25th Generation

725. Lucy FORTESCUE87 was born about 1717 in Filleigh, Devon. She was buried in 1746 in Overly Arley, Staffs. She died on 19 January 1746 in America.99 Lucy Fortescue was married to George Lyttelton of Hagley Park, Worcestershire, in 1742. She bore three children, two of whom survived her, and died at the age of 29 in 1747. Her husband was a rising MP with powerful family connections; he later became a Chancellor of the Exchequer and the first Baron Lyttelton. He remarried in 1749, but the second marriage ended in a separation. He was a man of letters and a patron of literature. He seems to have been a kind person: he came to be known as 'the good Lord Lyttelton'; Tom Jones is dedicated to him. When Wordsworth was growing up, Lyttelton's was still a name to conjure with. Everyone knew the 'Monody' that he had written to honor the memory of his first wife: it had been published separately in 1747 and then included in editions of his collected works from 1774 onwards, in anthologies such as Vicesimus Knox's Elegant Extracts in Verse, and eventually, with a biographical preface, in Johnson's, Anderson's, and Chalmers's sets of the works of British poets. Wordsworth probably used Knox's collection at school; he owned an Anderson, though not until about 1800. According to Duncan Wu, he had certainly read Lyttelton's 'Monody' by 1786. (2) In his 'Essay on Epitaphs' (1810), Wordsworth alludes to Lyttelton's 'Monody' and the 'Epitaph' that he wrote for his Lucy, both of which are included in Knox and Anderson. We can be confident that they were familiar to him by the time he published his own Lucy poems. Given the demand for separate editions of Lyttelton's work, besides the anthologies, in the 1770s and 80s, we can assume that they were familiar to Wordsworth's readers as well.

Lucy FORTESCUE and Lord George LYTTELTON obtained a marriage license on 14 March 1742. They were married on 15 June 1742 in St George's, Hanover Square, London. Lord George LYTTELTON87 was born on 17 January 1708/9.5 He died on 22 August 1773 in Hagley, Worcester.5 Jago refers to the Monody written by George Lyttelton in 1747 to the memory of his wife, Lucy Fortescue, whose home was at Ebrington near Chipping Campden. Lyttelton, the son of Sir Thomas Lyttelton of Hagley, Worcestershire, was the friend of Pope, Thomson and Shenstone, and his house at Hagley was a favourite resort of men of letters. His life was largely political. Born in 1709, and educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, he made the usual grand tour, and entered parliament as member for Okehampton in 1735. He was a prominent supporter of the “patriotic” party against Walpole, and, after Walpole’s fall, became a lord of the treasury. In 1751, he succeeded to his father’s baronetcy, and, in 1756, after his retirement from a short tenure of the chancellorship of the exchequer, was created baron Lyttelton of Frankley. He died in 1773. His later years saw the publication of Dialogues of the Dead and of his History of the Life of Henry II. But at no season of his life was literature entirely neglected. He wrote poetry at Eton and Oxford; on his foreign tour, he addressed epistles in couplets to his friends at home; and, soon after his return, he appears to have composed the four eclogues called The Progress of Love. His poems include some songs and stanzas, of which the best are those addressed to his wife. His affection for her is a pleasing trait in a character which excited genuine devotion in his friends; and his Monody, composed in irregular stanzas, with a motto taken from Vergil’s description of the lament of Orpheus for Eurydice, 74 is written with some depth of feeling, although its reminiscences of Lycidas invite a comparison which it cannot sustain.

Twelve Lucy poems, variously ordered in different editions, tell Lyttelton's story of uneasy courtship, blissful domestic life, and abrupt and devastating loss

Take, for example, the first poem in Lyttelton's series, 'To Miss Lucy Fortescue.' It describes the inarticulateness that betrays the true lover:

Once, by the muse alone inspir'd
I sung my amorous strains:
No serious love my bosom fir'd;
Yet every tender maid, deceiv'd,
The idly-mournful tale believ'd
And wept my fancied pains.
But Venus now, to punish me
For having feign'd too well,
Has made my heart so fond of thee,
That not the whole Aonian choir
Can accents soft enough inspire,
Its real flame to tell.

Lucy FORTESCUE and Lord George LYTTELTON had the following children:



Thomas LYTTELTON5 was born on 30 January 1743/4 in Hagley, Worcester. He died on 27 November 1779 in Pitt Place, Epson, Surrey.






Mary LYTTELTON (private).