Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Lushington, Edmund Law

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LUSHINGTON, EDMUND LAW (1811–1893), Greek professor at Glasgow, born on 10 Jan. 1811, was the son of Edmund Henry Lushington, chief commissioner of the colonial board of audit, and master of the crown office, and of his second wife, Sophia, daughter of Thomas Phillips of Sedgeley, near Manchester. He passed his childhood at Hanwell, Middlesex, and was educated at Charterhouse school, one of his contemporaries being Thackeray, who was also with him for a time at Cambridge. Lushington, becoming head of the school while still young and not very robust, found the exacting duties of captain somewhat irksome. Entering Trinity College, Cambridge, he was two years the junior of Tennyson, with whom, and with Arthur Hallam, Trench, and others, he was associated in the select club of twelve, called 'The Apostles' (commemorated in 'In Memoriam,' lxxxvii.)

In 1832 Lushington was senior classic and senior chancellor's medallist, and became fellow and tutor of Trinity College. The year was a specially brilliant one, Henry Alford [q. v.], Richard Shilleto [q. v.] 'a second Porson' and William Hepworth Thompson [q. v.], afterwards master of Trinity, also being in the list. In 'The Virginians' (I. xli.) Thackeray makes a covert though sufficiently obvious allusion to the brilliant scholarship of Thompson and Lushington.

In 1838 Lushington succeeded Sir Daniel Keyte Sandford [q. v.] as professor of Greek at Glasgow, gaining the appointment over Robert Lowe (Lord Sherbrooke), after Archibald Campbell Tait [q. v.], subsequently archbishop of Canterbury, had withdrawn his candidature. As a professor he won the admiration and the affection of his students, and while, as described in the epilogue to 'In Memoriam,' 'wearing all that weight of learning lightly like a flower,' he invested his subject with a singular charm. In 'Principal Shairp and his Friends' (p. 14) Professor Sellar, alluding to Lushington's inaugural lecture of 1838-9, says: 'Shairp left the lecture, as he told me, repeating to himself the line

That strain I heard was of a higher mood;

and the impression thus produced was confirmed by his attendance on the private Greek class.' This accords with the universal testimony of Lushington's students. In 1875 he resigned his chair, the university conferring on him the honorary degree of LL.D. He settled at Park House, Maidstone, the residence described in the prologue to 'The Princess,' which is dedicated to his brother Henry. In 1884 he was elected lord rector of Glasgow University, and the principal, John Caird [q. v. Suppl.], welcomed him with a fitting eulogy when he delivered the customary rectorial address. He died at Park House, Maidstone, on 13 July 1893. On 10 Oct. 1842 Lushington married Cecilia Tennyson, sister of Lord Tennyson, the marriage ceremony being performed by Charles Tennyson Turner [q. v.] (Lord Tennyson, A Memoir, i. 203). The epilogue to Tennyson's 'In Memoriam' is an epithalamium on Lushington's marriage with the poet's sister. He was survived by his wife and his daughter Cecilia.

Although believed to have written anonymously for some of the reviews, Lushington made few acknowledged contributions to literature. He translated into Greek Tennyson's 'Œnone' (ib. i. 180) and 'Crossing the Bar,' the version of the latter giving the poet especial satisfaction (ib. ii. 367). To volume i. (pp. 201-3) of the 'Memoir of Lord Tennyson' by his son he contributed interesting reminiscences. He collaborated with Sir Alexander Grant [q. v.] in editing in 1866 (2nd edit. 1875) the 'Philosophical Works' of James Frederick Ferrier [q. v.], prefixing to the volume of 'Philosophical Remains' an exquisitely delicate and thoughtful memoir and appreciation. He published the Glasgow rectorial address in 1885.

[Times and Glasgow Herald of 14 July; Athenæum of 22 July 1893; Tennyson's Memoir of Lord Tennyson; Burke's Landed Gentry.]

T. B.