Lyttelton family

The Lyttelton family (sometimes spelled Littleton) is a British aristocratic family. Over time, several members of the Lyttelton family were made knights, baronets and peers. Hereditary titles held by the Lyttelton family include the viscountcies of Cobham (since 1889) and Chandos (since 1954), as well as the Lyttelton barony (since 1794) and Lyttelton baronetcy (since 1618). Several other members of the family have also risen to prominence, particularly in the field of cricket.

Ancestral arms of the Lyttelton/Littleton family as used by the Viscounts Cobham: Argent, a chevron between three escallops sable[1]
Arms of the Viscounts Chandos from the Lyttelton family, incorporating a cross moline as mark of cadency.

HistoryEdit

Branches of the Littleton/Lyttelton familyEdit

 
Sir Thomas Littleton (c. 1407–1481), the distinguished judge and writer, ancestor of three branches of the family

The Littleton/Lyttelton family had its origins in South Lyttleton, near Evesham, Worcestershire. With the marriage of Elizabeth Littleton, sole daughter and heiress of Thomas de Littleton, Lord of Frankley, to Thomas Westcote, esquire, two of their sons, Sir Thomas and Edmund, took the surname Lyttleton or Littleton while two others, Nicholas and Guy, retained the surname of Westcote; Nicholas Westcote later married Agnes Vernon, the daughter and heiress of Edmund Vernon, and was ancestor of the Westcotes of Staffordshire, while Guy married the daughter of one Greenevill of Gloucestershire, and was ancestor of the Westcotes of Devon and Somerset.[2]

Edmund Littleton died unmarried. Sir Thomas Littleton (c. 1407–1481), became a distinguished judge and legal writer, referred to as 'one of the great law luminaries of his country, and is immortalized by one work alone, his celebrated Treatise on Tenures.[3] He was appointed a judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1464,[4] and inherited the Frankley estates from his mother. He was survived by three sons, William, Richard and Thomas, from whom originated three lines of Littleton/Lyttelton landed gentry in the West Midlands, all of which acquired baronetcies in the 17th century:

  • Thomas, the third son, is recorded as Thomas Litleton of Speechly and incumbent of Spetchley, Worcestershire. His descendant Adam Littleton received the Littleton Baronetcy, of Stoke Milburgh, in 1642.
 
Remains of Pillaton Old Hall. The original moated manor house became ruinous, but the Gatehouse and Chapel were restored in the 1880s.
 
Hagley Hall, rebuilt between 1754 and 1760 in Neo-Palladian style. Most owners of Hagley Hall are buried at the adjacent parish church of St John the Baptist.

The Lytteltons of Frankley and HagleyEdit

Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 1st Baronet of Frankley (1593–1650), devoted much time to developing his estates in Frankley, Halesowen, Hagley and Upper Arley, and later represented Worcestershire in the House of Commons. His son, the 2nd Baronet, sat as Member of Parliament for Lichfield. He was succeeded by his younger brother, the 3rd Baronet, who represented Bewdley in Parliament. He was succeeded by his son, the 4th Baronet. He was Member of Parliament for Worcester and Camelford.

In 1708, the 4th Baronet married Christian Temple, daughter of Sir Richard Temple, 3rd Baronet of Stowe. In 1718, her brother was created Baron Cobham, of Cobham in the County of Kent, and Viscount Cobham, with special remainder (in default of his own heirs male) to his sister Christian and her heirs male and in default of them to the heirs male of Christian. This latter remainder took effect in 1889 when her descendant Charles Lyttelton, 5th Baron Lyttelton succeeded as 8th Viscount Cobham.

 
Interior of St John the Baptist Church, Hagley, with the Garter banners of the 1st Viscount Chandos and the 10th Viscount Cobham

. In 1751, the 4th Baronet was succeeded by his eldest son, the 5th Baronet, who was a prominent politician. In 1755 he was created Baron Lyttelton, of Frankley in the County of Worcester, in the Peerage of Great Britain. He was succeeded in his titles by his son, the 2nd Baron, who briefly represented Bewdley in the House of Commons.

