Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Lush

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.

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2 Responses to “Lush”

  1. The words we take for granted today are proven by you to have as their origons a history that is based in common sense. We don’t often think about this but once we do they take on a whole new meaning. Lush,that was a cool find. I know it is not generally appropriate for the internet but I would also be interested in some of the more controversial words. Even words like god, sin,morality. I find what you do is refreshing because once we find the truth in these origins and their meaning it makes sense. Thanks Idiomation for your due dilligence. I would imagine every language has similar ideas but you would know best. Is it the same for the names we give our children? Do we really think of the meaning behind it these days or is it just because it sounds cool? Since I have discovered your blog I have learned so much. Know that your hard work is appreciated. As a songwriter, words are part of my craft and I eagerly look forward to my daily dose in the hopes I will find that one gem beyond the pearls.

  2. Sir John Lushington - author of the history of the Lushington family said

    I think your connection between Thomas Lushington and the City of Lushington is possibly correct. Thomas was buried in Sittingbourne, Kent.
    The term Lush.. ington was apparently of a Kentish origin.
    Hwever I have found no evidence that has connected the man and the term.
    I do not think the family ever were brewers. They were malsters and dealers in Sittingbourne in the 17th century.
    If anyone can add to this I would like to know!!

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