Tugwell was born in Salisbury, England, educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and ordained in 1881. He was Curate of St Mary, Petworth and then a Church Mission Society (CMS) missionary in Lagos.
In 1894 he was elevated to the Episcopate as Bishop of Western Equatorial Africa. The CMS decided to create two assistant bishops to help with the workload of the large diocese and to assuage African opinion. James Johnson, although the most prominent clergyman in the colony, was considered unsafe. Instead the more conservative Charles Phillips of Ondo was appointed, along with Isaac Oluwole, a former principal of the CMS Grammar School, Lagos. When the Western Equatorial Africa diocese was split in 1919, Tugwell became the inaugural Bishop on the Niger.
He returned to England in 1921 and served as Rector of Mavesyn Ridware, Staffordshire from 1921 to 1927.
In 1939, a church in the Anglican Diocese of Lagos was named after him. The church, Bishop Tugwell Memorial Anglican Church (BTM for short), is reputed to be the oldest Igbo Anglican church in the whole of Lagos. BTM Anglican Church marked its 75th anniversary with a church service on 19 October 2014.
- Ordinations Chichester The Times Wednesday, Dec 21, 1881; pg. 10; Issue 30383; col B
- "The Clergy List, Clerical Guide and Ecclesiastical Directory" London, Hamilton & Co 1889
- Missionary Archives on Africa
- Diocese of Lagos
- Peel, J. D. Y. (2003). Religious Encounter and the Making of the Yoruba. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-21588-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Obituary Bishop Tugwell The Times Thursday, Jul 23, 1936; pg. 16; Issue 47434; col F
- "Herbert Tugwell". Findagrave.com. Retrieved 11 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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