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Single Owner House Sale Lot 214


A FRAGMENT OF CRIMSON DAMASK OF THE NEWLYWED BYRONS' BED HANGINGS FROM HALNABY HALL, LATE 18TH/EARLY 19TH C approximately 4 x 47cmProvenance: John Todd, by whom acquired with his purchase of Halnaby Hall and estate from Sir John Milbanke in 1843; thence by descent at Halnaby to Lady C J C Wilson-Todd, nee Russell (1860-1948); her nephew, Brigadier General Henry Pelham Burn and his wife Mrs Katherine Eileen Staveley Pelham Burn, nee Staveley-Hill (1903-1989) by who given to the present vendor in November 1974.Illustrated: The bed and it's hangings were photographed in situ at Halnaby Hall for the Country Life article published April 8, 1933.After an engagement of four months from September-December 1814, Byron and Annabella Milbanke were married on January 2nd, 1815. The honeymoon was spent at the Milbanke seat Halnaby Hall in Yorkshire. In addition to Lady Byron's Statement and Narrative in connection with the subsequent separation there are the accounts of servants and others including Samuel Rogers who recalled reading in Lord Byron's own destroyed memoirs: "on his marriage-night, Byron suddenly started out of his first sleep: a taper which burned in the room, was casting a ruddy glare through the crimson curtains of the bed; and he could not help exclaiming, in a voice so loud as to awaken Lady Byron "Good God I am surely in hell" Writing of the morning after, Annabella recorded "Perhaps the deadliest chill that ever fell on the morning after my wedding day; he was late in appearing, but as soon as he came down stairs I went to him in the Library. With the most forbidding aspect and in the tone of cold sarcasm, he said, "It is too late now - it's done you should have thought of it sooner". Lady Byron's Statements were written a year or more after the events of that ill fated three weeks at Halnaby at the request of her lawyers. Matters of fact are probably to be relied upon but less confidence can be attached to certain inferences: "One night in bed he said he would tell me to what he alluded as preying upon his mind, if it were not another person's secret. I asked if Augusta knew it. He replied with the greatest horror "O for God's sake don't ask her." He said he never ought to have married me, on account of former circumstances... he absented himself from me during the greater part of the day at Halnaby..." Later, in the same Statement: "He used to get up almost every night, and walk up and down the Long Gallery in a state of horror and agitation which led me to apprehend he would realise his repeated threats of suicide..." and later that night, or another night "....after he had been walking up and down the Long Gallery at Halnaby like a maniac and he returned to bed I laid my head upon his shoulder and he said you should have a softer pillow than my heart".

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