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. He 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 Rev’d Frederick Grueber Lugard, a British Army chaplain at Madras, and his third wife Mary Howard (1819–1865), the youngest daughter of Rev’d John Garton Howard (1786–1862), a younger son of landed gentry from Thorne and Melbourne near York. Lugard was educated at Rossall School and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.The name ‘Dealtry’ was in honour of Thomas Dealtry, a friend of his father.
As a Nigeria governor
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 by a large section of the political class and the media, the amalgamation did not arouse passion in the rest of the country because the people were unaware of the implications. Lugard took scant notice of public opinion, neither did he feel there was need for consensus among the locals on such a serious political subject which had such key implications for the two colonies. From 1914 to 1919, Lugard served as Governor General of the now combined colony of Nigeria. Throughout his tenure, he 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. He believed 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.” Funding of the colony of Nigeria in the development of state’s infrastructure such as harbours, railways and hospitals in Southern Nigeria came from revenue generated by taxes on imported alcohol. In Northern Nigeria, the revenue that allowed state development projects was less because the taxes was absent and thus funding of projects was covered from revenue generated in the south. 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. Lugard ran the country whilst spending half each year 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. He 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. The Lugard who opposed “native education” later became involved in Hong Kong University, and the man who disliked traders and businessmen became a director of a Nigerian bank.
Lugard married, on 10 June 1902, Flora Shaw, daughter of Major-General George Shaw, and granddaughter of Sir Frederick Shaw, 3rd Baronet. She was a writer for The Times and coined the place-name Nigeria. There were no children from the marriage. She died in January 1929; Lugard survived her by sixteen years and died on 11 April 1945, aged 87. Since he was childless, the barony became extinct. He was cremated at Woking Crematorium.