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The Byron Chronology

Year

Date

Chronology Entry

1811 March The Scourge publishes Hewson Clarke's very personal attack on Byron and his English Bards.
July 14-17 Byron arrives in London after an absence from England of a little more than two years.

He begins to address his financial affairs as well as to renew old friendships.

Byron delivers Hints from Horace to the printer Cawthorn. In Byron's absence from England, Cawthorn had put out four editions of English Bards. At the time of Byron's arrival, the fourth edition is almost sold out.

Dallas is disappointed with Hints from Horace, but responds enthusiastically to the cantos of Childe Harold.

According to Marchand, Dallas owed his positive response to CHP to Walter Wright's assurances that the poem would sell (279).

Wright, a former Consul General of the Ionian Islands, had received praise in English Bards for his Horae Ionicae.

July 17-19 Byron meets Hobhouse, now a captain in the Militia, at Sittingbourne.

The pair tour Canterbury and its vicinity.

July 19-23 Byron returns to London where Hodgson visits him. Byron then visits Henry Drury at Harrow.
July 23 Back in London, Byron works with Hanson to arrange his debts with the moneylenders.

Dallas wishes to take CHP I and II to a publisher, though Byron is reluctant, he eventually agrees.

Byron considers taking legal action against Clarke for libel (see March).

August 2 Byron receives news that his mother is ill, and he makes arrangements to travel home to Newstead, borrowing 40 from Hanson.

Lady Byron's condition worsens, and she dies before Byron is able to leave for Newstead.

August 3 Charles Skinner Matthews, one of Byron's Cambridge friends, drowns in the Cam.
August 10 Byron receives news that John Wingfield, a Harrow friend, has died.
August Byron drafts his will.
End of September Byron visits his Lancashire estate.
October 9 Byron returns to Newstead.

On his return, he receives news that John Edleston, the Cambridge chorister, died the previous May

October 11 Byron writes "To Thyrza" and "Epistle to a Friend."
October 16 Byron visits Davies at Cambridge.

Byron receives a challenge from the poet Thomas Moore who had been offended by parts of English Bards.

October 29 Byron arrives at 8 St. James' Street, London.
November 4 Byron meets Thomas Campbell and Thomas Moore at the home of Samuel Rogers, where the company discusses literary topics.
November 14 Soldiers called out to stop the rioting of unemployed weavers in Nottingham. The rioters had been breaking the new wide frames that had put many of them out of work.
End of November Byron visits Hodgson at Cambridge. He invites Hodgson and William Harness, an old Harrow favorite, to spend Christmas at Newstead.
Early December Byron returns to London.
December 9 An additional 900 cavalry and 1,000 infantry called to Nottingham to quell the frame-breakers.
December 9-14 Byron sees a variety of plays and players: Robert Coates as Lothario in a farcical version of Rowes's Fair Penitent; a performance with Mrs. Siddons, and Kemble's performance in Coriolanus.
December 19 Byron, Hodgson, and Harness travel to Newstead.

Year

Date

Chronology Entry

1812 January 8 Two additional regiments of soldiers called in to stop the Nottingham frame-breaking riots.
January 11 Byron returns to London for the opening of Parliament.
January 15 Byron takes his seat at Parliament.
January 20 Byron is appointed to a Parliamentary committee to hear appeals on writs of error.
January 28 Byron believes Robert Rushton's stories of Susan Vaughan's infidelity. Byron reluctantly sends the girl away.
February 14 The Tory Riot bill which makes framebreaking a capital offense is introduced into the House of Commons.
February 21 The Tory Riot Bill passes the House of Commons.
February 27 Byron speaks for the first time in Parliament, opposing the injustice of the bill.
March 2 Byron's "Ode to the Framers of the Frame Bill" appears anonymously in the Morning Chronicle.
March 7 Byron's "Sympathetic Address to a Young Lady" commemorates Princess Catherine's opposition to her father's betrayal of the Whig party. Out of regard for Lord Holland, Byron stops work on a fifth edition of EBSR.
March 10 Childe Harold I and II offered for public sale by John Murray.

Within three days, the first edition of 500 copies sells out. Byron awakes to find himself famous.

March Byron meets the 27-year-old Caroline Lamb at Holland House, and the pair soon begin an affair that reaches its heights in May.
March 25 Annabella Milbanke, cousin of William Lamb, is at Melbourne House when Byron visits.
April 11 Byron and Hobhouse dine at Lord Glenbervie's where they meet Benjamin Constant.
April 21 At Parliament, Byron speaks once more; the motion considered creates a Committee on Roman Catholic Claims.
May 1 Francis Jeffrey praises Childe Harold in the Edinburgh Review.
May 18 Byron rents a window to view the public execution of Bellingham, a trader who had killed Spencer Perceval, the Prime Minister.
June 4 Byron, Hobhouse, and Captain George Byron travel to Newstead.
June 13 Byron returns to London.
July 29 Lady Caroline Lamb invades Byron's rooms, wearing the dress of a page.

