Byron, Augusta Mary

NOBLEMAN (ENGLAND)
BORN 26 Jan 1784 - DIED 12 Oct 1851, Flag Court, St. James Palace, Middlesex
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (Catacombs B/Vault 29/Comp 2 of 4)

Half-sister of the poet Lord Byron (she was a daughter from the first marriage of Jack Byron with Amelia, Baroness Conyers). She was born in France. In 1807 she married her cousin Colonel George Leigh, who was a very helpless gentleman according to Byron. She had seven children. Around 1813 she almost certainly had an incestuous relationship with her half-brother and possibly the poet was the father of her daughter Elizabeth Medora.

In 1815 she became Lady of the Bedchamber to queen Charlotte and she met Byron for the last time on 14 April 1816, before he left England forever. Allthough she received a significant inheritance after he died in 1824 she was always pressed for money. Sometimes her children were in trouble and it is also possible that she was blackmailed because of her affair with her half-brother.

In later years Byron's widow Annabella Milbanke would haunt Augusta with her sins. On 8 April 1851 Augusta and Annabella, who hadn't seen each other for twenty years, met for the last time. Annabella expected a confession that Byron hadn't returned to her because of Augusta and Augusta only wanted a reconciliation. On 26 April she wrote Annabella once more that she had never set the poet up against his wife. She died a few months afterwards.

Related persons
• was the lover of Byron, George Noel Gordon
• has a connection with Milbanke, Anna Isabella

Events
26/6/1813Augusta Leigh arrives in London for a visit to Byron. She had a good time with Byron and managed to cheer him up a little. Almost certainly they had an incestuous relation during the time she was under his roof and possibly the child that was born to her in 1814 was his. At the end of august she returned to her family in Newmarket. [Byron, George Noel Gordon ]
8/4/1816Lord Byron meets Benjamin Constant. It was at a party given by Lady Jersey. Augusta Leigh and John Hobhouse were present as well. Some of the guests avoided Byron, but Lady Jersey and Mercer Elphinstone were very kind to him. [Broughton, John Cam Hobhouse, Lord][Byron, George Noel Gordon ][Constant de Rebecque, Benjamin]
14/4/1816Byron sees his half sister Augusta for the last time. She left to return to her family and Byron had a feeling that he would never see her again. On 25 April he would leave England forever. [Byron, George Noel Gordon ]
19/4/1816Lord Byron signs the separation from Annabella Milbanke. He was forced to sign in order to avoid a court case in which he might be accused of homosexual relations and of incest with his halfsister Augusta Leigh. [Byron, George Noel Gordon ][Milbanke, Anna Isabella]
8/4/1851Last meeting between Lady Byron and Augusta Leigh. They met at the White Hart, Reigate Town. They hadn't seen each other for twenty years. Annabella expected a confession from Augusta that Byron had never returned to her because of Augusta. Augusta had not long to live and only wanted a reconciliation. Annabella detested Augusta allthough she pretended to act in her best interests. The meeting failed. On 26 April Augusta wrote once more to Annabella that she had never set up Byron against her. [Byron, George Noel Gordon ][Milbanke, Anna Isabella]

Sources
• Chapman, John S., Byron and the Honourable Augusta Leigh, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1975
• Gunn, Peter, My dearest Augusta, Bodley Head, London, 1968
• Marchand, Leslie A., Byron: a Biography, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1957
• Pierson, Joan, The Real Lady Byron, Robert Hale, London, 1992
Paths of Glory, The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, London, 1997
• Quennell, Peter, Byron, The Years of Fame - Byron in Italy, Collins, London, 1974


Byron, George Noel Gordon

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 4 Nov 2006