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It appears on record, that this family has been long seated in Kent: and, as the visitation of that county in the office of arms shews,
Thomas Byng, who was living in the reign of King Henry VII. and seated at Wrotham, married b Joan, daughter and heir of Thomas Hicks, by whom he had issue John, his son and heir, with nine other sons, and a daughter, Rebecca, married to Henry Goddard, of Rucking, in Kent, Esq.
John Byng, Esq. his son, in 1537, having married Agnes, daughter to Robert Spencer, of the county of Essex, had issue two sons, Robert Byng, of Wrotham in Kent, Esq. ancestor to the present Viscount Torrington; and Thomas.
The said Thomas, second son, was of St. Peter's college, in Cambridge, and master of Clare-hall, and doctor of the civil laws. In 1572, he was vice-chancellor of the university of Cambridge ; as also in 1578. In 1576, he was e in commission with William Lord Burleigh, lord high treasurer of England, Richard Bishop, of Ely, and others, to visit St. John's college in Cambridge. In 1594, he was f constituted Regius professor of the civil law in the said university, He was seated at Granchester in Cambridgeshire ; and in 8 1571, was married to Catharine, daughter of ....... Randall, or Randolph, Esq.; she died 16–7, aged seventy-four, and is buried at Granchester, where a monument is erected to her memory, which shews that they had issue ten sons, and two daughters, who it is presumed all died young, except Henry, of whom afterwards; and Andrew, who was D. D. Archdeacon of Norwich, the King's Hebrew professor at Cambridge, was particularly recommended by King James I. to be master of Corpus Christi college in that university, by his letter of the 26th of March, 1618, as knowing personally, he says, his great worth, as he would be an honour and ornament to the university, if they made choice of him; which they accordingly did : he died during the time of the civil war.
a Visit. Com. Kantii H. 2. folio 44, in Offic. Arm. & No. 1106 Harl. MSS, in Brit. Mus. » Glover. c Symonds's Antiq.of Essex, vol. i. fol 145.
Le Neve's Fasti Eccles. Anglic p. 396, 397.
* Ex Regist. Eccles. S. Marg. Westm.
Henry, the eldest son of Thomas, was born in Westminster, on July 22d, 1573, and the sponsors at his baptism were Henry Percy Earl of Northumberland, Dr. Gabriel Goodman, Dean of Westminster, and the Lady Isabella Neville. He was serjeant at law, and counsel to the university of Cambridge ; and, by Catharine his wife, daughter of Thomas Clynch, of Holebrooke in Suffolk, Esq. son of John Clynch, one of the justices of the Queen's-Bench, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, he had three sons,
First, Henry Byng, who married ... daughter and coheir of Arthur Coke, Esq. third son of Sir Edward Coke, lord chief justice, ancestor to the late Earl of Leicester.
Second, Edward Byng, who wedded another daughter of the said Arthur Coke; and,
Third, John Byng, who was counsellor at law, and counsellor to the university of Cambridge. This John married Grace, daughter and coheir to Thomas Goad, LL. D. Regius professor of the civil law, in the university of Cambridge, and left issue, John, who was born at Granchester, in Cambridgeshire, A. D. 1663, and marrying Frances, daughter of Thomas Shortyng, Gent. left by her two daughters, Winifred, married to Richard Burr, doctor in divinity; and Catharine, to Henry Oborne, chirurgeon, and citizen of London.
We now return to Robert Byng, of Wrotham, Esq. beforementioned, the direct ancestor to the present Viscount Torrington. He served for the borough of Abingdon, in the first parliament of Queen Elizabeth, A. D. 1559; and in the thirty-fourth year of
Willis's Not. Parl. vol. i p. 69.
her reign wasi sheriff of the county of Kent. He married to his first wife k Frances, daughter and heir of Richard Hill, Esq. by whom he had three sons,
George, John, and Francis, whereof the two last died without issuie.
And by his second wife, i Mary, daughter of William Maynard, Esq. he had issue three sons; of whom
Robert was living A. D. 1619, and
And a daughter, Anne,'" married to David Polhill, of Otford, in Kent, Esq.
The said Robert Byng Esq." died on September 2d, 1595, (as appears by inquisition of the Court of Wards) leaving issue George Byng, his son and heir, thirty-nine years old. Which
George, who succeeded him, was chosen member of parliament for Rochester, in the county of Kent, 27 Elizabeth, and for the P port of Dover, in the first of James I. He married 9 Jane, daughter of William Cromer, of Tunstall, in Kent, Esq. and by her had three sons and four daughters ; Elizabeth, the eldest, was married to Thomas Polhill, of Wrotham, Esq. ; Frances, Martha, and Dorothy; the said George,' dying in 1616, was succeeded by
George Byng, his eldest son and heir, s born at Wrotham, in 1594, who, in 1617, was married to Catharine, daughter to John Hewit, of Headley-hall, in the county of York, Esq. (which family was afterwards seated at Waresley-park, in the county of Huntingdon) by whom he had issue a son, John, and a daughter, Elizabeth, married to ... ... Man, of Kelmscot, in Oxfordshire, Esq.
