Saturday, January 9, 2016

{64} Descendants of Hon. and Rev. Augustus Byron (1828-1907)

Hon. & Rev. Augustus Byron
As the younger son of a landless British baron in the early 19th-century, Augustus Byron needed to pursue a profession. He and his siblings grew up in the shadow of the family's most famous member, the Romantic poet Lord Byron (the 6th Baron), whose constant financial difficulties forced him to sell the family's seat, Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire, in 1818 while in exile in Italy. When Lord Byron died six years later, the title passed to his first cousin, Augustus's father George Anson Byron, a naval officer with no landed estate. Augustus attended Merton College at Oxford, where he studied law and medicine before eventually choosing to enter the Church. He obtained the rectory of Corton Denham, Somersetshire in 1852, then in 1861 transferred to the rectory of Kirkby Mallory in Leicestershire. The creativity that was the marked characteristic of Lord Byron also could be seen in Rev. Augustus. "Kirkby Mallory has lost probably the most remarkable rector it will ever have," his obituary begins. "His preaching was as interesting as his table-talk, and he found time both to work his parish, to be a good shot, a good rider, a first-rate fisherman, a cricketer, a yachtsman, a doctor, a farmer, an authority on flower-growing, a painter, a musician, and a poet" [Wells Journal, Thursday, August 1, 1907]. His grandson Aubrey Moore recalled in his 1982 autobiography A Son of the Rectory, "My maternal grandfather was a wonderful man...He was a splendid horseman and I was told it was a great sight to see him swing a team of four through Kirkby rectory gate."

Augustus William Byron, the only surviving son of Rev. Byron, was an equally colourful character. An officer in the Leicestershire Imperial Yeomanry, he fought in the Second Boer War 1899-1900, receiving a Queen's medal. He also received a hero's welcome on his return home to Edwinstowe House:
Lt. Augustus William Byron of the Leicestershire Imperial Yeomanry
[Image Anglo-Boer War website]
"In the morning it was made known that Mr. Byron and his servant, Geo. Graham, who has attended him under military conditions as soldier and servant throughout the South African War were to arrive by the 6-55 train. The result of this information was the assembly of a very large number of the residents of the village. A portion of the Boys' Brigade was formed in line in front of the stopping place of the welcome arrivals. After affectionate salutations of near friends, and appropriate bugle calls had been sounded, a move was made outside the station, where a carriage was in waiting. 'The bells from the old Parish Church rang out a merry peal, Mr. Blackborough's band playing "Soldiers of the Queen." On being seated in the carriage, the vicar (the Rev. H.T. Hayman) welcomed the two arrivals in a most appropriate and touching speech, in the course of which he specially referred to the self-sacrifice made by those to whom the reception was accorded. At the conclusion, the Allerton choir from Bradford, who had been enjoying a day in the Dukeries, sang the Doxology, which was most appropriate and was heartily joined in by the crowd, as was also the National Anthem, which followed. - Mr. Byron, who seemed deeply touched at the splendid reception accorded him then responded, and said it was more than a reward for any sacrifice he might have made on behalf of his country, and spoke of the endeavours as nothing more than a man's duty. He then spoke of the devotedness of his attendant, and said that had it not been for his good servant, George Graham, he should not have been there that night, as he had a most severe attack of enteric fever, from the after results of which he was suffering. The carriage which contained Mr. and Mrs. Byron and family, and servant, was then drawn by a body of delighted and willing people to Edwinstone House, where the servants gave their Master a most hearty welcome. Three ringing cheers were given as the family entered their home. Mr. Byron is a captain in the Leicestershire Yeomanry, and has been serving with the Imperial Yeomanry in South Africa" [Worksop Guardian, Friday, August 3, 1900].

Byron Coat of Arms
[Argent, three bendlets enhanced gules]
His non-military career was less distinguished. He found himself in London Bankruptcy Court in July 1912, owing over ‎£62,000 with no assets. "The debtor said that from 1880 to 1897 he was a land agent at Chesterfield. He then acquired a weedless steel tube patent, and sold it to a company...The debtor attributed his failure to the losses, estimated at ‎£20,000, made over the steel tube companies" [Derby Daily Telegraph, Thursday, July 4, 1912]. Augustus William Byron also tried twice, in 1895 and in 1900, to unseat the Liberal Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. He and his wife removed to France in their final years.

