LYTTELTON – Lord George Lyttelton (1817 – 1876)

Also known as Lord Lieutenant of Worcesteshire, George was born into a VERY noble English family. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, George grew up to be a British aristocrat and a Conservative politician. On his 21st birthday, he took his seat in the House of Lords. A great fan of colonialism, he became the Chairman of the Management Committee for the Canterbury Association.

Sitting in on all the big discussions about the new colony of Canterbury, the piece of land that would eventually bear his name was then known as Port Cooper. What most people don’t know is that it was the original site for Christchurch, the fore-fathers loving the idea of a city so close to the port. Lyttelton was going to be the name for the plains…as you can guess, that idea was scrubbed before the arrival of the first four ships in 1850.

There is only one recorded visit to Christchurch that I can find in 1868 and George was very impressed by the 14 year old John Deans II who served as a prefect assistant; no one’s wine cup was ever empty at dinner with John taking care of business.

George committed suicide in his home of Hagley Hall at the age of 59. Prone to depression, he was in the care of two doctors and an assistant as there was great concern for his mental state. Half way through being shaved by his gentleman servant, he stopped him so he could walk the room. He paced around the room twice before opening the door and charging out into the hall. He raced towards the stairs where he threw himself down them, fracturing his pelvis in the process. It took him 24 hours to die of shock.

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