Past Presidents

Where no title follows the name it can be assumed that the presidential address was of a general Johnsonian nature.

2019-21 Rowan Williams, ‘Samuel Johnson and the Tradition of Tory Anarchism’

2018 Henry Hitchings, ‘Johnson’s Dictionary as a Guide to Life’

2017 Michael Bundock, ‘”To Put You in Mind of Johnson”: Afterlives in London and Lichfield’

2016 Margaret Drabble, ‘Harmless Pleasures’

2015 Kate Chisholm, ‘Dr Johnson and Charlotte Lennox: The Great Cham meets a Bird of Prey’

2014 Professor Jock Murray, ‘Johnson’s True Friends and the Nature of Friendship’

2013 Peter Martin, ‘The Dictionary Wars’

2012 Professor John Chapple, ‘Shakespeare and Johnson’

2011 Susie Dent, ‘Pursuits and Dreads: Samuel Johnson and Language Change’

2010 Frank Skinner, ‘The Temples and Turrets of The Rambler’

2009 The Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, Bishop of Lichfield, ‘The Faith of Samuel Johnson’

2008 John Byrne, ‘Intersections & Coincidences: Collecting & Connecting with Samuel Johnson from the far end of the earth’

2007 Professor Lynda Mugglestone, ‘Samuel Johnson the undergraduate’

2006 Nigel Rees, ‘The Quotability of Samuel Johnson’

2005 Professor David Crystal, ‘Johnson’s Dictionary 250 years on’

2004 The Rt Hon. Lord Butler of Brockwell, KG, GCB, CVO, ‘Dr Johnson and University College, Oxford’

2003 John Sergeant, ‘Dr. Johnson the journalist: did he tell the truth?’

2002 Adam Sisman, ‘Dr. Johnson’s Second Wife’

2001 Frank Delaney, ‘The Presence of Dr. Johnson’

2000 The Rt Hon. Lord Bingham of Cornhill, ‘Clubs and Clubbability’

1999 Dame Beryl Bainbridge, ‘Dr. Johnson’

1998 Libby Purves, ‘Dreams of A Poet’

1997 Dr Graham Nicholls, FRSA, ‘Four Quotations of Samuel Johnson’

1996 Professor Ian Campbell, ‘Boswell’s Life of Johnson’

1995 Judge David Edward, CMG., QC, ‘Johnson, Boswell and the Conflict of Loyalties’

1994 Professor Bruce Redford, ‘Johnson Ventriloquens’

1993 Dr Conor Cruise O’Brien, ‘Samuel Johnson and Edmund Burke’

1992 Eric Anderson, FRSE, ‘Robert Anderson: Johnson’s Other Scottish Biographer’

1991 His Honour Judge Sir Stephen Tumim, ‘The Bicentenary of the Publication of James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson’

