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Hatherton, Edward John Littleton, 1st Baron

HATHERTON, EDWARD JOHN LITTLETON, 1ST BARON (1791-1863), was born on the 18th of March 1791 and was educated at Rugby school and at Brasenose College, Oxford. He was the only son of Moreton Walhouse of Hatherton, Staffordshire; but in 1812, in accordance with the will of his great-uncle Sir Edward Littleton, Bart. (d. 1812), he took the name of Littleton. From 1812 to 1832 he was member of parliament for Staffordshire and from 1832 to 1835 for the southern division of that county, being specially prominent in the House of Commons as an advocate of Roman Catholic emancipation. In January 1833, against his own wish, he was put forward by the Radicals as a candidate for the office of speaker, but he was not elected and in May 1833 he became chief secretary to the lord-lieutenant of Ireland in the ministry of Earl Grey. His duties in this capacity brought him frequently into conflict with O'Connell, but he was obviously unequal to the great Irishman, although he told his colleagues to " leave me to manage Dan." He had to deal with the vexed and difficult question of the Irish tithes on which the government was divided, and with his colleagues had to face the problem of a new coercion act. Rather hastily he made a compact with O'Connell on the assumption that the new act could not contain certain clauses which were part of the old act. The clauses, however, were inserted; O'Connell charged Littleton with deception; and in July 1834 Grey, Althorp (afterwards Earl Spencer) and the Irish secretary resigned. The two latter were induced to serve under the new premier, Lord Melbourne, and they remained in office until Melbourne was dismissed in November 1834. In 1835 Littleton was created Baron Hatherton, and he died at his Staffordshire residence, Teddesley Hall, on the 4th of May 1863. In 1888 his grandson, Edward George Littleton (b. 1842), became 3rd Baron Hatherton.

See Hatherton's Memoirs and Correspondence relating to Political Occurrences, June-July 1834, edited by H. Reeve (1872); and Sir S. Walpole, History 0} England, vol. iii. (1890).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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