Apr 21, 2009

George Lyttelton 1817-1876

On this day, the 21st of April in 1876, George William Lyttelton committed suicide by throwing himself over the first floor balustrade of his house at 18 Park Crescent, overlooking London's Regents Park.

Subsequently sharing collateral descent with Diana, Princess of Wales and the Jazz musician Humphrey Lyttelton, the 4th Baron Lyttelton was not the first of his kin to be described as suffering from gloomy delusions and unsatisfying wild, pompous fancies.

Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, founding chairman of the short lived Canterbury Association (1848-1852), brother-in-law of Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone and property speculator, George Lyttelton purchased 2,400 acres of land at Lyttelton, Christchurch, Geraldine and in the Selwyn county, which by 1882 was worth $9.427 million to his heir in today's money (his uncle, the 4th Earl Spencer, also bought 700 acres of land in the Christchurch district).


Jayne said...

He really wasn't a chirpy chappie, was he?!

Canterbury Heritage said...

It would seem to have been a hazard of inbreeding within a narrow caste, which still only numbers around 22,000 in a population of sixty million. The Lyttelton's were considered a bit strange from the 18th century, but the Churchills took the prize in the nutty stakes (even Winnie was bi-polar and his son was a real menace).