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773

775

SOME ACCOUNT

OF THE

LIFE AND W R I TI NG S

OP

LORD BY R O N. 3

Tux ancestry of the noble Poet, a complete edition of whose works is now for the first time presented to the public, forms a very trifling element in that character which he has left behind him; but as every thing relative to such a man has a certain degree of interest, it may not be amiss to take 1 line through the family-succession since the Conquest. At that time there were two powerful Barons of the name, Ernest, who had extensive demains in the Counties of York and Lincoln, and Ralph, whose possessions by in Nottingham and Derby, and who was the direct ancestor of the subject of the present memoir. The two successors of Ralph were both named Hugh; they were great benefactors of the Church, and the last of them retired from the world, and led a monastic life. Roger succeeded to the second Hugh, and was in his turn succeeded by Robert, who eariched the family by marrying Cecilia, only daughter of Sir Richard Clayton, of Clayton in the County of Lancaster. This happened in the reign of Henry the Second; and from that period, till the time of Henry the Eighth, Clayton continued to be the family-residence of the Byrons. The fortunate Sir Robert was succeeded by a son of the same name, these two sons again were eminently distinguished for bravery in the Fars carried on by Edward the First. Sir John, the elder of these Barriors, became governor of the castle of York; and his son, also Sir Joha, distinguished himself in the wars in France under Edward the Third,

whom he was knighted at the siege of Calais. This Sir John dying without issue, was succeeded by Sir Richard, and he again by another Sir John, who fought under Henry the Fifth, and received the honour of knighthood as a reward for his valour. His youngest son succeeded him, tad was succeeded by another Sir John, who, dissatisfied at the conduct

Richard the Third, was among the first that joined Richmond upon w landing at Milford. He displayed great bravery at the decisive battle

Bosworth. His prowess was not unrewarded, for Henry bestowed upon in the offices of Constable of the castle of Nottingham, and steward and Sarden of Sherwood Forest. Having no family, the lands descended to

brother Nicholas. It had been through barons or knights of the name John, that the family had hitherto been chiefly enriched and ennobled; w in the reign of Henry the Eighth, another Sir John was made steward

Manchester and Rochdale, and lieutenant of the Forest of Sherwood. Ilus Sir John was a great favourite with Henry, supporting him warmly all his measures, and entering fully into all his views, both in his change of religion and his changes of queens. In return for this, wher the lands of the church came to be divided, he was not forgotten. The church and abbey of Newstead, with the manor of Papelham, and the rectory, with the adjoining lands, were given to him. Newstead Abbey was a foundation for regular canons of the Augustine order; its situation was beautiful, and its riches considerable. Sir John, the son of this expeller of the canons, and regainer back from the church of a good deal more than his ancestors had ever bestowed upon it, was high in favou with Elizabeth; and his son, Sir Nicholas, having gained much military skill in the wars in the Netherlands, was, if not of ultimate service to Charles, at least one of the first, firmest and boldest supporters of the royal cause, upon the breaking out of the civil war. In consideration of his services at the battle of Edgehill, he was made governor of Chester and he defended that city against the Parliament-army for a considerable time. Sir John, son of the younger brother of this Sir Nicholas, was also a zealous royalist. He had been knighted by James at his coronation and was appointed governor of the Tower, after the Commons had denounced Colonel Lunsford ; in this situation he showed a great deal of firmness He afterwards became an equally zealous and more fortunate partisan than his uncle Sir Nicholas. After the battle of Newbury, in which he played a very conspicuous part, he was, on the 24th of October 1643 created Baron Byron, of Rochdale, and appointed field-marshal of all the king's troops in Worcester, Salop, Cheshire, and North Wales. His uncle having been taken by the Parliament forces, he was appointed governo of Chester; and having defeated Sir Thomas Fairfax, and performed some other services of importance, he was so hated by the Parliament, tha they passed a special act, exempting him from pardon, and confiscating his property. The king, however, in the meantime appointed him governo to the Duke of York (afterwards James the Second), with whom he effected his escape to Holland. From Holland he passed into Flanders with his royal pupil, and was in the army of Marshal Turenne. He died at Paris, in 1652, without issue, and was succeeded in his titles and estates by his brother Richard. This second Lord died in 1679, and was succeeded by William, the third Lord. William, the fourth Lord, wai thrice married, but his first lady died of the small pox, soon after thei marriage; and the three sons and daughters which he had by his second lady all died before him. William, his eldest son, by a third marriage was born in 1722, and succeeded him in 1736. He had been in the navy in his younger years, and was a man of considerable influence at court but being a man of ungovernable passions, he was, in 1765, sent to the Tower, under a charge of having killed his relation, Mr. Chaworth, in 1 duel, which took place under very peculiar circumstances, at the Sta and Garter Tavern, in Pall-Mall. The dispute which led to this fata catastrophe was begun and ended in the same room, and at the sain meeting, Lord Byron insisting that they should instantly settle it by th sword, and with such light as one glimmering candle afforded. Being th more expert swordsman of the two, his friend and neighbour received mortal wound, although he lived long enough to settle his own affairs and supply such information as led the Coroners jury to return a verdie of wilful murder against his lordship. The trial, which excited an immers degree of public interest at the time, came on at Westminster-Hall, befor the peers. It lasted two days, and ended by an unanimous sentence a manslaughter, pronounced by upwards of two hundred and fifty member

the upper house. Upon being brought up for judgment, he pleade

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