Open main menu
This page has been validated.
185
LYTTELTON, G. L.—LYTTON, 1ST BARON

pleasant promenade and drive along the shore, and other appointments of a seaside resort, but it is less wholly devoted to holiday visitors than Blackpool, which lies 8 m. N.W. A Benedictine cell was founded here at the close of the 12th century by the lord of the manor, Richard Fitz-Roger.


LYTTELTON, GEORGE LYTTELTON, 1st Baron (1709–1773), English statesman and man of letters, born at Hagley, Worcestershire, was a descendant of the great jurist Sir Thomas Littleton (q.v.). He was the eldest son of Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 4th bart. (d. 1751), who at the revolution of 1688 and during the following reign was one of the ablest Whig debaters of the House of Commons.[1] Lyttelton was educated at Eton and Oxford, and in 1728 set out on the grand tour, spending considerable periods at Paris and Rome. On his return to England he sat in parliament for Okehampton, Devonshire, beginning public life in the same year with Pitt. From 1744 to 1754 he held the office of a lord commissioner of the treasury. In 1755 he succeeded Legge as chancellor of the exchequer, but in 1756 he quitted office, being raised to the peerage as Baron Lyttelton, of Frankley, in the county of Worcester. In the political crisis of 1765, before the formation of the Rockingham administration, it was suggested that he might be placed at the head of the treasury, but he declined to take part in any such scheme. The closing years of his life were devoted chiefly to literary pursuits. He died on the 22nd of August 1773.

Lyttelton’s earliest publication (1735), Letters from a Persian in England to his Friend at Ispahan, appeared anonymously. Much greater celebrity was achieved by his Observations on the Conversion and Apostleship of St Paul, also anonymous, published in 1747. It takes the form of a letter to Gilbert West, and is designed to show that St Paul’s conversion is of itself a sufficient demonstration of the divine character of Christianity. Dr Johnson regarded the work as one “to which infidelity has never been able to fabricate a specious answer.” Lord Lyttelton’s Dialogues of the Dead, a creditable performance, though hardly rivalling either Lucian or Landor, appeared in 1760. His History of Henry II. (1767–1771), the fruit of twenty years’ labour, is not now cited as an authority, but is painstaking and fair. Lyttelton was also a writer of verse; his Monody on his wife’s death has been praised by Gray for its elegiac tenderness, and his Prologue to the Coriolanus of his friend Thomson shows genuine feeling. He was also the author of the well-known stanza in the Castle of Indolence, in which the poet himself is described. A complete collection of the Works of Lord Lyttelton was published by his nephew, G. E. Ayscough in 1774.

His son Thomas (1744–1779), who succeeded as 2nd baron, played some part in the political life of his time, but his loose and prodigal habits were notorious, and he is known, in distinction to his father “the good lord,” as the wicked Lord Lyttelton. He left no lawful issue, and the barony became extinct; but it was revived in 1794 in the person of his uncle William Henry, 1st baron of the new creation (1724–1808), who was governor of S. Carolina and later of Jamaica, and ambassador to Portugal. The new barony went after him to his two sons. The 3rd baron (1782–1837) was succeeded by his son George William Lyttelton, 4th baron (1817–1876), who was a fine scholar, and brother-in-law of W. E. Gladstone, having married Miss Mary Glynne. He did important work in educational and poor law reform. He had eight sons, of whom the eldest, Charles George (b. 1842), became 5th baron, and in 1889 succeeded, by the death of the 3rd duke of Buckingham and Chandos, to the viscounty of Cobham, in which title the barony of Lyttelton is now merged. Other distinguished sons were Arthur Temple Lyttelton (d. 1903), warden of Selwyn College, Cambridge, and bishop-suffragan of Southampton; Edward Lyttelton (b. 1855), headmaster of Haileybury (1890–1905) and then of Eton; and Alfred Lyttelton (b. 1857), secretary of state for the colonies (1903–1906). It was a family of well-known cricketers, Alfred being in his day the best wicket-keeper in England as well as a fine tennis player.

For the 1st baron see Sir R. Phillimore’s Memoirs and Correspondence of Lord Lyttelton, 1734–1773 (2 vols., 1845).