John ByNG, Esq. his son and heir, conveying away Wrotbam, was the last of this family there. He married Philadelphia, the daughter of ....... Johnson, of Loans, in Surry; and by her bad several children ; of which
GEORGE, the eldest, born at Wrotham, on January 27th, 1663, was created Viscount TORRINGTON. He went a volun
i Fuller's Worthies in Kent. k Visit. de Com. Kanc,
m Vincent's Visit. Kent, c. 16, 81. · Cole's Inquisition of the rt of Wards, vol. iii. fol. 66, in Bibl. Harley. • Harris's Hist.
't, p. 450.
Ibid. p. 452. Cole's Inquisit. vol. iii. p. * Funeral Certif. in Offic. Arm. I. 16.
' Ex Regist. Eccles. de.
teer to sea, in 1678, at the age of fifteen, with the King's letter, given him on the recommendation of James, Duke of York.
In 1681, he quitted the sea service, upon the invitation of General Kirk, governor of Tangier, and served as cadet in the grenadiers of that garrison, till on a vacancy, which quickly happened, the general (who always patronized him with great friendship) made him ensign of his own company, and soon after a lieutenant.
In 1684, after the demolition of Tangier, George Legge, Lord Dartmouth, general of the sea and land forces, appointed him lieutenant of the Oxford, from which time he constantly kept to the sea service, remaining likewise an officer in the army several years after.
In 1685, he went lieutenant of his Majesty's ship the Phænix, to the East Indies, where engaging and boarding a Zinganian pirate, who maintained a desperate fight, most of those that entered with him were slain, himself greatly wounded, and the pirate sinking, he was taken out of the sea with scarce any remains of life.
In 1688, being first lieutenant to Sir John Ashby, in the fleet commanded by the Lord Dartmouth, fitted out to oppose the designs of the Prince of Orange, he was, in a particular manner, entrusted and employed in the intrigues then carrying on amongst the most considerable officers of the feet, in favour of that Prince; and was the person confided in by them to carry their secret assurances of obedience to his Highness, to whom he was privately introduced, at Sherburn, by admiral Russell, afterwards Earl of Orford. On his return to the fleet, the Lord Dartmouth sent bim, with captain Aylmer, and captain Hastings, to carry a wessage
of submission to the Prince at Windsor, and made him captain of the Constant Warwick, a ship of the fourth rate,
In 1690, he commaoded the Hope, a third rate, and was second to Sir George Rooke, in the battle off Beachy.
In the years 1691 and 1692, he was captain of the Royal Oak, and served under admiral Russell, who commanded in chief his Majesty's fleet.
In 1693, that great officer distinguished him, in a particular manner, by promoting him to the rank of his first captain ; in which station he served in 1694 and 1695, in the Mediterranean, where the designs of the French against Barcelona were prevented; and in 1696, in the Channel, to oppose the intended invasion of King James with a French army, which, upon the appearance of the fleet, was laid aside.
In 1702, a war breaking out, be accepted the command of the Nassau, a third rate, and was at the taking and burning the French and Spanish fleet at Vigo.
In 1703, he was made rear-admiral of the Red, and served in the fleet commanded by Sir Cloudsly Shovel in the Mediterranean, who detached him with a squadron of five ships to Algiers, where he renewed and improved our treaties with that goverament. In his return home he was in danger of perishing in the great storm which he met with in the Channel.
In 1704, he served in the grand fleet in the Mediterranean, and commanded the squadron that attacked and cannonaded Gibraltar ; and by landing and heading the seamen, the 23d of July (whose valour was very remarkably distinguished on this occasion) the town was taken. He was also in the battle off Malaga, soon after, and for his behaviour in that action, Queen Anne honoured him with knighthood, of which it was published in our Gazette, No. 1064. " St. James's, October 22d, 1704. This day her Majesty was pleased to confer the honour of knighthood upon George Byng, Esq. rear-admiral of the red squadron of her Majesty's fleet, as a testimony of her approbation of his behaviour in the late action with the French in the Mediterranean.” On January 19th following, he was appointed vice-admiral of the Blue; and immediately after, the French having two strong squadrons in the Soundings, besides great numbers of privateers, which annoyed our trade, he was sent with a squadron to cruize against them, in which he was so successful, that he took above twenty of their largest privateers, in about two months time, with the Thetis, a French man of war of fifty guns; and cleared those seas of the enemy.
In 1705, he was promoted to be vice-admiral of the Blue, and returned a burgess for Plymouth, which he represented till he was created a peer. During the summer he commanded in chief a squadron in the Channel, and blocked up the French ficet in Brest, with a much inferior strength.
In 1706, King Charles, late Emperor, being closely besieged in Barcelona, by sea and land, by the Duke of Anjou, and the place reduced to great extremity, and our fleet in the Mediterranean being too weak to relieve it, he was appointed to command a strong squadron fitting out in England; in the hastening of