Henry Luttrell (wit)

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Henry Luttrell (c. 1765 – 19 December 1851) was an English politician, wit and writer of society verse. He was the illegitimate son of Henry Lawes Luttrell, 2nd Earl of Carhampton.

Henry Luttrell secured a seat in the Irish House of Commons for Clonmines in 1798 and a post in the Irish government, which he commuted for a pension. Introduced into London society by the duchess of Devonshire, his wit made him popular. Soon he began to write verse, in which the foibles of fashionable people were outlined.

In 1820, he published his Advice to Julia, of which a second edition, altered and amplified, appeared in 1823 as Letters to Julia in Rhyme; this poem, suggested by the ode to Lydia in the first book of Horace's Odes, was his most important work. His more serious literary contemporaries nicknamed it "Letters of a Dandy to a Dolly."

In 1827 in Crockford House, he wrote a satire on the high play then in vogue. Byron characterized him as "the best sayer of good things, and the most epigrammatic conversationist I ever met "; Sir Walter Scott wrote of him as "the great London wit," and Lady Blessington described him as the one talker "who always makes me think." Luttrell died in London on 19 December 1851.

Luttrell was himself the subject of one of his friend Sydney Smith's best known lines, to the effect that his idea of heaven was "eating paté de foie gras to the sound of trumpets".[1]


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Luttrell, Henry". Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 143.
  1. ^ Hesketh Pearson, The Smith of Smiths (Hamish Hamilton, 1934), chapter 10.

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Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Ponsonby Tottenham
Luke Fox
Member of Parliament for Clonmines
Served alongside: Ponsonby Tottenham
Succeeded by
Ponsonby Tottenham
Henry Eustace