Hobhouse and Byron prevail on her to return home.

August 12 Lady Caroline Lamb refuses to travel with her family to Roehampton and flees her house.

Byron finds her in Kensington and returns her to her family.

August 15 Thomas Claughton purchases Newstead Abbey, the furniture, and remaining timber for 140,000.
August 24 Byron travels to Cheltenham to be near his friends from London: the Jerseys, Melbournes, and the Hollands.

Lord Holland soon asks Byron to write the Address to be read on the opening night of the new Drury Lane Theatre.

Early September Byron moves from an inn to the Holland house at Cheltenham, after the Hollands' return to England.
September The Lambs set out for Ireland.
October 4 Byron accepts an invitation to stay a week at the Jerseys' country house in Middleton.
October 8 Annabella Milbanke responds to Byron's proposal by drafting a view of his Character.
October 10 Byron's "Address" is read by Elliston before two plays, the Devil to Play and Hamlet.
October 12 Annabella Milbanke rejects Byron's proposal of marriage.
October 19 Byron's purchaser, Claughton, still has not made his first payment, but Byron's creditors are implacable, having heard his estate has been sold.
October Murray reports that booksellers have purchased 878 copies of the 5th edition of Childe Harold.
October 24 Byron sets out for Eywood, the home of the Oxfords. Byron becomes enamored with Lady Oxford.

He also enjoys the company of her children, particularly Lady Charlotte Harley, whom he praises as Ianthe in the preface to the seventh edition of Childe Harold.

October 31 Expecting to be paid by Claughton, Byron accepts a bill from Scrope Davies for 1,500, part of a sum he had borrowed to travel the Continent in 1809.
November 5 Claughton finally pays 5,000 of the deposit money.
November 9 Lady Caroline Lamb writes a petulant tirade to Lady Oxford.

In response, Byron writes the rejection letter Lamb later includes in Glenarvon.

November 21 Byron returns to Cheltenham where he stays at Middleton, the home of the Jerseys.
November 30 Byron arrives at Batt's Hotel in London.
December 3 and 7 Byron attends Parliament.
December 8 Byron visits with Hobhouse, then attends a party at Lady Melbourne's.
Before Christmas Byron returns to Eywood.

At Brocket, after writing several letters threatening Byron with revenge, Caroline Lamb burns effigies of Byron's picture and copies of his letters, while neighborhood children dance around the bonfire.


Year

Date

Chronology Entry

1813 January 3 Still at Eywood, Byron orders a picture of Lady Oxford and arranges for it to be held at John Murray's.
Early January To gain a picture of Byron from John Murray, Caroline Lamb forges Byron's handwriting.
Third Week of January Byron returns to London, taking lodgings at 4 Bennet Street.

His relationship with the Oxfords draws him into the circle of the Princess of Wales, and Byron becomes a regular visitor at Kensington Palace.

February Byron attends several sessions at Parliament.
March 18 Byron considers three plans: one to travel with Lord Sligo to Persia, another to travel to the Continent with the Oxfords, and finally Hobhouse's proposal to travel again to the East.
End of March Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, Paternoster Row, privately print Byron's satire, the Waltz.

John Murray prints a few copies of the Giaour.

March 28 Byron--angry with Caroline Lamb's refusal to return his portrait--answers her request for a lock of hair by sending one of Lady Oxford's.

Byron returns to Eywood with the Oxfords.

April 1 The Prince Regent oversees the opening of the vault of King Charles I, and gives Princess Charlotte the central sapphire from Charles's crown.

Perhaps unwisely, Byron satirizes the Regent's behavior; Byron's verses circulate privately at court.

April 19 Byron, in light of his relationship with Lady Oxford, considers altering his plans for returning to the continent.
April 19 Byron attends a party at Lady Heathcote's.
April 20 Byron, in the company of Thomas Moore, visits Leigh Hunt in the Surrey Gaol.
April 23 Byron takes Leigh Hunt some books to help with his composition of Francesca da Rimini.

Hobhouse's Journey through Albania and Other Provinces of Turkey in Europe and Asia published by Cawthorn.

April 25 Tired of waiting for Byron, Hobhouse sets out for the Continent.
April 29 In a letter forwarded through Lady Melbourne, Byron consents to Caroline Lamb's pleas for an interview.
May 27 Lady Oxford returns to London.
June 1 On behalf of Major John Cartwright, Byron presents the House of Lords with a petition for the right to "reform" Parliament.

Cartwright had gathered 199,000 signatures.

