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The Byron Chronology

Year

Date

Chronology Entry

1823 July 15 Byron finally sails to Greece in the company of Trelawny, Count Pietro Gamba, Dr. Francesco Bruno, Constantine Skilitzy, and three servants: the gondolier, Tita Falcieri; his valet Fletcher; and Lega Zambelli, his steward; as well as five or more additional servants.

Byron also takes five horses, Byron's bulldog Moretto, and the Newfoundland Lyon (1087).

July 21 After five days traveling 20 miles a day, the The Hercules docks at Leghorn for two days. Byron stays on board much of the time.

Though Blaquiere had recommended that Byron stop at Zante, Byron follows the recommendation of James Hamilton Browne and travels to Cephalonia (M 1093).

June 24 The Hercules sails to Cephalonia.

Byron receives his first admiring communication from Goethe (1093).

Three passengers join Byron's group: James Hamilton Browne, Vitali and Prince Skilitzy.

On the journey to Cephalonia, the Hercules passes Piombino, Elba, Ponza, and Stromboli.

August 2 The Hercules comes in sight of Cephalonia and Zante.
August 3 The Hercules lands in Argostoli harbor.
August 5 Byron meets with Colonel Napier, the British Resident and Governor of the island.
  Byron attends Dr. James Kennedy's lecture on Christianity.
August 11, Dawn In the company of Trelawny, Gamba, Bruno, and Browne, Byron travels to Ithaca.

The journey takes nine hours in the sun by muleback, then they cross the channel from Santa Euphemia by open boat.

That night--rather than stay in the caves on the coast as Byron proposes--Gamba finds the company humble lodgings at the home of a merchant.

August 12 Gamba and Browne travel to Vathy with a letter of introduction to the English Resident, Captain Knox.

The Resident sends a boat to transport the company to Vathy.

At dinner Byron meets another Englishman, Thomas Smith.

August 13 The company meets at Knox's house for an excursion to the fountain and grotto of Arethusa, 5 miles south of Vathy.

According to Smith's Narrative, Byron arrives looking languid and ill, but offers lively conversation.

August 14 By boat, the company travels on to northern Ithaca to visit the "School of Homer." The native governor of the island entertains them, until they embark again for the mainland.

Byron provides money for the relief of Greek refugees in Cephalonia. He also places 250 dollars at the disposal of his banker Corgialegno for other refugee families in Ithaca.

August 15 On the return trip to Cephalonia, the company travels by pony to the boat landing and bathe there until the boat arrives.

They return to Santa Euphemia by two p.m., then arrive that their monastery lodgings after dark.

Though the monks welcome them with great ceremony, Byron, exhausted by the day's exertion, is "seized with violent spasms in the stomach and liver" (Smith's narrative qtd in 1112).

Enraged, he behaves, according to Browne's record, 'like a maniac' (1112) until forced to take medication.

August 16 Byron rises late and is exceedingly courteous to all, especially the abbot.

At noon, the party sets out for Argostoli on horseback.

Crossing the mountains, they arrive by 5 p.m., then board The Hercules.

August 17-20 Byron and company return to days of riding and swimming. The English residents of Cephalonia, especially Colonel Napier, offer dining and entertainment. In particular, Byron enjoys a dinner hosted by officers of the 8th Regiment.
August 22 Byron receives a letter from the Suliote leader, Marco Botzaris, detailing events from battlefields near Karpenisi.

Moved by Botzaris's account, Byron makes moves to travel on to Greece.

August 24? News of Botzaris's death (August 21) stops Byron's plans for an immediate removal to the mainland.

On Cephalonia, news that Byron has come with money to aid the Greeks has spread quickly. Endless petitions for aid arrive from all quarters.

Byron sends many of his increasingly unruly Suliote servants home by providing a month's severance pay and return passage to Acarnania.

September 1 Byron finally receives his mail forwarded from Zante. Byron is in the process of moving to a house on shore.

Captain Napier wishes to take The Hercules out of danger, and Trelawny and Browne wish to move on the governmental center of the Greek conflict, Morea.

  Trelawny records this delay as a procrastination, but Byron--as the principal agent of the Greek Committee--seems aware that he should move cautiously.
September 6 Byron moves to a small villa at Metaxata. Browne and Trelawny travel on to Pyrgos.

At Metaxata, Byron's circle narrows to Pietro Gamba and Dr. Bruno. The three men pass the time pleasantly, though simply, in conversation and reading.

September 6-November At Metaxata, Byron gathers diverging views on the state of the Greek conflict.

