Lyttelton, Charles

, third son of sir Thomas, and brother to George lord Lyttelton, was born at Hagley, in 1714. He was educated at Eton-school, and went thence first to University-college, Oxford, and then to the InnerTemple, where he became a barrister at law; but entering into orders, was collated by bishop Hough to the rectory of Alvechurch, in Worcestershire, Aug. 13, 1742. He took the degree of LL. B. March 28, 1745; LL. D. June 18 the same year; was appointed king’s chaplain in Dec. 1747, dean of Exeter in May 1748, and was consecrated bishop of Carlisle, March 21, 1762. In 1754 he caused the cieling and cornices of the chancel of Hagley church to be ornamented with shields of arms in their proper colours, representing the paternal coats of his ancient and respectable family. In 1765, on the death of Hugh lord Willoughby of Parham, he was unanimously elected president of the society of antiquaries; a station in which his distinguished abilities were eminently displayed. He died unmarried, Dec. 22, 1768. His merits and good qualities are universally acknowledged; and those parts of his character which more particularly endeared him to the learned | society over which he so worthily presided, shall be pointed out in the words of his learned successor dean Milles: “The study of antiquity, especially that part of it which relates to the history and constitution of these kingdoms, was one of his earliest and most favourable pursuits; and he acquired g cat knowledge in it by constant study and application, to which he was led, not only by his natural disposition, but also by his state and situation in life. He took frequent opportunities of improving and enriching this knowledge by judicious observations in the course of several journies which he made through every country of England, and through many parts of Scotland and Wales. The society has reaped the fruits of these observations in the most valuable papers, which his lordship from time to time has communicated to us; which are more in number, and not inferior either in merit or importance, to those conveyed to us by other hands. Blest with a retentive memory, and happy both in the disposition and facility of communicating his knowledge, he was enabled also to act the part of a judicious commentator and candid critic, explaining, illustrating, and correcting from his own observations many of the papers which have been read at this society. His station and connections in the world, which necessarily engaged a very considerable part of his time, did not lessen his attention to the business and interests of the society. His doors were always open to his friends, amongst whom none were more welcome to him than the friends of literature, which he endeavoured to promote in all its various branches, especially in those which are the more immediate objects of our attention. Even this circumstance proved beneficial to the society, for, if I may be allowed the expression, he was the centre in which the various informations -on points of antiquity from the different parts of the kingdom united, and the medium through which they were conveyed to us. His literary merit with the society received an additional lustre from the affability of his temper, the gentleness of his manners, and the benevolence of his heart, which united every member of the society in esteem to their head, and in harmony and friendship with each other. A principle so essentially necessary to the prosperity and even to the existence of all communities, especially those which have arts and literature for their object, that its beneficial effects are visibly to be discerned in the present flourishing | state of our society, which I flatter myself will be long continued under the influence of the same agreeable principles. I shall conclude this imperfect sketch of a most worthy character, by observing that the warmth of his affection to the society continued to his latest breath; and he has given a signal proof of it in the last great act which a wise man does with resp’ect to his worldly affairs; for, amongst the many charitable and generous donations contained in his will, he has made a very useful and valuable bequest of manuscripts and printed books to the society, as a token of his affection for them, and of his earnest desire to promote those laudable purposes for which they were instituted.” The society expressed their gratitude and respect to his memory by a portrait of him engraved at their expence in 1770.

Besides his contributions to the papers of the society of antiquaries, published in the “Archaeologia,” there is in Gutch’s “Collectanea Curiosa,” vol. II. p. 354, “Dean Lyttelton’s Memoir concerning the authenticity of his copy of Magna Charta,” from the minutes of the antiquarian society, and an answer by judge Blackstone. 1


Nichols’s Bowyer.