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SOLD BY FRANÇOIS LOUIS,
AT HIS FRENCH AND ENGLISH LIBRARY,
AT THE FOREIGN LIBRARY,
RIGHT HONORABLE LORD BYRON.
THE family of Byron is very ancient, and has attached its name to the most illustrious periods of our History. The fields of Cressy and Azincourt witnessed their heroism, and were bedewed with their blood; and long anterior to these periods they had marched in triumph over those plains, which their not less illustrious descendant has since delighted to tread, in defence of the religion of their forefathers, under the Lion-Hearted Richard, whose glory and whose sufferings they shared.
The present noble Lord, in his « Adieu to Newstead Abbey,» appears to have been in possession of historical facts relative to his ancestors, which are unknown to genealogists; we are far from supposing them as the fiction of the poet, but at the same time we consider it a duty, that the noble Lord owes to his ancestors and himself, to give those genealogical facts not only the importance, but the form, of history.
The family of Byron came from Normandy with William the Conqueror, who rewarded it with large possessions in the counties of York and Lancaster. Our limits compel us to « leap
over the lapse of ages,» in order to arrive more speedily at the illustrious subject of this memoir, making merely, en passant, a few observations upon his Ancestry..
In 1540, Sir John Byron, Knight, received a grant of the Priory of Newstead and several manors depending on it; this place has ever since remained the family seat of the Byron family, until its recent sale by the present Lord.
In the unfortunate wars, during the reign of Charles I, the family of Byron displayed a rare adherence to the falling fortunes of their sovereign, four of them scaling that fidelity with their blood, at the battle of Marston Moor. There were eight brothers, John, the eldest of whom, was, as a small testimonial of the gratitude of the House of Stuart to the family of Byron, elevated to the Pecrage in 1643, under the name and title of Baron Byron, of Rochdale, in the county of Lancaster.
The father of the present lord married for his second wife, Catherine Gordon, (who was ineally descended from the earl of Huntley and Jane, daughter of James II, King of Scotland,) by whom he had issue the present or 6th Lord, who was born 22d January 1788, and succeeded to the title and estates on the demise of his great uncle, 19th May 1798.
It is a trite adage, that the life of an author is to be found in his works; this peculiarly applies to Lord Byron. His youth was, it is true, distinguished by a remarkable precocity