George Gordon, Lord Byron

  (1788 - 1824)

May Gray

After Byron's death, the lawyer, John Hanson, informed Byron's friend John Cam Hobhouse, of the lustful attentions of his (Byron's) nurse. Hobhouse writes later:

When nine years old at his mother's house a free Scotch girl used to come to bed to him and play tricks with his person.

And Byron writes in Detached Thoughts in 1821:

My passions were developed very early - so early, that few would believe me, if I were to state the period, and the facts which accompanied it.

John Hanson informed Byron's mother of May Gray's unacceptable conduct towards the young lord in a letter dated 1st September 1799 (11), suppressing his knowledge of the sexual play :

... her conduct towards your son while at Nottingham was shocking, and I was persuaded you needed but a hint of it to dismiss her... My honourable little companion (Byron) ... told me that she was perpetually beating him, and that his bones sometimes ached from it; that she brought all sorts of Company of the very lowest Description into his apartments; that she was out late at nights, and he was frequently left to put himself to bed; that she would take the Chaise-boys into the Chaise with her, and stopped at every little Ale-house to drink with them. But, Madam, this is not all, she has even --- traduced yourself. (Prothero, Rowland E (ed), The Works of Lord Byron, Letters and Journals, Vol I, p 17)

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