Past Presidents

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

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

1911 The Rt. Revd A. Wallace Williamson, K.C.V.O., D.L., M.A., D.D.

1912 Sir W Ryland Adkins, K.C., D.L., M.P., J.P.

1913 L Griffiths, “Dr Johnson and America”

1919 Professor Sir Sydney Lee, D.Litt., LL.D., F.B.A., “Dr Johnson and Current Affairs”

1920 Sir Norman Moore, Bt., M.A., M.D., LL.D., F.R.C.P.

1921 J Frederick Green, M.P.

1922 Sir Chartres Biron, “Johnson and Women”

1923 C B Harmsworth, (later Lord Harmsworth), M.P., M.A., LL.D.

1924 Percy Matheson, M.B.E., M.A., “Johnson as a Traveller”

1925 Hon. Sir Charles Russell, Bt, K.C.V.O., “Echoes of Johnson”

1926 Arundell J K Esdaile, C.B.E., M.A., D.Litt, “Johnson the English Scholar”

1927 Alfred Noyes, C.B.E., D.Litt., L.H.D.

1928 R W Chapman, M.A., D.Litt., F.B.A., F.R.S.L., “Dr Johnson and Poetry”

1929 S C Roberts, (later Sir Sidney), M.A., LL.D., L.H.D., F.R.S.L., “The Focus of the Lichfield Lamps”

1930 A Edward Newton, “Dr Johnson and Benjamin Franklin” (a Play)

1931 Sir Anthony Hope, “Hawkins, M.A.”

1932 J A Lovat-Fraser, M.P., M.A., LL.M., “Samuel Johnson and Walter Scott”

1931 Sir Anthony Hope, “Hawkins, M.A.”

1933 The Rt. Hon. Sir Frank MacKinnon, (later Lord Justice MacKinnon) P.C., K.C., F.S.A.

1934 The Rt. Hon. The Lord Charnwood, D.L., J.P., M.A.

1935 Sir John Squire, M.A., F.S.A., F.R.S.L., “Rasselas”

1936 Revd Canon, J J G Stockley, M.A., “Johnson and Life”

1937 Guy Boas: M.A., F.R.S.L., “Johnson and School Teaching”

1938 Revd Canon Anthony Deane, M.A., F.R.S.L., “Dr Johnson and Ourselves”

1939/44 Sir Charles Grant Robertson, C.V.O., M.A., LL.D., D.Litt.

1945 Rev Canon John E. M. Wallis, M.A., “Dr Johnson and his English Dictionary”

1946 Lt. Commander R T Gould, R.N.

1947 Sir Norman Haworth, D.SC., Ph.D. F.R.S., “The Humanist and the Scientist”

1948 Sir Arnold McNair, (later Lord McNair), C.B.E., LL.D., F.B.A. “Dr Johnson and the Law”

1949 David Nichol Smith, M.A., D.Litt., F.B.A., “Johnsonians and Boswellians”

1950 L F Powell, M.A., D.Litt., F.R.S.L., “A Task Ended”

1951 Mary Lascelles, M.A., B.Litt., F.B.A., “A Physician in a Great City”

1952 Percy Laithwaite, M.Sc., “A Boswellian Interlude”

1953 Sir Ben Lockspeiser, K.C.B., D.S.C., F.I.MECH.E., F.R.A.E.S., F.R.S., “City of Philosophers”

1954 Laurence Meynell

1955 Sir Charles Lillicrap, K.C.B., M.B.E., D.S.C.

1956 D V Hubble, (later Professor Sir Douglas), M.B., F.R.C.P. “Samuel Johnson in Friendship”

1957 Mary Hyde, (later Viscountess Eccles), M.A., Ph.D., D.Litt., “Tetty and Johnson”

1958 Professor J L Clifford, M.A., B.S., Ph.D., LTT.D., L.H.D., F.R.S.L., “Johnson’s Works in Our Time”

1959 Sir John Wedgwood, Bt., T.D., “Samuel Johnson and Josiah Wedgwood”

1960 Sir William Haley, K.C.M.G., LL.D., “Dr Samuel Johnson – Journalist”

1961 R W Ketton-Cremer, M.A., F.S., F.R.S.L., “Dr Johnson and his Contemporaries”

1962 B L Hallward, M.A., LL.D., “Johnson Today”

1963 The Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Boyle (later Lord Boyle), P.C., M.P., M.A., LL.D., “Johnson’s Attitude to the American Colonies”

