Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 8.djvu/29

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1788-1805.]
3
MARRIAGE OF CATHERINE GORDON.

pittance without running into debt; she pinched herself in order to give her son a liberal supply of money; she was warm-hearted and generous to those in distress. She adored her scamp of a husband, and, in her own way, was a devoted mother. In politics she affected democratic opinions, took in the Morning Chronicle, and paid for it, as is shown by a bill sent in after her death, at the rate of £4 17s. 6d. for the half-year—no small deduction from her narrow income. She was fond of books, subscribed to the Southwell Book Club, copied passages which struck her in the course of her reading, collected all the criticisms on her son's poetry, made shrewd remarks upon them herself (Moore's Journal and Correspondence, vol. v. p. 295), and corresponded with her friends on literary subjects.

In 1785 Miss Catherine Gordon was at Bath, where, it may be mentioned, her father had, some years before, committed suicide. There she met, and there, on May 13, 1785, in the parish church of St. Michael, as the register shows, she married Captain John Byron. Captain John Byron (1755-91), born at Plymouth, was the eldest son of Admiral the Hon. John Byron (1723-86)—known in the Royal Navy as "Hardy Byron " or "Foul-"weather Jack"—by his marriage (1748) with Sophia Trevanion of Carhais, in Cornwall. The admiral, next brother to William, fifth Lord Byron, was a distinguished naval officer, whose Narrative of his shipwreck in the Wager was published in 1 7 68, and whose Voyage round the World in the Dolphin was described by "an officer " in the said ship" in 1767. His eldest son, John Byron, educated at Westminster and a French Military Academy, entered the Guards and served in America. A gambler, a spendthrift, a profligate scamp, disowned by his father, he in 1778 ran away with, and in 1779 married, Lady