Sir Godfrey Lushington, GCMG, KCB (1832-1907), British civil servant and promoter of prison reform, was Permanent Under-Secretary of State of the Home Office, 1886-1895. He was born in Westminster, London, in 1832, to Stephen and Sarah Grace (nee Carr) Lushington; he was twin brother to Vernon Lushington. 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 of Combe House, Surrey. She was a sister in law of A H Clough. They had no children. At Oxford Lushington led in the movement for University Reform. He contributed an article on Oxford in The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine. 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. Influenced by F D 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. Lushington 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. Lushington 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. In 1903 he was appointed a member of the royal commission on trade disputes. Lushington took a keen interest in the Dreyfus Affair and his letter to the Times on the subject was one of the longest ever published. Lushington died unexpectedly on 5 February 1907 at his London home, 34 Old Queen Street, Westminster, and was buried at St Katherine's Church, Savernake Forest.
For letters of sympathy to Vernon Lushington on the death of Sir Godfrey Lushington, see 7854/3/16/-. For papers of Susan Lushington see 7854/4/-.