Lot 129
Sold for £600 (US$ 1,007) inc. premium
Lot Details
Free frank, signed ("Byron"), the date, frank location and address in the hand of his half-sister Augusta ("1814/ Nottingham August Thirty first/ To/ Geo: Leigh Uppark/ Petersfield"), front only, Free postmark dated 1 September, Nottingham stamp, impression of a seal in blind, tear just affecting text at top left-hand corner, other minor tears and slight browning, approximately 80 x 120mm., Nottingham, 31 August 1814


  • BYRON AND AUGUSTA TOGETHER AT NEWSTEAD: this free front, while signed by Byron, has been written out by his beloved sister Augusta, and is addressed to her husband, Colonel George Leigh. Although Byron and Augusta had corresponded as children, they had lost touch on her marriage in 1807, only re-establishing contact in 1813. In Leslie Marchant's opinion, although "the extant evidence that Byron had sexual relations with Augusta does not amount to legal proof", their relationship "cannot be explained sensibly in any other terms" (Byron: A Portrait, 1970, p.148n.). Nine days after signing this front for his sister, Byron made the disastrous mistake of sending a proposal of marriage to Annabella Milbanke, which was accepted. Uppark, to where this front is addressed, was the seat of Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh and is where the young Emma Hamilton had been launched into society (supposedly dancing naked on the dining-room table). Both Sir Harry and Leigh were at one time members of the Prince of Wales's set, Leigh serving as equerry.
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