Davies, Scrope Berdmore

BORN 1782, Horsley, Gloucestershire - DIED 23 May 1852, Paris
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Montmartre Cimetière, 20 Avenue Rachel (division 09)

Scrope Davies was the second son of Reverend Richard Davies (1747-1825), the vicar of Horshley. He was baptised on 1 Jan 1783. He was educated at Eton and at Cambridge, where he befriend the Young Lord Byron. During his exile in Italy, Byron would write many letters to Davies. Byron remarked of him and his otther friends that 'he always beat us in the battle of words, and his eloquence not only delighted us but held us together'.

Davies became a fellow of the university. But apart from a scholar he was also a dandy and he lived mostly in London. He inherited plantations with slaves in Jamaica from is father. In 1807 he supported the abolition of slavery but he was opposed to the release of current slaves.

He was a notorious gambler and kept records of his gambling strategies and his wins and losses. In 1818 he started an affair with Frances Webster, who had almost been Byron's lover in the past (but in his own words he 'spared her'). Eventually his gambling habits ruined him and in he was forced to go abroad to avoid his creditors. He lived In Ostend for a few years and later in Paris, sometimes visiting Brussels or London. He only had a small yearly allowance, but he didn't seem to mind his poverty and he met his friends at benches in the Tuileries. After his death in 1852 a certain John Lyons paid for his tomb at Montmartre Cemetery.

In 1976 a trunk full of papers was discovered in a vault at a bank in London. Davies had brought it himself to Ransom, Morland & Co in 1820 before he left England and it hadn't been touched ever since. It contained many note about his gambling but also many personal letters and manuscripts by Byron as well as two previously unknown sonnets by Shelley.

Related persons
• was a friend of Byron, George Noel Gordon
• was the lover of Webster Wedderburn, Frances


The grave of Scrope Davies at the Montmartre Cimetière, Paris.
Picture by Androom (05 Nov 2017)


The grave of Scrope Davies at the Montmartre Cimetière, Paris.
Picture by Androom (05 Nov 2017)


• Burnett, T.A.J., The Rise and Fall of a Regency Dandy, The Life and times of Scrope Davies, John Murray, London, 1981
• Chapman, John S., Byron and the Honourable Augusta Leigh, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1975

Davies, Walford

Published: 10 Nov 2017
Last update: 26 Aug 2018