June 3 Byron accompanies Lady Oxford to Salthill, her lodging until she sails for the Continent.
June Due to lack of funds, Byron postpones his own journey until July.

Byron agrees to sell the household items at Newstead.

June 5 Murray publishes The Giaour.
June 15 Byron accompanies Lady Oxford to Portsmouth.
June 20 Back in London, Byron attends Lady Jersey's where he meets Mme de Staël.
June 21 At Lady Jersey's, Byron dines with Mme de Staël, Sheridan, and other literary figures.
June 27 Augusta Leigh arrives in London for a three week visit.

Byron had seen Augusta very little after her marriage in 1807, and he had not corresponded with her during his tour of the Continent.

Byron takes her to Lady Davy's to see Mme de Stael.

July 2 Hanson brings a suit against Claughton in Chancery.
July 5 Byron visits Lady Heathcote's, where Lady Caroline Lamb stabs herself with a penknife.
July 6 The Satirist mocks Lamb's behavior so much that her husband removes her from London.
July 13 Byron asks John Wilson Croker, Secretary of the Admiralty, to secure him passage to the Continent.
July 18 Annabella Milbanke writes Lady Melbourne requesting information of Byron's dealings with Claughton.
August 5 Augusta Leigh is back in London.
August 20 Augusta Leigh is back at Six Mile Bottom.
August 22 Annabella Milbanke writes Byron directly for the first time, offering him moral advice:
"No longer suffer yourself to be the slave of the moment, nor trust your noble impulses to the chances of Life. Have an object that will permanently occupy your feelings & exercise your reason. Do good" (Marchand II.405).
September 11 Byron travels briefly to Six Mile Bottom.
September 13 Byron travels to Cambridge where he dines with Scrope Davies.
September 19? Byron visits Wedderburn Webster and his family at Aston Hall, near Rotherham, but after several days, he travels back to London.
September 26 Byron meets Southey at Holland House.
October 3 Though Lady Francis Webster had invited Augusta Leigh to visits as well, Byron returns to Aston Hall alone.
Mid October Byron and the Websters visit Newstead several times.
October 19 Byron returns to London.
October 20 Byron recommends Hodgson to translate Lucien Bonaparte's Charlemagne.

Hodgson's debts were interfering with his desired marriage to a Miss Tayler, and Byron provides £1000 to pay Hodgson's debts.

November 4 Byron records his work on Bride of Abydos.
November 14 Byron begins a journal.
November 22 Byron meets Lady Holland and her party at the Drury Lane theatre.
November 23 Byron dines with Ward and other literary men.
December 2 Murray publishes Bride of Abydos, and he offers a total of £1000 for both the Giaour and the Bride.

Within a month, Bride sells 6000 copies.

Byron is once more the lion of the London literary scene, and he receives invitations daily.

December 15 Augusta Leigh arrives in London.
December 18 Byron ends his "Journal" and begins his next eastern tale, The Corsair.
December 23 Mary Chaworth-Musters, unhappy in her marriage, writes her cousin Byron.
December 26 Hearing that Byron has not left for the Continent, Annabella Milbanke writes again.
December 27 Byron returns to London, having accompanied Augusta Leigh home.

Year

Date

Chronology Entry

1814 January 1 Byron completes the Corsair.
January 2 Byron dedicates the Corsair to Thomas Moore.
January 17 Byron and Augusta Leigh set out for Newstead.
January 22 Byron celebrates his 26th birthday.
February 1 The Corsair sells 10,000 copies on the first day, and over 25,000 copies in the first month.

The inclusion of Byron's "Lines to a Lady Weeping" draws Tory attacks: though Murray removes the poem from the second edition, Byron demands its re-insertion for the third edition.

The Corsair goes through seven editions in the first month.

February The Courier accuses Byron of making considerable sums of money from his poetry.

Dallas writes the Morning Post, acknowledging Byron's gift of the copyrights to Childe Harold and The Corsair.

Mary Chaworth continues to write, though Byron does not see her.

February 9 Byron returns to London from Newstead.
February 10 Byron and Hobhouse meet at Covent Garden.
February 19 Byron, Hobhouse, and Hodgson see Edmund Kean play Richard III at the Drury Lane theatre.
March 7 At the urging of Hanson, Byron attends the marriage of Mary Anne Hanson to the Earl of Portsmouth where he gives away the bride.
March 9 Byron dines at Roger's with other literary men such as Macintosh and Sheridan.
March 27 Byron and Scrope Davies dine at the Cocoa Tree to commemorate Byron's final payment of his longstanding debt to Davies.

Byron moves to Albany House, Piccadilly.

