of Lord Byron
, and his lover
(almost certainly) while they were both married to others. It is possible that one of her children was his.
Born the Hon. Augusta Byron in 1783, five years older than him, she was his intimate friend even when young: some of his earliest surviving letters are to her, and they were always very close even when not actually that close.
Although, My ever Dear Augusta, I have hitherto appeared remiss in replying to your kind and affectionate letters; yet I hope you will not attribute my neglect to a want of affection, but rather to a shyness naturally inherent in my Disposition. I will now endeavour as amply as lies in my power to repay your kindness, and for the Future I hope you will consider me not only as a Brother but as your warmest and most affectionate Friend, and if ever Circumstances should require it your protector. Recollect, My Dearest Sister, that you are the nearest relation I have in the world both by the ties of Blood and affection. If there is anything in which I can serve you, you have only to mention it; Trust to your Brother, and be assured he will never betray your confidence. When you see my Cousin and future Brother George Leigh, tell him that I already consider him as my Friend, for whoever is beloved by you, my amiable Sister, will always be equally Dear to me.
-- from a letter of 22 March 1804, when he was 16, and she was about to be married to Leigh. Byron was chafing against his depsised mother.
She has been called "warm-hearted, easygoing, generous", and with a "genius for doing the wrong thing at the wrong time". She sounds an enormous amount of fun actually. Rather irresponsible, but then you'd need a certain lack of sober moral sense for what was to ensue. She was an accomplished mimic and made him laugh.
Their liaison began in 1813, before he was married to Annabella Milbanke in 1815. He proposed running away to the Continent, but she was lukewarm. The marriage to Annabella (the "Princess of Parallelograms" as he called her) was utterly wrong, and fell apart in 1816. She instituted divorce proceedings against him with charges of sodomy with both sexes, two crimes, and also with the rumour of incest, which apparently was not technically a crime then. (Memo to self. Research these interesting juridical by-ways.) He responded first by increased cruelty to her then by fleeing the country.
He became the romantic hero, and a lover of many others, and a true hero of Greece; Augusta saw her life and reputation in ruins, not loving her husband and pursued by her vindictive ex-sister-in-law, and died in 1851, almost thirty years after her brother.
Not to be confused with Augusta Ada Byron, born to him and his wife in their year of marriage, not seen thereafter by her father, but to be famous as the mathematician and programmer Ada, the Countess Lovelace.