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Lyttelton, George
Lyttelton, George
Sir George (Lord) Lyttelton, 1709-1773
Patron
George Lyttelton, an early patron of Wilson, was a politician and talented scholar, educated at Eton College and at Christ Church, Oxford and tutored by Dr Francis Ayscough. He was the eldest son of Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 4th baronet (1685-1751), the Whig owner of Hagley Hall, Worcestershire and his wife, Christian, sister of Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham (1675-1749). George Lyttelton was thus half-brother of Admiral Thomas Smith. The latter sat for Wilson, as did his father, who was MP for Worcester (1721-34) and Lord of the Admiralty (1727-41), though that portrait was burnt in a fire at Hagley in 1925. Lyttelton served as secretary to Frederick, Prince of Wales from 1737 and then as a Commissioner of the Treasury in 1744. That year, too, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was made a Privy Councillor in 1754 and in the following year became briefly and unsuccessfully Chancellor of the Exchequer. In 1756 he was raised to the peerage. A literary patron, minor poet and friend of James Thomson, Lyttelton was also a supporter of the landscapist John Wootton. As recently noted by Robin Simon, he wrote one of the first appreciative accounts of the landscape of North Wales in a letter of 1756, published in 1774 (Wilson and Europe 2014, pp. 25 and 33, n. 72). In all he is known to have journeyed into Wales on five occasions.
P91A The Hermitage, the collection of Viscount Cobham, Hagley Hall
06/04/2020