At the same time he learns from the London Committee that attempts to raise money by subscription had been unsuccessful; they venture the idea of a loan.

Byron's letters from this period reveal his interest in and work towards aiding the Greeks.

September 30 Byron learns that Ada has been ill in a letter from Augusta; he stops writing in his journal.
October 5 A series of earthquakes rocks Metaxata.
October ? Dr. Kennedy resumes his conversations with Byron at Metaxata.
  George Finlay arrives at Metaxata on his way to join the Greek conflict. His resemblance to Shelley startles the poet.
October 15 The Greek Legislative Body votes to ask the English for a loan of 4 million Spanish dollars (800,000).

They designate Jean Orlando and Andre Luriottis as deputies in the negotiation.

October 23 Byron tells Colonel Duffie of his plans to travel to the mainland in November.
October ? Kinnaird writes that he may be able to sell Rochdale for £ 10,000 to 20,000.
October 28 The arrival of Lord Sidney Osborne from Corfu interrupts one of Byron's conversations with Kennedy.
Early November Dr. Julius Millingen and three German Philhellenes arrive from the London Greek Committee. Impressed with the young doctor, Byron offers to employ him as a physician.

Byron had been contemplating creating his own corps of Suliotes on the mainland.

November 2 Kinnaird writes that Rochdale has been sold for £ 11,225.
mid-November Gamba records that the bags are packed, the boats are hired, and the company intends to set out within days. Setting out with them are men under the command of Captain Nicola Giavella.

The arrival of Browne and the two deputies of the Greek Government, Orlando and Luriottis, delaying Byron's departure indefinitely. Byron provides a temporary loan from his own funds to send the Greek fleet into action.

Orlando and Luriottis ask Byron to subsidize the Greek fleet with a loan of 300,000 piastres (30,000 dollars). Byron provides 200,000 piastres (4000).

November 13 Byron and the Greek agents sign the contract for Byron's loan.

The English merchant Charles Hancock (in partnership with Samuel Banff) cashes Byron's bills, and from this point on the merchants handle all Byron's business in Greece.

November Finlay and other of the German officers travel on to the mainland
November Colonel Leicester Stanhope arrives.

As an agent of the London Greek Committee, he consistently irritates Byron with his philosophical radicalism.

November 29 Byron writes the Greek Committee that Corinth has been taken, but that the Greeks still suffer from poor organization.
Early December Browne and Greek deputies leave for England.
  Byron hears rumors of factional differences between the Greek Executive and Legislative branches; as a result he chooses to remain a little longer at Cephalonia.
December Stanhope leaves for Missolonghi.
December 8 Dr. Millingen leaves for Missolonghi.
December 11 Mavrocordatos arrives at Missolonghi.
December 13 Colonel Napier leaves for England to meet with the Greek Committee.
December Byron takes up his journal once more.
December 26 Byron leaves Metaxata for Argostoli. He stays with Charles Hancock while waiting to embark for Missolonghi.
December 29 Dr. Kennedy bids Byron farewell as do Hancock and Muir.

Byron has hired two boats for the journey.

On the light, fast boat with Byron are Dr. Bruno, Fletcher, and Loukas Chalandritsanos, and Byron's Newfoundland dog Lyon.

On the larger supply boat are Gamba, Lega Zambelli, Trelawny's negro servant whom Byron has hired, and Byron's other servants as well as the horses, baggage, the Greek Committee printing press, and Byron's bulldog, Moretto.

December 30 The passengers arrive in Zante. Byron completes some business with Barff. The boats sail for Missolonghi at 6 p. m.
December 31 At 2 a.m. Byron's mistico slips quietly under the stern of a Turk ship and manages to sail away in the dark.
  At 6.30, pursued by two large Turk vessels, Byron's boats separate. The supply boat--captured but not boarded--is taken to Patras. Byron's mistico pulls into a small creek where they are unreachable. After the Turkish boat passes, the group sail on to Dragomestre.

Year

Date

Chronology Entry

1824 January 2 Mavrocordatos's escort boats meet up with Byron at Dragomestre.
January 4, noon Released by Yussef Pasha, Gamba and the supply ship arrive in Missolonghi.
January 4,
11 p.m.
Byron arrives in port, to the fanfare of a 21-gun salute.

Byron's lodgings are on the second floor of the house of Apostoli Capsali.

January 13 Once in Missolonghi, Byron begins to subsidize the Greek cause.

He takes command of the Suliote corps formerly led by Botzaris, paying for the food and wages of 500 of the 600 men under his command.