April 2-7 Byron visits to Six Mile Bottom.
April 6 Claughton promises to pay another installment of £5000 toward the purchase of Newstead.
April 8 Byron returns to London.
April 9 Napoleon Bonaparte abdicates.

Byron composes his Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte.

April 10 Claughton reneges on his promise to pay.

Byron receives one of a series of letters from Mary Chaworth.

Officially separated from her husband at the end of March, Chaworth writes Byron over 50 letters in a period of about six months.

April 15 Hobhouse dines with Byron, then leaves the next morning for Paris.

Augusta Leigh gives birth to a daughter. The child is named Medora after Byron's famous heroine in the Corsair.

April 16 Murray publishes the "Ode."
April 25 Byron receives a formal invitation to visit Seaham from Sir Ralph Milbanke, Annabella's father.
May Thomas Moore returns to London, and he and Byron frequent Edmund Kean's theatre.
May 7 Byron and Moore see Kean as Iago in Othello.
Early May Byron sends Augusta 3000 to settle her husband's debts.
May 14 Byron begins Lara.
May 18 Byron and Hobhouse dine at Lady Jersey's in a party of around 100.
May 19 Byron, Hobhouse, and Moore see Kean act Iago again.
May 25 Byron and Moore take a private box to see Kean.
May 26 Byron sends Kean 50 guineas as a token of his esteem.
June 11 Webster, having returned from the Continent, takes Byron to Lady Sitwell's where Byron first sees his cousin, Mrs. Wilmot.

Byron composes "She walks in Beauty" in Wilmot's honor.

June 14 Byron completes Lara.
June 17 Byron finally responds to the love-stricken letters of Henrietta D'Ussieres.

Eventually he agrees to meet her, and they talk for half an hour.

June 18 Byron writes Augusta that he had seen her friend Lady Charlotte Leveson Gower at Earl Grey's.

After the meeting, Byron considers seeking a reconciliation with Lord Carlisle.

June 26 Lady Caroline Lamb's antics continue.

In a letter, Byron complains to Lady Melbourne:

"You talked to me about keeping her out. It is impossible; she comes at all times, at any time, and the moment the door is open in she walks. I can't throw her out of the window: as to getting rid of her, that is rational and probable, but I will not receive her"
(qtd in M 1.458). On one of Caroline's visits, she writes "Remember me!" on the first page of Byron's copy of Vathek provoking Byron to compose the stanzas beginning, "Remember thee, remember thee" under her note.
July 1 Byron, dressed as a monk, and Hobhouse attend the masked ball in honor of the Duke of Wellington at Burlington House.

In his diary Hobhouse estimates that 1700 people were seated for the dinner (M 1.459).

July 2? Harriette Wilson, a well-known courtesan, writes Byron; but their correspondence doesn't really begin until after Byron returns to the Continent.
July 3 Byron leaves for Six Mile Bottom, having been delayed in his visit to Annabella Milbanke by her mother's absence from Kirkby Mallory.
July 6 Byron arrives at Cambridge and dines with Scrope Davies, Kinnaird, and Hobhouse.
July 7- Byron and the others start for London.
July 7- In town for the next week, Byron tries to force the Hansons to act on Claughton's lack of payment for the Newstead estate.

Byron postpones his vacation plans several times hoping for a settlement.

July 13 Byron's month-long lease on Hastings House at the coast begins, but Byron remains in London hoping for a settlement with Claughton.

Until they leave for the seashore, Augusta stays at the London Hotel in Albemarle Street.

July 20 Byron avoids meeting Mary Chaworth by leaving for the coast with Augusta and her children.

Byron finds the three-week vacation pleasant, visiting with Hodgson, Cowell, and George Anson Byron.

? Murray publishes Lara (anonymously) in a joint volume with Samuel Rogers' Jacqueline.
August 1 Still at Hastings, Byron receives a cryptic letter from Annabella in which she acknowledges an "imperfect" attachment to him.
August 11 Byron returns to London, to settle the Claughton suit. He again misses seeing Mary Chaworth, as she had let Hastings House after him.

Hobhouse reports that Murray has sold 6000 copies of the Lara volume.

August 20 Byron signs the paperwork to terminate Claughton's contract.

Of the 28,000 earnest money paid in, Claughton gave up all but 3000 and returned the property to Byron.

Byron, Augusta, and the Leigh children travel to Newstead.

Unknown to Byron, Mary Chaworth has a nervous breakdown while at Hastings.

Byron continues his correspondence with Annabella Milbanke, while Augusta tries to arrange a marriage for him with Lady Charlotte Leveson Gower.

? Byron accepts 700 from Murray for the copyright of Lara, marking the first time Byron ever accepted copyright fees for his own use.
September 9 Byron posts a marriage proposal to Annabella Milbanke.
September 19 Byron receives Annabella's acceptance.

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November 2000

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