Lord Byron
Born: 22 Jan, 1788
Died: 19 Apr, 1824
Field: Poet
Location in the Abbey: South transept, poets corner
Type of memorial: Stone

The memorial stone to George, 6th Baron Byron in Poets' Corner Westminster Abbey was given by the Poetry Society and unveiled on 8 May 1969. It adjoins the memorials to Dylan Thomas, Lewis Carroll and D.H.Lawrence. The white marble stone is inlaid with gold Sienna marble lettering and reads:

"LORD BYRON Died 19 April 1824 aged 36 at Missolonghi, Greece.

But there is that within me which shall tire

Torture and Time, and breathe when I expire"

He was born on 22 January 1788 in London, son of Captain John Byron (known as Mad Jack) and his second wife Catherine (Gordon). His ancestor had been rewarded for services to Henry VIII with the gift of Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire. His best known poems are probably Childe Harold and Don Juan. After the success of the former work he recalled "I awoke one morning and found myself famous". He had various liasons, notably with Lady Caroline Lamb who wrote that he was "Mad, bad and dangerous to know". But he married Annabella Milbanke.  When his marriage failed in 1816 he lived abroad. In 1823 he joined the Greek insurgents but died there of fever. At the request of his family his body was returned to England and is buried in his family vault at Hucknall Torkard in Nottinghamshire, near Newstead. The Dean of Westminster refused burial in the Abbey.  For many years the open profligacy of his life prevented his commemoration in the Abbey.

 A photo of the memorial can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

A memorial to his beloved dog Boatswain (pronounced bo'sun) is at Newstead Abbey, his ancestral home.

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