I beg it as a favour that you will come up soon from Newstead as the Holidays commence in three weeks Time. I congratulate you on Capt. Hanson's being appointed commander of The Brazen Sloop of War, and I congratulate myself on Lord Portsmouth's Marriage, hoping
- Captain James Hanson, R.N., was the brother of John Hanson to whom the letter is written. Byron was born with a caul, prized by sailors as a preservative from drowning. The caul was sold by Mrs. Mills, the nurse who attended Mrs. Byron in January, 1788, to Captain Hanson. In January, 1800, Captain Hanson, in command of H.M.S. Brazen, had captured a French vessel, which he sent to Portsmouth with a prize crew. On the 26th of the month, while shorthanded, he was caught in a storm off Newhaven. The Brazen foundered, and Captain Hanson with all his men, except one, were drowned.
- In the late autumn of 1799 Lord Portsmouth was staying with the Hansons before his marriage (November 23, 1799) with Miss Norton, sister of Lord Grantley. In rough play he pinched Byron's
employed by Mrs. Byron to watch the interests of her son, who in 1794 had become heir-presumptive to his great-uncle. It was Hanson who, in the summer of 1798, communicated the news of the death of Lord Byron to Mrs. Byron, and with his wife received her and her son at Newstead. From that time till the close of the minority, Hanson was intimately associated with Byron, both as a man of business and a friend. He selected Dr. Glennie's school for the boy, persuaded Lord Carlisle to become his guardian, introduced the ward to Lord Carlisle, and entered him at Harrow. It was at his house in Earl's Court that Byron, for five years, spent a considerable part of his successive holidays. There he made acquaintance with Hanson's children—his sons Charles, Hargreaves (his contemporary at Harrow), and Newton, and his daughter, Mary Anne, who subsequently (March 7, 1814) married the Earl of Portsmouth, Byron giving her away. This letter was written by Byron a few weeks after he had gone to school at Dr. Glennie's, in Lordship Lane, Dulwich. He remained there from August, 1799, to April, 1801.
In a letter to Mrs. Byron, dated September 1, 1799, Hanson describes Dr. Glennie's "Academy," where he had shortly before left the boy:—
"I left my entertaining companion with Mr. Glennie last Thursday week, and I have since learnt from him that he is very comfortable and likes the situation. His schoolfellows are very fine youths, and their deportment does very great credit to their Preceptor. I succeeded in getting Lord Byron a separate room, and I am persuaded the greatest attention will be paid to him. Mr. Glennie is a Scotchman, has travelled a great deal, and seems every way qualified for his present situation."