TUE Boyles, who are now represented in the Peerage by the united Earldoms of Cork and Orrery and by the Earldom of Shannon, have played a considerable part in history, not only as. politicians and statesmen, but as men of learning and literary and artistic accomplishments. Seldom, if ever, has a family sprung at one bound from such obscurity into the possession of so great a. social position, and such a reputation for high character and talent, not confined to one individual member, but so widely spread as to constitute for a time we might almost say the family type.
The Boyles are a Herefordshire family, and have a respectable pedigree among the small gentry of that county, bordering on and sometimes entering into the mercantile class. There was a. LIIDOVICK BOYLE living in the reign of Henry Ill., whose great
grandson, according to the pedigree, bearing the same name, was "of Bidney, and of the Friars in the City of Hereford," in the reign of Henry VI. This Ludovick the younger had two sons, John Boyle, in whose family the Herefordshire estate continued for several generations, and a younger son, Roger Boyle, who, marrying Jane, daughter of Thomas Pattishall, of Herefordshire, had four sons. The eldest was John Boyle, of Hereford, the second, Roger Boyle, is the ancestor of the' family whose story we are
about to relate. The third, Michael Boyle, of London, left a family, who benefited largely by the rise of their cousins,
Michael, the eldest son, becoming Bishop of Waterford ; Richard,
the second son, becoming Bishop of Cork and Ross and Arch- bishop of Tuam ; his son, Michael, becoming Archbishop of
Armagh and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, and being the father of Murragh Boyle, created Viscount Blessington, which title is extinct in that family. There must have been some talent in this branch, even aided as they were by the kindred branch, to secure thiscontinuous elevation for so many generations. Sir George Boyle,. the fourth son of Roger Boyle the elder, died without issue..
We may, then, pass at once to the second son, Roger Boyle the younger. He was born in Herefordshire, and marrying, in the eighth year of Queen Elizabeth, Joan, daughter of Robert.
Naylor, of Canterbury, settled at Preston, near Faversham, in.
Kent. Here he died on the 24th of March, 1577. His wife sur- vived him till the 26th of March, 1586, and they were "both buried in one grave, in the upper end of the chancel of the parish.
church of Preston." They had three sons and two daughters_ John, the eldest son, became Bishop of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross..
Hugh Boyle, the third son, was killed in the foreign wars, with- out issue. The eldest daughter, Elizabeth, married Sir Pierce: Power. The second son, RICELUID BOYLE, born at Canterbury,. October 3, 1566, became the founder of the family greatness.
He himself has left a sketch of hitt life down to the year 1632, which covers the period of the family aggrandizement. We regret that our limits prevent us from giving more than an abridg- ment of its story. As the second son of a younger son, Richard Boyle had to fight his own way in life. He was educated first at- Bennet College, Cambridge, and then at the Middle Temple. Find-
ing he had not the means to support him in studying the law in the Inns of Court, he became a clerk to Sir Roger Manwood, Chief
Baron of the Exchequer, and of a family at Sandwich, in Kent,- and next resolved to try to better his learning and fortune in some other country. "And it pleased the Almighty," he writes, "by His Divine Providence, to take me, I may say, by the hand, and lead me into Ireland, where I happily arrived at Dublin, on the Midsummer Eve of the 23rd day of June, 1588." All his wealth, then was 27/. 3s. in money, a diamond ring, and a bracelet of gold
given him by his mother, the latter worth about ten pounds, "a raffety doublet, cut in and upon taffety, a pair of black velvet
breeches, laced, a new Milan fustian suit, laced and cut upon taffety, two cloaks, competent linen, and necessaries, with my' rapier and dagger." Such was the beginning of the House of Boyle ! The owner of the " raffety doublet" and "velvet breeches" having good introductions, soon obtained con- siderable legal business in the Government departments — drawing memorials, cases, and answers, and visiting in this employment several parts of the kingdom, though he remained chiefly at Dublin. But the foundation of his fortune, as he him- self candidly confesses, was laid by a match which he made at Limerick on the 6th of November, 1595, with Joan, one of the two daughters and coheiresses of William Apsley, Fag., who brought him 500/ a year in land. She died in 1599, with her first child.
