Charles Lyttelton, 10th Viscount Cobham
|The Right Honourable|
The Viscount Cobham
KG GCMG GCVO TD PC DL
|9th Governor-General of New Zealand|
5 September 1957 – 13 September 1962
|Preceded by||The Lord Norrie|
|Succeeded by||Bernard Fergusson|
8 August 1909|
Kensington, London, UK
20 March 1977 (aged 67)|
Marylebone, London, UK
Background and education
Lyttelton was born in Kensington, London, the son of John Lyttelton, 9th Viscount Cobham, and Violet Yolande Leonard. He was a cousin of the musician Humphrey Lyttelton. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating with a law degree in 1932. He had a family connection with New Zealand, where he became Governor-General, through his great-grandfather George Lyttelton, 4th Baron Lyttelton, who was chairman of the Canterbury Association and contributed financially to the early development of Christchurch. Hagley Park is named after their family estate (Hagley Park, Worcestershire), and the port town of Lyttelton bears his great-grandfather's name. He visited New Zealand in 1950 in relation to property holdings in Christchurch.
Lyttelton was made Honorary Colonel of Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry on 1 April 1969.
|Full name||Charles John Lyttelton, 10th Viscount Cobham|
8 August 1909|
20 March 1977 (aged 67)|
|Domestic team information|
|1935–1936||Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)|
25 June 1932 |
Worcestershire v Gloucestershire
24 February 1961 |
New Zealand Governor's XI v Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)
Source: cricketarchive.com, 14 August 2007
After the war he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and enter the House of Commons. However, his father died in 1949 and Lyttelton succeeded him as Viscount Cobham, precluding a career in the Commons.
Cobham became the ninth Governor-General of New Zealand on 5 September 1957. Although from an aristocratic background, he proved popular. He was seen as an outdoors man with a sporting prowess in cricket, and golf, and a competent rugby judge. He was good with a gun and an enthusiastic fly fisherman, all attributes that resonated well with New Zealanders. Significant events during his tenure included the independence of Western Samoa and the opening of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Cobham was served by three Prime Ministers: Sidney Holland (1949–1957), Keith Holyoake (1957 and 1960–1972) and Walter Nash (1957–1960). He was most careful to not comment on controversial matters, and had a good working relationship with all three. He was instrumental in setting up the Outward Bound outdoor education organisation in New Zealand, opening the Outward Bound school in Anakiwa near Picton in September 1962, which bears his name. He visited the school in 1966 and was pleased with the progress that had been made.
He served until 13 September 1962. He was a skilled orator and a book of his speeches sold 50,000 copies - he donated the £10,000 profit to Outward Bound. Cobham Oval in Whangarei and Cobham Court in Porirua are named after him.
He made his first-class debut, against Gloucestershire, in June 1932, but made a duck in his only innings and did not reappear for two years. He played five times in 1934, but it was only the following season that he became established in the side, playing about 20 matches a year from then until the Second World War, with the exception of 1937 when he appeared only twice.
His highest score (and only first-class century) was the 162 he made against Leicestershire in 1938, but he made many other useful contributions, reaching 50 on 14 further occasions. His most productive year was 1938, when he scored 741 runs at an average of 21.17.
With the ball, his first victim (in July 1934) was Charlie Barnett, while in 1935 he produced his best innings' bowling, claiming 4–83 against the South Africans. After 1935 his bowling became largely occasional, and with the exception of nine wickets in 1938 he never again took more than three in a season.
His cricketing career proper ended with the outbreak of war, but (now listed on the scorecard as Lord Cobham, having succeeded to the title in 1949) he played for an "MCC New Zealand Touring Team" against a strong "London New Zealand Club" side in 1954, taking two wickets including that of Bill Merritt. Remarkably, he made a one-off return to first-class action aged 51 in February 1961, more than two decades after his previous appearance at that level, when as Governor-General he captained a New Zealand side against MCC at Auckland: he showed he still had ability, with a handy first-innings 44 from number ten in the order.
A number of his relatives played first-class cricket. His great-grandfather George played for Cambridge University in the 1830s, his grandfather (also Charles) turned out for teams including Cambridge and MCC in the 1860s, his father John made a handful of appearances for Worcestershire in the 1920s, and his uncle – another Charles – played for Worcestershire, Cambridge and MCC before the First World War.
Lord Cobham married Elizabeth Alison Makeig-Jones on 30 April 1942 in Chelsea, London. They had four sons and four daughters. He died in Marylebone, London, on 20 March 1977, and was survived by his wife and children. He was cremated in London; his ashes were returned to Hagley for burial in the Lyttelton plot at Hagley parish church.
Children of Charles Lyttelton, 10th Viscount Cobham:
- John William Leonard Lyttelton, 11th Viscount Cobham (1943-2006); childless
- Hon. Juliet Meriel Lyttelton (b.1944); married, 4 children
- Hon. Elizabeth Catherine Lyttelton (b.1946); married George Cecil Brooke Weld-Forester, 8th Baron Forester, 4 children including the 9th Baron Forester
- Christopher Charles Lyttelton, 12th Viscount Cobham (b.1947), married, 2 children. His heir apparent is his son Oliver.
- Hon. Richard Cavendish Lyttelton (b.1949); married, 2 children. He is a Trustee of the EMI Music Sound Foundation and worked in the recording industry with EMI Music for many years.
- Hon. Nicholas Makeig Lyttelton (1951-2014); married, 1 son (died 2006)
- Hon. Lucy Lyttelton (b.1954); married, 3 sons
- Hon. Sarah Lyttelton (1954-2015); married Nicholas Bedford, 2 daughters 
- McGibbon, Ian (1 September 2010). "Cobham, Charles John Lyttelton – Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
- "Viscount Cobham, GCMG, TD". The Governor-General. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
- "No. 45013". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 January 1970. p. 217.
- AHB Opening Video: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-23.
- Auckland Harbour Bridge Authority Record of 20 Years Activities 1951–1971
- "Trustees & Patrons: The Hon. Richard C Lyttelton". EMI Music Sound Foundation.
- "Hon Sarah Bedford (nee Lyttelton) 1954-2015". Peerage News.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 November 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Charles Lyttelton, 10th Viscount Cobham.|
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Viscount Cobham
- Official biography (Government House, Wellington)
- Charles Lyttelton, 10th Viscount Cobham at ESPNcricinfo
- Charles Lyttelton, 10th Viscount Cobham at CricketArchive (subscription required)
| Worcestershire County Cricket Captain
no cricket 1940–1945
Title next held bySandy Singleton
The Lord Norrie
| Governor-General of New Zealand
Sir Bernard Fergusson
The Duke of Westminster
| Lord Steward
The Duke of Northumberland
Sir William Tennant
| Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire
|Office merged with Herefordshire|
The Marquess of Salisbury
| Chancellor of the Order of the Garter
The Marquess of Abergavenny
|Peerage of Great Britain|
| Viscount Cobham