Byng, Thomas (DNB00)

BYNG, THOMAS (d. 1599), master of Clare Hall, Cambridge, matriculated as a sizar at Peterhouse in May 1552; proceeded B.A. in 1556, was admitted fellow of his college 7 Feb. 1557-8, and commenced M.A. 1559, and LL.D. 1570. In 1564, when Elizabeth visited Cambridge, Byng made a Latin oration in her presence on the excellence of a monarchical government; the speech is printed in Nichols's 'Progresses' (iii. 63). He was proctor in the same year, and on 2 March 1564-5 became public orator. He was incorporated M.A. of Oxford on 6 Sept. 1566, while Queen Elizabeth was on a visit to that university. Byng became prebendary of York 18 Jan. 1566-7; master of Clare Hall, Cambridge, 1571; vice-chancellor of the university 1572; a member of the college of civilians 21 April 1572; regius professor of the civil law at Cambridge 18 March 1573-4; a special commissioner for the visitation of St. John's College, Cambridge, 13 July 1576; visitor of Ely Cathedral 6 Sept. 1593, and dean of the peculiars of Canterbury and dean of arches 24 July 1595. On 27 July 1578, with other dignitaries of the university, he visited the queen at Audley, and for a second time read a Latin oration in her presence. He died in December 1599, and was buried 23 Dec. at Hackney Church, Middlesex. By his wife, Catherine (1553-1627), he had ten sons and two daughters. Besides writing the orations mentioned above Byng edited Carr's translations from Demosthenes (1571), and contributed Latin and Greek verses to Wilson's translation of Demosthenes (1570), and to the university collections issued on the restoration of Bucer and Fagius (1560), and on the death of Sir Philip Sidney (1587). Many of Byng's official letters and publications are preserved among the university archives at Cambridge.

[Cooper's Athenae Cantab, ii. 279-80, 661; Coote's Civilians, 49; Wood's Fasti, ed. Bliss, i. 173; Le Neve's Fasti Angl. Eccl.]

S. L. L.