George Byng, 2nd Earl of Strafford

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Strafford
Comptroller of the Household
In office
6 May 1835 – 23 June 1841
Monarch William IV
Prime Minister The Viscount Melbourne
Preceded by Hon. Henry Lowry-Corry
Succeeded by Lord Marcus Hill
Treasurer of the Household
In office
23 June 1841 – 30 August 1841
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Viscount Melbourne
Preceded by Earl of Surrey
Succeeded by Earl Jermyn
Personal details
Born 8 June 1806 (1806-06-08)
Died 29 October 1886 (1886-10-30) (aged 80)
Nationality British
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) (1) Lady Agnes Paget
(c. 1809-1845)
(2) Hon. Harriett Cavendish
(d. 1892)
Alma mater Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

George Stevens Byng, 2nd Earl of Strafford, PC (8 June 1806 – 29 October 1886), styled Viscount Enfield between 1847 and 1860, was a British peer and Whig politician.

Background, education and military career

Byng was the eldest son of John Byng (later 1st Earl of Strafford) and his first wife, Mary (née Mackenzie).[1] In 1822, after graduating from the Royal Military College, he 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 career

Byng's political career began in 1830 when he was elected as 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, took the Chiltern Hundreds a few weeks after, Byng returned to his former seat and held it until the Great Reform Bill abolished the constituency a year later.[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.


Lord Strafford married firstly Lady Agnes, daughter of Field Marshal Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, on 7 March 1829. They had six children:

After Lady Agnes's death in October 1845, Lord Strafford married secondly the Hon. Harriett, daughter of Charles Cavendish, 1st Baron Chesham, in 1848. They had seven children:

  • Hon. Charles Cavendish George (1849–1918).
  • Hon Alfred John George (1851–1887).
  • Lady Susan Catherine Harriet (19 Mar 1854-1936), married Thomas Trueman.
  • Lady Elizabeth Henrietta Alice (31 Dec 1855-1920).
  • Hon. Lionel Francis George (1858–1915).
  • Lady Margaret Florence Lucy ( 6 Nov 1860-1945), married Hon. John Richard Boscawen.
  • Hon. Julian Hedworth George, later 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy (1862–1935).

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]


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Arthur Chichester
John North
Member of Parliament for Milborne Port
With: William Sturges-Bourne
Succeeded by
William Sturges-Bourne
Richard Sheil
Preceded by
William Sturges-Bourne
Richard Sheil
Member of Parliament for Milborne Port
With: Richard Shiel 1831
Philip Crampton 1831–1832
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
William Maberly
Member of Parliament for Chatham
Succeeded by
Sir John Beresford
Preceded by
Sir John Byng
Charles Augustus Tulk
Member of Parliament for Poole
With: Charles Augustus Tulk
Succeeded by
Charles Ponsonby
George Philips
Preceded by
Sir John Beresford, Bt
Member of Parliament for Chatham
Succeeded by
Sir John Smith
Political offices
Preceded by
Hon. Henry Lowry-Corry
Comptroller of the Household
Succeeded by
Lord Marcus Hill
Preceded by
The Earl of Surrey
Treasurer of the Household
Succeeded by
Earl Jermyn
Preceded by
Viscount Jocelyn
Viscount Mahon
Joint Secretary to the Board of Control
Served alongside: Thomas Wyse
Succeeded by
Thomas Wyse
George Lewis
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Byng
Earl of Strafford
3rd creation
Succeeded by
George Byng
Baron Strafford
(writ of acceleration)
(descended by acceleration)