Richard Luyt

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Sir Richard Luyt

1st Governor General of Guyana
In office
26 May 1966 – 16 December 1966
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterForbes Burnham
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byDavid Rose
Personal details
Born(1915-11-08)8 November 1915
Cape Town, Union of South Africa
Died12 February 1994(1994-02-12) (aged 78)
Cape Town, South Africa

Sir Richard Edmonds Luyt GCMG KCVO DCM (8 November 1915 – 12 February 1994) was the colonial Governor of British Guiana in 1964-66. He installed Forbes Burnham of the People's National Congress (PNC) as premier of a coalition government with a small business-oriented conservative party in 1964; however, the People's Progressive Party (PPP) came first in the election. Deadly riots ensued when the PPP was not allowed to form the government. Upon independence in May 1966, Sir Richard was sworn in as Governor-General of Guyana, a position which he held until December the same year.

Having been born and educated in Cape Town, he returned there in 1967 as principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town, a post which he held until 1980. Because of his actions in British Guiana, his appointment was initially opposed by the student body but he soon won them over. During this period, at the height of the apartheid years in South Africa, academic freedom was under threat and Sir Richard was in the forefront of South African vice-chancellors who fought to protect these freedoms. He also vigorously objected against banning orders and detention without trial of students and staff who protested against apartheid.

Sir Richard was an excellent cricketer and rugby player. He obtained a Rugby Blue at the University of Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar and played in three first-class cricket matches for Oxford University Cricket Club.[1]

During World War II Sir Richard fought against the Italians in Ethiopia and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Government offices
Preceded by
Ralph Grey
Governor of British Guiana
Office abolished
Office established Governor-General of Guyana
Succeeded by
David Rose
Academic offices
Preceded by
Jacobus Duminy
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town
1968 – 1980
Succeeded by
Stuart Saunders


  1. ^ "Player Profile: Dick Luyt". Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  • LUYT, Sir Richard (Edmonds), Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2016 (online edition, Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • "Sir Richard Luyt". The Times. London. 15 February 1994. p. 21.