Byron, George Gordon Noel, 6th Baron Byron of Rochdale (1788-1824)

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Holograph manuscripts, 1816-1875. SL V 6 is Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto III copied by Mary Godwin with correspondence regarding the custodial history of Godwin's manuscript. SL V 7 is Don Juan , third canto. SL V 8 is Don Juan , tenth, eleventh and twelfth cantos. SL V 9 is Don Juan , seventeenth canto.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Gordon Noel Byron was born in London on 22 January 1788. At the age of ten, he inherited his great uncle William's barony to become the 6th Baron of Rochdale. Byron was educated at Harrow School 1801-1805 and Trinity College Cambridge, 1805-1808; where he received a Master of Arts degree. Whilst at Cambridge, Byron had several poetry books and other works printed and published. On leaving Cambridge, he settled in Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire, the ancestral home of the Byrons. He took his seat in the House of Lords on the 13 March 1809 and later that year he began a tour of the Mediterranean and the Near East (1809-1811).

In 1812 Byron published Childe Harold's Pilgrimage Canto I and II and made his maiden speech at the House of Lords. In April 1816 he left England for the continent and spent nearly seven years travelling and writing in Italy. While in Italy he wrote Don Juan , which was published in several parts between 1818-1822. Byron sailed for Greece in July 1823, to help that country in its war for independence. In April 1824 Byron fell ill and died in Missolonghi, Greece.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to archive collections may be restricted under the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Other Finding Aids

University of London Library, The Sterling library: a catalogue of the printed books and literary manuscripts collected by Sir Louis Sterling and presented by him to the University of London , Cambridge, (1954).

Archivist's Note

Separated Material

The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center Library, University of Texas at Austin, USA, holds correspondence, literary manuscripts and papers (Ref: NUC MS 71-1900); the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, USA, has correspondence, literary manuscripts, and papers (Ref: NUC MS 84-2138); the British Library, London, contains Cantos VI-VII of 'Don Juan', 1822 (Ref: Ashley 5163), letters and notebooks (Ref: loan 70), correspondence and papers relating to his separation from his wife, 1816, deeds (Ref: Add Ch 72100-030, accounts relating to Newstead Abbey and Rochdale Manor, 1802-1806 (Ref: Add MS 62910), papers of his secretary, Antonio Zambelli (Ref: Add MSS 46871-82), letters to John Hanson (Ref: Eg MS 2611), correspondence with Henry Richard Vassall Fox, 3rd Baron Holland, 1812-1823 (Ref: Add MS 51639), letters to John Cam Hobhouse, Baron Broughton, and the Rt Hon Douglas James William Kinnaird, 1816-1818 (Ref: Add MS 42093), correspondence with Elizabeth Lamb, Lady Melbourne, 1812-1815 (Ref: Add MS 45547), letters to John Murray, 1813-1822 (Ref: Ashley Collection), and letters from G Gropius, 1812-1814 (Ref: Add MS 43230); the Beinecke Library, Yale University, holds papers; Keats House, London, has manuscripts; the National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, contains manuscripts of verses and letters to James Henry Leigh Hunt (Ref: Forster Collection); the Huntington Library, California, USA, holds letters and literary manuscripts, 1805-1824; Balliol College Library, Oxford University, has a manuscript of the 'Monk of Athens'; The King's School, Canterbury, contains a pocketbook, 1808; the Royal Academy of Arts, London, holds correspondence with Sir Thomas Lawrence (Ref: LAW); the Vaughan Library, Harrow School, has letters and memorabilia; the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, contains verse, papers and correspondence, 1804-1822 (Ref: Dep Lovelace Byron); the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, holds letters to Edward Ellice, 1809-1823 (Ref: MS 15007 ff108-120); University College London has letters to Samuel Rogers, 1812-1821 (Ref: Sharpe papers).

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.