Lutwyche was the eldest son of John Lutwyche, of a Worcestershire family, who removed to London and started as a leather merchant, under the firm of Lutwyche & George, in Skinner Street, Snow Hill. Lutwyche was educated at Charterhouse School and at the Queen's College, Oxford, where he matriculated in 1828 and graduated B.A. in 1832, and subsequently M.A. While still at university, he had decided to pursue a career in law and became a student at the Middle Temple in London. After working in the legal areas of conveyancing and special pleadings, Lutwyche was called to the bar in May 1840. As a barrister, he went on the Oxford circuit. While he built up his practice as a barrister, he also supplemented his income and acquired some journalistic experience as a colleague of Charles Dickens, on the Morning Chronicle.
Suffering poor health, Lutwyche decided to immigrate to Australia. In 1853, he embarked in London on the Meridian bound for Melbourne. The ship was wrecked on the Island of Amsterdam in the southern Indian Ocean. It was a miracle that almost all on board (apart from the captain, the cook and one passenger) survived. At the wreck site, they were faced with a 200-foot lava cliff, which the sailors scaled and then hauled up the passengers. The ship broke up before any provisions could be gathered, but they were able to catch fish, which enabled them to survive for 12 days before Captain Isaac Ludlow of the American whaler Monmouth found them and took them to Mauritius. Lutwyche then travelled on the Emma Colvin to Melbourne, arriving in December 1853.
New South Wales
Having entered the New South Wales Legislative Council, he was Solicitor-General in the first Charles Cowper Ministry from September to October 1856, and represented the Government in the Upper House. He was again Solicitor-General in the second Cowper Administration from September 1857 to November 1858, when he succeeded Mr. (afterwards Sir) James Martin as Attorney-General. This post he resigned in February 1859.
In October 1857 Lutwyche was appointed Resident Judge of what was then the Moreton Bay district of New South Wales. Two months later he became sole Judge of the new colony of Queensland, and occupied the bench unaided until the arrival of the first Chief Justice, Sir James Cockle, in February 1863. But for a certain lack of self-restraint in his judgements and utterances, Mr. Lutwyche would himself have been appointed the first Chief Justice of Queensland, and he keenly felt the disallowance of his claims.
In 1855, while in Sydney, Alfred Lutwyche married a widow, Mary Ann (Jane) Morris (née Simpson) at St Lawrence's Anglican Church. Jane (as she was commonly known) had 4 children from her marriage to George Henry Morris. The Morris family were also among the survivors of the 1853 wreck of the Meridian but George Morris succumbed to tuberculosis in 1854 in Sydney. Alfred and Jane Lutwyche had no children.
Lutwyche was a wealthy settler who owned vast tracts of land in Wooloowin and surrounding areas; the Kedron Lodge, his magnificent heritage-listed residence, still stands to this day in the affluent district of Kalinga.
In 1865, Lutwyche donated a block of land near Kedron Brook for the establishment of a new Anglican church, St Andrew's. A Gothic-style wooden church was built and opened on 30 November 1866. Lutwyche was an active member of the church and requested to be buried in the churchyard. He later donated a further acre of land adjacent to the church for a rectory.
He died at his residence, Kedron Lodge, 123 Nelson Street, Wooloowin in Brisbane on 12 June 1880 following a severe attack of gout in the preceding fortnight. As he had requested, he had a simple funeral (which was nonetheless hugely attended) and was buried in the churchyard of St Andrew's Anglican Church on Lutwyche Road on 15 June 1880. The service was conducted by Archdeacon Glennie and Rev. Love. His wife Jane arranged for a Celtic cross to be erected as a memorial over his grave on the southern side of the church.
With his background in law and journalism, Lutwyche was a prolific writer. Of particular interest are the following works:
- Lutwyche, Alfred (1854), A narrative of the wreck of the Meridian, on the island of Amsterdam (PDF), Waugh and Cox
- Howell, P. A. "Lutwyche, Alfred James (1810–1880)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- Mennell, Philip (1892). " Lutwyche, His Honour Alfred James Peter". The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co. Wikisource
- "The Late Mr. Justice Lutwyche.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 14 June 1880. p. 3. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- Lutwyche, Alfred (1854), A narrative of the wreck of the Meridian, on the island of Amsterdam, Waugh and Cox, retrieved 28 January 2014
- "WRECK OF THE MERIDIAN.". The Empire. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 13 December 1853. p. 2. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- Ancestry user: mooneyjoy_1. "Alfred James Peter Lutwyche". Eames family tree. Ancestry.com. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- "Kedron Lodge (entry 600238)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- "History". About Us. St Andrew's Anglican Church, Lutwyche. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- "TELEGRAMS.". Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners' Advocate. NSW: National Library of Australia. 14 June 1880. p. 2. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- "Classified Advertising.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 14 June 1880. p. 1. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- "Adelaide.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 16 June 1880. p. 3. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- "Family Notices.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 7 January 1891. p. 4. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- "Classified Advertising.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 8 January 1891. p. 1. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- "Lutwyche (entry 44515)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 28 January 2014.