CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 932
TitleCollection of correspondence relating to John and Catherine Byron, parents of poet George Gordon Byron
Extent1 file: 0.01 linear metres
Administrative HistoryJohn Byron (1756-1791), grandson of the fourth Baron Byron, took as his second wife on 12 or 13 May 1785 (1), Catherine (fl 1785-1811), eldest daughter of George Gordon of Gight, Aberdeenshire. He then assumed the surname of Gordon in addition to that of Byron (2) but in this correspondence the husband and wife are referred to as Mr. and Mrs. Byron and as Mr. and Mrs. Byron Gordon. Catherine Byron Gordon was born in Aberdeen and attended Aberdeen Grammar School.

[(1) Dictionary of National Biography and J. M. Bulloch, 'House of Gordon' (New Spalding Club, 1903) i. 123; (2) J. M. Bulloch, op. cit. i. 127.]

George Gordon Byron, 6th Lord Byron (1788-1824) attended Aberdeen Grammar School from 1794 to 1798. After receiving an M.A. in 1808 from Trinity College, Cambridge he travelled through southern Europe from 1809-1811 before eventually returning to London and completing ‘Childe Harold’, published in 1812. He married Anne Isabella Milbanke in 1815, although they separated soon after the birth of their only child, Augusta Ada. After further travels in Belgium and Switzerland, he had a second daughter, Allegra, with a Miss Clairmont in 1817. Before his death in 1824 he became involved in the Greek War of Independence (1821-1828) [see MS 1160 for further information].

[For further details relating to the life of Byron please see MS 2336.]
Custodial HistoryEdward Gordon Duff (fl 1914-1918), bibliographer, purchased these letters from a bookseller in Glasgow around the time of the First World War. Duff was a relation of the poet Lord Byron. He graduated MA from Oxford and was for a time Sandars Reader in Bibliography at Cambridge. The letters were seemingly acquired by the University Library in 1923, although not entered as an accession until August 1927. 1 file, 27 items.
DescriptionThis collection of letters relates mainly to the financial affairs of the parents of the poet George Gordon Byron, 6th Lord Byron, and cover the period January to April 1788, just before and after his birth in London in January 1788. They are written to, or by, James Watson, Writer to the Signet, Edinburgh who was the legal agent for Catherine Byron Gordon.
AppraisalThis material has been appraised in line with normal procedures.
AccrualsNone expected.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsThe records are available subject to the signed acceptance of the Department's access conditions.
Physical DescriptionThe 27 letters are all in a fair condition with the exception of MS 932/17, which requires repair.
Related MaterialMS 2336: George Gordon Byron: copy of epigram (1813).
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