LYTTELTON, GEORGE, first BARON LYTTELTON: English author and statesman; b. at Hagley (6 m. n.e. of Kidderminster), Worcestershire, Jan. 17, 1709; d. there Aug. 22, 1773. He studied at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, but took no degree. He entered parliament in 1735 as member for Okehampton, Devonshire, and continued to represent this borough till 1756, when he was elevated to the peerage. He was lord commissioner of the treasury 1744-54, and chancellor of the exchequer 1755-56. Though he was a good debater, he became prominent in parliament chiefly because of his influential political connection. With Lord Cobham, his uncle, William Pitt, a relation by affinity, and the Grenvilles, his first cousins, Lyttelton formed the powerful political clique known at first as the "Cobhamites," then, after Lord Cobham's death, as the "Grenville Cousins." He was a liberal patron of literature and enjoyed the friendship of Pope, Thomson, Shenstone, Fielding, and others. His principal works are, Observations on .the Conversion and Apostleship of St. Paul (London, 1747; new ed., 1879), which Dr. Johnson characterized as "a treatise to which infidelity has never bin able to fabricate a special answer"; Dialogues of the Dead (1760; 4th ed., enlarged, 1765; new ed., 1889); and The History of the Life of Henry II. (4 vols., .1767; 3d ed., 6 vols., 1769-73), a work of much careful research, which has, however, been superseded. His verse, which is inferior to his prose, was chiefly included in Poems (Glasgow, 1773), and in his Poetical Works (London, 1785). His nephew, G. E. Ayscough, collected his Works (London, 1774; 3d. ed., 3 vols., 1776), including both verse and prose. Sir Robert Phillimore edited his Memoirs and Correspondence (2 vols., 1845).
BIBLIOGRAPHY: An excellent list of authorities is given at the end of the sketch in DNB xxxiv. 369-374, and a Life is found in A. Chalmers, Works of the English Poets, vol. xiv., London, 1810. Consult also: E. S. Creasy, Memoirs of Celebrated Etonians, ib. 1876; and the works on the history of the times.
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