BYRON, George Gordon, 6th Lord 1788-1824. Poet. Two hundred years ago the present site of the Harvester, or Grove Tavern, at the junction of Dulwich Common and Lordship Lane, was occupied by Dr Glennie’s Academy, a small boarding school for young gentlemen, one of several in the Camberwell and Dulwich area at that time. One of Dr Glennie’s pupils from 1799 to 1801 was Lord Byron, the future poet. Byron’s mother sent him there in the hope of getting better treatment for his lameness in London than at his home, Newstead Abbey, Nottingham. To give him a room to himself a bed was put up in Dr Glennie’s own study.

There are various reports of Byron’s time at Dr Glennie’s, with tales of the young lord and his friends playing at highwaymen and calling on passing strangers to ‘stand and deliver’. His education was not helped by his mother who frequently took her handsome son out of school to show him off in society. Dr Glennie, however, found him a great reader, especially of history and poetry, which must have been a good foundation for Byron’s later writing.

After two years at Dr Glennie’s it was decided that Byron should go to a public school. As he wrote to his cousin, being by then perhaps bored with his ‘quiet school’ in Dulwich, ‘I am going to leave this damned place at Easter and am going to Harrow’.

Mary Boast