Pub backs bid to clear admiral's name

PUBLISHED: 16:46 25 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:46 26 October 2009

Staff members Neil Govrod and Caroline Crang toast the Admiral Byng

Staff members Neil Govrod and Caroline Crang toast the Admiral Byng

A NAVY officer shot on his own ship 250 years ago is receiving posthumous support from a pub named after him in a quest to get him pardoned. Admiral John Byng was found guilty of neglect of duty and executed in 1757 after failing to retake the island of M

A NAVY officer shot on his own ship 250 years ago is receiving posthumous support from a pub named after him in a quest to get him pardoned.

Admiral John Byng was found guilty of neglect of duty and executed in 1757 after failing to retake the island of Menorca from the French.

Three years earlier, the admiral had built Wrotham Park, on the outskirts of Potters Bar.

His descendants, some of whom still live on the estate, have argued he was made a scapegoat for the Navy's inadequacies and are taking their case to the House of Commons.

A service was held last year in Bedfordshire - Admiral Byng's birthplace - to mark the 250th anniversary of his death, where a petition was started.

The man in the centre of this controversy actually has a pub named after him in our town - The Admiral Byng on Darkes Lane.

Melissa Melia, manager of the Wetherspoons pub, said: "This is definitely a case that we support.

"It wasn't just his fault and he never deserved to be executed, bless him.

"Everybody here at the Admiral Byng will be happily supporting the campaign and hope that his name is pardoned."

No members of the Byng family at Wrotham Park were available to comment at the time of going to press.

But a spokeswoman for the estate told the Potters Bar Edition said: "I am aware that the Byng family have sought legal advice as to the steps that can be taken to seek a pardon for Admiral Byng.

"But at this time I can't provide you with any further information.

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