The 2nd Baron had no legitimate issue and on his death in 1779, the Lyttelton barony (created in 1755) became extinct. However, he was succeeded in the Lyttelton baronetcy (created in 1618) by his uncle, the 7th Baronet. He also represented Bewdley in Parliament and served as Governor of South Carolina and of Jamaica. In 1776, three years before he succeeded in the baronetcy, he was created Baron Westcote, of Balamere in the County of Longford, in the Peerage of Ireland. In 1794 he was further created Baron Lyttelton, of Frankley in the County of Worcester, in the Peerage of Great Britain. His eldest son, who later succeeded as the 2nd Baron, also sat as Member of Parliament for Bewdley. His half-brother, the 3rd Baron, represented Worcestershire in the House of Commons and also served as Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire. His son, the 4th Baron, was briefly Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies in 1846 under Sir Robert Peel and also served as Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire. Upon his death, he was succeeded by his son, the 5th Baron, who had previously represented East Worcestershire in Parliament as a Liberal.

In 1889 he also succeeded his distant relative, the late 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, as 8th Viscount Cobham. His son, the 9th Viscount Cobham, was Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire from 1923 to 1949. He was succeeded by his son, the 10th Viscount. He served as Governor-General of New Zealand from 1957 to 1962 and was made a Knight of the Garter in 1964 and also served as Chancellor of the Order of the Garter. His nephew, Oliver Lyttelton, was made Viscount Chandos, of Aldershot in the County of Southampton, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1954 and a Knight of the Garter in 1970. The 3rd Viscount Chandos was given a life peerage as Baron Lyttelton of Aldershot, of Aldershot in the County of Hampshire, in 2000.

Members of the familyEdit

Frankley/Hagley branchEdit

 
The coat of arms of the Barons Lyttelton (second creation).

Early membersEdit

Baronets (1618)Edit

Barons Lyttelton (1756)Edit

Barons Westcote (1776)Edit

Barons Lyttelton (1794)Edit

Viscounts Cobham (1718)Edit

The heir apparent is the present holder's son Hon. Oliver Christopher Lyttelton (b. 1976).

Viscounts Chandos (1954)Edit

The heir apparent is the present holder's son Hon. Oliver Antony Lyttelton (b. 1986).

Other notable membersEdit

 
A 19th-century portrait of Lady Sarah Spencer, wife of the 3rd Baron Lyttelton, painted by John Jackson
 
Humphrey Lyttelton (1921–2008), jazz musician and broadcaster

New ZealandEdit

 
Hagley Park in Christchurch, New Zealand, named after the Worcestershire estate of the Lyttelton family

The 4th Baron Lyttelton (1817–1876) served as chairman of the Canterbury Association and did much to promote the development of Christchurch in New Zealand. Hagley Park, the largest urban open space in Christchurch, takes its name from Lord Lyttelton's country estate in Worcestershire. The first newspaper established by the Canterbury Association in Canterbury Settlement, New Zealand, named the Lyttelton Times, started in the port settlement of Lyttelton, New Zealand, in 1851.

The settlement of Lyttelton, established in 1850, was named after the family; from this Lyttelton district took its name. A railway line in New Zealand was named Lyttelton Line, and Christchurch's port has borne the name Lyttelton Harbour since 1858. Lord Lyttelton's great-grandson, the 10th Viscount Cobham, KG, GCMG, GCVO, TD, PC, DL (1909–1977) served as the ninth Governor-General of New Zealand (in office: 1957-1962) and also had a successful cricketing career.