Soon after this establishment of his fortune, Sir Henry Wallop, Treasurer of Ireland, and other great Irish officials, being angry,
he says, at some purchases of land he had made, joined in au accusation to the Queen against him of being in correspondence with the Spaniards. Going into Munster to take shipping for England to meet this charge, the rebellion broke out there, all his lands were wasted, and he was left without a penny of certain revenue. In this condition of affairs he reached Bristol, and thence made his way to his old chambers in the Middle Temple, where he intended to maintain himself by practice till the con- clusion of the rebellion. But the Earl of Essex being about to start to assume the Government of Ireland, Anthony Bacon re- commended Boyle to the Earl, who employed him in drawing out his commission, &c., and he was rising so sensibly in his favour that his old enemy, Sir Henry Wallop, renewed his accusation, and Boyle was arrested and thrown into prison at the Gate House, where he was kept till Essex had been gone to Ireland two months. Then at length he obtained an audience of his cause from the Queen herself, who after hearing him broke out into these words:— " By God's death! these are but inventions against this young man, and all his sufferings are for being able to do us service, and these complaints urged to forestall him therein ; but we find him to be a man fit to be employed by ourselves, and we will employ him in our service, and Wallop and his adherents shall know that it shall not be in the power of any of them to annoy him, neither shall Wallop be our Treasurer any longer." Then calling for a list from her Council of six names, she on the spot chose Sir George Carey to succeed Wallop, gave Boyle her hand to kiss, ordered him to be set at liberty, and defrayed all his expenses and fees incurred during his restraint. He was then commanded to attend at Court, and not many days elapsed ere the Queen bestowed on him the office of Clerk of the Council of Munster, recommending him especially to Sir George Carey, who was now President of that province. On the strength of this turn in his fortunes Boyle bought from Sir Walter Raleigh "his ship called the Pilgrim," and victualling and arming her, joined Carey at the siege of a castle in Kerry. He was installed in his office and sworn as the Governor of the province, and when Kinsale fell the President despatched him with the good news to Court. He delivered his packet to Sir Robert Cecil, and supped with him at his house in the Strand, the Minister keeping him in discourse after supper till two in the morning. At seven the same morning the active Secretary called on Boyle, and carried him to the Queen in her bedchamber, "who remembered me," he says, "calling me by name, and giving me her hand to kiss, telling me she was glad I was the happy man to bring her the first news of that glorious victory." After minute inquiries into the facts, he was ordered by the Queen to return forthwith to Ireland, and "dismissed with grace and favour." After serving with the President through the rest of his campaign, Carey despatched him on another mission to Court, and advised him to purchase Sir Walter Raleigh's lands in Munster, which were lying waste and desolate, giving him letters to that purpose both to Cecil and Raleigh himself. The purchase was accordingly concluded in London. Having negotiated at Court Carey's leave of absence, Boyle returned to Ireland ; when the President next strongly advised him to marry again, and recommended him to Catharine, only daughter of Sir Jeffrey Fenton, principal Secretary of State in Ireland. Through Carey's influence the match being made, Boyle was contracted to the lady on the 9th of March, and married to her on the 25th of July. He received from his father-in-law 1,000/. in gold, but according to his own statement the gift of the lady herself proved infinitely more valuable to him. Nothing indeed could have been more happy than the domestic life of the lucky adventurer, and no family circle was ever more strongly united. On the day of his second marriage Richard Boyle was knighted by Sir George Carey, then Lord Deputy, and on the 12th of March, 1607, sworn of the Privy Council for the province of Mun- ster, and a Privy Councillor for the Kingdom of Ireland on the 15th of February, 1614. He continued to rise rapidly, being created on the 29th of September, 1616, Baron Boyle of Youghal, and on the 26th of October, 1620, Viscount Dimgarvan and Earl of Cork. He was sworn one of the Lord Justices of Ireland on the 26th of October, 1629, and on the 9th of November, 1631, Lord High Treasurer of Ireland. Here, however, his promotions and honours stopped ; for in June, 1633, Wentworth came over to Ireland as Lord Deputy, and being determined to reduce the power of all the great landowners and officials in Ireland, at once discouraged and endeavoured to depress to the utmost the powerful Earl of Cork. So for seven years the once fortunate head of the Boyles had to sustain the continued hostility of the Government, displayed at every possible opportunity. Cork had distinguished himself by his zeal for