Catherine Byron Letters
Correspondence from the John Murray Archive, 1788-1811 edited by Andrew Wimbish and David Hill Radcliffe

CHRONOLOGY LETTERS PERSONS INDEX TERMS's_Seats_of_Noblemen_and_Gentlemen_(1880).JPG

What is the Catherine Byron Letters project?

Catherine Byron Letters consists of letters now at the John Murray Archive to and from Catherine Byron and her solicitor, John Hanson, with additional correspondence related to Mrs Byron. The archive consists of 97 letters written between 1788, the time of Lord Byron's birth, and 1811, the time of Catherine Byron's death. The letters chronicle Mrs. Byron's precarious financial situation as she attempted to manage the affairs of her reckless husband and spendthrift son. Most are concerned with Byron's education and the management of Newstead Abbey; the later letters give a dramatic account of the struggles of Mrs Byron and John Hanson to manage the mountain of debt Lord Byron left behind on his first journey to Greece.

The project includes the letters themselves, an index of persons, and a chronology listing life events and summaries of correspondence. The letters are given in a literal transcription with punctuation added in gray brackets and notes for persons and terms mentioned in the correspondence. These letters amount to a substantial fraction of Catherine Byron's surviving correspondence and many appear for the first time in their entirety.

To access the site's contents, select either LETTERS or CHRONOLOGY.

Alphabetical list of correspondents: Margaret Keith Abercromby (1754-1831); John Birch (d. 1812); Catherine Byron (1764-1811); George Gordon Byron, sixth baron Byron (1788-1824); John Byron (1756-1791); William Cavendish, fifth duke of Devonshire (1748-1811); William Henry Cavendish Cavendish-Bentinck, third duke of Portland (1738-1809); John Hanson (1755-1841); John Laurie (1756-1830); Frances Leigh (1749 c.-1823); Elizabeth Hawksmore Massingberd (1777-1840); John Musters (1777-1849); Margaret Pigot (1750 c.-1811 fl.); James Watson (1747-1805).

This project originated as a 2016 Virginia Tech M.A. thesis by Andrew Wimbish directed by David Hill Radcliffe. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of David McClay, director of the John Murray Archive at the National Library of Scotland.