John Byron, an English admiral, born Nov. 8, 1723, died April 10, 1786. He was a midshipman on board the Wager, one of Lord Anson's circumnavigating squadron, was cast away on a desolate island off the coast of Patagonia, where he remained five years, suffering great hardships, returned to England in 1748, and rose to high rank in his profession. In 1758 he commanded three ships of the line, and distinguished himself in the war with France. In 1764 he was placed in command of an exploring voyage between the Cape of Good Hope and South America, in the course of which he discovered two islands, one of which still bears his name. In 1768 he published a narrative of his sufferings and privations when cast away in 1740-'46, a work which was very popular. In 1769 he was appointed governor of Newfoundland; in 1778 he watched the movements of a fleet sent by the French to aid the American revolutionists, and in 1779 fought an indecisive action off Grenada with the French squadron commanded by Count d'Estaing. - His eldest son, John, was the father of Lord Byron, the poet.
His second son, George Anson, was a captain in the navy; and his son John, also a naval officer, succeeded the poet as Baron Byron, and was the author of " A Narrative of the Voyage of his Majesty's Ship Blonde to the Sandwich Islands " (4to, London, 1825).