Lord Byron Timeline
How It All Went Down
Lord Byron Born
George Gordon Byron is born in London as the only child of Captain John "Mad Jack" Byron and Catherine Gordon. He is born with one deformed foot.
Moves to Scotland
The impoverished family moves to Aberdeen, Scotland. Soon after, Mad Jack leaves the family and goes to France with a mistress.
Byron's father, Captain "Mad Jack" Byron, dies of consumption (tuberculosis) in France after abandoning his family. In his will he declares his three-year-old son financially responsible for his debts.
Byron's uncle, the "Wicked Lord" William Byron, dies. Ten-year-old George Gordon Byron becomes the 6th Baron Byron. The family is instantly elevated from poverty to nobility.
Moves to England
The newly-appointed young baron and his mother move from Aberdeen to the Newstead Abbey, the Byron family home, in England.
Mother Denied Visits
Byron's mother Catherine is denied visitation rights to Byron's boarding school after disruptive outbursts on previous visits.
Byron enters Harrow, a boys' boarding school in Middlesex.
While home for the summer holiday, Byron falls in love with his cousin Mary Chaworth. He refuses to return to Harrow and withdraws for a few months to be closer to her.
Goes to Cambridge
Byron enrolls at Trinity College at Cambridge. He is instantly popular, spending more time socializing, drinking, gambling and spending money than studying. He is crushed to learn that his first love, Mary Chaworth, has married someone else.
First Poetry Published
Byron's first book of poetry, Fugitive Pieces, is published. An edited version is published the following year as Hours of Idleness.
Byron receives his degree from Cambridge. Shortly after, he fathers his first illegitimate child with one of the maids at Newstead Abbey. He provides an annual stipend for the mother and child.
Sails for Europe
After publishing the scathing satire British Bards and Scotch Reviewers, Byron sails to Europe for a two-year tour of the Continent. An entourage of friends and advisors accompany him. During the trip he writes the first two cantos of his major poem, Childe Harold.
Returns to England
Byron sails back to England after concluding his tour in Malta, depressed and broke.
Mother, Lover Die
Byron's mother Catherine Gordon dies. Soon after, he receives a letter informing him that a former lover, John Edleston, died of consumption while Byron was traveling in Europe. Byron is grief-stricken.
Speeches and Publication
Byron becomes famous with the publication of his poem Childe Harold. He also appears before the House of Lords to give his first speech as a member of Parliament. His mistresses of the time include Lady Caroline Lamb and the Countess of Oxford.
Poems and a Scandalous Affair
Byron's half-sister Augusta Leigh arrives in London to stay with him while her husband and three children holiday elsewhere. She and Byron grow extremely close, beginning what many believe was an incestuous relationship. He publishes the poems Giaour and The Bride of Abydos.
Byron publishes his poem The Corsair. The semi-autobiographical poem is a bestseller.
Child Born, Possibly Byron's
Byron's half-sister Augusta Leigh gives birth to a daughter named Elizabeth Medora Leigh. It is widely speculated that Byron is the father.
Lord Byron marries Anne Isabella "Annabella" Milbanke. Almost immediately after their marriage he takes his wife to visit Augusta Leigh, whose husband is away. During the 15-day visit, Annabella sleeps alone in a guest room while Byron and his half-sister share the master bedroom.
Annabella gives birth to the couple's only child, Augusta Ada.
After a miserable year-long marriage, Lady Byron takes her infant daughter and leaves Lord Byron. They are formally separated three months later. Soon after the split, Byron's poems The Siege of Corinth and Parisina are published.
Sails to Europe
With his finances a wreck and his reputation shattered following Annabella's accusations of abuse and incest, Byron quits England for good and sails for Europe. He arrives in Geneva to spend the summer with his new lover, an Englishwoman named Claire Clairmont, and her half-sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley and Byron become friends.
Claire Clairmont gives birth to Byron's daughter, Clara Allegra. Desperate for cash, Byron sells Newstead Abbey and publishes the poem Manfred.
Byron begins an affair with the married Countess Teresa Guiccioli and moves in with her in Ravenna. He publishes the first two cantos of Don Juan.
Daughter Allegra Dies
Allegra Byron dies of fever at the convent in Italy where Byron has placed her.
Percy Bysshe Shelley Dies
Percy Shelley drowns in the Gulf of Spezia while sailing with a friend. Byron, Leigh Hunt and Edward John Trelawny preside over his cremation on the shore.
Sails for Greece
After publishing the remaining cantos of Don Juan, Byron travels to Greece to assist the Greeks in their revolution against Turkish rule.
Byron contracts a fever that grows progressively worse. Doctors bleed him with leeches as he slips in and out of consciousness.
Lord Byron Dies
Byron dies of fever in Missolonghi, Greece at the age of 36. His body is returned to England and he is buried near Newstead Abbey. To protect his legacy, his friends burn the memoirs that he left for posthumous publication.