1990 The Rt Hon. J. Enoch Powell, MBE, ‘Rasselas’

1989 Richard Ingrams, ‘Old Dread Devil’

1988 The Rt Revd Richard Harries, ‘Johnson – A Church of England Saint’

1987 Sir Christopher Booth, ‘Taxation No Tyranny’

1986 Professor Ian Jack, ‘The Mobility of Samuel Johnson’

1985 Donald Greene, ‘Towards the Tercentenary’

1984 Malcolm Muggeridge, ‘Dr Johnson Looks Heavenwards’

1983 Sir William Rees-Mogg

1982 Pat Rogers, ‘Johnson and the Diction of Common life’

1981 Robert Robinson, ‘Johnson and the Particular Ear’

1980 Herman W. Liebert, ‘Samuel Johnson and the Pendulum of Taste’

1979 Christopher Hibbert, MC, FRSL, ‘Whole Nests of People in His House’

1978 The Very Revd Edward Carpenter, ‘Samuel Johnson: A Perennial Interest – Random Reflections’

1977 Professor D.W. Jefferson, ‘Johnson the Essayist’

1976 John Wain, ‘This is Your Scholar! Your Philosopher!’

1975 Frank Muir, MBE, ‘Samuel Johnson and the Search for the Wild Guffaw’

1974 Professor F.A. Pottle, ‘The Adequacy as Biography of Boswell’s “Life of Johnson”‘

1973 H.J. Callender, MBE, FCA, ‘Johnson and his Lichfield’

1972 J.D. Fleeman, ‘Johnsonian Bibliography’

1971 The Countess of Huntingdon (Margaret Lane), FRSL, ‘Dr Johnson and his Relations with Women’

1970 Dame Helen Gardner, DBE., FBA, FRSL, ‘Johnson Improvisatore’

1969 Professor Matthew C.J. Hodgart, ‘Johnson the Traveller’

1968 Professor Douglas Grant, FRSL, ‘Johnson the Sage’

1967 Professor Edmund Blunden, CBE, MC, FRSL, ‘Friends of Samuel Johnson’

1966 The Rt Hon. Nigel Birch (later Lord Rhyl), PC, OBE, MP

1963 The Rt Hon. Sir Edward Boyle (later Lord Boyle), PC, MP, ‘Johnson’s Attitude to the American Colonies’

1962 B.L. Hallward, ‘Johnson Today’

1961 R.W. Ketton-Cremer, FSA, FRSL, FBA, ‘Dr Johnson and his Contemporaries’

1960 Sir William Haley, KCMG, ‘Dr Samuel Johnson – Journalist’

1959 Sir John Wedgwood, Bt, TD, ‘Samuel Johnson and Josiah Wedgwood’

1958 Professor J.L. Clifford, LHD, FRSL, ‘Johnson’s Works in Our Time’

1957 Mary Hyde (later Viscountess Eccles), ‘Tetty and Johnson’

1956 D.V. Hubble (later Professor Sir Douglas), FRCP, ‘Samuel Johnson in Friendship’

1955 Sir Charles Lillicrap, KCB, MBE, DSC

1954 Laurence Meynell

1953 Sir Ben Lockspeiser, KCB, DSC, FIMECHE, FRAES, FRS, ‘City of Philosophers’

1952 Percy Laithwaite, ‘A Boswellian Interlude’

1951 Mary Lascelles, FBA, ‘A Physician in a Great City’

1950 L.F. Powell, FRSL, ‘A Task Ended’

1949 David Nichol Smith, FBA, ‘Johnsonians and Boswellians’

1948 Sir Arnold McNair (later Lord McNair), CBE, FBA, ‘Dr Johnson and the Law’

1947 Sir Norman Haworth, DSC, FRS, ‘The Humanist and the Scientist’

1946 Lt Commander R.T. Gould, RN

1945 The Revd Canon John E.M. Wallis, ‘Dr Johnson and his English Dictionary’

1939/44 Sir Charles Grant Robertson, CVO

1938 The Revd Canon Anthony Deane, FRSL, ‘Dr Johnson and Ourselves’

1937 Guy Boas, FRSL, ‘Johnson and School Teaching’

1936 The Revd Canon J.J.G. Stockley, ‘Johnson and Life’

1935 Sir John Squire, FSA, FRSL, ‘Rasselas’

1934 The Rt Hon. The Lord Charnwood, DL, JP

1933 The Rt Hon. Sir Frank MacKinnon (later Lord Justice MacKinnon), PC, KC, FSA

1932 J.A. Lovat-Fraser, MP, ‘Samuel Johnson and Walter Scott’

1931 Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins

1930 A. Edward Newton, ‘Dr Johnson and Dr Benjamin Franklin’ (a play)

1929 S.C. Roberts (later Sir Sidney), LHD, FRSL, ‘The Focus of the Lichfield Lamps’

1928 R.W. Chapman, FBA, FRSL, ‘Dr Johnson and Poetry’

1927 Alfred Noyes, CBE, LHD

1926 Arundell J.K. Esdaile, CBE, ‘Johnson the English Scholar’

1925 The Hon. Sir Charles Russell, Bt, KCVO, ‘Echoes of Johnson’

1924 Percy Matheson, MBE, ‘Johnson as a Traveller’

1923 C.B. Harmsworth (later Lord Harmsworth), MP

1922 Sir Chartres Biron, ‘Johnson and Women’

1921 J. Frederick Green, MP

1920 Sir Norman Moore, Bt, FRCP

1919 Professor Sir Sydney Lee, FBA, ‘Dr Johnson and Current Affairs’

1913 L. Griffiths, ‘Dr Johnson and America’

1912 Sir W. Ryland Adkins, KC, DL, MP, JP

1911 The Rt Revd A. Wallace Williamson, KCVO, DL

1910 Colonel Sir Robert T. White-Thompson, KCB, DL, JP