Hearts Through History Romance Writers

Irresistible Research Rabbit Hole: The Awesome Women of Lord Byron’s Family, by Christa Bedwin

by | June 9, 2018 | 2 comments

I’m on an insanely short deadline to get Idelle’s Inheritance (a little time-travel novella in Englightenment Edinburgh) out the door… naturally that means I’m procrastinating down research rabbitholes that aren’t even relevant to what I’m writing right now. But I just discovered the most amazing family, all descending from/related to Lord Byron, the infamous poet, lover, and Venetian-sea-swimming playboy.

This needs sharing, and saving for later!

I did not realize before today that Ada Lovelace, who did a lot of the mathematics leading to the first computers (of course, most historians mention/credit it all to Charles Babbage, and forget to speak of Countess Lovelace, sigh), was Lord Byron’s daughter!


Recently, since historians have started adding women to the historical record where they belong, she is getting her proper credit as the world’s first computer programmer.
She had three children (daughter the coolest, see below), had an active brainy life doing things like translating articles about engines from Italian, and died of uterine cancer at 36. Ada’s mother, Anne

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Byron             completely hated everything about Byron’s love of love, so she saw to it that Ada was extremely educated to try to counter the likelihood of madness. Well, Mama Anne didn’t manage to educate the tendency of the Byron line to die in their thirties (as her father and grandfather also did), but she did create a line of extraordinary women!

— a small detour to the other side of the blanket —
Lord Byron (his first name was George — did you know?) left England just a month after Ada was born. Maybe it was because he also had a child with his half-sister? Ada, actually, is officially named Augusta after said half-sister, with whom he seemed by all accounts to be in love.

Unfortunately, that daughter (if she was indeed Byron’s or not) ended up living one of the many lives that illustrate that men can sleep around all they like, but when women do, it often ends in poverty and tragedy, sigh.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Medora_Leigh
— end detour —

But… back to the legitimate line, who fared so much better and became famous. All because of that magic societal word, “legitimate” and possibly due to Lord Byron’s notoriety and poetic fame (spurred on by his estranged wife’s vocal, outspoken hatred — so she did the line a good turn that way, perhaps? It can’t have been pleasant for Ada as a child, though).

Ada’s daughter, (Byron’s grand-daughter) Baroness of Wentworth (pictured at the left), is credited with having brought the Arabian breed of horses to England (particularly, the best breeding stock). Like, actually going to Arabia and bringing back those beautiful horses. What a time in history!


And her daughter spoke Arabic and Turkish owned a famed Arabian horse-breeding stable from age 44 to 84 (oh good! I’ve just turned 44. There’s hope for me yet. And MC Beaton only really got going at my age too). I love finding stories of strong women.

Thank goodness that Byron created one legitimate offspring before he became an expat.

And maybe thank goodness that he married such a mismatched woman for himself, and she was so obsessed with erasing his memory in her daughter that she educated her so heavily! The world’s first computer programmer was a woman.

And that made me wonder about their antecedents, too.

Ah, lookie here, his daddy “Mad Jack” also loved the ladies, as he was multiply married. Lord Byron, of course, was also rumoured to be mad, and like Byron also died in his 30s


His granddaddy also had a cool nickname, “Foul Weather Jack”


He was born in 1723 and one of his interesting roles was as the governor of Newfoundland, over by Canada


  1. Aubrey Wynne

    I loved this post! And I love rabbitholes. 🙂

  2. Christa Bedwin

    Addendum: made my deadline too. Procrastinated for one day, wrote like crazy for two, and it went really well! And readers seem to love it so far, so, score!



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