaw
Alma mater Royal Military College, Sandhurst
Profession Soldier, explorer, colonial administrator

Frederick John Dealtry Lugard, 1st Baron Lugard, GCMG, CB, DSO, PC (22 January 1858 – 11 April 1945), known as Sir Frederick Lugard between 1901 and 1928, was a British soldier, mercenary, explorer of Africa and colonial administrator, who was Governor of Hong Kong (1907–1912), the last Governor of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate (1912–1914), the first High Commissioner (1900–1906) and last Governor (1912–1914) of the Northern Nigeria Protectorate and the first Governor-General of Nigeria (1914–1919).

Early life and education

Lugard was born in Madras (now Chennai) in India, but was raised in Worcester, England. He was the son of the Reverend Frederick Grueber Lugard, a British Army Chaplain at Madras, and his third wife Mary Howard (1819–1865), the youngest daughter of Reverend John Garton Howard (1786–1862), a younger son of Yorkshire landed gentry from Thorne and Melbourne near. Lugard was educated at Rossall School and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.

The name 'Dealtry' was in honour of Thomas Dealtry, who was a friend of his father.

Military career

Lugard was commissioned into the 9th Foot (East Norfolk Regiment) in 1878, joining the second battalion in India, and serving in the following campaigns:

Lugard was appointed to the Distinguished Service Order in 1887.[1] In May 1888, Lugard took command of an expedition organised by the British settlers in Nyasaland against Arab slave traders on Lake Nyasa and was severely wounded.

Post-military career

Lugard caricatured by Spy for Vanity Fair, 1895

After he left Nyasaland in April 1889, Lugard joined the British East Africa Company. In their service, he explored the Sabaki river and the neighbouring region, in addition to elaborating a scheme for the emancipation of the slaves held by Arabs in the Zanzibar mainland. In 1890, Lugard was sent by the company to Uganda, where he secured British predominance in the area and put an end to the civil disturbances between factions in the kingdom of Buganda. He became Military Administrator of Uganda from 26 December 1890 to May 1892. While administering Uganda, he journeyed round the Rwenzori Mountains to Lake Edward, mapping a large area of the country. He also visited Lake Albert, and brought away some thousands of Sudanese who had been left there by Emin Pasha and H. M. Stanley during the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition.

When Lugard returned to England in 1892, he successfully dissuaded Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone and his cabinet from abandoning Uganda. In 1894, Lugard was despatched by the Royal Niger Company to Borgu, where he secured treaties with the kings and chiefs acknowledging the sovereignty of the British company, while distancing the other colonial powers that were there. From 1896 to 1897, Lugard took charge of an expedition to Lake Ngami, in modern-day Botswana, on behalf of the British West Charterland Company. From Ngami he was recalled by the British government and sent to West Africa, where he was commissioned to raise a native force to protect British interests in the hinterland of the Lagos Colony and Nigeria against French aggression. In August 1897, Lugard organised the West African Frontier Force, and commanded it until the end of December 1899, when the disputes with France were settled.

Early colonial services

After he relinquished command of the West African Frontier Force, Lugard was made High Commissioner of the newly created Protectorate of Northern Nigeria. He was present at Lokoja and himself read the proclamation that established the protectorate on 1 January 1900.[2] At that time, the portion of Northern Nigeria under effective control was small, and Lugard's task in organising this vast territory was made more difficult by the refusal of the sultan of Sokoto and many other Fula princes to fulfil their treaty obligations.

In 1903, British control over the whole protectorate was made possible by a successful campaign against the emir of Kano and the sultan of Sokoto. By the time Lugard resigned as commissioner in 1906, the entire Nigeria was being peacefully administered under the supervision of British residents. There were however uprisings that were brutally put down by Lugard's troops. A Mahdi rebellion in 1906 at the Satiru, a village near Sokoto resulted in the total destruction of the town with huge numbers of casualties.

