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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 8.djvu/32

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[CHAP. I.
CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOL.

selling them; if he has not, no one will buy them from him. You know Lord Byron. Do you think he will do anything for George, or be at any expense to give him a proper education; or, if he wish to do it, is his present fortune such a one that he could spare anything out of it? You know how poor I am, not that I mean to ask him to do anything for him, that is to say, to be of any expense on his account." If any application was made to the boy's great-uncle, it was unsuccessful. On May 19, 1798, Lord Byron died, and Hanson informed Mrs. Byron that her son had succeeded to the title and estates. At the end of the summer of that year, the little Lord Byron, with his mother and the nurse May Gray, reached Newstead, and, within a few weeks from their arrival, his first letter was written. His letters to his mother, it may be observed, are always addressed to "the Honourable Mrs. Byron," a title to which she had no claim.


I.—To Mrs. Parker.[1]

Newstead Abbey, Nov, 8th, 1798.

Dear Madam,—My Mamma being unable to write herself desires I will let you know that the potatoes are

  1. ↑ This letter, the first that Byron wrote, was written when he was ten years and ten months old. It is preserved in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge, and a facsimile is given by Elze, in his Life of Lord Byron.

    It is apparently addressed to his aunt, Mrs. Parker. Charlotte Augusta Byron, daughter of Admiral the Hon. John Byron, married Christopher Parker (1761-1804), Vice-Admiral 1804, the son of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Peter Parker, Bart. (1721-1811). Her son, who, on the death of his grandfather, succeeded to the baronetcy as Sir Peter Parker, second Bart. (1786-1814), commanded H.M.S. Menelaus, and was killed in an attack on a body of American militia encamped near Baltimore. (See Byron's "Elegy on the Death of Sir Peter Parker," and his letter to Moore, October 7,