In addition to his support of the troups, Byron provides £ 100 for the artillery corps and another £ 50 for the support of the printing press under Dr. J. J. Meyer.

Byron makes Dr. Millingen staff surgeon and helps set up a hospital.

January 14 Meyer produces the first volume of the biweekly Hellenica Chronica.

Stanhope's German troops, decimated to one-fifth, returns to Missolonghi and comes under Byron's support.

January 16 Byron takes custody of a Turk taken prisoner by Greek pirates.
January 18,
9 p.m.
The Suliote troops start an altercation with the townspeople.
January 19 Threatened by the presence of Turkish ships, the Greek fleet leaves Missolonghi.
January 20 Byron and Mavrocordatos discuss troop organization and the expedition against Lepanto.
January 21 Ten Turkish ships blockade Missolonghi, endangering the arrival of Captain Parry and his ship, the Anne.
January 22 Byron writes his stanzas on completing his 36th year. The Greek command decide to send a boat through the blockade in order to warn Parry.
January 23 A British ship passes through the blockade. Byron sends his Turkish prisoners back to the Turkish fleet by way of the neutral English officers.
January 25, 1 p. m. Mavrocordatos reads Byron the commission to command the expedition to Lepanto. Byron was to command 3000 troops.
January 26 Byron meets with officers of the English ships who demand satisfaction for a ship recently taken by the Greeks.

While waiting for Mavrocordatos's reply, he jokes with the officers about the impending expedition against Lepanto, and the group shoots at bottles with their pistols.

When Mavrocordatos refuses to pay, Byron settles the debt himself to the dismay of Colonel Stanhope.

January 27 Parry sends a message that the Anne is waiting orders in Ithaca.
January 28 Stanhope and Gamba negotiate for the Suliotes to move (as formerly agreed) from the Seraglio.

The old palace was earmarked for Captain Parry's arsenal.

January 29 Byron learns that he is expected to furnish rations for the families and livestock of his Suliote troops--or twelve hundred persons rather than five hundred.

Byron is forced to threaten the Suliotes with discharge to get them to move from the Seraglio.

January 31 Byron receives news that Parry has arrived with his cargo at Dragomestre.
February 1 Byron and his party visit Anatolica at the invitation of the local officials. The city had heroically repelled the Turks in an earlier battle.
Early February Byron negotiates the transport of cargo from ships to the Seraglio.
February 4 The local workers Byron hired take a holiday, leaving valuable cargo on the beach in the rain. Byron moves some goods himself, shaming the workers into helping.
February 5, noon Mavrocordatos returns from Anatolica
February 5,
after 4 p.m.
Parry arrives to develop an arsenal laboratory, only to discover that the Greeks have no money to support his project or his men.

He reluctantly appeals to Byron, but finds the poet good-natured and helpful.

The two men talk for several hours.

Byron learns the Greek government is unable to support a corps of 3000 for the expedition against Lepanto. The Greeks had assumed he would pay the support of the full corps.

Byron hires ten Germans as a bodyguard.

February 8 The Greek commanders meet with Byron and Mavrocordatos to settle on some organization.
February 10 News arrives of the death of Sir Thomas Maitland Brittish high commissioner of the Ionian Islands who had insisted on strict neutrality.
February 13 Parry agrees to disburse Byron's funds to the Greeks on the condition that Byron audit the accounts each day.
February 14 Parry begins disbursing funds. Byron spends at least 2000 dollars each week in rations.

The Suliote soldiers demand that 150 men be promoted above the rank of common soldier--solely in order to raise their pay. Byron responds to the news with a violent passion.

February 15 Byron determines to withdraw his financial support from the Suliote troops.

Realizing they had pressed too far, the Suliotes reorganize into corps of 600 as before agreed.

Byron tells Gamba that he is not well.

February 15, 8 p. m. After some rest, Byron visits the rooms of Stanhope where Parry and other English officers discuss a new newspaper.

While there, Byron falls ill, experiencing convulsions similar to an epileptic seizure.

Afterwards, Byron questions the physicians whether he is in any danger. Byron returns to bed.

Later, when Germans give a false alarm that the Suliotes intend to attack the arsenal, Parry and Gamba go to Byron's room to protect him.

February 16 Byron is better, but weak.

Byron offers Parry the hospitality of his apartments. Though Parry believes Byron has had an epileptic seizure, Byron states that the "weight" of the fit was in his forehead.

