Looking for Lord Lucan


Sorry, I meant Lord Lister. It is an honour to find a relative memorialized in Westminster Abbey, though this photo cost me a £16 entrance fee and the threat of deportation for taking a photo inside the Abbey. So many memorials and so many tourists.

Joseph Lister was a Quaker (always reminds me of porridge) or the Society of Friends (is this for same-sex couples only? – did they call him ‘Lizzie’?). He is buried at Hampstead Cemetery but is blessed with a memorial in the Abbey. Despite inventing antiseptic, he only received a life peerage, so nothing to hand down to me, though there was talk of an inheritance waiting for the family back in England. Doesn’t every family have one of those stories?


Memorial in Portland Place near his home

In Lord Lister’s biography, his brother is said to have died of consumption on a voyage to South Australia to visit a property owned family friends, where it was hoped the weather would help his intrinsic poor health. However, he did in fact arrive in South Australia, marry and eventually moved to Melbourne in 1890. He is a great-great grandfather of mine.


He died well before Joseph received his peerage and as Joseph was childless, perhaps Queen Victoria thought she would be wasting a full peerage on a ‘friend’.


Of course his brother’s family could have inherited the house above in Park Crescent, Regents Park, but the biographers, the same family friends, had painted them out of the picture. Perhaps he wanted to disappear for other reasons. Nothing for the Listers of Burnley (Melbourne) though.


I trust Lord Lucan’s family fared better.

One comment

  1. Sam

    hence the middle name – it all makes sense, now!!

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