Protestantism, and had among other measures to break the Catholic power transplanted many septa and siaus from the cultivated province of Leinster into the wilds of Kerry. Strafford struck at both Catholics and Protestants alike, if they refused to bend to the arbitrary power of the Crown. Accordingly, on his trial, in 1641, the Earl of Cork was summoned over as a witness against him, and gave strong evidence as to his violent disregard in language and act of all law in the pursuit of his ends. On the breaking out of the rebellion in 1641, the Earl found the scenes of his early life renewed, but nothing daunted, he fortified his house at Lismore and raised two troops of horse, and he and his sons were the bulwarks of the Protestant cause in the parts where their estates lay. Ills letters at this time paint vividly the scenes of horror which were occurring around him, and which recently there have been renewed attempts to entirely discredit. The indomitable spirit of the old man shines forth re- markably in these animated despatches, the old fervour of the days of Elizabeth kindling again in this frightful crisis. In the battle fought at Liscarrol on the 3rd of September, 1642, four of his sons were engaged, and his second son was killed. While the struzgle was still at its height the Great Earl of Cork, as he was emphatically called, died at Youghal, in September, 1643, aged seventy-seven. This was the month in which the Cessation with the Catholic Confederates was concluded by the King, of which measure the Earl had strongly disapproved. Borlase states that although he was not a peer of England, he was admitted, on account of his great information and experience, to sit on the woolsack as a counsellor, and that only the ecclesiastical party envied him his large estate. Cox gives a long list of his public works in Ireland : —Churches, almshouses, free schools, bridges, castles and towns, one place alone, Bandon, costing him 14,0001.; and he states that when Oliver Cromwell saw these great improvements, he declared that if there had been an Earl of Cork in every province, it would have been impossible for the Irish to have raised a rebellion. His chosen motto was, "God's providence is my inheritance," and he lived in a style of hos- pitality which rivalled the display of those in whom it was marred by a sensuality from which the Earl and his family were wholly free. He had fifteen children, of whom seven were sons. The second surviving son, Louis, created Baron of Bandon- bridge and Viscount Boyle of Kinalmeschy, was killed, as we have seen, in the Irish rebellion, and left no issue. Roger, the third surviving son, was created Baron of Broghill and Earl of Orrery, and is the ancestor of the present Earl of Cork and Orrery. Francis, the fourth surviving son, was created Viscount Shannon on the Restoration, having joined Charles I. at Oxford after the death of his father and the Cessation in Ireland, served with him, and quitted England for Holland in February, 1648. Here he continued till 1660, when he was engaged in negotiating with his brother, Lord Broghill, for the transfer of Ireland to Charles ll.'s authority. This Shannon peerage became extinct in 1740. Robert, the fifth and youngest surviving son of the Earl of Cork, was the celebrated "philosopher Boyle," whose name is more gener- ally known than that of any other member of his family. He was born at Lismore on the 25th of January, 1627, and died on the 30th of December, 1691. He was abroad during the troubles of Ireland of '41 and the following years, and only returned to England in 1644, when he found his father dead, and himself in possession of an estate at Stalbridge, in Dorsetshire. Here he retired, and lived quietly, without taking any share in politics, but mixing with men of all parties, till 1650. After several visits to Ireland, he settled in 1651 at Oxford. During all his time he was im- mersed in studies, which he continued till the close of his life. On leaving Oxford he came to London, to live near his favourite sister, the Lady Ra,nelagh, by whose side he was buried. He was a member of the first Council of the Royal Society, and be- came its President. He was also a Director of the East India
Company, and strongly urged on the Directors the promotion of Christianity in those parts. He caused the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles to be translated into Malay with this view, and he also promoted Irish versions of the same. The Boyle Lectures, founded by him, testify to his zeal for Christianity without dis- tinction of sects. His fame as a philosopher has suffered from the reaction from overpraise, but it cannot be doubted that, consider- ing the age he lived in, he is entitled to a high place in its annals.
His favourite sister, Catharine, married to Arthur James, Viscount Ranelagh, was a very remarkable woman. Her husband, not- withstanding his neglect of her, was completely guided by her in his political evolutions—his early advocacy of the cause of the Parlia- ment, his secession to Oxford, and his return to the Parliament— and her letters to Falkland and others show how thoroughly she grasped the whole situation.