At noon, Dr. Bruno applies leeches to Byron's temples, but Byron continues to bleed after the leeches are removed.

None of the doctor's efforts to staunch the blood are completely successful, and Byron bleeds intermittently until 11 that night.

February 18 Fighting breaks out between a foreign officer and Suliote warrior.

Byron deflects a riot by drawing the cannon to the gates and refusing to open them until he can investigate the charges.

February The Missolonghi primates ask for 3000 dollars to encourage the unruly Suliotes to leave town. Byron agrees to pay.
February Byron pays the return passage of six English mechanics, frightened by the Suliote quarrels.
February 21     Colonel Stanhope leaves for Athens.

Mavrocordatos ask Byron to advance the 4800 dollars in backpay to encourage the Suliotes to leave town.

Byron agrees on the condition that the men leave within two days.

February 21, 8 p.m. A severe earthquake rocks Missolonghi.
February Byron receives news that Don Juan is a success.

Better weather allows Byron to ride more often.

February 26 Parry, at the authorization of Byron, reorganizes the artillery corps.
February, end George Finlay brings letters from Athens.

In one, Odysseus, the leader of Eastern Greece, requests that Byron and Mavrocordatos meet with a congress at Salona. Though skeptical, Byron agrees to meet in two weeks

March 1 Bad weather returns, and Byron complains of vertigo.
March 3 Feeling better, Byron arranges a "fake" earthquake to plague Parry. He stations his Suliote guard above Parry's room and has them shake the walls, while he bangs on the doors and runs into Parry's room.
March Byron, worried that the newspaper will alienate European powers, proposes Gamba as an editor for the Telegrafo Greco.
March 18 Mr. Humphreys arrives from Athens with letters.

Stanhope, Trelawny, and Odysseus all urge Byron to meet immediately at Salona. Byron writes his agreement.

  The Greek officials at Kranidi invite Byron to come there instead, offering him the office of governor-general in Greece.
March 21 Floods thwart the messengers carrying Byron's letters to Athens. Byron determines to travel to Salona as soon as the weather allows.
March Weather remains bad, and Byron tells Gamba he frequently feels restrictions in his chest.
March 25 The government treasury is empty, and Mavrocordatos applies again to Byron for a loan.
March 27 The roads to Salona remain impassable.
March 30 Byron receives the citizenship of the town.
April 2 Missolonghi is threatened by false alarms that the Turks had landed a Chrioneri.

George Karaiskakis, a Greek chieftain is wounded, and 150 soldiers arrive to seek vengeance.

April 3 Byron receives a letter from Mavrocordatos suspecting Karaiskakis as a spy.
April 5 Byron helps end the siege of Missolonghi.
April 9 Byron receives news from Augusta and a profile of Ada.
April 9,
8 p.m.
After being caught in the rain while on horseback, Byron experiences chills, fevers and rheumatic pains.
April 10 Byron rides again, in good spirits, but still suffers from a headache and joint pain. That night, he exhibits a slight fever.
April 10 Byron calls for Dr. Bruno, complaining of hot and cold spells, body pains, and sleeplessness.
April 11 Severe hip pain and sleeplessness continue to plague Byron.
April 12 On Dr. Bruno's advice, Byron takes a hot bath, but refuses to be bled.
April 13 Byron continues to feel ill, but is able to leave his bed.

Dr. Bruno notes in his journal that Byron's headache appears "at intervals either in the eyebrows or the forehead or at the nape of the neck and only on the exterior" (1214).

Dr. Millingen--brought in as a consultant-- agrees with Dr. Bruno that Byron should be bled, but Byron opposes the procedure.

April 14 Byron leaves his bed, but remains weak, and now suffers from delirium.

Fletcher begs Byron to send to Zante for Dr. Thomas, but Drs. Millingen and Bruno insist Byron would improve if bled. Byron refuses.

The weather continues to thwart travels to Zante.

April 15 Byron remains feverish, but his headaches and joint pain have subsided.

At noon, the doctors demand bleeding, having diagnosed Byron's illness as rheumatic fever. Byron continues to refuse.

That night, Byron begins coughing and vomiting, and he agrees to be bled the next morning.

April 16 When the doctors arrive to bleed him, Byron's fever has subsided enough to not warrant the procedure.

But, according to Bruno's records, the doctors remove a "full pound" of blood in the morning and another two hours later.

April 18,
6 p.m.
Fletcher hears Byron say, "I want to sleep now" as he falls into a coma.
April 19,
6 p.m.
Byron dies.

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Published @ RC

November 2000

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