George Gordon, Lord Byron

  (1788 - 1824)

Newstead Abbey

Engraving of Newstead Abbey around 1790
Engraving of Newstead Abbey around 1790

Originally an Augustinian priory, Newstead was granted to Sir John Byron on 26th May 1540 by Henry VIII on the dissolution of the monasteries, and Sir John began the conversion of the building to a private residence. In the early eighteenth century, the fourth Lord Byron landscaped the grounds, and the fifth, Lord William Byron, known as the 'Wicked' Lord Byron, added various gothic follies, but pursued the ruin of the place after a dispute with his son concerning his elopement with his cousin, Juliana. This son, however, died in 1776, and, when Lord William's grandson died from a wound received by a connonball in Corsica in 1794, George Byron Gordon, the future poet, was left next of kin, and inherited the dilapidated estate in 1798 on the death of his great uncle.


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