The Earl of Strafford
|Comptroller of the Household|
6 May 1835 – 23 June 1841
|Prime Minister||The Viscount Melbourne|
|Preceded by||Hon. Henry Lowry-Corry|
|Succeeded by||Lord Marcus Hill|
|Treasurer of the Household|
23 June 1841 – 30 August 1841
|Prime Minister||The Viscount Melbourne|
|Preceded by||Earl of Surrey|
|Succeeded by||Earl Jermyn|
|Born||8 June 1806|
|Died||29 October 1886(aged 80)|
|Spouse(s)||(1) Lady Agnes Paget |
(2) Hon. Harriett Cavendish
|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, of Wrotham Park in Middlesex (now Hertfordshire) and of 5 St James's Square, London, was a British peer and Whig politician.
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.
Byng's political career began in 1830 when he was elected as a Member of Parliament for Milborne Port, 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. 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. From 1834 he was MP for the new constituency of Chatham, a seat he held until 1835 and again from 1837 to 1852. 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. He again served under Lord Melbourne as Comptroller of the Household between 1835 and 1841 and as Treasurer of the Household between June and August 1841 and was sworn of the Privy Council in 1835. 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 and inherited his father's earldom in 1860.
Marriages and progeny
Byng married twice:
- Firstly on 7 March 1829 to Lady Agnes Paget (d.October 1845), a daughter of Field Marshal Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, by whom he had six children:
- George Byng, 3rd Earl of Strafford (22 Feb 1830 – 28 Mar 1898), eldest son and heir. Died without surviving male progeny.
- Henry Byng, 4th Earl of Strafford (21 Aug 1831 – 16 May 1899), 2nd son, who succeeded his elder brother in the titles. Died without surviving male progeny.
- Lady Agnes Mary Georgiana Byng (29 Oct 1833 – 7 Apr 1878), who married Hedworth Jolliffe, 2nd Baron Hylton.
- Francis Edmund Cecil Byng, 5th Earl of Strafford (1835–1918), 3rd son, who succeeded his elder brother in the titles.
- Lady Mary Caroline Charlotte Byng (1838–1933), who married the barrister Richard Arkwright.
- Lady Victoria Alexandrina Anna Maria Byng (11 Mar 1842 – 1899), who married Arthur Fuller.
- Secondly in 1848 he married the Hon. Harriett Cavendish, a daughter of Charles Cavendish, 1st Baron Chesham, by whom he had a further seven children:
- Hon. Charles Cavendish George Byng (1849–1918).
- Hon. Alfred John George Byng (1851–1887).
- Lady Susan Catherine Harriet Byng (19 Mar 1854 – 1936), who married Thomas Trueman.
- Lady Elizabeth Henrietta Alice Byng (31 Dec 1855 – 1920).
- Hon. Lionel Francis George Byng (1858–1915), who in 1902 married Lady Eleanor Mabel Howard (1873–1945), a daughter of the Henry Howard, 18th Earl of Suffolk, by whom he had issue.
- Lady Margaret Florence Lucy Byng (6 Nov 1860 – 1945), who married Hon. John Richard Boscawen.
- Julian Hedworth George Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy (1862–1935).
- thepeerage.com George Stevens Byng, 2nd Earl of Strafford
- leighrayment.com House of Commons: Mayo to Minehead
- leighrayment.com House of Commons: Carmarthen East and Dinefwr to Chesterton
- leighrayment.com House of Commons: Plymouth to Putney
- "No. 19274". The London Gazette. 29 May 1835. p. 1024.
- "No. 19994". The London Gazette. 29 June 1841. p. 1683.
- "No. 20017". The London Gazette. 10 September 1841. p. 2273.
- "No. 19274". The London Gazette. 29 May 1835. p. 1023.
- "No. 21429". The London Gazette. 8 April 1853. p. 1028.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Strafford