Victor Alexander George Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 2nd Earl of Lytton

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About Victor Alexander George Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 2nd Earl of Lytton,_2nd_Earl_of_Lytton

Victor Alexander George Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 2nd Earl of Lytton KG, GCSI, GCIE, PC, DL (9 August 1876 – 25 October 1947), styled Viscount Knebworth until 1891, was a British politician and colonial administrator. He served as Governor of Bengal between 1922 and 1922 and was briefly Acting Viceroy of India in 1926.

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 that colony. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. 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.

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. In 1922 he was posted as Governor of Bengal, remaining there until 1927. For a short while, when there was a vacancy caused by change in incumbents in 1925, 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 may be 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, caused Japan to withdraw from the League of Nations.


Lord Lytton married Pamela Chichele-Plowden, an early flame of Winston Churchill. However, Churchill's and Plowden's relationship was amicably broken off in 1902 when she decided to marry Lytton instead. Lytton's two sons, Antony Bulwer-Lytton, Viscount Knebworth, Member of Parliament for Hitchin, and Alexander Edward John Bulwer-Lytton, Viscount Knebworth, killed in the Second World War, both predeceased him. On his death in October 1947, aged 71, the titles passed to his younger brother Neville Bulwer-Lytton.

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