Lyttelton, William Henry (1724-1808) (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

LYTTELTON, WILLIAM HENRY, first Baron Lyttelton of Frankley of the second creation (1724–1808), born on 24 Dec. 1724, was sixth son of Sir Thomas Lyttelton, bart., by Christian, daughter of Sir Richard Temple, bart., of Stowe, Buckinghamshire. He was educated at Eton College and St. Mary Hall, Oxford, where he matriculated on 22 June 1742, and received the honorary degree of D.C.L. on 23 Nov. 1781. He was called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1748, and in December of the same year was returned to parliament for Bewdley, Worcestershire, which borough he represented until February 1755, when he vacated the seat on being appointed governor of South Carolina. He sailed in the summer, but, owing to the capture by the French of the ship that carried him and his detention for some time in Brest as a prisoner of war, did not arrive in the colony until the following year. In 1762 he was transferred to Jamaica, which he administered until 1766, when he was sent ambassador to Portugal. Recalled to England in 1771, he re-entered parliament as member for Bewdley in October 1774, and on 29 April 1776 was raised to the peerage of Ireland as Baron Westcote of Balamare, co. Longford, and on 5 June was appointed one of the commissioners of the treasury, but resigned office in March 1782. On the death of his nephew Thomas, second baron Lyttelton [q. v.], in 1779, when the English barony became extinct, he succeeded to the baronetcy and estates, and on 13 Aug. 1794 he was raised to the peerage of Great Britain as Lord Lyttelton, baron of Frankley. He was a friend of Johnson and Mrs. Thrale (Mrs. Piozzi, Autobiog., ed. Hayward, ii. 94). He died at Hagley on 14 Sept. 1808. Lyttelton married twice: first, on 2 June 1761, Mary, eldest daughter of James Macartney of co. Longford; secondly, on 3 Feb. 1774, Caroline, daughter of John Bristow of Quiddenham, Norfolk. A son, George Fulke, by his first wife, and a son, William Henry [q. v.], by his second, in turn succeeded to the title.

Lyttelton is the author of ‘An Historical Account of the Constitution of Jamaica, drawn up in 1764 for the Information of his Majesty's Ministers,’ and published as one of the historical documents prefixed to the new edition of the ‘Jamaica Laws,’ issued in 1792, Sant Jago de la Vega, 4to, and as an appendix to Bryan Edwards's ‘History of the West Indies,’ 1793, i. 238. In 1801 he edited the poetical ‘Miscellanies’ of his old schoolfellow, Anthony Champion [q. v.], and in 1803 printed for private circulation a few ‘Trifles in Verse’ of his own, London, 8vo.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Colonial Office List, 1889, p. 139; Collins's Peerage, viii. 358; Lodge's Peerage of Ireland; Courthope's Historic Peerage; Gent. Mag. 1808, pt. ii. 861; Haydn's Book of Dignities, ed. Ockerby; Foster's Peerage; Return of Members of Parl.; Parl. Hist. xiv. 1094; Add. MSS. 20847 f. 104 et seq. 21643 ff. 54, 63, 32859 f. 18, 32866 f. 227; Martin's Catalogue of privately printed Books, 154; Evans's Portraits, 18,613; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

J. M. R.