Lugard was knighted for his services while in Nigeria, in 1901.[3]

Governor of Hong Kong

About a year after he resigned as High Commissioner of the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria, Lugard was appointed as Governor of Hong Kong,[4] a position he held until March 1912. During his tenure, Lugard proposed to return Weihaiwei to the Chinese government, in return for the ceding of the rented New Territories in perpetuity. However, the proposal received less than warm receptions, and it was not acted upon. Some believed that if the proposal was acted on, Hong Kong might forever remain in British hands.

Lugard's chief interest was education, and he was largely remembered for his efforts to the founding of the University of Hong Kong in 1911, of which he became the First Chancellor, despite the cold receptions from the imperial Colonial Office and most local British companies, such as the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. The Colonial Office called the idea of a university "Sir Frederick's pet lamb".[5] In fact, Lugard's idea was to create a citadel of higher education which could serve as the foremost bearer of Western culture in the Orient.

Governor of Nigeria

In 1912, Lugard returned to Nigeria as Governor of the two protectorates. His mission was to Amalgamate the two colonies into one. Although controversial in Lagos, where it was opposed to, by a large section of the political class and the media, the amalgamation did not arouse passion in the rest of the country because they were unaware of the implication. Lugard took scant notice to public opinion, neither did he feel there was need for consensus from the locals on such a serious political subject with huge obligations on the two colonies. From 1914 to 1919, Lugard was made Governor General of the now combined Colony of Nigeria. Throughout his tenure, Lugard sought strenuously to secure the amelioration of the condition of the native people, among other means by the exclusion, wherever possible, of alcoholic liquors, and by the suppression of slave raiding and slavery.

Lugard, assisted by his indefatigable wife; Flora Shaw, concocted a legend which warped understanding of him, Nigeria, and colonialism for decades. His theory that "the typical African ... is a happy, thriftless, excitable person, lacking in self control, discipline and foresight, naturally courageous,courteous and polite, full of personal vanity, with little of veracity in brief, the virtues and defects of this race-type are those of attractive children." presented a distorted view of the people, is shocking, albeit from a man who was in love with education. Funding of the colony of Nigeria in the development of state's infrastructure such as harbours, railways, hospitals in Southern Nigeria came from revenue generated from taxes on imported alcohol. In Northern Nigeria, the revenue that allowed state development projects was less because tax was absent and thus, funding of projects was covered from revenue generated from southern Nigeria.

The Adubi War occurred during his governorship. In Northern Nigeria Lugard permitted slavery within traditional elite families. He loathed the educated and sophisticated Africans of the coastal regions, ran the country with 50% of each year spent in England (where he could promote himself and was distant from realities in Africa where subordinates had to delay decisions on many matters until he returned), and based his rule on a military system - unlike William MacGregor, a doctor turned governor, who mixed with all ranks of people and listened to what was wanted.[6] Lugard, who opposed "native education" later became involved in Hong Kong University, and that Lugard who disliked traders and businessmen, became a director of a bank active in Nigeria are strange aspects of the man and the myth.

The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa

Lugard's The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa was published in 1922. It discusses indirect rule in colonial Africa. In this work, Lugard outlined the reasons and methods that he recommended for the colonisation of Africa by Britain. Some of his justifications included spreading Christianity and ending 'barbarism' (such as human sacrifice). He also saw state-sponsored colonisation as a way to protect missionaries, local chiefs, and local people from each other as well as from foreign powers. Also, for Lugard, it was vital that Britain gain control of unclaimed areas before Germany, Portugal, or France claimed the land and its resources for themselves. He realised that there were vast profits to be made through the exporting of resources like rubber and through taxation of native populations, as well as importers and exporters (the British taxpayers actually always made a loss from the colonies in this period). In addition, these resources and inexpensive native labour (slavery having been outlawed by Britain in 1834) would provide vital fuel for the industrial revolution in resource-depleted Britain as well as monies for public works projects. Finally, Lugard reasoned that colonisation had become a fad and that in order to remain a super power, Britain would need to hold colonies in order to avoid appearing weak.

