Lord Byron — Coincidence or Destiny, by Donald Prell


I recall an excitement on discovering the Brig Hercules was being constructed a short six miles north of Seaham Hall, where Lord Byron and Miss Milbanke were about to be married. The Byrons left Seaham Hall, four months later, which was about the same time as the Hercules was launched. Deciding to learn everything about this vessel, I began my search, which led to other coincidences. Following its launch, the Hercules went into service between London and ports in Canada; Byron left England for the continent, never to return. Suddenly, early in 1823, Captain J. Scott, the Master of the Hercules, decided to sail the vessel to Genoa, where Byron was living. This is strange, as the Hercules had never plied the Mediterranean Sea, or for that matter, anywhere east of England. Why did Scott choose to sail to the Italian ports of Genoa and Leghorn? Another mystery is why Captain Daniel Roberts and Charles Barry selected the Hercules for charter. She was a cargo vessel, not desig…