INSCRIPTION ON THE MONUMENT
OF A NEWFOUNDLAND DOG.
A Memorial to Boatswain
None of these are as well known as his Newfoundland dog, Boatswain. The monument to his beloved pet's memory still stands in the garden of Byron's ancestral home, Newstead Abbey, in Nottinghamshire, England.
Although the inscription on the monument states the day of death as the 18th, Byron had written on the 18th, he died on the 10th. He wrote to his friend, Francis Hodgson, on Nov. 18th, 1808:
". . .Boatswain is dead! he expired in a state of madness on the 10th, after suffering much, yet retaining all the gentleness of his nature to the last, never attempting to do the least injury to any one near him."In the 1833 edition of Thomas Moore's book, Letter and Journals of Lord Byron, Mr. Moore wrote:
". . .the poor animal having been seized with a fit of madness, at the commencement of which so little aware was Lord Byron of the nature of the malady, that he more than once, with his bare hand, wiped away the slaver from the dog's lips during the paroxysms. . . "It was said that Boatswain was bitten by a rabid dog while following a postboy to Mansfield.
No doubt, if you are a pet owner, you have probably heard of this inscription, and there are many articles on the Internet pertaining to it. ( I, myself, have a T-shirt and a coffee cup with Lord Byron's memorial to Boatswain*)
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