OT: Adm. Byng -- reputed or disreputed?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Dec 6 15:32:10 UTC 2009

At 12/6/2009 09:27 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>Voltaire was referring to the execution in 1757 of Adm. John Byng, not for
>cowardice but  for failing to disobey [sic] an order during the Battle of
>Minorca. Though most of the nation sided with Byng, and even the House of
>Commons recommended clemency,  George II refused to commute the sentence.

Byng joined the pope and the devil as an effigy in Pope's Day
processions in 1756, before his conviction and execution.  So the
early sentiment in the colonies, like that in England, was negative.

One quibble:  According to Wikipedia, Byng was convicted of the
then-capital crime of 'failing to  "do his utmost" '.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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