League of Nations and Anti-Slavery activism

From 1922 to 1936 he was British representative on the League of Nations' Permanent Mandates Commission. During this period he served first on the Temporary Slavery Commission and was involved in organising the 1926 Slavery Convention. He had submitted a proposal for the Convention to the British government. Although they were alarmed by it, after subjecting it to considerable redrafting the British government backed the proposal which was eventually put into effect.[7] Lugard served on the International Labour Organisation's Committee of Experts on Native Labour from 1925 to 1941.[8]


Lugard pushed for native rule in African colonies. He reasoned that black Africans were very different from white Europeans. He did speculate about the admixture of Aryan or Hamitic blood arising from the advent of Islam among the Hausa and Fulani.[9] He considered that natives should act as a sort of middle manager in colonial governance. This would avoid revolt because, as Lugard believed, the people of Africa would be more likely to follow someone who looked like them, spoke their languages, and shared their customs.

Olufemi Taiwo argues that in fact Lugard blocked qualified Africans educated in Britain from playing an active role in the development of the country (actually Lugard distrusted white "intellectuals" as much as black ones - believing that the principles they were taught in the universities were often wrong), preferring to advance prominent Hausa and Fulani leaders from traditional structures.[10]


Lugard was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1895.[11] He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the 1901 New Year Honours,[3] and raised to a Knight Grand Cross (GCMG) in 1911. He was appointed to the Privy Council, entitling him to style himself "The Right Honourable", in the 1920 New Year Honours.[12] In 1928 he was further honoured when he was elevated to the peerage as Baron Lugard, of Abinger in the County of Surrey.[13]

The Royal Geographical Society awarded him the Founder′s Gold medal in 1902, for persistent attention to African Geography.[14]

A bronze bust of Lugard created in 1960 by Pilkington Jackson is held in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Personal life

Lugard and his wife.

Lord Lugard married, on 10 June 1902, Flora Shaw,[15] daughter of Major-General George Shaw, and granddaughter of Sir Frederick Shaw, 3rd Baronet. She was a journalist and writer for The Times, who coined the place-name Nigeria. There was no children from the marriage. Flora died in January 1929. Lord Lugard survived her by sixteen years and died on 11 April 1945, aged 87. He was cremated at Woking Crematorium. As he was childless the barony died with him.

Published works


"the typical African ... is a happy, thriftless, excitable person, lacking in self control, discipline and foresight, naturally courageous, and naturally courteous and polite, full of personal vanity, with little sense of veracity brief , the virtues and defects of this race-type are those of attractive children."[16]

Places named after him

Lord Lugard House in Badagry, Nigeria

See also


  1. The London Gazette: no. 25761. p. 6374. 25 November 1887.
  2. "The Transfer of Nigeria to the Crown". The Times (36060). London. 8 February 1900. p. 7.
  3. 1 2 The London Gazette: no. 27261. p. 1. 1 January 1901.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 28024. p. 3589. 24 May 1907.
  5. Carroll JM (2007). A Concise History of Hong Kong. Hong Kong University Press. p.85.
  6. The Administration of Nigeria 1900 to 1960, by I. F. Nicholson, Oxford University Press, 1969
  7. Miers, Suzanne. ""Freedom is a good thing but it means a dearth of slaves": Twentieth Century Solutions to the Abolition of Slavery" (PDF). Yale University. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  8. Junius P. Rodriguez (1997), The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery, Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, OCLC 37884790
  9. The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa p76
  10. 'Reading the Colonizer's Mind: Lord Lugard and the Philosophical Foundations of British Colonialism' by Olufemi Taiwo in Racism and Philosophy edited by Susan E. Babbitt and Sue Campbell, Cornell University Press, 1999
  11. The London Gazette: no. 26639. p. 3740. 2 July 1895.
  12. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31712. p. 1. 30 December 1919.
  13. The London Gazette: no. 33369. p. 2129. 23 March 1928.
  14. "Royal Geographical Society". The Times (36716). London. 15 March 1902. p. 12.
  15. "Court Circular". The Times (36792). London. 12 June 1902. p. 12.
  16. "The rulers of British Africa, 1870-1914" By Lewis H. Gann, Peter Duignan - quote on page 340

Further reading

External links

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Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Matthew Nathan
Governor of Hong Kong
Succeeded by
Sir Francis May
Preceded by
Governor-General of Nigeria
Succeeded by
Hugh Clifford
Governor of Nigeria
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Lugard
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