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
|Governor of Jamaica|
|Preceded by||Henry Moore|
|Succeeded by||Roger Hope Elletson|
|26th Governor of South Carolina|
June 1, 1756 – April 5, 1760
|Preceded by||James Glen|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Pownall|
|Born||24 December 1724|
|Died||14 September 1808(aged 83)|
George Lyttelton, 2nd Baron Lyttelton
William Lyttelton, 3rd Baron Lyttelton
|Parent(s)||Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 4th Baronet|
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. 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. He was appointed 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, 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.
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.
- 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
- Christer Petley, White Fury: A Jamaican Slaveholder and the Age of Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 101–2.
- "LYTTELTON, William Henry (1724–1808)". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 18 February 2018.