Literary Locations: Byron's House, Nottingham

John Baird
Wed 2 Aug, 2017

In the first in a regular series, we find the odd nooks and crannies around Notts that ooze literary history.

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Byron came to live here on St. James Street in 1798, aged ten, staying with the Parkyns family. It was in this year that George Gordon inherited the title Lord Byron. He lived there as he was receiving treatment from the nearby General Hospital. The surgeon, John Lavender, attempted to repair Byron’s deformed foot with the use of a vice. The treatment was as useless as it was painful. The ‘surgeon’ wasn’t even qualified; he made his living making surgical appliances.

During his time here, Byron was looked after by a Mrs. Gray. When she wasn’t out drinking or leaving Byron home alone, she would often beat him. It is also likely that he would have been exposed to sexual acts as Gray was known to bring dubious company back to the apartment.

It is said that Byron wrote his first verses here before moving to his ancestral home Newstead Abbey.

Byron House

Newstead House is at 76 St. James Street, Nottingham, NG1 6FJ.

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