Allegra, the product of a short-lived affair between the romantic Anglo-Scottish poet George Gordon, Lord Byron , and her starstruck teenage mother Claire Clairmont, was born in Bath, England.
Claire wrote to Byron during the pregnancy begging him to write back and promise to take care of her and the baby.
Eventually Allegra was turned over to Byron when she was fifteen months old. She lived most of her short life with boarders chosen by Byron or in a Roman Catholic convent, where she died at age five.
Byron sent her body to England and wrote an inscription for her gravestone that read: "In memory of Allegra ..'I shall go to her, but she shall not return to me'.
Scandalized by Byron's reputation and the child's illegitimacy, the rector of the 12th century St. Mary's Parish Church in Harrow refused to place a plaque on Allegra's grave and permitted her only to be buried at the entrance of the church without a marker.