104 Facts About Lord Byron


George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, known simply as Lord Byron, was an English romantic poet and peer.


Lord Byron was one of the leading figures of the Romantic movement, and has been regarded as among the greatest of English poets.


Later in life Lord Byron joined the Greek War of Independence fighting the Ottoman Empire and died leading a campaign during that war, for which Greeks revere him as a folk hero.


Lord Byron died in 1824 at the age of 36 from a fever contracted after the First and Second Sieges of Missolonghi.


Lord Byron's only legitimate child, Ada Lovelace, was a founding figure in the field of computer programming based on her notes for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine.


Lord Byron was the only child of Captain John Lord Byron and his second wife Catherine Gordon, heiress of the Gight estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.


Catherine moved back to Aberdeenshire in 1790, and Lord Byron spent part of his childhood there.


Lord Byron's drinking disgusted him and he often mocked her for being short and corpulent, which made it difficult for her to catch him to discipline him.


Lord Byron had been born with a deformed right foot; his mother once retaliated and, in a fit of temper, referred to him as "a lame brat".


However, Lord Byron's biographer, Doris Langley Moore, in her 1974 book Accounts Rendered, paints a more sympathetic view of Mrs Lord Byron, showing how she was a staunch supporter of her son and sacrificed her own precarious finances to keep him in luxury at Harrow and Cambridge.


Lord Byron accordingly obtained a Royal Warrant, enabling him to "take and use the surname of Noel only" and to "subscribe the said surname of Noel before all titles of honour".


Lady Lord Byron eventually succeeded to the Barony of Wentworth, becoming "Lady Wentworth".


Lord Byron's mother interfered with his studies, often withdrawing him from school, which arguably contributed to his lack of self-discipline and his neglect of his classical studies.


Lord Byron fell in love with Mary Chaworth, whom he met while at school, and she was the reason he refused to return to Harrow in September 1803.


Lord Byron finally returned in January 1804, to a more settled period, which saw the formation of a circle of emotional involvements with other Harrow boys, which he recalled with great vividness: "My school friendships were with me passions ".


The poem "The Cornelian" was written about the cornelian that Lord Byron had received from Edleston.


Fugitive Pieces was printed by Ridge of Newark, which contained poems written when Lord Byron was only 17.


The savage, anonymous criticism it received in the Edinburgh Review prompted Lord Byron to compose his first major satire, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers.


Dallas stated that Lord Byron had originally intended to prefix an argument to this poem, which Dallas quoted.


Lord Byron racked up numerous debts as a young man, owing to what his mother termed a "reckless disregard for money".


Lord Byron lived at Newstead during this time, in fear of her son's creditors.


From 1809 to 1811, Lord Byron went on the Grand Tour, then a customary part of the education of young noblemen.


Lord Byron travelled with Hobhouse for the first year, and his entourage of servants included Byron's trustworthy valet, William Fletcher.


Hobhouse and Lord Byron often made Fletcher the butt of their humour.


The Napoleonic Wars forced Lord Byron to avoid touring in most of Europe; he instead turned to the Mediterranean.


Lord Byron's journey enabled him to avoid his creditors and to meet up with a former love, Mary Chaworth.


Lord Byron began his trip in Portugal, from where he wrote a letter to his friend Mr Hodgson in which he describes what he had learned of the Portuguese language: mainly swear words and insults.


Lord Byron particularly enjoyed his stay in Sintra, which he later described in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage as "glorious Eden".


Lord Byron commemorated this feat in the second canto of Don Juan.


Lord Byron was sought after at every society venue, elected to several exclusive clubs, and frequented the most fashionable London drawing-rooms.


Lord Byron was joined by Mary's stepsister, Claire Clairmont, with whom he'd had an affair in London.


Several times Lord Byron went to see Germaine de Stael and her Coppet group, which turned out to be a valid intellectual and emotional support to Lord Byron at the time.


Lord Byron wintered in Venice, pausing in his travels when he fell in love with Marianna Segati, in whose Venice house he was lodging, and who was replaced by 22-year-old Margarita Cogni; both women were married.


In 1816, Lord Byron visited San Lazzaro degli Armeni in Venice, where he acquainted himself with Armenian culture with the help of the monks belonging to the Mechitarist Order.


Lord Byron co-authored Grammar English and Armenian in 1817, an English textbook written by Aucher and corrected by Byron, and A Grammar Armenian and English in 1819, a project he initiated of a grammar of Classical Armenian for English speakers, where he included quotations from classical and modern Armenian.


