Rev. George Thomson Johnson, M.A., J.P.

Rev. George Thomson Johnson, M.A., J.P., a Prominent citizen from the History of Huntingdonshire, England.


The great Scottish clan of Johnston of Annandale has been the progenitor of some of our most famous and historic houses, and notably of thee Marquesses of Annandale, now extinct, and the Earls of Hopetoun, now Marquesses of Linlithgow. In 1680, under the Merry Monarch, a branch of this family went over to Ireland and their settled. For many generations they throve and intermarried with leading Anglo-Irish families, serving their country in the military and naval professions, and giving their best talents to the service of the Church and the Bar.

In due course, the Rev. George Johnston, son of Rev Thomas Johnston, Rector of Broughton, became owner of the Manor of Somersham in Hunts. He married Maria, daughter of Lovatt Martin Esq., of Broughton, and here in 1838, their son, the subject of our present sketch, was born.

Mr Johnston was educated at Bury St. Edmunds, the quaint old world capital of West Suffolk, and in due course matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He took his degree of B.A. in 1859, and four years later proceeded to M.A. In the latter year he was ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Ripon, Dr Bickersteth, and in 1865 was advanced to Priest’s Orders. In that year he married Edith, second daughter of the Rev Joseph Bulmer Bullerworth Clarke, Rector of Bagborough, Somerset, and Prebendary of Wells Cathedral.

After curacies at Long Preston, Yorkshire; Harlington and Steppingley, Mr Johnston became in 1870 Vicar of Harlington, Beds. From 1879 to 18887 Mr Johnston was Rector of Stopham, in the diocese of Chichester, and from the latter year to the close of the century he was Rector of Broughton. Here he carried out his duties of a parish priest with general acceptance from his parishioners of all classes, and his hard work, effective powers of organisation and careful but moderate teaching gained the recognition of his Diocesan, the Bishop of Ely (at that time the beloved and venerable Lord Alwyn Compton), by whom he was made Rural Dean of St Ives in 1894. He retired from active parochial work in 1900. In 1889 his name was placed on the Commission of the Peace for Huntingdonshire.

Mr Johnston is a staunch Unionist in politics, and while taking a keen interest in all manifestations of intellectual life and activity, he is especially devoted to the study of marvellous development in modern science. He now resides at Trederwyn, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, and is a member of the Royal Societies Club, S.W.

The Rev. George Thomson Johnston belongs to the Annandale branch of the ancient family of Johnston, which went to co. Derry, Ireland, in 1680. The Johnston's first spelt the name with a final “e” in 1792. The Rev. G. T. Johnston is the fortunate possessor of some valuable old lace, rings and miniatures, which with other interesting antiques, were exhibited for six months in Kensington Museum.

George Gaskell - circa 1900