Victor Bulwer-Lytton, 2nd Earl of Lytton
|The Right Honourable
The Earl of Lytton
KG GCSI GCIE PC DL
The Earl of Lytton.
|Governor of Bengal|
|Preceded by||Earl of Ronaldshay|
|Succeeded by||Sir Stanley Jackson|
|Acting Viceroy of India|
|Preceded by||The Earl of Reading|
|Succeeded by||The Lord Irwin|
|Born||9 August 1876
Simla, British India
|Died||25 October 1947(aged 71)|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
Victor Alexander George Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 2nd Earl of Lytton, KG, GCSI, GCIE, PC, DL (9 August 1876 – 25 October 1947), styled Viscount Knebworth from 1880 to 1891, was a British politician and colonial administrator. He served as Governor of Bengal between 1922 and 1927 and was briefly Acting Viceroy of India in 1926. He headed the Lytton Commission for the League of Nations, in 1931-32, producing the Lytton Report which condemned Japanese aggression against China in Manchuria.
Background and education
Lytton was the fourth but eldest surviving son of Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton and Edith Villiers, daughter of Edward Ernest Villiers and granddaughter of George Villiers. He was born in Simla in British India, during the time when his father was Viceroy of India. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was secretary of the University Pitt Club. In 1905 he was President of the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club and gave the Toast to Sir Walter at the club's annual dinner.
Victor Bulwer-Lytton's six siblings were :
- Edward Rowland John Bulwer-Lytton (1865–1871)
- Lady Elizabeth Edith "Betty" Bulwer-Lytton (12 June 1867 – 28 March 1942). Married Gerald Balfour, 2nd Earl of Balfour, brother of the future Prime Minister Arthur Balfour.
- Lady Constance Bulwer-Lytton (1869-1923) Prominent suffragette
- Henry Meredith Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1872–1874)
- Lady Emily Bulwer-Lytton (1874–1964). Married the architect Edwin Lutyens. Associate and confidante of Jiddu Krishnamurti.
- Neville Bulwer-Lytton, 3rd Earl of Lytton (6 February 1879 – 9 February 1951)
Political and administrative career
Lytton started off his official career by filling up various posts in the Admiralty between 1916 and 1920, before being appointed Under-Secretary of State for India, a post which he held between 1920 and 1922. He was also made a Privy Counsellor in 1919. On 16 February 1922 he was posted as Governor of Bengal, remaining there until 3 March 1927. For a short while, when there was a vacancy caused by change in incumbents in 1926, he also functioned as Viceroy, his father's old post. After this he filled miscellaneous positions in various capacities, when matters concerning India came up. He wrote two books, the first being a life of his grandfather Lord Lytton, while the other book dealt with his experiences in India and was called Pundits and Elephants, published in 1942. He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1933.
Lytton is best known for his chairmanship of the Lytton Commission, which was sent by the League of Nations on a fact-finding mission to determine who was to blame in the 1931 war between Japan and China. The commission's Lytton Report, officially issued on 1 October 1932, blames Japanese aggression. In response Japan withdrew from the League of Nations.
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Lord Lytton married at St Margaret's, Westminster, on 3 April 1902, Pamela Chichele-Plowden, daughter of Sir Trevor Chichele Plowden. She had been an early flame of Winston Churchill, but that relationship was amicably broken off when she decided to marry Lytton instead.
The couple had two sons, both of whom predeceased Lytton. The elder son, Antony Bulwer-Lytton, Viscount Knebworth, MP, died aged 30 in an air crash while serving with the Auxiliary Air Force. The younger son, Alexander Edward John Bulwer-Lytton, Viscount Knebworth, MBE, was killed in the Second Battle of El Alamein during World War II.
As neither of his sons had left a son, Lytton's titles was inherited upon his death by his younger brother Neville Bulwer-Lytton. Knebworth House passed to his daughter Lady Hermione Cobbold, wife of future Governor of the Bank of England and Lord Chamberlain Cameron Fromanteel Cobbold.
Victor Bulwer-Lytton, 2nd Earl of Lytton died in October 1947, aged 71.
Styles of address
- 1876–1880: The Hon. Victor Bulwer-Lytton
- 1880–1891: Viscount Knebworth
- 1891–1919: The Rt Hon. The Earl of Lytton
- 1919–1922: The Rt Hon. The Earl of Lytton PC
- 1922: His Excellency The Rt Hon. The Earl of Lytton PC
- 1922–1925: His Excellency The Rt Hon. The Earl of Lytton GCIE PC
- 1925–1927: His Excellency The Rt Hon. The Earl of Lytton GCSI GCIE PC
- 1927–1933: The Rt Hon. The Earl of Lytton GCSI GCIE PC
- 1933–1947: The Rt Hon. The Earl of Lytton KG GCSI GCIE PC
- "Bulwer-Lytton, Victor Alexander George Robert, Earl of Lytton (BLWR895VA)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Fletcher, Walter Morley (2011) . The University Pitt Club: 1835-1935 (First Paperback ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-107-60006-5.
- "No. 32620". The London Gazette. 24 February 1922. p. 1611.
- "No. 13791". The Edinburgh Gazette. 28 February 1922. p. 383.
- "No. 33255". The London Gazette. 8 March 1927. p. 1526.
- "No. 14320". The Edinburgh Gazette. 11 March 1927. p. 292.
- "No. 33946". The London Gazette. 2 June 1933. p. 3801.
- Arthur K. Kuhn, "The Lytton Report on the Manchurian Crisis." American Journal of International Law 27.1 (1933): 96-100. in JSTOR
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The Lord Sinha
|Under-Secretary of State for India
The Earl Winterton
Earl of Ronaldshay
|Governor of Bengal
Sir Stanley Jackson
The Earl of Reading
|Viceroy of India
The Lord Irwin
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
Robert Robert Lytton Bulwer-Lytton
|Earl of Lytton
Neville Stephen Bulwer-Lytton