Lucy Masterman

Lucy Blanche Masterman (née Lyttelton; 19 July 1884 – 22 April 1977) was a British poet and diarist from the Lyttelton family. In 1908 she married the Liberal journalist Charles Masterman, who was later elected to parliament and briefly served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. After his death, she stood for parliament unsuccessfully as a Liberal.

Lucy Masterman
Plaque at St Giles' Church, Camberwell commemorating Lucy Masterman

Early lifeEdit

Born Lucy Blanche Lyttelton, the eldest daughter of General Sir Neville Lyttelton and his wife Katherine Sarah Stuart-Wortley, she joined the Fabian Society and in 1908 married Charles Masterman. They had one son, Neville Masterman, who became a history lecturer at the University College of Swansea, and two daughters, including Margaret Masterman, a linguist.

Literary careerEdit

Masterman was the author of A Book of Wild Things (1910), Lyrical Poems (1912)[1] and Poems (1913). She worked as literary editor for Outlook and kept a diary while her husband was in government. In 1918, together with Elizabeth Lee, she published Wives of the Prime Ministers 1844-1906,[2] and in 1939 followed this with C. F. G. Masterman: a biography. In 1930 she edited the papers of Mary Gladstone, published as Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew): her diaries and letters. Her final publication was London from the Bus-top (1951).

Political careerEdit

At the 1929 General Election, two years after her husband’s death, Masterman was the Liberal candidate for the Conservative-held seat of Salisbury. The Liberals had last won the seat in 1923 and had come second in 1924. She finished a strong second, well ahead of Labour.[3]

Masterman remained active for the Liberals in Salisbury and was again their candidate at the Salisbury by-election in March 1931, when she again finished second; after that, she continued as prospective Liberal candidate for Salisbury until being stood down in September 1931. In August of that year the Liberals and Conservatives had joined the new National Government, and the Salisbury Liberals agreed not to contest the seat. Masterman did not stand at an election again, but she remained politically active. In June 1936 she was elected to serve on the Liberal Party Council.[4]

Election resultsEdit

1929 United Kingdom general election: Salisbury[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Hugh Morrison 15,672 47.3 −9.0
Liberal Lucy Blanche Masterman 13,022 39.3 +3.7
Labour F. R. Hancock 4,435 13.4 +5.3
Majority 2,650 8.0 −12.7
Turnout 33,129 81.9 +0.1
Conservative hold Swing
1931 Salisbury by-election[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Archibald St George Fitzwarenne-Despencer Robertson 15,800 53.9 +6.3
Liberal Lucy Blanche Masterman 9,588 32.7 −6.6
Labour F. R. Hancock 3,939 13.4 +0
Majority 6,212 21.2 +13.2
Turnout 29,327 71.1 −10.8
Conservative hold Swing +6.6


  1. ^ Lyrical Poems,
  2. ^ Wives of the Prime Ministers 1844-1906,
  3. ^ a b c F. W. S. Craig, British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services, 3rd edition, 1983) [1969], p. 497 ISBN 0-900178-06-X
  4. ^ The Liberal Magazine, 1936

External linksEdit