LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Q in the Corner
Lord Byron and Mrs. Mardyn.
Morning Chronicle  No. 17,336  (9 November 1824)
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No. 17,336. LONDON, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 1824. Price Sevenpence.



Mr. Editor—The paragraph respecting Mrs. Mardyn, which appears in your Paper of last evening, taken, as it is said, from The Morning Post, has excited much attention in this city. At the same time your Readers here are much surprised that you should have known so little of this female’s character and conduct as to have lent your aid in the attempt to palm her off again upon the public, by giving an extended circulation to this paragraph, which is evidently manufactured in a certain quarter to bolster up Lord Byron’s character, and to palliate his unfeeling conduct to his much injured and amiable lady, and at the same time to screen Mrs. Mardyn from the renewed expression of the public displeasure, should she again venture to present herself upon the Stage! The assertion that Lord Byron never met Mrs. Mardyn out of the Green-room of Drury-lane is notoriously untrue, as can be proved by several individuals connected with that Theatre, and by his Lordship’s own domestics. I can, if it is necessary, bring to Mrs. Mardyn’s recollection when and where she met his Lordship, and then under circumstances of peculiar indelicacy and want of generous feeling. If occasions should require it, I shall not hesitate to enter upon this task, but for the present I refer you, Mr. Editor, to every individual in this city for the early character and conduct “of this much-injured Lady,” who was a native of it, and for some time a menial servant in the family of a respectable individual living in this street. Her conduct, after she quitted that situation, is well known, before and after she married and became a player, and her separation from her husband; but on which, at this moment, I shall forbear to make any comments.

Medwin, Conversations of Lord Byron

With respect to Lord Byron’s conduct, whatever may be said to the contrary by his Companions and Biographers, there are too many persons privy to it to admit of any doubt of the truth of it, both before his marriage at Seaham and immediately after it, and during his visit to Halnaby; and which was greatly aggravated by his behaviour whilst he resided in Piccadilly. His abuse to Lady Byron, of her family, and especially of that most amiable and excellent individual her father, was disgraceful to his character as a Nobleman and a Gentleman; and his recently-acquired friends will only shew their good sense and discretion, before they attempt any further illustrations of his life and character, by forbearing to press much further their justifications of his conduct in these respects. There are many honourable individuals who took a lively interest in his Lordship’s happiness and welfare, among them Mr. H—— and Mr. W——, but all their efforts to controul his temper and behaviour were unavailing; and although the public may long continue to admire some of his publications, yet his private life and character can never be esteemed or valued by them.

Swan Hotel, Chichester, Nov. 7, 1824.

“Mrs. Mardyn,” in Morning Post

Sir—No one who reads the above letter can for a moment mistake its malignant import nor, I should hope, for an instant hesitate to condemn its unmanly severity upon a female, who, whatever may be her frailties or origin in life, has often given proofs of considerable talent, & is at least innocent of the stigma here intended to be fixed upon her. If the writer would dare speak out, he would no doubt revive the somewhat stale fabrication of the differences between Lord Byron and his Lady, arising out of an intimacy with Mrs. Mardyn; than which nothing can be more false, as most of his Lordship’s personal friends can, if they please, testify. That the unhappy occurrence was accelerated by some symptoms of jealousy on the part of Lady B. there is no doubt, and that they were occasioned by the accidental visit of an Actress is equally true; but the visitant is as much unlike Mrs. M. in person as it is possible any two persons can be to each other; suffice it to say, she is still a member of one of the London Theatres, and the mother of several children. The great offence of Lord B. on the occasion alluded to was, his ordering his carriage to the door of his own house to convey the Lady home, free from the inclemency of a dreadful storm, which circumstance being made known to Lady B. by some officious domestic spy, she in a fit of jealousy hurried down stairs with her infant in her arms, seated herself in the carriage, and drove off to Doctors’ Commons to consult with a Proctor on the proper mode of proceeding. Such is the accredited fact, and it is but fair Mrs. Mardyn should be exculpated from the serious charge of having produced the unhappy difference, although (except for your private information) I think it unnecessary to give the name of the real offender.

Q in the corner.