Richard, her eldest brother, who succeeded his father as second Earl of Cork, served with his father against the rebels till the
Cessation, when he brought over his regiment to Chester, and with it joined the Royal service, in which he continued till the close of the first civil war, when he was admitted by the Parliament to compound for his estates by a payment of 1,631/. He first retired beyond seas, but then returning to Ireland, pro- cured an order of the Commonwealth Government of the 2nd of January, 1652, to enjoy the rents and profits of his estate on certain conditions and securities. These restrictions being too severely acted upon, the Earl appealed in a long letter to Crom- well for his assistance, and procured immediately a complete re- mission of the obnoxious provisions. He had been created by Charles I., in November, 1644, Baron Clifford of Lanesborough, in the county of York, in the English Peerage, his wife being the sole daughter and heir of Henry Clifford, Earl of Cumberland. After the Restoration, on the 20th of March, 1664, he was raised to the title of Earl of Burlington, alias Bricllington, in the county of York. On the 13th of March in the succeeding year he was made Lord- Lieutenant of the West Riding of York, and in 1679 Custos Rotulorum of the same. He was attainted in James's Irish • Parliament after the Revolution, but of course was restored by William, and confirmed in his office of High Treasurer of Ireland.
He died January 15, 1698, in the eighty-sixth year of his age, and was succeeded by his grandson, Charles, third Earl of Cork and second Earl of Burlington, his son, Charles, Lord Clifford, having died during his father's lifetime. The third Earl's next brother, Henry Boyle, became Chancellor of the Exchequer and principal Secretary of State in the reign of Queen Anne, by whom he was created Baron Carleton, and died unmarried, as President of the Council, March 14, 1725. The third Earl of Cork was one of the Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to King William, and one of his Privy Council in 1699, and was a Commissioner for the Union with Scot- land in the reign of Queen Anne. He died, February 9,1704, leaving an only son, Richard, who succeeded as fourth Earl of Cork and third of Burlington. He was Captain of the Gentlemen Pensioners in 1731. His chief tastes were horticulture and the fine arts. He laid out and spent much time on his grounds at Chiswick, and Burlington House rose under his auspices. He was a great patron of Pope and other men of genius of the day, and Horace Walpole says of him enthusiastically, "Never was protection and great wealth more generously and more judiciously diffused than by this great person, who had every quality of a genius and an artist except envy. Nor was his munificence confined to him- self and his own houses and gardens. He spent great sums in contributing to public works, and was known to choose that the expense should fall on himself, rather than that his country should be deprived of some beautiful edifices." He died at Chiswick, December 3, 1753. He left no male issue, and his English peerages therefore became extinct, but the Irish earldom of Cork and the viscountcy of Dungarvan, &c., devolved on his cousin, John, Earl of Orrery, the descendant of Roger Boyle, Lord Broghill, till, third son of the first Earl of Cork. The English estates in Yorkshire, which came from the Clifford family, Chiswick, and the Lismore estate in Ireland, passed to the Caven- dishes, the Earl of Burlington's only surviving daughter, Char- lotte, having married William, Marquis of Ilartington, and after- wards fourth Duke of Devonshire. As we have seen in our account of the Cavendishes, the peerage of Burlington was revived in that family, and is now absorbed in the dukedom of Devonshire.
The career of Roger, Lord Broghill and first Earl of Orrery, is so well known to all who have read a life of Cromwell, that we need not recapitulate it in detail. He was certainly one of the first men of the second grade of genius in those remarkable times, when the second grade represented the first grade of most ages. His early career was very similar to that of his elder bro- ther, the second Earl of Cork. He, however, vehemently disap- proved of and protested against the Cessation of 1643, and con- tinued to act with vigour against the Confederate Catholics in Ireland till the execution of Charles I. He then retired to his house at Marston-Bagot, near Frome, in Somersetshire. He is said to have then answered favourably some overtures from Prince Charles to pave the way for his landing in Ireland, but his answer falling into Cromwell's hands, the latter sought an interview with him, and found means to induce him to abandon his purpose and to join heartily with the Parliament, or rather with Cromwell himself. The account of the matter given by Orrery's chaplain is not quite satisfactory, from its great desire to prove the un- tainted loyalty of Lord Broghill. According to the chaplain, Broghill first asked and obtained Charles's leave for his going to Ireland with Cromwell. He could not have obtained this except under dishonourable conditions, and it is more consistent with Broghill's character to discredit the chaplain's loyal excuse.
