William Henry Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton of Frankley

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About William Henry Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton of Frankley

Family and Education b. 24 Dec. 1724, 6th s. of Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 4th Bt., and bro. of George and Richard Lyttelton. educ. Eton c.1740, St. Mary Hall Oxf. 1742; Grand Tour; M. Temple 1743, called 1748. m. (1) 2 June 1761, Mary (d. 28 May 1765), da. and coh. of James Macartney of Longford, Ireland, 2s. 1da.; (2) 19 Feb. 1774, Caroline, da. of John Bristow of Quidenham, Norf., 5s. 1da. cr. Baron Westcote [I] 29 July 1776; suc. nephew, Thomas Lyttleton, M.P., 2nd Baron Lyttelton, as 7th Bt. 27 Nov. 1779; cr. Baron Lyttelton 13 Aug. 1794.

Offices Held

Sub-cofferer of the Household 1754-5; gov. S. Carolina 1755-60, Jamaica 1760-66; envoy to Lisbon 1766-71; ld. of Treasury 1777-82.

Biography William Lyttelton was said by Dr. Johnson to have more chaff than grain in him, as everything had that grew to such a prodigious length. After a foreign tour with Henry Thrale, the brewer, whose father paid all expenses,1 he persuaded his father, with the eloquent support of William Pitt, to allow him to give up the bar and to bring him in for an impending vacancy at Bewdley, not far from Hagley.

I have long seen in his mind [Pitt wrote to Sir Thomas Lyttelton] the promise of very particular talents for the business of the world, accompanied with a sound judgement; and particularly have always marked and loved in him the strong seeds of honour and virtue in his heart. All these, Sir Thomas, are now ripening, or rather ripened for action, and it would be ten thousand pities should they be stifled, for a long time at least, and perhaps entirely lost, in the inglorious and unprofitable labours of Westminster Hall. He added

Nothing can be kinder and more flattering to me than your thinking of putting him under, as you are pleased to call it, my protection. If I can be of any little use to him at his beginning in our parliamentary warfare, be assured it will be a most sensible pleasure to me. Should he on any occasion want direction, he will always find the surest and best in his brother Lyttelton. The director and pupil are most worthy of each other, and you, dear Sir Thomas, of the comfort of both.2 Lyttelton’s only recorded speech in his first Parliament was in answer to Sir John Hynde Cotton’s motion on 27 Nov. 1751 to reduce the army to 15,000.3 He died 14 Sept. 1808.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754 Author: Romney R. Sedgwick Notes 1. Thraliana, i. 200, 300. 2. M. Wyndham, Chrons. of 18th Cent. ii. 1-3. 3. Walpole, Mems. Geo. II, i. 213.


William Henry Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton (24 December 1724 – 14 September 1808) was the youngest son of Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 4th Baronet.

As the youngest son, he did not expect to inherit the family estates and served in various government appointments. He became governor of colonial South Carolina in 1755, Governor of Jamaica in 1760, and envoy-extraordinary to Portugal in 1766. He was raised to the Irish peerage in 1776 as Baron Westcote.

As a result of the death without issue of his nephew Thomas Lyttelton, 2nd Baron Lyttelton in 1779, he inherited the family baronetcy and family estates in Frankley, Halesowen, and Hagley. However, the estates in Upper Arley passed to the late lord's sister Lucy, wife of Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Mountnorris.

The title Baron Lyttelton was revived for Baron Westcote in 1794. He married twice. His first wife was Martha, daughter and coheir of James Macartney of Longford, nephew and coheir of Ambrose Aungier, 2nd Earl of Longford. They had three children including George Fulke, his successor. His second wife was Caroline Bristow, by whom he had two children including William Henry Lyttelton, 3rd Baron Lyttelton.

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William Henry Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton of Frankley's Timeline

December 24, 1724
Frankley, Worcestershire
October 27, 1763
Age 38
November 10, 1774
Age 49
St Marylebone, London
April 3, 1782
Age 57
St Marylebone, London
Age 59
St Marylebone, London
September 14, 1808
Age 83
Hagley, Worcestershire
St Marylebone, London