Papers of Frederick Dealtry Lugard, Baron Lugard of Abinger: Papers 1858-1919

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 30-99
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      70 volumes On receipt, the collection was bound in the order in which Margery Perham's research assistant arranged the papers

Scope and Content

  • Correspondence and papers relating to childhood and career as an Army officer in India, Afghanistan, Sudan and Burma, 1858-1887
  • Correspondence and papers relating to period in Nyasaland, 1888-1895
  • Correspondence and papers relating to period in Uganda, 1889-1901
  • Correspondence, lectures and papers relating to East and Central Africa, 1889-1917
  • Correspondence and papers relating to expedition to Bechuanaland, 1896-1897
  • Correspondence, memoranda and papers relating to West Africa, 1894-1905
  • Correspondence and papers relating to period in Northern Nigeria and scheme for tropical administration, 1899-1909
  • Correspondence and papers relating to period in Hong Kong, 1907-1947
  • Correspondence with Sir John Kirk, with memorandum on the Slave Trade Treaty of 1873 with Zanzibar, 1889-1904
  • Correspondence and papers relating to slavery and liquor traffic, 1877-1896
  • Correspondence and papers broadly relating to period as Governor and Governor-General of Nigeria, 1908-1922
  • Reviews, diaries, maps and photographs, [1888-1916]

Administrative / Biographical History

Frederick John Dealtry Lugard (1858-1945), soldier, administrator and author was born in Madras, India but raised at Worcester and educated at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Entering the Army, he received his commission in 1878 in the 9th Foot (the Norfolk Regiment), joining the second batallion in India. In 1884 he secured secondment to the Military Transport Service, which was dispatched the following year to support the campaign for the relief of Khartoum in the Sudan. For this and his service in Burma in 1886 he was awarded the DSO.

In c1888, after being placed on medical leave and after a couple of abortive attempts to join the Italian forces in Abyssinia, he signed up with a small force which the African Lakes Company was preparing for the defence of a trading station at Karongwa, Nyasaland. His work in securing the station attracted the attention of Sir William Mackinnon, who gave him the task of opening up a new route from Mombasa (Kenya) to the interior by way of the Sabaki River. He completed this as far as Machakos (near Nairobi), when he received orders to proceed to Uganda, where, over a period of two years, he established order and a favourable state of affairs for the company in Buganda and the Bunyoro, Toro and Ankoli chiefdoms. He was also instrumental in persuading the British government to adopt Uganda as a protectorate in 1894.

In 1894, he was given the task of obtaining a treaty for the Royal Niger Company with Borgu on the western border of Nigeria. He then accepted an offer from the British West Charterland Company to explore a mineral concession near Lake Ngami in Bechuanaland. In 1897 he was recalled to West Africa as Her Majesty's Commissioner for the Hinterland of Nigeria, where he was also responsible for raising the West African Frontier Force. After the declaration of a protectorate over Northern and Southern Nigeria in 1900, he assumed office as High Commissioner of Northern Nigeria. He was appointed KCMG in 1901 and held the temporary rank of Brigadier-General from 1900 to 1907.

In 1907 he became Governor of Hong Kong, where he was largely responsible for the creation of the University of Hong Kong in 1911. He was appointed GCMG in the same year. In 1912 he returned to Nigeria as Governor of the two protectorates, and was made Governor-General 1914-1919. During this period, he laid down in the form of political memoranda the system of indirect rule which is associated with his name.

After his retirement, he spent a period in Ethiopia on behalf of the Abyssinian Corporation . He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1920, then devoted himself to the preparation of The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa (Edinburgh and London, W. Blackwood & Sons, 1922). From 1922 to 1936 he was a member of the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations. He was a member of the international slavery committees of 1924-1925 and 1932, served on the Colonial Advisory Committee on Education, 1923-1936 and from 1926 onwards was chairman of the International Institute of African Languages and Cultures. In 1930 and 1931 he was an active member of the parliamentary joint select committee on closer union in East Africa.

He was commander of the Legion of Honour, 1917 and was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold II of Belgium, 1936. He received honorary degrees of the Universities of Oxford, Durham, Cambridge, Glasgow and Hong Kong. He was also a gold medallist of the Royal Geographical Society, Royal African Society and Royal Empire Society, and a silver medallist of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. In 1902 he married Flora Louise Shaw.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required


Collection level description created by Paul Davidson, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Other Finding Aids

Listed as no. A29 in Manuscript Collections of Africana in Rhodes House Library Oxford, compiled by Louis B. Frewer (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1968) and no. NA252 in Manuscript Collections (excluding Africana) in Rhodes House Library Oxford, compiled by Louis B. Frewer (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1970). A handlist, Papers of Frederick Dealtry Lugard, Baron Lugard of Abinger 1858-1945 in Rhodes House Library Oxford, compiled by Patricia Pugh (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1989) is also available.

Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.

Related Material

  • Papers of Frederick Dealtry Lugard, Baron Lugard of Abinger (ref. MSS. Lugard)
  • Preliminary sketch for a governor's house, Nigeria, [?20th century] (ref. MSS. Afr. t. 29)
  • Illuminated address from Birmingham on Lugard's return from Uganda. 1892 (ref. MSS. Afr. s. 1732)
  • Six maps of areas of Uganda, Tanganyika and Kenya, compiled from Lugard's route sketches of 1890-1893 (ref. MSS. Afr. t. 29)
  • Transcript of interview with secretary, Violet Townshend, 1929-1945 (ref. MSS. Afr. s. 1774)
  • Memorandum of agreement with British West Charterland Ltd. concerning mineral prospecting rights in Ngamiland, Southern Africa, 1896 (ref. MSS. Afr. s. 141, ff. 415-418)
  • Letters from Sir Richard and Lady Mary Temple regarding the appointment of their son Charles to administrative work in Northern Nigeria, [20th century] (ref. MSS. Afr. s. 141, ff. 405-409)
  • Minute written for report by G.J.F. Tomlinson of his and R.S. Davies's action against Bukr, ex-Mai Mandara, suspected of complicity with the Germans, 1915 (ref. MSS. Afr. s. 424, ff. 116-124)
  • Reminiscences of R.P. Nicholson while Lugard's secretary, [1900-1905] (ref. MSS. Afr. r. 81)
  • Photograph of treaty made with the King of Nikki on behalf of the Royal Niger Company, 1894 (ref. MSS. Afr. s. 1182)
  • Letter of appointment of the Emir of Misau, Nigeria, signed by Lugard as Governor-General, 1914 (ref. MSS. Afr. t. 19)
  • Report of the Commission of Enquiry into disturbances in Abeokuta province, Nigeria, 1918, with observations, 1919 (ref. MSS. Afr. s. 1481)
  • Album of photographs of Queen's College, Hong Kong, 1907, presented on Lugard's first visit (ref. MSS. Ind. Ocn. t. 10)
  • Papers of Dame Margery Perham, [1844]-1980 (ref. MSS. Perham)
 The library also holds papers relating to Lady Lugard. An unspecified Lugard diary is held in private hands. Two trunks of watercolours, ceremonial materials, etc. are also in private hands.