Lord Byron later helped to compile the English Armenian Dictionary and wrote the preface, in which he explained Armenian oppression by the Turkish pashas and the Persian satraps and the Armenian struggle of liberation.


Lord Byron's fascination was so great that he even considered a replacement of the Cain story of the Bible with that of the legend of the Armenian patriarch Haik.


In 1821, Lord Byron left Ravenna and went to live in the Tuscan city of Pisa, to which Teresa had relocated.


Lord Byron decided to have his own yacht, and engaged Trelawny's friend, Captain Daniel Roberts, to design and construct the boat.


Lord Byron attended the beachside cremation of Shelley, which was orchestrated by Trelawny after Williams and Shelley drowned in a boating accident on 8 July 1822.


Lord Byron was living in Genoa in 1823, when, growing bored with his life there, he accepted overtures for his support from representatives of the Greek independence movement from the Ottoman Empire.


At first, Lord Byron did not wish to leave his 22-year-old mistress, Countess Teresa Guiccioli, who had abandoned her husband to live with him.


When Lord Byron left Genoa, it caused "passionate grief" from Guiccioli, who wept openly as he sailed away.


Lord Byron's voyage is covered in detail in Donald Prell's Sailing with Byron from Genoa to Cephalonia.


Prell wrote of a coincidence in Lord Byron's chartering the Hercules.


The vessel was launched only a few miles south of Seaham Hall, where in 1815 Lord Byron married Annabella Milbanke.


Lord Byron initially stayed on the island of Kefalonia, where he was besieged by agents of the rival Greek factions, all of whom wanted to recruit Lord Byron for their own cause.


Lord Byron moved to the second floor of a two-story house and was forced to spend much of his time dealing with unruly Souliotes who demanded that Lord Byron pay them the back-pay owed to them by the Greek government.


Lord Byron was supposed to lead an attack on the Ottoman fortress of Navpaktos, whose Albanian garrison were unhappy due to arrears in pay, and who offered to put up only token resistance if Lord Byron was willing to bribe them into surrendering.


However, Ottoman commander Yussuf Pasha executed the mutinous Albanian officers who were offering to surrender Navpaktos to Lord Byron and arranged to have some of the arrears paid out to the rest of the garrison.


In today's money Lord Byron would have been a millionaire many times over.


Lord Byron wrote to his business agent in England, "I should not like to give the Greeks but a half helping hand", saying he would have wanted to spend his entire fortune on Greek freedom.


Lord Byron found himself besieged by various people, both Greek and foreign, who tried to persuade him to open his pocketbook for support.


Lord Byron used his prestige to attempt to persuade the two rival leaders to come together to focus on defeating the Ottomans.


Androutsos, having won over Trelawny to his cause, was now anxious to persuade Lord Byron to put his wealth behind his claim to be the leader of Greece.


Lord Byron wrote with disgust about how one of the Greek captains, former Klepht Georgios Karaiskakis, attacked Missolonghi on 3 April 1824 with some 150 men supported by the Souliotes as he was unhappy with Mavrokordatos's leadership, which led to a brief bout of inter-Greek fighting before Karaiskakis was chased away by April 6.


Lord Byron adopted a nine-year-old Turkish Muslim girl called Hato, whose parents had been killed by the Greeks.


Lord Byron ultimately sent her to safety in Kefalonia, knowing well that religious hatred between the Orthodox Greeks and Muslim Turks was running high and that any Muslim in Greece, even a child, was in serious danger.


Lord Byron pursued his Greek page, Lukas Chalandritsanos, with whom he had fallen madly in love, but the affections went unrequited.


Mavrokordatos and Lord Byron planned to attack the Turkish-held fortress of Lepanto, at the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth.


Lord Byron employed a fire master to prepare artillery, and he took part of the rebel army under his own command despite his lack of military experience.


The British historian David Brewer wrote that in one sense, Lord Byron failed to persuade the rival Greek factions to unite, won no victories and was successful only in the humanitarian sphere, using his great wealth to help the victims of the war, Christian and Muslim, but this did not affect the outcome of the Greek war of independence.


Lord Byron's body was embalmed, but the Greeks wanted some part of their hero to stay with them.


Lord Byron's other remains were sent to England for burial in Westminster Abbey, but the Abbey refused for reason of "questionable morality".


Lord Byron is buried at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire.


Robert Ripley had drawn a picture of Boatswain's grave with the caption "Lord Byron's dog has a magnificent tomb while Lord Byron himself has none".


Lord Byron described his first intense feelings at the age of seven for his distant cousin Mary Duff:.


Lord Byron was later dismissed, supposedly for beating Byron when he was 11.


