Monday, 5 July 2010

On this day...

It is said that Lord Byron's body arrived in London in 1842. Although a member of the English aristocracy, Byron spent most of his years abroad, and indeed it was whilst in Greece that he died. A philhellene, alongside several other rich Europeans, Byron was dedicated to the fight for independence from the Ottoman Empire, and even spent £4,000 of his own money to refit the Greek fleet.

Such was the mourning when he died, that his heart, (or lungs depending on the sources), remained at Messolonghi, and so began a journey which could not have been further from Byron's final wish; 'Let not my body be hacked, or be sent to England.... Lay me in the first corner without pomp or nonsense'. For Byron's body, having been disassembled and then placed back together, was shipped to England  for a public burial, only for it to be refused from both Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral on grounds of 'questionable morality'. Therefore, Byron is buried at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Nottingham, next to Ada Lovelace, his child whom he never met.

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