Poet. 6th Baron Byron of Rochdale. Born the son of Captain John 'Mad Jack' Byron and his second wife, Catherine Gordon. He succeeded to the title of 6th Baron Byron of Rochdale, in May 1798. At 13, he enrolled in Harrow School in London; then in 1805, Trinity College, Cambridge. He wrote 'Poems on Various Occasions,' (1807) and 'Hours of Idleness' (1807). In March 1809, he took his seat in the House of Lords. He published 'English Bards and Scotch Reviewers' (1809); 'Hints from Horace' (1811); 'The Curse of Minerva' (1812). Hethen embarked on a grand tour, visiting Portugal, Spain, Malta, Albania, Greece, and Turkey. It was during his journey he wrote the first cantos for 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage,' the work that made his reputation. Upon his return to England, in February 1812, he made his first of only three speeches to the House of Lords, for which he won praise. It was followed by the publication of 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.' He then entered into an affair with Lady Caroline Lamb that was so indiscreet, it shocked London society; another affair followed, and eventually he fled the city to avoid the scandel. A series of poems such as 'The Giaour,' 'The Bride of Abydos,' and 'The Corsair' followed. 1815 saw the publication of 'Hebrew Melodies' which included 'She Walks in Beauty.' He then married Anne Isabella Noel, Baroness Wentworth; after which he legally changed his name to George Gordon Noel Byron. They had one daughter, Augusta Ada, before permanently separating the following year. 'The Prisoner of Chillon and Other Poems', and 'The Siege of Corinth' were published in 1816, and he was invested as a Fellow, Royal Society that year. That spring, however, he left England, again fleeing scandal and debt, and traveled to Geneva, where he famously met John Polidori, Percy Shelley, Mary Godwin, and Claire Clairmont, with whom he had entered an affair. From Geneva he traveled to Italy, where he wrote 'The Lament of Tasso,' (1817); 'Beppo' (1818), 'Mazeppa' (1819); and 'Don Juan: In Sixteen Cantos' published between 1819 and 1824. In 1821, he involved himself with Carbonarist nationalists in Italy. 'The Prophecy of Dante, ' Marino Faliero' and 'The Two Foscari,' were published that same year, followed by 'The Vision of Judgement' (1822) and 'The Island' (1823). In 1823, he paid to refit the Greek fleet after he fell in with the Greek Committee for the liberation of Greece from the Ottoman Empire. He took personal command of a Greek military unit, the so-called 'Byron brigade,' before falling ill. Bleeding weakened him further, and likely introduced infection, as a high fever developed. He died four days later, and his body was returned to England only to be denied burial at Westminster Abbey due to concerns over his morality. He was interred instead at the family seat in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire where thousands were said to have attended the funeral procession. In 1969, a memorial floor stone was at last installed in Westminster Abbey's Poets' Corner.
Bio by: Iola