Book published by Pen and Sword in 2009, 192 pages. Hardback with Dust Jacket (N4555)
Brand New Book
From the front inside fly leaf: Born the son of George Byng, a favourite of the king and himself an admiral and member of the admiralty board (and later First Lord of the Admiralty), John Byng seemed destined for a shining career in the Royal Navy. He saw his first fleet action at Cape Passaro, his father's finest hour, as a Captain's Servant, aged just 14.
He qualified as a lieutenant at 19 years old (although the minimum age was 21) and was Post Captain at 23. By the outbreak of the Seven Years' War he had risen to Admiral of the Blue.
Then it all went wrong with the Battle of Minorca (20 May 1756), where his failure, or rather the nature of it, earned him accusations of cowardice and a court martial. His trial and execution were the hottest topic of the day, the media lampooning him mercilessly and his reputation has never recovered.
This book reassesses Byng's whole career and carefully untangles the politics surrounding his final days to see how far his poor reputation is justified