BYRON (GEORGE GORDON, Lord)
Autograph address leaf franked with his signature ("Byron") and dated "1814/ Nottingham September fifteenth", directed "To/ The Revd Francis Hodgson/ Fort/ Hastings"; with Byron's autograph postscript on the verso: "The little 'O-B's are very much flattered by your remembrance -", with red wax seal (showing coronet), one page, watermarked 'John Hayes/ 1812', 'Free' postmark for 16 September 1814, light offsetting from seal, dust-staining and wear at folds, but overall in sound and attractive condition, [Newstead Abbey], 15 September 1814
- The lost letter originally enclosed in this wrapper was written while Byron was staying at Newstead with his beloved sister Augusta and dates from the few uneasy days between 9 September, when he sent a very tentative proposal of marriage to Annabella Milbanke, and the 18th, when he received her emphatic and not entirely welcome acceptance (years later, Augusta was to tell Annabella that he had received the letter when at dinner: "his remark to her, as he handed the letter across the table looking so pale that she thought he was going to faint, was: 'It never rains but it pours'", Marchand, Byron, i, p.474). Byron's present correspondent, Francis Hodgson, was a clergyman-tutor and a friend from his Cambridge days. Our lost letter has left one trace on the record. On the fateful 18th, as well as writing to Annabella, Byron dropped a line to his solicitor John Hanson about his son Newton: 'I have written to Mr Hodgson about Newton -- & you shall have his answer on my receiving it I think him the best man in the world in temper character & learning to make your child all you wish him' (Letters, ed. Marchand, iv, 175).