The Byron line of Rev. Augustus went extinct in 1969, at the death of his granddaughter Nora Byron. "A niece of mother’s, Nora Byron, was a great character," Aubrey Moore recalled. "She never married, had various jobs, many abroad. She was a great talker and linguist being fluent in German, French and Italian with a smattering of others. She became a Dame at Eton, an office she held for thirty-five years and became a rabid Etonian. I always said her conversation was seventy-five percent Eton, twenty-five percent Byron and five percent casual. Being a Dame at Eton she had the entrée into houses all over the world and she spent every school holiday visiting somewhere, having a port of call at all the places she stopped and being entertained royally" [A Son of the Rectory, 1982].
First Edition of Nora Byron's book

Nora Byron wrote an autobiographical account of her years as a House Dame at Eton - Eton: A Dame's Chronicle, published in 1965. The biographer of Liberal Party Leader Jeremy Thorpe (1929-2014), who was one of Nora Byron's Eton boys, describes her: "The true centre of power...however, resided in the House Dame, Nora Byron, a legendary figure 'of gigantic girth, stupendous energy, and boundless kindness'. She was a keen musician, who pressed all her boys to learn an instrument and organized them into a house orchestra, often an unusual combination for which she would arrange the music herself" [Michael Bloch, Jeremy Thorpe, Little Brown, 2014]. Six of the nine grandchildren of Rev. Augustus Byron who lived to adulthood never married, including Nora. Today, his only living descendants are those of his eldest daughter Mabel Moore.

Hon. and Rev. AUGUSTUS BYRON, Rector of Kirkby Mallory, Leicestershire 1861-1907, b. 8 June 1828 Epsom, Surrey, bap. 11 July 1828 Chapel Royal, Brighton, Sussex; d. 17 July 1907 The Rectory, Kirkby Mallory, bur. 20 July 1907 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory, 4th son of George Anson, 7th Baron Byron of Rochdale (1789-1868, descended from Edward III) and Elizabeth Mary Chandos-Pole (1793-1873, descended from Edward III); m. 8 July 1852 St Mary Bryanston Square, London, FREDERICA MCMAHON, b. North End, Fulham, Middlesex, bap. 18 July 1829 All Saints Church, Fulham; d. 29 Mar. 1903 The Rectory, Kirkby Mallory, bur. 1 Apr. 1903 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory, yst dau. of Sir Thomas McMahon, 2nd Baronet of Ashley Manor (1779-1860) and Emily Anne Westropp (1787-1866, descended from Edward III), and had issue, three sons and four daughters.

Issue of Hon. & Rev. Augustus and Frederica (McMahon) Byron:
Mabel (née Byron) Moore

1) MABEL CHARLOTTE BYRON, b. 20 Apr. 1853 Bryanston Square, London, bap. 16 May 1853  St Paul Knightsbridge, London; d. 19 Dec. 1926 Lavender Cottage, Appleby Magna, Leicestershire, bur. St Michael & All Angels Church, Appleby Magna; m. 7 Jan. 1880 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory, Rev. CHARLES THOMAS MOORE, Rector of Appleby, b. 3 Feb. 1847 Appleby Hall, bap. 15 Apr. 1847 St Michael & All Angels Church, Appleby Magna; d. 21 July 1924 Hill House, Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, bur. St Michael & All Angels Church, Appleby Magna, yr son of George Moore of Appleby Hall (1811-1871, descended from Henry VII) and his 2nd wife Isabel Clara Holden (1810-1867, descended from Henry IV), and had issue, four sons and two daughters.

2) LEILA FREDERICA DORA BYRON, b. 13 Sept. 1854 The Rectory, Corton Denham, Somersetshire, bap. 8 Oct. 1854 St Andrew Church, Corton Denham; d. unm. 5 Feb. 1875 The Rectory, Kirkby Mallory, bur. 8 Feb. 1875 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory.

3) Capt. AUGUSTUS WILLIAM BYRON of Edwinstowe House, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire Yeomanry Cavalry, b. 23 Feb. 1856 The Rectory, Corton Denham, bap. 23 Mar. 1856 St Andrew Church, Corton Denham; d. 27 July 1939 Hyères, Var, France; m. 5 Aug. 1885 St Paul Knightsbridge, London, CONSTANCE CAROLINE CLOUGH-TAYLOR, b. 11 Jan. 1855 Kirkham Abbey, Yorkshire, d. 13 Aug. 1941 Grasse, Alpes-Maritimes, France, dau. of Edward Clough-Taylor of Kirkham Abbey (1822-1892, descended from Edward III) and Sophia Mary Harrison (1825-1902, descended from Edward III), and had issue, two daughters.
Augustus William Byron (1856-1939)

Issue of Capt. Augustus William and Constance Caroline (Clough-Taylor) Byron:

3A) NORA HERMIONE WENTWORTH BYRON, b. 11 Oct. 1886 Duckmanton Lodge, Derbyshire, bap. 11 Nov. 1886 St Mary Church, Sutton-cum-Duckmanton, Derbyshire; d. unmarried 20 Oct. 1969 Maidenhead, Berkshire; House Dame at Eton College 1928-1963, author of Eton: A Dame's Chronicle (1965).

