George Lyttelton, 4th Baron Lyttelton

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The Lord Lyttelton

4. Baron Lyttelton.png
Lord Lyttelton by Carlo Pellegrini, 1871
Personal details
Born31 March 1817
Died19 April 1876
Spouse(s)Mary Glynne, Sybella Harriet Clive
Children15, including Charles Lyttelton, 8th Viscount Cobham
ParentsWilliam Lyttelton, 3rd Baron Lyttelton
Lady Sarah Spencer

George William Lyttelton, 4th Baron Lyttelton, 4th Baron Westcote, KCMG, PC, DL, FRS (31 March 1817 – 19 April 1876) was an English aristocrat and Conservative politician from the Lyttelton family. He was chairman of the Canterbury Association, which encouraged British settlers to move to New Zealand.

Early life[edit]

Lyttelton was the eldest son of William Henry Lyttelton, 3rd Baron Lyttelton, and Lady Sarah Spencer, daughter of George John Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge.[1] He succeeded his father as fourth Baron Lyttelton in 1837 and took his seat in the House of Lords on his 21st birthday a year later. The Lyttelton seat is Hagley Hall in Worcestershire.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

In January 1846 Lyttelton became Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies in the Conservative government of Sir Robert Peel, a post he held until the government fell in June of the same year. Lyttelton was also Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire from 1839 to 1876 and the first President of the Birmingham and Midland Institute in 1854. Moreover, he promoted the settlement (1850 onwards) of Canterbury, New Zealand with Anglican colonists. The port town Lyttelton, New Zealand bears his name. He served as president of the British Chess Association at the time of the Staunton–Morphy controversy in 1858.[2] He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the 1869 Birthday Honours.[3]


Hon. Lavinia Lyttelton (1920)
by Frank Bernard Dicksee

Lord Lyttelton married, firstly in 1839, Mary Glynne, daughter of Sir Stephen Glynne, 8th Baronet, and sister-in-law of William Ewart Gladstone. They had eight sons and four daughters:

After Mary's death in 1857 Lyttelton married, secondly, Sybella Harriet Clive, daughter of George Clive MP, in 1869. They had three daughters:

  • The Honourable Sarah Kathleen Lyttelton (12 May 1870 – 1 October 1942); she married John Bailey on 26 April 1900. They had children.
  • The Honourable Sybil Lyttelton (17 February 1873 – 2 October 1934); she married Sir Lionel Cust on 16 July 1895. They had one son:
    • Sir Lionel George Arthur Cust (6 June 1896 – 22 May 1962)[4]
  • The Honourable Hester Margaret Lyttelton (26 December 1874 – 26 March 1958); she married Very Reverend Cyril Argentine Alington on 5 April 1904. They had six children:
    • Patrick Alington ( -1943)
    • Giles Alington (1914–1956)
    • Kathleen Alington
    • Elizabeth Hester Alington (6 November 1909 – 3 September 1990)
    • Joan Argentine Alington (5 November 1916 – 1999)
    • Lavinia Alington


St John the Baptist Church, Hagley, grave of the 4th Baron Lyttelton and of his second wife Sybella Harriet (née Clive).
St John the Baptist Church, Hagley, memorial to Sybella Harriet Lyttelton (née Clive, 1836–1900)
St John the Baptist Church, Hagley, inscription inside the lychgate

In 1876 Lyttelton took his own life at the age of 59 by throwing himself down the stairs in a London house.[5] He was succeeded by his eldest son Charles, who later also inherited the viscounty of Cobham. Lady Lyttelton died in 1900.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Lyttelton, George William (LTLN833GW)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ "The life and chess of Paul Morphy: extra information". Archived from the original on 2 July 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2008.
  3. ^ "No. 23512". The London Gazette. 1 July 1869. p. 3750.
  4. ^ Sir Lionel George Arthur Cust. A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe.
  5. ^ Sheila Fletcher, Victorian Girls: Lord Lyttelton's Daughters


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
George William Hope
Under-Secretary of State
for War and the Colonies

Succeeded by
Benjamin Hawes
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Lord Foley
Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire
Succeeded by
The Earl Beauchamp
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
William Lyttelton
Baron Lyttelton
Succeeded by
Charles Lyttelton
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
William Lyttelton
Baron Westcote
Succeeded by
Charles Lyttelton