Biography of Lord Byron

(c) Newstead Abbey; Supplied by The Public Catalogue FoundationFast Facts: Lord Byron

  • Occupation: English poet, romanticist
  • Born: 22 January 1788 in London, England
  • Died: 19 April 1824 in Missolonghi, Ottoman Empire
  • Parents: Captain John “Mad Jack” Byron and Catherine Gordon
  • Education: Trinity College, Cambridge
  • Publish Works: Hours of Idleness; Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, She Walks in Beauty, Don Juan
  • Spouse: Anne Isabella Milbanke
  • Children: Ada Lovelace and Allegra Byron
  • Famous Quote: “There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less but Nature more.”

Early Life

Lord Byron was born in 1788 in London under the full name George Gordon Noel, sixth Baron Byron. He was raised in Aberdeen, Scotland, by his mother after his father fled the family and died in 1791 in France. Byron inherited his title at the age of 10, though he later adopted his mother-in-law’s family name, Noel, in order to inherit half of her estate.

Byron’s mother was prone to mood swings and heavy drinking. Due to mistreatment by his mother coupled with a deformed foot and an uneven temper, Byron lacked discipline and structure in his formative years.

He was educated at Harrow School in London, followed by Trinity College at Cambridge, though he spent most of his time at the latter engaging in sexual relationships and sporting activities. It was during this time that he began writing and publishing works.

Marriage, Affairs, and Children

Lord Byron first showed his affections for a distant cousin who indulged him for a while before rejecting his affections. In subsequent years, Byron had promiscuous affairs with many women, including Lady Caroline Lamb, Lady Oxford, and his half-sister, Augusta Leigh, who later gave birth to a daughter widely considered to be Byron’s.

Lord Byron married Anne Isabella Milbanke in January 1815, and the following year she gave birth to a daughter, Augusta Ada (later Ada Lovelace). Shortly after the birth of their daughter, Lord and Lady Byron separated, with Anne Isabella indicating the cause to be his incestual relations with his half-sister.

During this time, Lord Byron developed a close relationship with Percy and Mary Shelley and Mary’s sister Claire Clairmont, who also had a daughter with Byron called Allegra.


After completing his education at Cambridge, Lord Byron embarked on a two-year journey across Spain, Portugal, Malta, Albania, and Greece, from which he drew inspiration for Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. After Byron finalized the separation from his wife, he left England permanently for Switzerland, where he spent time with the Shelleys.

He went on to travel across Italy engaging in promiscuous affairs, writing and publishing work along the way. He spent six years in Italy, where he wrote and released Don Juan.

In 1823, Lord Byron was asked to assist in the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire. He sold his estate in England to raise money for the Greek cause, part of which he used to enable a fleet of ships to sail to Missolonghi, where he planned to help attack the Turks.


While in Missolonghi, Lord Byron contracted a fever and died at the age of 36. His heart was removed and buried in Missolonghi, and his body was returned to England. His burial at Westminster Abbey was denied, so Byron was buried in his family tomb in Newstead. He was deeply mourned in England and in Greece.

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