He was not the only man who yielded to the personal in- fluence of Cromwell. From this time he adhered to the for-
tunes of his great leader and his family, sitting on their councils, and being one of their most trusted advisers, until the downfall of Richard Cromwell. After that event he joined with Montagu and others of the personal adherents of the Cromwells in endeavouring to bring back the Stuarts on terms favourable to liberty. The blind precipitation of some and the treachery of others were sufficient to prevent the realization of this latter condition, even if it had ever been feasible. On the Restoration, on September 5, 1660, he was created Earl of Orrery in Ireland, and made Lord President of Munster. He continued to take in that capacity, and several times as a Lord Justice, a considerable share in the management of Irish affairs, especially the settlement of that kingdom, until a difference occurring between him and the Duke of Ormonde, he was deprived of his Presidency in 1672. The last part of his life he spent chiefly in privacy, and died October 16, 1679. His younger son, Henry, is the ancestor of the Earl of Shannon, Baron Carleton in England. His elder son, Roger, succeeded as second Earl of Orrery. He was Vice-President of Munster, but a man of studious and retired habits, who took little interest in politics. He died on March 29, 1682, and was succeeded by his son, Lionel, third Earl of Orrery. The seat of the Orrery branch, at Charleville, built by the first Earl, and one of the finest and largest houses in Ireland, was burnt in 1690, it is said by order of the Duke of Ber wick, after he had dined in it, during the James-William contest. The Earl died without issue on August 23, 1703, and was succeeded by his brother Charles, fourth Earl of Orrery, on whom Queen Anne bestowed, on Sep- tember 10, 1711, the barony of Boyle of Marston, in the Peerage of Great Britain. Atter bury was one of his tutors, and Dean Aldrich's Treatise on Logic was drawn up for his use, the author calling him in it "the great ornament of our College" (Christ- church, Oxford). Oxford). While still at college he plunged into contro- versy with Bentley on the Epistles of Phalaris, and stoutly defended himself against the doctor's sarcastic attacks. He entered the English House of Commons, but after succeed- ing to the earldom made the army his career, served with distinction under Marlborough, and was at Malplaquet. He was afterwards sent ambassador to the States of Brabant and Flanders, and in that capacity was busy during the completion of the treaty of Utrecht, after which, as we have seen, he was made an English peer. On the accession of George L he was made a Lord of the Bedchamber, and succeeded Ormonde in the Lord-Lieutenancy of Somerset. His politics were, however, suspiciously Tory, with a Jacobite leaning, and in 1716 his regi- ment was taken from him, and in September, 1722, he was com- mitted prisoner to the Tower on a charge of high treason. The Habeas Corpus being then suspended, he remained in confinement till the March of the following year, when he was released on heavy bail from the Earl of Burlington and Lord Carleton. Subsequently, no proof of guilt being established against him, he was entirely discharged. He died August 28, 1737. He is said to have been remarkable for the sweetness of his temper. He was succeeded by his only son, John, fifth Earl of Orrery and second Baron Boyle of Marston, who having quarrelled with his father on his marriage, the latter left away his valuable library to Christchurch College, and though a reconciliation was afterwards effected, it came too late to cancel this bequest. He succeeded to an estate en- cumbered with debts, and was much occupied in clearing it. He engaged in literary pursuits, and edited the dramatic works of the first Earl of Orrery, with his State letters, and published a trans- lation of Pliny's Letters and Observations on the Life of Swift, with whom he had been personally acquainted. He was carried off at his seat at Marston by the hereditary disease of the gout, on the 16th of November, 1762, having, as we have seen, succeeded pre- viously to the earldom of Cork. His eldest son died before him, and he was succeeded as sixth Earl of Cork and Orrery by his second son, Hamilton, who also engaged in literary pursuits, but died unmarried, January 17, 1764, when his brother Edmund succeeded as seventh Earl of Cork and Orrery. He was not a man of any mark, and died in October, 1798, and was succeeded by his son Edmund, eighth Earl, a general officer in the army, who died, June 30, 1856, and was succeeded by his grandson, Richard Edmund St. Lawrence Boyle, ninth and present Earl of Cork and Orrery, who has exhibited some disposition to engage in politics as a member of the Whig party.
The Boyles have a very distinct character as a family, and are the best representatives probably in the Irish Peerage of the literary and artistic type of nobility. Their political influence was much diminished by the diversion of so many of thets e!titates to the Cavendishes, but they still possess the means of making their power felt in Ministerial circles.