William Henry Lyttelton papers  1730-1806  1755-1761
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Biography

British politician, colonial governor, and diplomat William Henry Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton and 1st Baron Westcote (1724-1808), was the sixth son of Sir Thomas Lyttelton and Christian Temple. Lyttelton attended Eton and St. Mary Hall, Oxford, where he studied law. Eschewing a career as a lawyer, Lyttelton entered politics in 1748 as a member of Parliament representing Bewdley. Through the influence of friend William Pitt, Lyttelton was appointed governor of South Carolina in 1755. Though he departed for the colony later that year, French privateers captured his ship and held him prisoner in Brest. He finally arrived in South Carolina in June of 1756. As governor, Lyttelton's focused his attention on improving defense against attacks from the French and various Native American tribes. After decades of growing tension between settlers and the Cherokee, Lyttelton lead a colonial force against them. The result was the Anglo-Cherokee war, a bloody conflict between the British and Native Americans in the South Carolina frontier that lasted from 1758 through 1761.

In 1760, the British government appointed Lyttelton to serve as governor and chief executive of Jamaica. He briefly returned to England that year to marry Mary Macartney of Longford, Ireland, and traveled to Jamaica in 1761. He clashed with the local assembly over their alleged rights of judicial immunity, and resigned in 1766. His next appointment was as British ambassador to Portugal from 1766-1770, after which he returned to England.

Lyttelton served as a member of Parliament for Bewdley from 1774 to 1790, and was Lord North's commissioner of the treasury from 1777 to 1782. He married his second wife, Caroline Bristow of Quidenham, Norfolk, in 1776. The king gave Lyttelton the title of Baron Westcote of Ballymore, Ireland, in 1776, and the British title of Baron Lyttelton of Frankley in 1794. Lyttelton died at Hagley in 1808.