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British Industrial History

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John Luscombe

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Sir John Luscombe (25 May 1848 – 3 April 1937) was a rugby union international who represented England in the first international match in 1871. He was the brother of another rugby international, Francis Luscombe, and was a highly successful insurance broker, becoming chairman of Lloyds of London and being knighted for his services to underwriting.

At the age of 22, having served on a number of vessels, he was elected a member of Lloyds of London and started as underwriter. He was living in Lewisham at the time and played rugby regularly for his brother's side. His profession as a marine underwriter meant he spent much time at sea. By 1883 he had since moved to Bickley in what was Kent, and soon after to Worth, West Sussex.

In 1902, after spending many years at sea in pursuit of his profession, he was knighted for his services to underwriting, and in the same year was the chair of Lloyds, the first working man to be so. He was chairman a total of five times.

In addition to his professional commitments, he was also a Justice of the Peace, a member of Sussex County Council and in 1916 joined the directors of Prudential. In 1920 he was awarded the Gold Medal by Lloyds of London

John Luscombe married Fanny Willcocks on 8 June 1876. They had at least four children, John Herbert "Tommy" Luscombe (born 1879), Edith Bessie Luscombe (1880–1915), David Arthur Luscombe (born 1886), and William Olliver Luscombe (born 1889).


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