Campaign to clear Potters Bar’s executed admiral

PUBLISHED: 09:58 16 January 2017 | UPDATED: 09:58 16 January 2017

Admiral John Byng, as painted by Thomas Hudson in 1749. Picture: National Maritime Museum

Admiral John Byng, as painted by Thomas Hudson in 1749. Picture: National Maritime Museum


A campaign is growing to clear the name of an admiral who was executed for cowardice after building a magnificent mansion on the outskirts of Potters Bar.

Admiral John Byng was never able to enjoy Wrotham Park and its 300-acre park just off the A1000 Barnet Road because he was executed by firing squad on March 14, 1757, soon after its completion.

The Byng family, who still live in Wrotham Park and run it as a conference and corporate hospitality business, will be represented at a church service near Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, marking the 260th anniversary.

On the same day, MP Tulip Saddiq will hand deliver to the Ministry of Defence a petition seeking an official exoneration.

The admiral was executed by firing squad for “failing to do his utmost” to prevent the French capture of Menorca in the Seven Years War.

His supporters have always argued that he was made a scapegoat for the failings of others.

The 11.30am service in remembrance will conducted by the Bishop of Bedford, the Right Reverend Richard Atkinson, at All Saints Church in Southill, where the unfortunate admiral is buried in a family vault.

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