Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Byron, Thomas

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BYRON, Sir THOMAS (d. 1644), commander of the Prince of Wales's regiment during the civil war, was fifth son of Sir John Byron of Newstead, Nottinghamshire, by Anne, daughter of Sir Richard Molineux of Sefton, Lancashire, and brother of John, first Lord Byron [q. v.] Clarendon, who characterises him as a ‘very valuable and experienced officer,’ states that the Prince of Wales's regiment, ‘the titular command whereof was under the Earl of Cumberland,’ was ‘conducted and governed’ by him (History (1849), App. 2, n. 5). Wood mentions that a degree was conferred on him at Oxford in 1642, but ‘of what faculty’ he ‘knows not.’ While in command of his regiment at the battle of Hopton Heath, near Stafford, 19 March 1642–3, he was so severely wounded by a shot in the thigh as to be compelled to leave the field (Clarendon, History, vi. 281). ‘Sir Thomas Byron, at the head of the prince's regiment, charging their foot, broke in among them, but they having some troops of horse near their foot fell upon him, and then he received his hurt, bleeding so that he was not able to stay on the field’ (‘The Battaile on Hopton Heath’). On 7 Dec. 1643 he was attacked in the street at Oxford by Captain Hurst of his own regiment, owing to a dispute about pay (Dugdale, Diary; Carte, Letters, i. 27, Trevor tells the story to Ormonde). Hurst was shot on 14 Dec. Byron died of the wound on 5 Feb. 1643–4 (Dugdale, Diary). He was buried on 9 Feb. 1643–4 in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, ‘on the left side of the grave of Wm. Lord Grandison in a little isle joyning on the south side of the choir’ (Wood, Fasti, ii. 42). By his wife Catherine, daughter of Henry Braine, he had two sons, who predeceased him. His wife was buried in Westminster Abbey on 11 Feb. 1675–6.

[Thoroton's Nottinghamshire (1797), ii. 284; Collins's Peerage, ed. 1779, vii. 128–9; Wood's Fasti (Bliss), ii. 42; Foster's Peerage of the British Empire (1882), p. 106; information kindly supplied by Mr. C. H. Firth.]

T. F. H.