Lord Byron, Class War and the price of a Decent Send Off

Originally placed at the grave close to the Church Street boundary and the monument to Anna Maria Crouch, but removed during the clearances of the late 1940’s, a headstone bearing the following inscription:

To the memory of HARRIET daughter of the Right Hon. LORD BYRON died June 25th 1828 aged 19 months

Lord Byron the warrior poet died in 1824, indicating that the Lord Byron above was the Admiral George Anson Byron 7th Baron Byron who died in Brighton in 1868. Married to Elizabeth Mary Chandos-Pole, 7 children are recorded, but no record has been found as yet naming Harriet Byron amongst them.

At the time of the clearances many gravestones were moved.  Some were relocated to the perimeter walls and some disappeared from the site entirely. A few pieces were reused as paving, but – with one exception – these did not contain inscripted marks, being the blank sides or caps to box tombs.

The exception being Harriet Byron – though not the whole piece – just the fragment which reads “…The Right Hon. LORD BYRON died…” can be found forming the path surface to the rear of the church, just inside the fenced area which also contains the remains of Sake Deen Mahomet.

Was there a bloody minded council worker back in the late 1940’s in a country fresh from war who saw this as a suitable location for the last monument to one of his ‘betters’? If so, he would be pleased that this spot is currently used by the council to store its street sweeping barrows overnight.

Below is a copy of the costs to Lord Byron for the funeral and burial. At Three Pounds and ten Shillings, the engraved headstone was the most expensive single item.

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