3B) ADA CONSTANCE FREDERICA BYRON, b. 23 Feb. 1891 Duckmanton Lodge, bap. 30 Mar. 1891 St Peter Church, Calow, Derbyshire; d. unm. 22 Dec. 1950 Kensington, London.

4) ETHEL MAUD EMILY BYRON, b. 10 Jan. 1858 Eaton Place, London, bap. 15 Feb. 1858 St Peter Eaton Square, London; d.s.p. 2 June 1940 Farnham, Surrey; m. 9 Jan. 1889 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory, HORACE GEORGE CLOUGH-TAYLOR of Leicester, b. 12 Oct. 1856 Kirkham Abbey, Yorkshire; d.s.p. 14 Feb. 1916 Leicester, yr son of Edward Clough-Taylor of Kirkham Abbey (1822-1892, descended from Edward III) and Sophia Mary Harrison (1825-1902, descended from Edward III).

5) MARY BEATRICE BYRON, b. 30 July 1859 The Rectory, Corton Denham, bap. 4 Sept. 1859 St Andrew Church, Corton Denham; d. 16 Feb. 1911 Brighton, Sussex; m. 18 Aug. 1886 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory, as his 1st wife, FRANCIS CURZON NEWTON [later changed to CURZON] of Lockington Hall, Leicestershire, b. 27 Apr. 1861 Mickleover Manor House, Derbyshire, bap. 18 July 1861 All Saints Church, Mickleover; d. 3 Mar. 1918 Lockington Hall, yr son of Charles Edmund Newton of Mickleover Manor House (1831-1908, descended from Edward I) and his 1st wife Anne Rosamond Curzon (1832-1864, descended from Henry IV), and had issue, three daughters. "One of mother’s sisters, Aunt Minnie, a very tall stately woman, married Frank Newton of the Curzon family and lived at Bearwardcote, outside Derby, pronounced 'Baracote'. They had a family of three daughters, all rather undistinguished, to put it mildly. Their mother could never see it and paraded them about and even had one of them presented at Court – a frightful blunder. Something happened at the act of presentation that was hushed up. She fell over on rising or curtseying, and uncontrolled nature took over. Needless to say the other two were not presented" [Aubrey Moore in 1982, A Son of the Rectory].

Issue of Francis Curzon and Mary Beatrice (Byron) Newton:

5A) ROSAMOND FREDERICA NEWTON, b. 14 July 1887 The Rectory, Kirkby Mallory; d. unm. 7 Feb. 1973 The Briary Nursing Home, Fleet, Hampshire. "The eldest daughter was in love with, or had a crush on the local curate. He eventually went on to a living and the girl was very upset. To pacify her he promised to send her his parish magazine every month, which he did. Some time after, at one of the many dinners at Bearwardcote, she was sitting next to the new curate, and appeared very glum. He said to her ‘Miss Newton, you look very sad, is anything the matter?’ She answered ‘Yes, there is something that should come every month and it hasn’t – I’m worried’. The curate was somewhat taken aback. It was only the magazine which had not come" [Aubrey Moore in 1982, A Son of the Rectory].
All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory, Leicestershire

5B) VIOLET MARY CURZON NEWTON, b. 31 Mar. 1890 Bearwardcote Hall, Etwall, Derbyshire; d. unm. 28 Dec. 1979 Otara Nursing Home, Kingsley Green, Fernhurst, Sussex.

5C) MARJORIE FRANCES NEWTON, b. 1894 Bearwardcote Hall; d. unm. 28 Jan. 1954 Farnham, Surrey.

6) CLAUD GORDON AUGUSTUS BYRON, b. 10 Jan. 1861 The Rectory, Corton Denham; d. 4 Dec. 1863 The Rectory, Kirkby Mallory, bur. 8 Dec. 1863 All Saints Church, Kirkby Mallory.

7) CECIL GEORGE GORDON BYRON, b. 17 Dec. 1867 Brighton, Sussex; d. there 26 Dec. 1867, bur. St Andrew Church, Hove, Sussex.

As the Byron family cannot be explored without a glance at the famous Lord Byron, my next post will look at his descents from Edward III.

Cheers,                                           -------Brad

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