William Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton

William Henry Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton MP (24 December 1724 – 14 September 1808) was a British peer, politician, and colonial administrator from the Lyttelton family. He was the youngest son of Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 4th Baronet.

The Lord Lyttelton
Sir William Henry Lyttelton.jpg
Governor of Jamaica
In office
Preceded byHenry Moore
Succeeded byRoger Hope Elletson
26th Governor of South Carolina
In office
June 1, 1756 – April 5, 1760
MonarchGeorge II
Preceded byJames Glen
Succeeded byThomas Pownall
Personal details
Born24 December 1724
Died14 September 1808(1808-09-14) (aged 83)
Spouse(s)Martha Macartney
Caroline Bristow
Children5, including:
George Lyttelton, 2nd Baron Lyttelton
William Lyttelton, 3rd Baron Lyttelton
Parent(s)Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 4th Baronet
Christian Temple
St John the Baptist Church, Hagley, memorial to William Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton (1724–1808)


As the youngest son, he did not expect to inherit the family estates. He made a career by serving in various government appointments. He became royal governor of colonial South Carolina in 1755, serving to April 5, 1760, during the period of the French and Indian War. This was the North American front of the Seven Years' War in Europe. He gained an alliance with the Cherokee and made a treaty with those in his territory. His insistence on respecting the treaty rights of native peoples aggravated settlers on the frontier of South Carolina, who were encroaching on their territories.

Many European-American settlers rejected the Crown's postwar directive prohibiting their settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains after the British defeat of France in that war.[citation needed] The opposing factions eventually fought a kind of civil war in South Carolina over this issue. This is considered among the factors in the colonies gaining independence.

In 1760 Lyttelton was appointed Governor of Jamaica, but he was recalled to England after he lost a standoff with the Jamaican House of the Assembly, and its leader, Nicholas Bourke, over who should stand costs for the island's defence.[1] He was appointed envoy-extraordinary to Portugal in 1766. He was raised to the Irish peerage in 1776 as Baron Westcote.[2]

As a result of the death without issue of his nephew Thomas Lyttelton, 2nd Baron Lyttelton in 1779, William Lyttelton inherited the family baronetcy (see Lyttelton Baronets) and family estates in Frankley, Halesowen, and Hagley, including Hagley Hall. However, the estates in Upper Arley passed to the late lord's sister Lucy, wife of Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Mountnorris.[citation needed]

In 1794, Lord Westcote was also created Baron Lyttelton in the Peerage of Great Britain. He married twice. His first wife was Martha, daughter and coheir of James Macartney of Longford and his wife; Macartney was the nephew and coheir of Ambrose Aungier, 2nd Earl of Longford. They had three children before Martha's death, including George Fulke, his successor. His second wife was Caroline Bristow, daughter of John Bristow, MP and merchant, and his wife. They had two children together, including William Henry Lyttelton, 3rd Baron Lyttelton.


  • Attig, Clarence John. "William Henry Lyttelton: A Study in Colonial Administration." PhD diss., University of Nebraska, 1958.
  • "Lyttelton, William Henry (1724–1808)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  • Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs
  • Burkes Peerage and Baronetage (1939), s.v. Cobham, Viscount
  1. ^ Christer Petley, White Fury: A Jamaican Slaveholder and the Age of Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 101–2.
  2. ^ "LYTTELTON, William Henry (1724–1808)". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 18 February 2018.

External linksEdit

Government offices
Preceded by Colonial Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Henry Moore
Governor of Jamaica
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Envoy to Portugal
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Bewdley
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Bewdley
Succeeded by
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Baron Lyttelton
Succeeded by
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Baron Westcote
Succeeded by
Baronetage of England
Preceded by Baronet
(of Frankley)
Succeeded by