LYTTELTON (LITTLETON), Sir Henry, 2nd Bt. (c.1624-93), of Hagley Hall, Worcs. and Upper Arley, Staffs.
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Family and Education
b. c.1624, 5th but 1st surv. s. of Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 1st Bt.†, of Frankley, Worcs., and bro. of Sir Charles Lyttelton. educ. Balliol, Oxf. matric. 12 Sept. 1640, aged. 16. m. (1) Philadelphia (d. 2 Aug. 1663), da. and coh. of Hon. Thomas Carey, groom of the bedchamber to Charles I, s.p.; (2) Lady Elizabeth Newport, da. of Francis Newport, 1st Earl of Bradford, s.p. suc. fa. 22 Feb. 1650.1
Sheriff, Worcs. 1654-5; j.p. Worcs. 1654-5, July 1660-?d., Salop July 1660-June 1688, Sept. 1688-d.; commr. for oyer and terminer, Oxford circuit July 1660, assessment, Worcs. Aug. 1660-80, Salop 1673-80, Lichfield 1679-80, Salop, Staffs. and Worcs. 1689-90, dep. lt. Worcs. 1661-?89, Staffs. 1677-Feb. 1688; capt. vol. horse, Worcs. 1661, commr. for loyal and indigent officers 1662, recusants, Salop and Worcs. 1675; freeman, Worcester 1683; alderman, Bewdley 1685-d.2
Lyttelton was descended from Thomas Heuster alias Woodcote of Lichfield who married the heiress of Frankley and sat for Worcestershire in the Parliament of 1431, and from the eminent jurist Sir Thomas Littleton, who took his mother’s name. Lyttelton’s father garrisoned Frankley for the King; it was demolished by Prince Rupert when it was no longer tenable, and its owner, taken prisoner by the Earl of Essex, was obliged to compound at £4,000 for his delinquency.3
Lyttelton himself joined the royalist army at Worcester in 1651, and was imprisoned for two years in the Tower. On release he joined the Action party of royalist conspirators in the Midlands; his appointment as sheriff provided an excuse for the purchase of arms in 1654-5, but, deterred perhaps by his brother’s arrest, he did nothing during Penruddock’s rising. Lyttelton and Lord Mordaunt married sisters, and in consequence he was more prominent in 1659. He was arrested, but treated with great respect. Charles II sent him an appreciative letter from Brussels:
I am very well informed how much and how often you have suffered for me, and how much I am beholden to all your relations; and you may be very sure I have the sense of it that I ought to have, of which you shall one day have evidence. In the meantime, cherish your health, and prepare for better times that we shall enjoy together.4
At the Restoration Lyttelton served on the grand jury which found a true bill against the regicides, and was granted the East India Company shares held by Robert Tichborne, which he sold for £3,000. ‘Dry and illiberal’ and ‘troubled with fits of the spleen’, he refused both an invitation to stand for Worcestershire in 1661 and a peerage. He preferred to live on his Staffordshire property, where the produce of his vineyards was pronounced ‘altogether indistinguishable from the best French wines by the most judicious palates’. He made inquiries about the vacancy at Bewdley in 1673, but it was not until five years later that he was returned, ‘at vast expense’ for Lichfield, where his sisters lived. He was marked ‘doubly worthy’ by Shaftesbury, but served on no committees and made no speeches. During the debate on the Popish Plot of 28 Nov., he and one of the Gorings were reported to be copying out Bedloe’s information in the Speaker’s chamber; their papers were torn up, but no further action was taken.5
At the first general election of 1679, Lyttelton was re-elected for Lichfield, probably unopposed. His brother reported that
he might have been knight of the shire for Worcestershire with less charge, I imagine. But my Lord Windsor seemed to oppose him for Sir Francis Russell. Since, Sir Francis refusing to stand, my Lord would have had my brother; he then, being so far engaged for Lichfield, would not quit them.
Shaftesbury again marked him ‘worthy’, but he was totally inactive in Parliament, being absent from the division on the exclusion bill. He does not seem to have stood at the next general election, and declined an invitation from Lichfield in 1681. His opinions were probably shifting towards the Government. In August 1683 he reported on the suspicious purchase of 12 cannon by two tenants of Philip Foley and Thomas Foley II; but a government expert found that they were worn out and fit only for scrap. He became an alderman of Bewdley under the new charter, no doubt to facilitate the election of his brother Charles. He gave unconditional consent to the three questions on the Penal Laws as put to him by the lord lieutenant of Worcestershire, where he was living at the time, but refused to stand as court candidate there because ‘his intent lay in another county’. But he is not known to have stood again for Lichfield. He died on 24 June 1693, aged 69, and was buried at Arley. His widow married Edward Harvey.6
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: A. M. Mimardière
- 1. Nash, Worcs. i. 493; Vivian, Vis. Devon, 155.
- 2. Townshend’s Diary (Worcs. Rec. Soc.), iii. 276; SP29/21/48; Hatton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxii), 23; CSP Dom. 1685, p. 138.
- 3. The Gen. n.s. xxxvii. 20-22; Cal. Comm. Adv. Money, 782.
- 4. Cal. Comm. Comp. 750, 2898-9; D. Underdown, Royalist Conspiracy, 130; Cal. Cl. SP, iv. 350; Nash, i. 499.
- 5. State Trials, v. 987; Townshend’s Diary, i. 292; Cal. Ct. Mins. E.I. Co. ed. Sainsbury, vi. 27, 85, 104, 108-9, 360, 371; Hatton Corresp. 24, 36, 174; Plot, Staffs. 380; Erdeswick, Survey of Staffs. 388; Epistolary Curiosities of Herbert Fam. ed. Warner, i. 97.
- 6. Hatton Corresp. 174; HMC Dartmouth, i. 56; CSP Dom. July-Sept. 1683, pp. 318, 332, 382.