Extraordinary People – Makepeace Richmond

Let me write as the spirit moves me, and as memories crowd the mind, about a good man through and through and a citizen of incomparable quality. He was a good, reliable, interesting and necessary friend for nearly fifty years. Our lives did not run together every day or every week but Makepeace was there, he could be called upon, he was instructive in detecting pretentiousness and uncovering fallacy, he set the standard of how “to live in truth”. Once when real trouble loomed in my life for a while he was one of the first at my door, his presence and support strongly and calmly assuring when confidence was shaky and future uncertain. What is completely and firmly upright is easy to lean upon.

It is hard to maintain perfect integrity. That involves throughout a life unswervingly making thousands of decisions which opt always for telling the truth, choosing difficult right over easy wrong, giving up tempting personal advantage in favour of what one knows is honest, rejecting popular causes which lead a country astray and exposing ignorance, bad faith, half-truths and hypocrisy as a matter of course whatever the personal cost or majority opinion. In the nearly fifty years I knew Makepeace Richmond I never knew or heard of him failing the many tests of integrity.