LYTTELTON, a borough of New Zealand, the port of Christchurch (q.v.) on the E. coast of South Island, on an inlet on the north-western side of Banks Peninsula. Pop. (1906) 3941. It is surrounded by abrupt hills rising to 1600 ft., through which a railway communicates with Christchurch (7 m. N.W.) by a tunnel 1 3/4 m. long. Great breakwaters protect the harbour, which has an area of 110 acres, with a low-tide depth of 20 to 27 ft. There is a graving dock accessible for vessels of 6000 tons. The produce of the rich agricultural district of Canterbury is exported, frozen or preserved. Lyttelton, formerly called Port Cooper and Port Victoria, was the original settlement in this district (1850).


LYTTON, EDWARD GEORGE EARLE LYTTON, BULWER-LYTTON, 1st Baron (1803–1873), English novelist and politician, the youngest son of General William Earle Bulwer of Heydon Hall and Wood Dalling, Norfolk, was born in London on the 25th of May 1803. He had two brothers, William (1799–1877) and Henry (1801–1872), afterwards Lord Dalling (q.v.). Bulwer’s father died when the boy was four years old. His mother, Elizabeth Barbara, daughter of Richard Warburton Lytton of Knebworth, Hertfordshire, after her husband’s death settled in London. Bulwer, who was delicate and neurotic, gave evidence of precocious talent and was sent to various boarding schools, where he was always discontented, until in the establishment of a Mr Wallington at Ealing he found in his master a sympathetic and admiring listener. Mr Wallington induced him to publish, at the age of fifteen, an immature volume entitled Ishmael and other Poems. About this time Bulwer fell in love, and became extremely morbid under enforced separation from the young lady, who was induced by her father to marry another man. She died about the time that Bulwer went to Cambridge, and he declared that her loss affected all his after-life. In 1822 he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, but removed shortly afterwards to Trinity Hall, and in 1825 won the Chancellor’s medal for English verse with a poem on “Sculpture.” In the following year he took his B.A. degree and printed for private circulation a small volume of poems, Weeds and Wild Flowers, in which the influence of Byron was easily traceable. In 1827 he published O’Neill, or the Rebel, a romance, in heroic couplets, of patriotic struggle in Ireland, and in 1831 a metrical satire, The Siamese Twins. These juvenilia he afterwards ignored.

Meanwhile he had begun to take his place in society, being already known as a dandy of considerable pretensions, who had acted as second in a duel and experienced the fashionable round of flirtation and intrigue. He purchased a commission in the army, only to sell it again without undergoing any service, and in August 1827 married, in opposition to his mother’s wishes, Rosina Doyle Wheeler (1802–1882), an Irish beauty, niece and adopted daughter of General Sir John Doyle. She was a brilliant but passionate girl, and upon his marriage with her, Bulwer’s mother withdrew the allowance she had hitherto made him. He had £200 a year from his father, and less than £100 a year with his wife, and found it necessary to set to work in earnest. In the year of his marriage he published Falkland, a novel which was only a moderate success, but in 1828 he attracted general attention with Pelham, a novel for which he had gathered material during a visit to Paris in 1825. This story, with its intimate study of the dandyism of the age, was immediately popular, and gossip was busy in identifying the characters of the romance with the leading men of the time. In the same year he

  1. Sir Thomas (or Thomas de) Littleton, the jurist, had three sons, William, Richard and Thomas. From the first, William, was descended Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 1st bart. of Frankley (1596–1650), whose sons were Sir Henry, 2nd bart. (d. 1693), and Sir Charles, 3rd bart. (1629–1716), governor of Jamaica. The latter’s son was Sir Thomas, 4th bart., above mentioned, who was also the father of Charles Lyttelton (1714–1768), bishop of Carlisle, and president of the Society of Antiquaries. The male descendants of the second, Richard, died out with Sir Edward Littleton, bart., of Pillaton, Staffordshire, in 1812, but the latter’s grandnephew, Edward John Walhouse (1791–1863) of Hatherton, took the estates by will and also the name of Littleton, and was created 1st Baron Hatherton in 1835; he was chief secretary for Ireland (1833–1834). From Thomas, the third son, was descended, in one line, Edward, Lord Littleton, of Munslow (1589–1645), recorder of London, chief justice of the common pleas, and eventually lord keeper; and in another line, the baronets of Stoke St Milborough, Shropshire, of whom the best known and last was Sir Thomas Littleton, 3rd bart. (1647–1710), speaker of the House of Commons (1698–1700), and treasurer of the navy.