Godfrey W Ferguson Papers

Scope and Content

Collection of research materials collected by Godfrey W. Ferguson (d. c 1939/40) of Belfast, President of the Belfast Literary Society (1922-23, 1934-35), concerning Anne Isabella Milbanke, Lady Byron (1792-1860), wife of the Romantic Poet, Lord George Gordon Byron (1788-1824), and, in particular, the controversy surrounding the breakdown of their marriage in 1816 and her descendants' attempts to defend her memory in later years. The collection consists of some 140 typescript copies of correspondence between Lady Byron's god-son, Hugh M. de Fellenberg Montgomery of Blessingbourne, Co. Tyrone (1844-1924), and members of the Milbanke family, 1921-24, typescript copies of letters, journal extracts and verse by Lady Byron, 1814-57, and newspaper cuttings and extracts relating to Lord Byron, 1920-39. The collection also contains copies of papers delivered by Ferguson to the Belfast Literary Society on the essayist and poet, Leigh Hunt (1784-1859) in 1910 and the Byron controversy in November 1934 and papers relating to the deposit of a small collection of Montgomery-Byron correspondence, 1814-18, at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in 1934.

Administrative / Biographical History

Belfast J.P. and President of the Belfast Literary Society, 1922-23 and 1934-5. d. c1939/40.

Access Information

Open to consultation


Description compiled by Clare McVeigh, entered by Deirdre Wildy, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

Hard copy listing available for consultation. See 'Calendar of Manuscripts Western and Oriental' for details (MS12). This calendar is available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to condition and copyright restrictions

Appraisal Information

The strength of the collection lies in material relating to Lady Byron, History and Literature.

Custodial History

It is unclear when this collection was deposited in the University Library by G.W. Ferguson or how Ferguson obtained copies of the material contained in it.



Related Material

Records of the Montgomery family (PRONI D.627; T.1089) Public Record Office Northern Ireland