Lord Lytton is notable for being descended from George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron – better known simply as Lord Byron – via his daughter, the mathematician Ava Lovelace.
The connection is one Lord Lytton has very much taken to heart, having contributed to the Newstead Byron Society Review and speaking before the Byron Society on his family history.
Born on June 7, 1950, he was styled Viscount Knebworth from 1951 and graduated from the University of Reading with a BSc in estate management in 1972. He then spent 13 years working in the Inland Revenue Valuation Office when he succeeded to the earldom following the death of his father Noel Lytton, 4th Earl Lytton.
Taking his seat in the House as a crossbencher, he spent some years with surveying firms Permutt Brown & Co and Cubitt & West before setting up his own practice John Lytton & Co, Chartered Surveyors, in January 1988.
Following the passing of the House of Lords Act in 1999, he lost his seat in the House but, on May 11, 2011, he regained his seat in a hereditary peers’ by-election. The election was held following the death of John Monson, 11th Baron Monson, in February of that year.
Lord Lytton is also 18th Baron Wentworth, a title which comes from the Byronic side of his family. The title had been held by the Viscounts Wentworth since Edward Noel, 9th Baron Wentworth, was elevated to the rank of viscount in 1762.
His only son, Thomas Noel, 2nd Viscount Wentworth, died without an heir in 1815 and as such the viscountcy became extinct. The barony, however, was held in abeyance between his nephew the Hon. Nathaniel Curzon, later 3rd Baron Scarsdale, his sister Judith and her daughter Anne.
When Judith died in 1822 and Lord Scarsdale died without heirs in 1856, the abeyancy was terminated in favour of Anne, who became 11th Baroness Wentworth in her own right, in addition to her title Baroness Byron, which came from her marriage to aforementioned Lord Byron, who died in the Greek War of Independence in 1824.
Their daughter, Ava Lovelace, married William King-Noel, 1st Earl of Lovelace and their daughter Anne married the poet Wilfred Scawen Blunt, whose own daughter Judith Blunt-Lytton was the mother of Noel Lytton, 4th Earl of Lytton.