Lord Byron

On this date in 1788, poet George Gordon, Lord Byron was born in London. Byron became the toast of London after writing Childe Harold. He also wrote Don Juan, The Prisoner of Chillon and Cain, which was denounced from the pulpits. A classical deist, Byron refused to take the oath when seated in Parliament. He supported many liberal causes, including Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire, a cause for which he gave more than mere lip service.

Byron committed £4,000 of his personal fortune to upgrade the Greek navy and took charge of a group of Greek fighters in Missolonghi. Eulogized as a “soldier-poet of freedom” after dying in 1824 in Greece at age 36 of an infection now suspected to be malaria, the tempestuous Byron had so scandalized society that he was refused burial in Westminster Abbey.

PHOTO: Lord Byron in Albanian dress in 1813.

Freedom From Religion Foundation