The following post is merely a potted early history of the well-documented and extensive Boyle family, and serves as a useful illustration of the Protestant planatation of Catholic Ireland, and how this Ascendancy family arrived and settled here.
I sourced much of it from 'Memoirs of the Lives and Characters of the Illustrious Family of the Boyles' written by E. Budgell in 1737.
Richard Boyle, the Great Earl of Cork (1566 - 1643)...
The first of this family to be made a peer was Richard Boyle, (the youngest son of Roger Boyle of Kent and of Joan Naylor, both of whom were buried in Preston, Kent), who was known as the Great Earl of Cork. He was born on 3rd October 1566 in Canterbury, Kent, and would become Lord Boyle, Baron of Youghal, Viscount of Dungarvan, and Earl of Cork.
Trained as a lawyer, Richard arrived in Dublin on 23rd June 1588 with £27 and 3 shillings to his name. He married the daughter of William Apsley of Limerick, which brought him £500 per annum, although she died young in childbirth not long after. Richard bought land in Munster but, being wrongly accused by the Treasurer of Ireland, Sir Henry Wallop, of being in league with Catholic Spain, and his land having been laid waste during the Munster rebellion (1579–1583), he sailed from Dingle town to Bristol and from there to London, where Wallop's false evidence caused him to be jailed. Richard, however, managed to wrangle an audience with Queen Elizabeth; he talked his way out of jail, and was duly appointed Clerk of the Council in Munster.
Buying Sir Walter Raleigh's ship 'The Pilgrim', he sailed back to Munster where he participated in the Battle of Kinsale (1601) when the invading Catholic Spanish were defeated by the Protestant forces. Henry Boyle personally conveyed the news of the victory to Queen Elizabeth in London. Shortly afterwards in about 1603, he purchased Sir Walter Raleigh's vast estates in Munster.
On 25 July 1603, Richard Boyle married his second wife, Catherine Fenton, the daughter of Sir Geoffery Fenton, the principle Secretary of State in Ireland. She had first been promised to him when she was just two years old.
On 12th March 1606, Richard was sworn a Privy Counsellor to James I.
In 1616 he was created Lord Boyle, Baron of Youghal, then Lord Viscount Dungarvan and Earl of Cork in 1620. On 26th October 1629, he was created Lord Justice for the Government of Ireland along with his son-in-law Lord Viscount Loftus. In 1631 he was appointed Lord High Treasurer of Ireland.
Richard Boyle died in Youghal in 1643.
The children of Richard Boyle and Catherine Fenton were:
1) Roger Boyle who died aged nine at school in England on 10th October 1615 and was buried in Deptford, England.
2) Richard Boyle, who succeeded his father as 2nd Earl, born in Youghal on 20th October 1612, knighted as Viscount Dungarvan in Youghal on 13th August 1624. He married Elizabeth Clifford , the daughter of the Earl of Cumberland, and died aged 86 on 15th January 1697. Both his sons, Richard and Charles Boyle 3rd Vicount Dungarvan, predeceased him, so the succession passed to his grandson, Charles Boyle, 2nd Earl of Burlington,the son of Charles by a daughter of William, Duke of Somerset. Charles Boyle, 2nd Earl of Burlington, had a daughter, Henrietta Boyle (1701 - 1746) who married her distant cousin Henry Boyle, the Earl of Shannon. Another descendant of this line, Charlotte Elizabeth Boyle, married William Cavendish, the Duke of Devonshire, whose son, William would marry Georgiana Spencer, the reknowned Duchess of Devonshire.
3) Lewis who became Baron of Bandon and Viscount Kinelmeaky. Born 23rd March 1619. He married Elizabeth Fielding, the daughter of Sir William Fielding of Newenham Padox. Lewis, who supported the royal cause during the English Civil War, died at the Battle of Liscarrol on 3rd September 1642. In recogition of her husband's support, Charles II bestowed a peerage on Lewis's widow in 1660 when she was created the Countess of Guildford.
4) Roger Boyle, the Baron of Broghill and Earl of Orrery. (See Below...)
5) Francis, Lord Shannon, who was married at the London court to Elizabeth Killegrewe, with the support of the royal family.
6) Robert Boyle, born in Lismore, Waterford, on 25th January 1626, Robert Boyle remained a bachelor all his life. Reknowned as a theologist and philosopher and the founder of modern chemistry, he lived with his sister Lady Ranelagh in Pall Mall, London.
7) Margaret Boyle, born in Channel Row, Westminster, England on 30th April 1629 when her father was 64 years old.
8) Lady Alice who married the Earl of Barrimore.
9) Sarah who married Lord Digby.
10) Lettice who married Lord Goring.
11) Mary who married the Earl of Warwick, ie: Charles Rich, son of Robert Rich of Leeze.
12)Joan who married the Earl of Kildare.
13) Dorothy who married Lord Loftus.
14) Katherine (1615-91) who married Lord Ranelagh, becoming Katherine Jones. She lived in Pall Mall, London, and would later separate from her husband. A leading intellectual of her time, she was a member of the Hartlib Circle whose interests included educational reform, medicine, agriculture and chemistry.
Roger Boyle, Lord Broghill, Earl of Orrery, son of Richard Boyle and Catherine Fenton:
Born 26th April 1621, he married Margaret Howard, sister to the Earl of Suffolk. Having travelled the continent as a young man, Roger returned to Ireland in 1641, a year of Catholic rebellion in Ireland where he summoned up a body of 500 men to fight the Royalist cause. However, following the execution of Charles I, Roger retired to his English seat at Marston; although wishing to see the restoration of the King, he fought alongside Cromwell in Ireland, despite the suspicion that he was a Royalist at heart. Following his return home to Munster, he finally nailed his true colours to the mast and sent his brother, the Earl of Shannon, to invite Charles II to Munster, a wise move which, following the restoration of the King, led to Roger Boyle being created the Earl of Orrery. Roger drew up the Act of Settlement which restored land to some Catholics, and which doled out much more of it to the Protestant population.
