They came toNumber 3

Lord Byron's visit to Berry Bros. & Rudd's London Wine Shop

George Gordon Byron was a leading figure in British poetry and indeed a leader for the Romantic Movement itself. Among his best known works are the short poems 'She walks in beauty' and 'When We Two Parted' and the narratives 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage' and 'Don Juan'. He is just as famous however for his many indulgences, numerous love affairs, his debts and his general prominence as 'bon viveur'; he was famously described by Lady Caroline Lamb (with whom he had a highly public and scandalous affair) as "mad, bad, and dangerous to know".

Despite his many and varied excesses; from dining heartily on meat and three bottles of fine claret or simply making do with 'a damned anchovy sandwich', George Gordon Byron was nevertheless as obsessed with his weight as many of us are today. His struggle with corpulence is well documented and inextricably linked to Berry Bros. & Rudd as it was on our scales where he learned the results of his dieting efforts. When first weighed at the age of 17 'in boots but no hat' he came in at a splendid 13 stone 12, quite an achievement for a chap at 5'8".

Sorties up to London with his friends to explore the demi-monde and gambling hells (one of the most fashionable was to be found in Pickering Square behind the shop) made him a familiar figure in St James's and on his return to Number Three he was registered on the scales at 10 stone, much more the ideal for a man of his height and much to his delight. Indeed writing from the Gordon Hotel in Albermarle St he expresses his satisfaction to a lady confidante:

"One thing I do not regret, which is having pared off sufficient quantity of flesh to enable me to slip into an eel skin and vie with the slim beaux of modern times... as violent exercise in London is impracticable; I attribute the phenomenon to our evening squeezes at public and private parties"