By Leslie A. Marchand

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Mrs. Byron, enjoying the drama of the occasion, asked what nobleman lived on the adjoining estate. "It was Lord Byron's, but he is dead," the woman at the gate replied. " the proud mother asked. " May Gray, now Mrs. · They had gone two miles along a road that passed forlorn stumps of once great oaks, and farms sadly run down, when they saw the gray walls of the old Abbey facing a lake. * . Swinging around the fountain, which had been removed by the earlier Byrons from the co'urt of the cloister and placed OUR MILES SOUTH OF * The Priory of Newstead had been founded by Henry 11, probably between JI63 and II73· The Canons Regular of the Order of St.

Rs. Baillie and Laurie had devised a shoe for him with a brace round the ankle and they continued to bandage the foot. Hanson had secured from the Court of Chancery a grant of £soo a ye~r for Byron's education, payable in quarterly installments to his mother, whose pension from the Civil List was reduced from Harrow and the Hills of Annesley 25 £300 to £2oo. As her son's expenses increased and his lavish habits grew, his mother's financial difficulties became acute. At Harrow, Byron was careless and neglected to wear the brace on his foot.

They used to dive for shillings in a deep pool of the Cam. They passed the evenings with music, for Long played the flute and violoncello. Riding out to the weir above Grantchester (still called Byron's Pool today) with Long, Byron could escape the depression of spirits that followed the nightly carousings with his too convivial companions. But even among them he stole time to read. It was in the rooms of William Bankes, "father of all mischiefs," that he first read the poetry of Waiter Scott. "I took my gradations in the vices with great promptitude," he later wrote, "but they were not to my taste; for my early passions, though violent in the extreme, were concentrated, and hated division oi: spreading abroad.

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