CricketEdit

 
The Lyttelton XI on 26 August 1867.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Lytteltons were a notable cricketing family. The 4th and the 5th Barons Lyttelton, the latter's brothers (GWS Lyttelton, AT Lyttelton, RH Lyttelton, E Lyttelton, Hon. A Lyttelton), his sons (JC Lyttelton, CF Lyttelton) and his grandson (CJ Lyttelton) all played first-class cricket, and in the case of the Hon. A Lyttelton, Test cricket. On 26 August 1867, the Lyttelton XI, a cricket team composed of eleven members of the Lyttelton family, played a match against Bromsgrove School at Hagley Park in Worcestershire and won by ten wickets.

Pillaton/Hatherton branchEdit

 
Penkridge parish church today. Much of its external appearance seems to be the result of alterations in Perpendicular style.
 
Effigy of Sir Edward Littleton (died 1629): part of a double monument in the north nave aisle of St Michael's church, Penkridge, Staffordshire.

This branch of the Littleton/Lyttelton family is descended from Richard, the second son of Sir Thomas Littleton (c. 1407–1481), justice and author.[10] He married Alice Winesbury or Wynnesbury, heiress of Pillaton Hall, near Penkridge in Staffordshire. Their eldest son, Edward Littleton († 1558), inherited Alice's lands and acquired lands on Cannock Chase. He was appointed Constable of Stafford Castle for life and was High Sheriff of Staffordshire on three occasions. He was the first of the line to be knighted. His descendant Edward Littleton received the Littleton Baronetcy, of Pillaton Hall, in 1627.

The title became extinct in 1812 on the death of the 4th Baronet, who had moved the seat of the family to Teddesley Hall and whose heir was a nephew, Edward John Walhouse. The latter inherited both the Littleton lands and the Walhouse lands, and adopted the surname of Littleton. A prominent politician, he was created Baron Hatherton, of Hatherton in the County of Stafford,[11] in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1835. The peerage is currently held by Edward Charles Littleton, 8th Baron Hatherton (b. 1950).

The family vault is beneath the altar area of St.Michael and All Saints Church, Penkridge, Staffordshire.

Early membersEdit

Baronets (1627)Edit

Barons Hatherton (1835)Edit

  • Edward John Littleton, 1st Baron Hatherton (1791–1863)
  • Edward Richard Littleton, 2nd Baron Hatherton (1815–1888)
  • Edward George Littleton, 3rd Baron Hatherton (1842–1930)
  • Edward Charles Littleton, 4th Baron Hatherton (1868–1944)
  • Edward Thomas Littleton, 5th Baron Hatherton (1900–1969)
  • John Walter Littleton, 6th Baron Hatherton (1906–1973)
  • Thomas Charles Littleton, 7th Baron Hatherton (1907–1985)
  • Edward Charles Littleton, 8th Baron Hatherton (b. 1950)

The heir apparent is the present holder's son the Hon. Thomas Edward Littleton (b. 1977).

Stoke Milburgh branchEdit

This branch of the Littleton/Lyttelton family is descended from Thomas Littleton, third son of Sir Thomas Littleton (c. 1407–1481), justice and author.[13] He is recorded as Thomas Litleton of Speechly and incumbent of Spetchley, Worcestershire. His descendant Adam Littleton received the Littleton Baronetcy, of Stoke Milburgh, in 1642. This title became extinct in 1709 upon the death of the 3rd Baronet, a former Speaker of the House of Commons.

Baronets (1642)Edit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Burke, Bernard (1864). The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales: Comprising a Registry of Armorial Bearings from the Earliest to the Present Time. Harrison & sons. p. 634. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  2. ^ Burke 1844, p. 315
  3. ^ Burke 1844, p. 315.
  4. ^ Baker 2004.
  5. ^ (Baker 2007)
  6. ^ a b Bernard & Birch 1738, p. 118.
  7. ^ VCH 1913, pp. 130–136, footnote 64: "Feet of F. Div. Co. Trin. 7 Eliz." .
  8. ^ (Baker 2007)
  9. ^ (Baker 2007)
  10. ^ (Baker 2007)
  11. ^ "No. 19268". The London Gazette. 8 May 1835. p. 900.
  12. ^ (Baker 2007)
  13. ^ (Baker 2007)

External linksEdit