Study Guide

Lord Byron Timeline

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Jan 22, 1788

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.

Dec 19, 1790

Moves to Scotland

The impoverished family moves to Aberdeen, Scotland. Soon after, Mad Jack leaves the family and goes to France with a mistress.

Aug 2, 1791

Father Dies

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.

May 19, 1798

Becomes Baron

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.

Aug 1, 1798

Moves to England

The newly-appointed young baron and his mother move from Aberdeen to the Newstead Abbey, the Byron family home, in England.

Dec 19, 2019

Mother Denied Visits

Byron's mother Catherine is denied visitation rights to Byron's boarding school after disruptive outbursts on previous visits.

Apr 1, 1801

Enters Harrow

Byron enters Harrow, a boys' boarding school in Middlesex.

Sep 1, 1803

First Love

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.

Oct 1, 1805

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.

Dec 19, 2019

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.

Dec 19, 2019


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.

Jul 2, 1809

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.

May 1, 1811

Returns to England

Byron sails back to England after concluding his tour in Malta, depressed and broke.

Aug 1, 1811

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.

Dec 19, 2019

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.

Dec 19, 2019

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.

Jan 1, 1814

The Corsair

Byron publishes his poem The Corsair. The semi-autobiographical poem is a bestseller.

Apr 15, 1814

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.

Jan 2, 1815


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.

Dec 10, 1815

Daughter Born

Annabella gives birth to the couple's only child, Augusta Ada.

Jan 16, 1816

Wife Leaves

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.

Jun 1, 1816

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.

Jan 12, 1817

Daughter Born

Claire Clairmont gives birth to Byron's daughter, Clara Allegra. Desperate for cash, Byron sells Newstead Abbey and publishes the poem Manfred.

Dec 19, 2019

Countess Guiccioli

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.

Apr 20, 1822

Daughter Allegra Dies

Allegra Byron dies of fever at the convent in Italy where Byron has placed her.

Jul 8, 1822

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.

Dec 19, 2019

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.

Apr 9, 1824

Falls Ill

Byron contracts a fever that grows progressively worse. Doctors bleed him with leeches as he slips in and out of consciousness.

Apr 19, 1824

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.

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