Robert Henry Lyttelton
January 18, 1854, Westminster, London
November 07, 1939, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland, (aged 85y 293d)
Right hand Bat
The Hon. Robert Henry Lyttelton, died at North Berwick on November 7, aged 85. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, he excelled as a student and critic of the game rather than as a player. With A. G. Steel he edited the Badminton Library volume in 1887, and in particular he was a foremost advocate of reform of the leg-before-wicket rule. Trained in the earlier school, which regarded putting the legs in front of the wicket for the purpose of defence as not only bad play but unsportsmanlike, he strove hard for over thirty years to bring about such alteration in the law as would penalise batsmen backing up with their pads. He went so far as to urge that a batsman should be given out if the ball hit any part of his person (except his hand) that is between wicket and wicket. In Crisis in Cricket and the Leg-BeforeRule, he expounded his views on the subject and also on the artificial preparation of wickets. His dramatic account in the Badminton volume of the University match at Lord's in 1870 ( Cobden's match) was honoured by inclusion in The Oxford Book of English Prose. Bob Lyttelton, sixth son the Fourth Lord Lyttelton, and one of eight brothers, seven of whom played for Eton between the years 1857 and 1872, was nearly 6 feet 3 inches tall. A useful bat for Eton he failed to get his Blue at Cambridge but represented the University in the doubles tennis match of 1874.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Batting & Fielding