Byron, John,1723–86, British vice admiral and explorer. Sailing in 1740 with Admiral George Anson on a voyage around the world, he was shipwrecked off Chile. His Narrative of Great Distresses on the Shores of Patagonia (1768) is said to have been used by his grandson, the poet George Gordon, Lord Byron, in writing Don Juan.
Born Nov. 8, 1723, in Nottinghamshire; died Apr. 10, 1786, in London. English navigator and commodore.
From 1740 to 1744, Byron took part in G. Anson’s voyage around the world. In 1764 he set out on a search for the Solomon Islands and for new lands in the Pacific Ocean, and he discovered several islands of the Tuamotu, Tokelau and Gilbert groups. The strait between New Ireland Island and Lavongai Island, as well as one of the Gilbert Islands (Byron Island or Nikunau), is named after John Byron.