Posted by Elyse Bruce on August 9, 2010
Dr. Thomas Lushington (1590-1661) was an English chaplain and Rector of Burnham-Westgate and it has been well documented that he was quite fond of drinking. Oddly enough, his descendants allegedly became brewers of fine ales.
Almost 100 years after Lushington‘s death, the Harp Tavern became host to a club of hard drinkers known as The City of Lushington, that was founded in 1750 and ran until 1895. Lushington had a chairman, the ‘Lord Mayor,’ and four ‘aldermen,’ who presided over the wards of Poverty, Lunacy, Suicide, and Jupiter (the supreme Roman god who presided over all human affairs). The members of the club were referred to as lushes.
By 1810, the phrase ‘Alderman Lushington is concerned‘ meant that an individual was inebriated. By the 1920s, all that remained of the phrase was the word “lush” which mean someone who was habitually drunk.