"The misfortune that had befallen us is terrible and irreparable.
I scarcely have words to describe it.
Lord Byron is dead
Your friend, my friend and father, the light of this century, the boast of your country, the saviour of Greece is dead.
He died on the 19th of April at half past six in the evening..."
This was the letter sent to Byron's close friend John Cam Hobhouse by Pietro Gamba that was one of the first notifications of the poet's death.
He died as the result of a fever and probably medical ineptitude in the little Greek town Missolonghi that was to found on the edge of a swamp.
Restless with his life in Italy he had travelled to Missolonghi only months before as a charismatic freedom fighter, the attractive talisman charged with liberating the Greek people from their tyrannical Turkish rule.
Today he will be honoured in Greece, the European country that he had loved.
"Give Greece arms and independence, and then learning; I am here to serve her, but I will serve her first with my steel, and afterwards with her pen"
Several weeks after his death in early May a portion of Byron's remains either his heart or lungs were given to Missolonghi for burial and the rest of his remains were returned to the country of his birth.
"I trust they won't think of "pickling and bringing me home to Clod or Blunderbuss Hall" I am sure my Bones would not rest in an English grave - or my Clay mix with the earth of that Country..."
Despite his protestations to his publisher John Murray in 1819, he was to find himself "pickled" and brought home not to a "Blunderbuss Hall" but to the Church of St Mary Magdalene in the town of Hucknall near the Byron ancestral home of Newstead Abbey.
On July 16 1824 he was placed in the family vault to be reunited with his mother Catherine and in the company of his great-uncle William, the Fifth Lord Byron, the "Wicked Lord" and other members of the Byron family.
The Church of St Mary Magdalene is a beautiful old church that has undergone much restoration and expansion since Byron's internment in 1824 with the result that he now finds himself further away from the High Altar...
I think he would approve.
On Monday April 13 2014, I made another visit to this church, a journey of many hundreds of miles and one that involved the use of eight trains equal to the number of hours that it took me to travel there and back in a day.
But it was worth it.
I enjoyed the glorious weather, a wonderful afternoon in a delightful church, the company of the friendly church wardens who were enormously patient with my endless questions and a delicious cup of tea.
Whether Byron's "bones are at rest", who knows...
The Byron Family Vault lies beneath this Memorial...
The Memorial from his sister Augusta...
Tributes of Bluebells and Tulips in memory of the "Pilgrim of Eternity"..
Follow the link to visit the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Hucknall:
Lord Byron Selected Letters and Journals Ed. Leslie A. Marchand (London: John Murray 1982
The Late Lord Byron Doris Langley Moore (London: John Murray 1961)