A poet, an admiral and Greek freedom
A prolific Romantic and satirical poet whose love life had shocked British society, Lord Byron threw himself behind the cause of Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire.
In 1824, at the age of 36, he sailed from Italy to help the Greeks. Byron's difficult, dangerous work helped to unify the divergent Greek forces, but in less than a year he was struck down by a fever and died. His death captured the imagination of Europe, and intensified support for Greek freedom.
The Ottoman Empire (also known as the Turkish Empire) called on modernized Egyptian forces to crush the Greek rebellion. Led by an Albanian, their mercenaries recaptured much of Greece.
On October 20, 1827, Admiral Edward Codrington, one of Nelson's captains and a hero of the Battle of Trafalgar, risked his career and his life to lead the Royal Navy against the Ottoman Navy to help free Greece. Along with French and Russian squadrons, whose commanders joined him, the Royal Navy destroyed the Ottoman Navy at the Battle of Navarino.
With this essential assistance the Greeks were able to win their freedom. On March 22, 1829 they created the free nation of Greece.