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Byng, George, 1st Viscount Torrington

Byng, George, 1st Viscount Torrington (1664–1733). Byng entered the navy at 14 from a family in straitened circumstances. In 1688, while serving as a lieutenant in Dartmouth's fleet, he acted as intermediary with William of Orange and was rewarded with his own command. By 1703 he was rear admiral and was brought into Parliament in 1705 for Plymouth. From 1709 he was a lord of the Admiralty and commanded squadrons frustrating Jacobite invasions in 1708 and 1715. In 1718 he became admiral of the fleet and the same year won a crushing victory over a Spanish force at Cape Passaro, though he was assisted by the ineptness of Spanish tactics. He was given his viscountcy in 1721 and served as 1st lord of the Admiralty from 1727 until his death. His fourth son was the ill-fated Admiral Byng.

J. A. Cannon

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Torrington, George Byng, Viscount

George Byng Torrington, Viscount (bĬng, tŏr´Ĭngtən), 1663–1733, British admiral. Early in his career he helped win the support of the navy for William of Orange in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. After thwarting attempted Jacobite invasions in 1708 and 1715 and defeating a Spanish fleet in the Strait of Messina in 1718, he was raised to the peerage in 1721. He was the father of Admiral John Byng.

See Byng Papers (ed. by B. Tunstall, 3 vol., 1930–33).

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