Frederick Lugard, 1st Baron Lugard (1858-1945)

RSGS-LugardCaptain Frederick Lugard (as he then was) spoke for the RSGS in November 1892, giving a talk to audiences in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee on the subject of Characteristics of African Travel, with Notes on a Journey from Mombasa to the Albert Lake. In Edinburgh, he was presented with the Society’s Silver Medal, in recognition of his work in Uganda as an explorer and pioneer of civilisation.

Lugard was concerned about the situation in Uganda, which had been colonised by Britain in 1888. His belief was that the British Government was not prioritising the British involvement in Uganda, and the country was in danger of being taken over by Germany. In various speeches that he gave around the UK, Lugard was supported by HM Stanley and others, and the cause was picked up by RSGS Council Members and Vice-Presidents. These included some of Stanley’s closest allies, particularly Alexander Bruce and Sir William Mackinnon, whom he viewed almost as family, as well as political heavyweights such as Lord Balfour and Lord Rosebery.

The cause of Uganda as a British colony was adopted by the press, and became a scandal for Gladstone’s government, ultimately causing Gladstone to resign from office. Coincidentally, Lord Rosebery succeeded him as interim Prime Minister for the year and a half until the next General Election.

“The cause of Uganda as a British colony was adopted by the press, and became a scandal for Gladstone’s goverment.”