The Papers of Alfred Lyttelton and Dame Edith Lyttelton, and their son Oliver Lyttelton (1st Viscount Chandos)
Scope and Contents
CHAN 1, contains mainly papers of Hon Alfred Lyttelton and Dame Edith Lyttelton, with a smaller quantity of material of Oliver Lyttelton
CHAN II, consist mainly of papers of Oliver Lyttelton, with a smaller quantity of papers of Alfred and Edith Lyttelton
- 1804 - 1972
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Biographical / Historical
She served on the Executive of the National Union of Women Workers (founded in 1895) and as Chairwoman of the Personal Service Association (founded in 1908, to alleviate distress caused by unemployment in London). At the outbreak of World War One she was a founder of the War Refugees Committee
She was later made Deputy Director of the Women's Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture in 1917, served on the Central Committee of Women's Employment from 1916-25, and as Vice-Chairman of the Waste Reclamation Trade Board from 1924-31. She was also the British substitute delegate in Geneva to the League of Nations in 1923, 1926-28, and 1931.
After the death of her husband she became interested in spiritualism and was a member, and President from 1933-34, of the council of the Society for Psychical Research. Spiritualism heavily influenced her works, "The Faculty of Communion" (1925), "Our Superconscious Mind" (1931), and "Some Cases of Prediction" (1937), as well her biography of Florence Upton (1926).
She wrote a novel, "The Sinclair Family" (1926), an account of her travels in the Far East and India, "Travelling Days" (1933), and published a biography of her former husband in March 1917. Among her seven plays, two were inspired by her campaign against ‘sweated’ labour, "Warp and Woof" and "The Thumbscrew". She also translated Edmond Rostand's "Les deux pierrots". She was encouraged by her close friendship with George Bernard Shaw and Mrs Patrick Campbell. After 1918 she also lobbied for the foundation of a national theatre in London and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Shakespeare Memorial National Theatre.
She was made a DBE in 1917 and a GBE in 1929. She died in September 1948.
OLIVER LYTTELTON was born in March 1893, the only surviving son of Alfred Lyttelton and his second wife Edith.
He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. After two years at Cambridge he volunteered for service on the outbreak of World War One and was commissioned in the 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire regiment, and later the Grenadier Guards. He served in France from early 1915-April 1918 and was mentioned in dispatches on three occasions and won the DSO and the MC. He rose to the rank of Brigade Major. In 1915 he also met Winston Churchill in the Guards.
In January 1920 he married Lady Moira Godolphin Osborne (1891–1976), daughter of George Godolphin Osborne, tenth duke of Leeds.
After World War One he was employed by the banking firm Brown Shipley & Co. and from 1920 by the British Metal Corporation (established by the British government to undermine Germany's domination of the metal trade). He ultimately served as General Manager of the Corporation and as its Managing Director. He was also appointed Chairman of the London Tin Corporation and served on the boards of a number of foreign companies engaged in the metal trade. On the outbreak of World War Two in September 1939 he was appointed Controller of Non-Ferrous Metals. In 1940 he was appointed by Churchill as supply co-ordinator to his defence office and, in October, as President of the Board of Trade.
At the end of June 1941 he was sent by Churchill to Egypt as Minister of State and was appointed a member of the War Cabinet. His duties included liaison with General de Gaulle and the Free French. In February 1942 he was appointed as Minister of Production and continued in this role until the end of the War. His vital task was to oversee the co-ordination of production with the United States. During Churchill's caretaker government of May to July 1945 he remained as Minister of Production and again held the post of President of the Board of Trade.
He served as an MP for the parliamentary seat of the Aldershot Division of Hampshire from 1940-54. In 1950 became Chairman of the Conservative Party's Finance Committee. In 1951 Lyttelton was appointed Colonial Secretary, a post that had been held by his father from 1903-05. He remained at the Colonial Office until the end of July 1954 and was subsequently (September 1954) elevated to the House of Lords, becoming 1st Viscount Chandos of Aldershot. He resumed his business career, serving as Chairman of Associated Electrical Industries and as President of the Institute of Directors.
He also served as Chairman of the Board of the National Theatre from 1962-71, and was its President until his death. The Lyttelton Theatre opened as one of the constituent parts of the National in 1976. He published his Memoirs in 1962 and "From Peace to War: a Study in Contrast, 1857–1918" (1968).
He died in January 1972.
55 archive box(es)
Other Finding Aids
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- 2005-01-06 10:01:18+00:00
- Language of description
- Script of description