Constance Lytton - Family


Constance Lytton was the second daughter and third child of Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton and Edith Villiers. Lytton was the Viceroy of India where his daughter spent the first eleven years of her life; it was he who made the proclamation that Queen Victoria was the Empress of India. Edith Villiers was Queen Victoria's Lady-in-Waiting (Lady of the Bedchamber) and rode with the Queen's body on the funeral journey from London to Windsor. Edith was decorated with the honorific Lady, Royal Order of Victoria and Albert, was invested in the Imperial Order of the Crown of India and held the office of "Lady of the Bedchamber" to Her Majesty Queen Alexandra.

Constance Lytton's maternal grandparents were Edward Ernest Villiers (1806–1843) and Elizabeth Charlotte Liddell. Edward Ernest Villiers was a son of George Villiers and Theresa Parker. Elizabeth Charlotte Liddell was a daughter of Thomas Liddell, 1st Baron Ravensworth and his wife Maria Susannah Simpson. George Villiers was a son of Thomas Villiers, 1st Earl of Clarendon and Charlotte Capell. Theresa Parker was a daughter of John Parker, 1st Baron Boringdon and his second wife Theresa Robinson. Maria Susannah Simpson was a daughter of John Simpson and Anne Lyon. Charlotte Capell was a daughter of William Capell, 3rd Earl of Essex and Lady Jane Hyde. Theresa Robinson was a daughter of Thomas Robinson, 1st Baron Grantham and Frances Worsley. Anne Lyon was a daughter of Thomas Lyon, 8th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne and Jean Nicholsen. Lady Jane Hyde was a daughter of Henry Hyde, 4th Earl of Clarendon and Jane Leveson-Gower.

Constance Lytton's paternal grandparents were the novelists Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton and Rosina Doyle Wheeler. Edward Bulwer-Lytton, confidant of Mary Shelley, was a florid, popular writer of his day, coining such phrases as "the great unwashed", "pursuit of the almighty dollar", "the pen is mightier than the sword", and the infamous incipit "It was a dark and stormy night". Constance Lytton's great grandmother was the author and women's rights campaigner Anna Doyle Wheeler.

Constance Lytton's six siblings were :

  • Edward Rowland John Bulwer-Lytton (1865–1871)
  • Lady Elizabeth Edith "Betty" Bulwer-Lytton (12 June 1867 – 28 March 1942). Married Gerald Balfour, 2nd Earl of Balfour, brother of the future Prime Minister Arthur Balfour.
  • Henry Meredith Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1872–1874)
  • Lady Emily Bulwer-Lytton (1874–1964). Married the architect Edwin Lutyens. Associate and confidante of Jiddu Krishnamurti.
  • Victor Bulwer-Lytton, 2nd Earl of Lytton (1876–1947), married Pamela Chichele-Plowden, an early flame of Sir Winston Churchill, who had met her while playing polo at Secunderabad.
  • Neville Bulwer-Lytton, 3rd Earl of Lytton (6 February 1879 – 9 February 1951)

In the early years in India Lytton was educated by a series of governesses and reportedly had a lonely childhood. Although she matured in England surrounded by many of the great artistic, political and literary names of the day, she tended to reject the aristocratic way of life, and after her father died she retired from view to care for her mother, rejecting attempts to interest her in the outside world.

Lytton remained unmarried until her death, having been refused permission in 1892 to marry a man from a "lower social order". For several years she waited in vain for her mother to change her mind, whilst refusing to contemplate marrying anyone else.

Read more about this topic:  Constance Lytton

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