Robert Byerley

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Goldsborough Hall
The Byerley Turk

Robert Byerley (1660–1714) was an English soldier and politician, MP of both County Durham and Knaresborough,[1][2] who is also credited with capturing the Byerley Turk, a famous stallion considered one of the three major foundation sires of the Thoroughbred breed of race horse.[3]

He was the son of Anthony Byerley of Middridge Grange, Heighington, co. Durham and educated at Queen's College, Oxford.

As a soldier he was a captain of an independent troop in 1685 and a member of Queen Dowager’s Horse (later the 6th Dragoon Guards) in 1685-7. He was promoted lieutenant-colonel in 1689 and colonel in 1689-92. He fought at the Battle of Buda in 1686 (where he captured the Byerley Turk) and the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

He was elected Member of Parliament for County Durham in 1685 and 1689 and then for Knaresborough in 1695, 1698, Feb and Dec 1701, 1702, 1705, 1708, 1710 and 1713.[1]

Byerley was resident of Goldsborough Hall, near Knaresborough in Yorkshire, which he inherited from his wife's father.[4]He had married his cousin Mary, the daughter and heiress of Sir Philip Wharton, Warden of the Mint 1680-5, of Edlington, Yorkshire, the divorced wife of James Campbell of Burnbank, Lanarkshire. They had 2 sons and 3 daughters.

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