Vice-Admiral Byng


There are three of us in one office trying to find infomation regerding Vice-Admiral Byng, why exactly he was shot, whether he is deemed to be innocent and if there are any books on the subject that are of use.


Lantern Swinger
I've read in the book Nelson The Man & The Legend, by Terry Coleman. That Vice Admiral Byng was shot for breaking the line of formation whilst attacking an enemy fleet. The encounter was similar to that of Nelsons actions at the Battle of Cape St Vincent, the first time Nelson really came to fame. But the captains in the other ships were not as sharp as Collingwood & Nelson & failed to exploit the situation to their advantage & come to Byngs aid.

Hope that this may help a little.



War Hero
Byng was responsible for the loss of Menorca.He was court-martialled and later shot to "encourage the others"!!There is a book about this "Admiral Byng and the loss of Menorca" by Brian Tunstall (1928)The famous quote is by Voltaire.Byng was shot on his own quarterdeck.


Book Reviewer
At Greenwich one of the windows on Queen Anne block used still to have the marks where bars were fitted while Byng was under arrest there.

NB 'encourager' in French means to instil real courage into others rather than to 'encourage' in our English sense of rather more poking other people into having a go.


Book Reviewer
Try 'Command of the Ocean' by NAM Rodger. VG account of what happened. Altogether more complicated than you might think. Also, translating 'encourager' as 'encourage' misses the point.