The Last Admiral Executed by Firing Squad [Trial]. Byng, John [1704-1757], Defendant. The Trial of the Honourable Admiral John Byng, At a Court-Martial, As Taken by Mr. Charles Fearne, Judge-Advocate of His Majesty's Fleet. Published by Order of the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, At the Desire of the Court-Martial. To Which are Added, A Copy of their Lordships Memorial to the King, In Relation to the Sentence Passed Upon Admiral Byng; A Copy of the King's Order in Council for Transmitting to their Lordships a Copy of the Report of the Twelve Judges, In Relation to the Said Sentence: And Also, A Copy of That Report. And a Copy of a Warrant from their Lordships for Carrying the Said Sentence into Execution. London: Printed for R. Manby near Ludgate-Hill [et al.], 1757. 130 [i.e. 136]; 19 [i.e. 21],  pp. Additional pages *37-8 and *73-6 inserted. Folio (13-1/2" x 8-3/4"). Contemporary quarter calf over marbled boards, raised bands to spine, fragments of paper label to head of joints. Rubbing and scuffing to boards, rubbing and light wear to extremities, chipping to spine ends and joints, boards just separating but secured by cords, corners bumped and worn, later (nineteenth-century) ownership signatures and annotations, mostly relating to a Dixon family, to endleaves, most of rear free endpaper torn away. Light toning to interior, light foxing and soiling in a few places, slight creasing to first several leaves, faint dampstain to a few leaves of appendix, legibility not affected. $400. * One of three recorded variant London issues from 1757 for which priority has not been established. Admiral Byng was court-martialed after electing to repair his damaged fleet at Gibraltar rather than relieve a British garrison. The court acquitted him of personal cowardice, but convicted him of failure to "do his utmost to take, seize and destroy the Ships of the French King." Upon the court's recommendation, several members of the Admiralty petitioned George II for clemency, but this was denied. Byng was executed by firing squad, the last of his rank to be executed in this manner. English Short-Title Catalogue T20812.
Book number 73727