(John, admiral, second-in-command to vice-admiral Henry Medley and later, commander-in-chief …
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(John, admiral, second-in-command to vice-admiral Henry Medley and later, commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean fleet in 1748, executed by firing squad on the quarter-deck of HMS Monarque for neglect of duty, bap. 1704 d. 1757) Journal [of Byng's Command of the Mediterranean Fleet in 1748], autograph manuscript, 121pp. excluding blanks, ruled in red, numerous ink corrections and a slip of extra text pasted in, paper watermarked with Royal Arms over "GR" [c. 1740s], slightly browned, slightly browned, ink inscription of Admiral Sir William Graham dated 1894 on front pastedown, original wrappers, inscription on upper cover: "Journal of Jna Byng 1747-48" & cut engraved portrait with inscription: "Portrait of Hawke not Byng", rubbed and discoloured, sm. 4to, March- October 1748. *** An account of naval command by one of the most notorious British admirals of the eighteenth century. A comprehensive account of Byng's tour of duty as second-in-command and then commander in chief of the Mediterranean fleet. The journal includes daily reports of wind conditions, degrees of latitude, the conduct of the war, orders received from the Admiralty and given to his officers, court martials and the naval, military and political situation in the Mediterranean. Attack on Savona. "March 1748. This morning at day Light as Capt: Hervey and my self were walking out towards General Pattersons... a Gentleman whom I did not know told us that he believed there was an Embarkation of the French & Spaniards near Arbisola [a small village near Genoa] for that he saw a great number of boats off the Point of Celli... . I told my Lord Roche that I would go down to Vado instantly, and order two or three men of war off Arbisola to guard the Mole of Savona, and to Cannonade the Troops as they passed if their should be occasion... . I received a Letter from Lord Roche acquainting me that yesterday in ye evening the Enemy had landed severall men between and Arbisola which were bought from Genoa in about 200 boats... he imagined by their endeavouring to Posses themselves of the hills about and near the Town they intended something more than the attacking the advance parties, and therefore advised me to withdraw the sick from the Hospitall... . I imagined the enemy's designs were to destroy the Mole and the K[ing] of Sardinia's Galley's... I ordered Capt: Hughes in ye Essex to go and Lay close in with the Mole head, and Capt: Murry in ye Revenge to ship his cables and follow the Essex, & Nassa The Castle began now to fire upon the enemy... ." Discipline. "April The 9th. Just before noon, Hugh Jennings was executed on board the Faversham for the murder of his Sergeant." Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle. "May 1748. At 2 this afternoon Mr Sommers... arrived with dispatches to me from... ye Duke of Bedford, inclosing me a coppy of the Preliminary Articles, signed at Aix la Chapell together with the Kings Proclamation for a cessation of arms... Likeswise acquainting me that his Majesty will very soon set out for Hanover... ." Return to England. "October 1748... at 10 made ye Sign,,, the Ships Turning into Spithead, at one in ye afternoon Vice Adm:ll Hawke saluted with 13 Guns, I return'd ye same... I went on shoar... to strike my flag... this day at Spithead." Byng (1704-57), younger son of George Byng, Viscount Torrington (1663-1733), one of the most successful admirals of the eighteenth century. In 1756 he commanded a fleet in the Mediterranean, charged with the defence of Fort St Philip on Minorca. Byng failed to relieve the fort and then fought an indecisive naval action against the French. Shortly after he was recalled to England. He faced court martial and was guilty of not having done his utmost to relieve Fort St Philip or engage the enemy as closely as he should. The court felt that his misdemeanours fell under the 12th Article of War and that therefore they had no option but to hand down a sentence of death, as stressed in that article. However they made a recommendati
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