Biographical data:

Byng, John

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Title Admiral (RN)
Official Number
Birth 29/10/1704 Death 14/03/1757
Place (nk) Place Portsmouth
Area Bedfordshire Area
Country England Country England
He was the son of the first Viscount Torrington, and Admiral of the Fleet.
Military Service
He joined the Royal Navy in 1718. He was appointed as a Lieutenant RN in 1724. In 1727 he was promoted to Captain RN serving in HMS Gibraltar, and was stationed in the Mediterranean for the next 12 years. In 1742 he was appointed Governor of Newfoundland. Interested in Newfoundland trade, he appointed William Keen, Jr. as Naval Officer to monitor imports and exports and watch for illegal trade. He reported to the Board of Trade that the island was monopolized by several merchants who bought whole shiploads of cargo and resold it at largely inflated prices. He tried to stop this practice but was unsuccessful. Byng protected the fisheries from foreign incursions, reported on the cod and salmon fisheries, on the inhabitants' living conditions, and on the presence of Irish Catholics. Byng was promoted to Rear-Admiral RN in 1745. He was appointed as a Vice-Admiral RN. He served as Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean in 1747. In 1751, he was elected to Parliament for Rochester. When promoted to Admiral RN in 1756, he was sent to the Mediterranean to guard the British island of Minorca from French attack. Upon arrival, he found the fort taken by the French and retreated. Byng was arrested, tried by court-martial for negligence, and was executed by firing squad in HMS Monarch at Portsmouth, on March 14, 1757. (It was, as Voltaire famously remarked, "pour encourager les autres.")
Vessels Owned
Aircraft Flown
Named Features
MacFarlane, John M. (1994);
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