4.5 Captain Westcote Lyttleton

Captain Westcote Whitechurch Lewis Lyttleton served with Her Majesty's 64th Regiment of Foot. In October, 1840, he arrived with his regiment in Halifax where he was to be stationed until 1843. While there he met Joanna McNab, the eldest daughter of James McNab. They were married in 1842 by Rev. Dr. Twining, Garrison Chaplain. In August, 1843, the 64th Regiment was transferred to England.

Upon retirement from the military in 1849, Lyttleton and his family returned to Halifax. On an 1853 map of Maugher Beach there is a notation on some adjoining land which reads "Head land of McNabs Island, now rented by W. Lyttleton, Esq." In 1855 he purchased the southern portion of the island (approximately 300 acres) from his father-in-law and occupied the original McNab homestead, at least on a seasonal basis (Figure 12). A.F. Church, in his 1865 map of Halifax County, lists "Capt. Littleton [sic]" as residing on both McNabs Island and South Street, Halifax. Lyttleton was an amateur topographic artist and in 1862 exhibited at the International Exhibition in London, England.

In 1867, Captain Lyttleton sold his property at the southern end of McNabs Island to the British War Department and moved to New Zealand. A number of factors encouraged Lyttleton to leave the island, but none were more important than the loss of his house on the island in a fire in December of 1866, and the fear of a cholera epidemic which gripped Halifax during the summer of 1866.

Lyttleton died at Keswick, England, on August 9, 1886, and his wife Joanna died on June 22, 1908. A deed listing the surviving children of Lyttleton lists their deceased father as a former sheep farmer at Rokeby, District of Cantibury, New Zealand. One of Lyttleton's descendants, G.B. Lancaster, wrote the novel "Grand Parade," a story based on the McNab family.

A second map completed in 1865 map shows two buildings at the southern end of McNabs Cove. The larger of the two is the original McNab house, at this time occupied by Captain Lyttleton and his family. The other is the cottage occupied by Old Peter Wamboldt.

Another map, completed in 1867, provides detailed information on the southern portion of the island (Figure 13). The map, compiled by an Engineer with the British Army, shows the extent of land purchased from Captain Lyttleton by the British War Department.

This map identifies numerous cleared areas in the vicinity of McNabs Cove. "Stone Wall Field," "Brow Hill Field," "Cabbage Garden Field," "Little Island Field" and "Cunningham's Field" attest to the extensive role of agriculture in this portion of McNabs Island. A cottage and barn stand near Cunningham's Field and Peter Wamboldt's cottage is shown near Brow Hill Field. The map also indicates the location of McNabs Cemetery, several barns, and a wharf near the McNab homestead. The homestead itself, however, is not shown on account of it being destroyed by fire several months earlier.

In the vicinity of Finlay Cove a wharf and boat house are shown. Although constructed by Hugonin, they are referred to as "Findlay's Wharf," indicating that they had been acquired by James Findlay shortly after the departure of Hugonin. Remains of the wharf are evident to this day.

Of particular interest on the map of 1867 is the burial ground situated on Hugonin Point, opposite Findlays' Wharf. This site remains as mute evidence to the tragic cholera epidemic.