Biography of Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton
Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (1803-1873), was elected Rector of the University in 1856. He was the first rector to be elected after the introduction of the three-year term.
Born in London and originally named Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer (he changed the name in 1843 in his mother's honour), Lytton studied at Cambridge University and became a successful poet, novelist, playwright, historian and journalist. He was an independent radical MP from 1831 until 1841 and returned to the House of Commons as a Conservative in 1852. He was created Baron Lytton in 1866.
Lytton defeated Lord Stanley in the 1856 election and was re-elected unopposed in 1857. The author Charles Dickens and the social reformer the Earl of Shaftesbury contested the election in 1858, but Lytton was elected Rector for a third year. His son Edward, the 1st Earl Lytton, was elected Rector in 1887.