ADMIRAL JOHN BYNG, 1704-57, ADMIRAL OF THE BLUE
By Thomas Hudson, 1749
(Highest available resolution 3329×4114)
ice Admiral John Byng was one of the five sons and ten daughters of Admiral Sir George Byng. A gentlemanly and shy person, he had amassed a fortune from his success as naval officer by 1748, and was promoted to admiral of the red in 1756. It is widely accepted that he went to Minorca with a rigid and defeatist mindset, some of it is justified. He did not have the number of ships he wanted and the French sailed much faster and found it easy to avoid battle.
Nevertheless the recriminations after the battle were severe. Admiral Edward Hawke was sent to the Mediterranean to supersede Byng, and Byng was arrested.