The Byron Chronology



1788            Byron is born on 22 January in London to Catherine Gordon, a Scottish heiress, and Captain John 'Mad Jack' Byron.  He is officially named George Noel Gordon, for - as part of the marriage settlement - his father took his mother's family name.

1790            Byron is taken by his mother to Aberdeen, Scotland.  They live above a perfumers' shop.  His father is mostly absent, returning occasionally to beg money from his wife.  Byron and his mother are destitute.

1791            Byron's father dies in France, possibly a suicide.

1793            Byron enters his first school, in Aberdeen.

1794-95       He attends Aberdeen Grammar School.  In 1794, on the death of his great uncle, he becomes heir to the title Baron Byron of Rochdale.

1798            He is titled Lord Byron and moves with his mother to Newstead Abbey, ancestral home of the Byrons.

1801-05       Byron attends Harrow School.  In 1803, he falls his love with Mary Chaworth, his neighbor at Newstead.  She rejects him.

1805            Byron enters Trinity College, Cambridge.  He is popular and makes several devoted friends.

1806            His first volume of poems, Fugitive Pieces, is privately printed.  Upon the Reverend John Beecher's objections to some of the poems, Byron withdraws the volume.

1807          Poems on Various Occasions, an expurgated version of Fugitive Pieces, is privately printed.  Later in the year the volume appears in a public printing as Hours of Idleness.  On 13 March, Byron takes his seat in the House of Lords.

1808          Hours of Idleness receives a scathing critique in the Edinburgh Review.  On 4 July, Byron receives his A.M. degree from Cambridge.

1809            Byron responds to bad reviews with English Bards and Scotch Reviewers.  On 2 July, he sails from Falmouth for Lisbon with his friend John Cam Hobhouse.  They travel through Portugal, Spain, Malta, and Albania, reaching Athens at the end of the year.  Byron writes the first Canto of "Childe Burun" (later Childe Harold's Pilgrimage).

1810            Continues to travel through Greece and Turkey.  On 3 May, Byron imitates Leander and swims the Hellespont from Sestos to Abydos.  He writes the second canto of "Childe Burun".

1811            Byron returns to England on 14 July.  His mother dies soon after, as does his friend John Edleston ("Thyrza").

1812            Byron delivers speeches in the House of Lords.  Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, cantos I and II, published in March.  Byron meets his future wife for the first time.  He has a scandalous affair with Lady Caroline Lamb.  He has another affair with the countess of Oxford.  He has another affair with Lady Webster.

1813            Publication of The Giaour (June) and The Bride of Abydos (December).  Some biographers believe he begins an affair with his half sister, Augusta Leigh, but the 'evidence' is nebulous.

1814            Publication of The Corsair (January) and Lara (August).  Augusta's daughter, Elizabeth Medora, is born and later claims Byron is her father.  Byron becomes engaged to Annabella Milbanke.

1815            Byron marries Annabella on 2 January.  Publication of Hebrew Melodies.  Daughter, Augusta Ada, born to Byron and Annabella on 10 December.

1816            Byron's wife leaves him in January.  The Siege of Corinth and Parisina are published in February.  In April the separation from his wife is formalized.  Byron leaves England forever on 24 April.  Arriving in Geneva, he befriends Percy and Mary Shelley and Claire Clairmont, spends the summer with them, and has an affair with Claire.  He then travels to Venice and has an affair with Marianna Segati, his landlord's wife.  At the end of the year, Childe Harold canto III and The Prisoner of Chillon are published.

1817            Byron's daughter, Allegra, is born to Claire Clairmont on 12 January.  Byron travels to Rome with Hobhouse and returns to settle in Venice.  He has an affair with Margarita Cogni, wife of a Venetian baker.  He sells Newstead Abbey.  Manfred is published in June.

1818           Beppo (satire in the ottava rima of Don Juan) is published in February.  The Shelleys come to Italy and are with Byron from March to November.  Childe Harold canto IV published in April.  Byron's daughter Allegra comes to Venice.  She is eventually sent to a convent.

1819            Byron begins an affair with the married Countess Teresa Guiccioli.  Mazeppa is published in June, Don Juan cantos I and II in July.  Byron moves to Ravenna at the end of the year to be near Teresa.

1820            Byron lives in the Guiccioli palace with his daughter Allegra, Teresa and her husband.  He becomes involved in the Carbonari movement, the Italian revolution against Austrian rule.  Teresa and her husband officially separate in July.

1821            Teresa's family, the Gambas, are banished to Pisa after the defeat of the Carbonari movement; Byron moves there with them.  Marino Faliero is published in April, Don Juan cantos III-V in August, Cain, The Two Foscari, and Sardanapalus in December.  Byron promises Teresa to discontinue Don Juan.

1822            Allegra dies in April.  Leigh Hunt moves to Byron's house in June, where they collaborate on the journal The Liberal.  Shelley is drowned 8 July in his boat, the Don Juan.  The Vision of Judgment appears in The Liberal in October.

1823           Don Juan cantos VI-XIV is published.  Byron sails for Greece, arriving at Missolonghi on 30 December.

1824            Byron catches a chill in the rain on April 9.  He dies at Missolonghi on 19 April.  Don Juan cantos XV and XVI are published in March.  In June, Byron is buried in Hucknall Torkard Church, near Newstead Abbey.  His memoirs, which he intended for publication after his death, are burned by a group of his friends.
 

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