1966 The Rt. Hon. Nigel Birch (later Lord Rhyl), P.C., O.B.E., M.P., M.A.

1967 Professor Edmund Blunden, C.B.E., M.C.,M.A., D.Litt., F.R.S.L., “Friends of Samuel Johnson”

1968 Professor Douglas Grant, M.A., D.Phil., F.R.S.L., “Johnson the Sage”

1969 Professor Matthew C. J. Hodgart, M.A., “Johnson the Traveller”

1970 Dame Helen Gardner, D.B.E., M.A., D.Litt., F.B.A., F.R.S.L., “Johnson Improvisatore”

1971 The Countess of Huntingdon (Margaret Lane), M.A., F.R.S.L. “Dr Johnson and his Relations with Women”

1972 J D Fleeman, M.A., D.Phil., “Johnsonian Bibliography”

1973 H J Callender, M.B.E., F.C.A., “Johnson and his Lichfield”

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

1975 Frank Muir, M.B.E., “Samuel Johnson and the Search for the Wild Guffaw”

1976 John Wain, M.A., “This is Your Scholar! Your Philosopher!”

1977 Professor D. W. Jefferson, M.A., “Johnson the Essayist”

1978 The Very Revd. Edward Carpenter, M.A., B.D., Ph.D., “Samuel Johnson: A Perennial Interest – Random Reflections”

1979 Christopher Hibbert, M.C., M.A., F.R.S.L., “Whole Nests of People in His House”

1980 Herman W. Liebert, “Samuel Johnson and the Pendulum of Taste”

1981 Robert Robinson, M.A., “Johnson and the Particular Ear”

1982 Pat Rogers, “Johnson and the Diction of Common life”

1983 Sir William Rees-Mogg

1984 Malcolm Muggeridge, “Dr Johnson Looks Heavenwards”

1985 Donald Greene, “Towards the Tercentenary”

1986 Professor Ian Jack, “The Mobility of Samuel Johnson”

1987 Sir Christopher Booth, “Taxation No Tyranny”

1988 The Rt. Revd Richard Harries, “Johnson – A Church of England Saint”

1989 Richard Ingrams, “Old Dread Devil”

1990 Rt. Hon. J Enoch Powell, M.B.E., “Rasselas”

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

1992 Eric Anderson, D.Litt., F.R.S.E., “Robert Anderson: Johnson’s Other Scottish Biographer”

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

1994 Professor Bruce Redford, “Johnson Ventriloquens”

1995 Judge David Edward, C.M.G., QC, Johnson, “Boswell and the Conflict of Loyalties”

1996 Professor Ian Campbell, “Boswell’s Life of Johnson”

1997 Dr Graham Nicholls, Ph.D., F.R.S.A., “Four Quotations of Samuel Johnson”

1998 Libby Purves, “Dreams of A Poet”

1999 Dame Beryl Bainbridge, “Dr. Johnson”

2000 The Right Honourable Lord Bingham of Cornhill, “Clubs and Clubbability”

2001 Frank Delaney, “The Presence of Dr. Johnson”

2002 Adam Sisman, “Dr. Johnson’s Second Wife”

2003 John Sergeant, “Dr. Johnson the journalist: did he tell the truth?”

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

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

2006 Nigel Rees, ” The Quotability of Samuel Johnson”

2007  Professor Lynda Mugglestone, “Samuel Johnson the undergraduate”

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

2009 The Rt Rev Jonathan Gledhill, Bishop of Lichfield, “The Faith of Samuel Johnson”

2010 Frank Skinner, ” The Temples and Turrets of The Rambler”

2011 Susie Dent, “Pursuits and Dreads: Samuel Johnson and Language Change”

2012 Professor John Chapple, “Shakespeare and Johnson”

2013 Peter Martin, “The Dictionary Wars”

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

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

2016 Margaret Drabble, “Harmless Pleasures”