Lord Byron's personality has been characterised as exceptionally proud and sensitive, especially when it came to his deformity.


Lord Byron, was attached to Nicolo Giraud, a young French-Greek lad who had been a model for the painter Lusieri before Lord Byron found him.


In 1812, Lord Byron embarked on a well-publicised affair with the married Lady Caroline Lamb that shocked the British public.


Lord Byron had spurned the attention of the poet on their first meeting, subsequently giving Byron what became his lasting epitaph when she famously described him as "mad, bad and dangerous to know".


Lord Byron eventually broke off the relationship and moved swiftly on to others, but Lamb never entirely recovered, pursuing him even after he tired of her.


Lord Byron was emotionally disturbed and lost so much weight that Byron sarcastically commented to her mother-in-law, his friend Lady Melbourne, that he was "haunted by a skeleton".


Lord Byron began to stalk him, calling on him at home, sometimes dressed in disguise as a pageboy, at a time when such an act could ruin both of them socially.


On 16 January 1816, Lady Lord Byron left him, taking Ada with her.


Augusta Leigh's child, Elizabeth Medora Leigh, born in 1814, was possibly fathered by Lord Byron, who was Augusta's half-brother.


Lord Byron is recognised as one of the world's first computer programmers.


Lord Byron had an extramarital child in 1817, Clara Allegra Byron, with Claire Clairmont, stepsister of Mary Shelley and stepdaughter of William Godwin, writer of Political Justice and Caleb Williams.


Lord Byron wished for her to be brought up Catholic and not marry an Englishman, and he made arrangements for her to inherit 5,000 lire upon marriage or when she reached the age of 21, provided she did not marry a native of Britain.


However, the girl died aged five of a fever in Bagnacavallo, Italy, while Lord Byron was in Pisa; he was deeply upset by the news.


Lord Byron had Allegra's body sent back to England to be buried at his old school, Harrow, because Protestants could not be buried in consecrated ground in Catholic countries.


Lord Byron was antagonistic towards Allegra's mother, Claire Clairmont, and prevented her from seeing the child.


Lord Byron was regarded as a Scot by a number of his contemporaries, including his lover Lady Caroline Lamb and by his first biographer Sir Cosmo Gordon, who described him as a "Highlander".


Lord Byron had a great love of animals, most notably for a Newfoundland dog named Boatswain.


Lord Byron kept a tame bear while he was a student at Trinity out of resentment for rules forbidding pet dogs like his beloved Boatswain.


From birth, Lord Byron had a deformity of his right foot.


Lord Byron was extremely self-conscious about this from a young age, nicknaming himself.


Lord Byron first met Byron on a voyage to Sardinia and did not realise he had any deficiency for several days, and still could not tell at first if the lameness was a temporary injury or not.


Lord Byron was renowned for his personal beauty, which he enhanced by wearing curl-papers in his hair at night.


Lord Byron was athletic, being a competent boxer and horse-rider and an excellent swimmer.


Lord Byron exercised a great deal, and at that time wore a great many clothes to cause himself to perspire.


Trelawny, who observed Lord Byron's eating habits, noted that he lived on a diet of biscuits and soda water for days at a time and then would eat a "horrid mess of cold potatoes, rice, fish, or greens, deluged in vinegar, and gobble it up like a famished dog".


Lord Byron said later that he "spoke very violent sentences with a sort of modest impudence" and thought he came across as "a bit theatrical".


Two months later, in conjunction with the other Whigs, Byron made another impassioned speech before the House of Lords in support of Catholic emancipation.


Lord Byron expressed opposition to the established religion because it was unfair to people of other faiths.


Lord Byron published the first two cantos anonymously in 1819 after disputes with his regular publisher over the shocking nature of the poetry.


In Canto III of Don Juan, Lord Byron expresses his detestation for poets such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


In letters to Francis Hodgson, Lord Byron referred to Wordsworth as "Turdsworth".


Lord Byron wrote the satirical pamphlet Irish Avatar after the royal visit by King George IV to Ireland.


Lord Byron denounced Elgin's actions in his poem The Curse of Minerva and in Canto II of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.


Lord Byron exercised a marked influence on Continental literature and art, and his reputation as a poet is higher in many European countries than in Britain, or America, although not as high as in his time, when he was widely thought to be the greatest poet in the world.


Lord Byron's poetry was set to music by many Romantic composers, including Beethoven, Schubert, Rossini, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Carl Loewe.


Lord Byron's philosophy was more durably influential in continental Europe than in England; Friedrich Nietzsche admired him, and the Byronic hero was echoed in Nietzsche's Ubermensch, or superman.