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George Byng, 2nd Earl of Strafford

George Stevens Byng, 2nd Earl of Strafford, PC (8 June 1806 – 29 October 1886), styled Viscount Enfield between 1847 and 1860, of Wrotham Park in Middlesex (now Hertfordshire) and of 5 St James's Square, London, was a British peer and Whig politician.

The Earl of Strafford

Comptroller of the Household
In office
6 May 1835 – 23 June 1841
MonarchWilliam IV
Prime MinisterThe Viscount Melbourne
Preceded byHon. Henry Lowry-Corry
Succeeded byLord Marcus Hill
Treasurer of the Household
In office
23 June 1841 – 30 August 1841
Prime MinisterThe Viscount Melbourne
Preceded byEarl of Surrey
Succeeded byEarl Jermyn
Personal details
Born(1806-06-08)8 June 1806
Died29 October 1886(1886-10-29) (aged 80)
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)(1) Lady Agnes Paget
(c. 1809–1845)
(2) Hon. Harriett Cavendish
(d. 1892)
Alma materRoyal Military Academy Sandhurst
Arms of Byng, Earl of Stratford, being the arms of John Byng, 1st Earl of Strafford, namely paternal arms of Byng (Quarterly sable and argent in the first quarter a lion rampant of the second), with augmentation of honour granted in 1815 by the Prince Regent of in bend sinister a representation of the colour of the 31st Regiment of Foot, in recognition of his heroic action at the Battle of the Nive


Byng was the eldest son of Field Marshal John Byng, 1st Earl of Strafford (1772–1860) by his first wife, Mary Mackenzie.[1]

Military careerEdit

In 1822, after graduating from the Royal Military College, Byng joined the 29th Regiment of Foot as an ensign by purchase. In 1825 he transferred to the 85th Regiment of Foot as a lieutenant and was promoted to captain in 1826.[citation needed]

Political careerEdit

Byng's political career began in 1830 when he was elected as a Member of Parliament for Milborne Port,[2] a seat he briefly held before taking the post of Comptroller of the Household to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland (his father-in-law, Lord Anglesey), less than a year later.[citation needed] When his former co-MP, William Sturges-Bourne resigned his seat a few weeks later, Byng returned to his former seat and held it until the Great Reform Bill of 1832 abolished the constituency.[2] From 1834 he was MP for the new constituency of Chatham, a seat he held until 1835 and again from 1837 to 1852.[3] He served under Lord Melbourne as a Lord of the Treasury between June and November 1834. Between 1836 and 1837 he represented Poole in parliament.[4] He again served under Lord Melbourne as Comptroller of the Household between 1835[5] and 1841[6] and as Treasurer of the Household between June[6] and August 1841[7] and was sworn of the Privy Council in 1835.[8] When Lord John Russell became Prime Minister in 1846, Byng was appointed Joint Secretary to the Board of Control, a post he retained until 1847.

After losing his parliamentary seat in 1852, Byng was summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in his father's barony of Strafford a year later[9] and inherited his father's earldom in 1860.

Marriages and progenyEdit

Byng married twice:


Lord Strafford died in October 1886, aged 80, and was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son, George. The Countess of Strafford died in June 1892.[1]


  1. ^ a b George Stevens Byng, 2nd Earl of Strafford
  2. ^ a b House of Commons: Mayo to Minehead
  3. ^ House of Commons: Carmarthen East and Dinefwr to Chesterton
  4. ^ House of Commons: Plymouth to Putney
  5. ^ "No. 19274". The London Gazette. 29 May 1835. p. 1024.
  6. ^ a b "No. 19994". The London Gazette. 29 June 1841. p. 1683.
  7. ^ "No. 20017". The London Gazette. 10 September 1841. p. 2273.
  8. ^ "No. 19274". The London Gazette. 29 May 1835. p. 1023.
  9. ^ "No. 21429". The London Gazette. 8 April 1853. p. 1028.

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