Sick and suffering from gout, Roger Boyle, Lord Broghill, Earl of Orrery, died on 16th October 1679.
The children of Roger Boyle and Margaret Howard were:
1) Roger Boyle, son of Roger Boyle and Margaret Howard. who succeeded his father as the 2nd Earl of Orrery. A son, Charles, was born in 1676, and married Mary, the daughter of Richard, the Earl of Dorset. His son, Lionel Boyle, succeeded him, dying on 23rd August 1703.
2) Henry, son of Roger Boyle and Margaret Howard. Lieutenant-Colonel in Schomberg's Regiment, who died in Flanders in 1691 or 1693. Living in Castlemartyr, Co. Cork, his house was besieged by the Catholic General McCarthy in 1688, following which Henry and his family fled first to Cork city, then to London in Mary 1689. He was at this point appointed to the Protestant Schomberg's regiment, subsequently fighting at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 when the Protestant forces of William of Orange defeated the Catholic cause of James II.
Henry married Mary O'Brien, the daughter of Lord Inchiquin, Murrough O'Brien, and of Elizabeth Saint Leger of Kent.
Following Henry Boyle's death, Mary O'Brien married, secondly, Admiral Sir Thomas Dilks, then, thirdly, Colonel John Irwin of Sligo. By her second husband, Sir Thomas Dilks, she had a son, Michael O'Brien Dilks, and a daughter, Mary Mrs. Maitland.
The children of Henry Boyle of Castlemartyr and Mary O'Brien were:
a) Roger Boyle who died unmarried in 1705.
b) Henry Boyle, (1648–1693), son of Henry Boyle of Castlemartyr and Mary O'Brien, Speaker of the House of Commons, who was created 1st Earl of Shannon.
His wives were Catherine Coote, the daughter of Chidley Coote of Killester, Dublin, who died young and childless, and his distant cousin Henrietta Boyle, the daughter of Charles Boyle, Earl of Cork and 2nd Earl of Burlington; the second marriage occurred in September 1726.
Henry, Earl of Shannon died on 28th December 1764, and was succeeded by his son Richard Boyle, 2nd Earl of Shannon. Henry's daughter was Juliana Boyle who married Somerset, Earl of Carrick in 1748. This couple settled at Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, and I came across mention of them in a deed in the Registry of Deeds, ie: 548-195-362169. This was one of those long and rambling, indecipherable documents which I was too lazy to transcribe - I merely noted the main points. It was dated 25th February 1802 and named our maternal 5 x grandfather, Rev. John Pennefather of Newport as the executor of his maternal uncle's will, the Honorable Joseph Lyaght of the City of Cork. This deed recited an earlier will, dated January 1773, whereby the Right Honorable Henry, late earl of Shannon, bequeathed £5000 to Richard, the present Earl of Shannon for the the use of Juliana, Countess of Carrick, Henry's daughter, and her husband Somerset, Earl of Carrick.
Other children of Henry Boyle, 2nd Earl of Shannon, and of Henrietta Boyle, were Captain Henry Boyle-Walsingham who died young, William Boyle who died in 1740, Charles Boyle who died in 1734, and Captain Robert Boyle of the Royal Navy who had been born in 1736. This son, Captain Robert Boyle, assumed the name 'Boyle-Walsingham' following his brother's death, and married Charlotte Hanbury Williams on 27th November 1776. They had two children, Charlotte Boyle Walsingham and Richard O'Brien Boyle.
The Obituary of Richard, 2nd Earl of Shannon, the son of Henry, Earl of Shannon and of Henrietta Boyle, appeared in 'The Gentleman's Magazine' of 1807:
'At his seat at Castle Martyr, co. Cork, at the advanced age of 80, Richard Boyle, Earl of Shannon, Viscount Boyle, Baron of Castle Martyr, Knight of St. Patrick, Governor and Custos-Rotulorum of the County of York, a Privy Counsellor in England and Ireland, and a Peer of England by the title of Baron Carleton of Carleton in Yorkshire.
This distinguished nobleman (whose Parliamentary influence in the sister kingdom, previous to the Union, was so unbounded, that no Vice-Regent felt easy on his throne, until he secured his Lordship's friendship) was born Jan. 30th 1727, and sat first in Parliament in 1749, for the borough of Dungarvon. In 1761, he was elected member for the county; which situation he continued to fill until 1763, when he succeeded his father, Earl Henry, in the peerage. In 1766 his Lordship was appointed Master-general of the Ordnance, and sworn of his Majesty's Privy Council. In December 1781, he was appointed a Lord of the Treasury, and on the first institution of the order of St. Patrick, nominated an original Knight Companion. In September, 1787, created (at the King's influence, without any solicitation from his Lordship) a Peer of Great Britain, by the title of Baron Carleton, in Yorkshire, which honour had become extinct in another branch of the Boyle family, by the decease, without issue, of Henry Boyle, Lord Carleton, in 1724, who was principal Secretary of State to Queen Anne in 1707.
The Earl of Shannon married, Dec. 15, 1763, Catherine Ponsonby, eldest daughter of the Right Hon. John Ponsonby (Speaker of the House of Commons in Ireland, and brother of the second Earl of Bessborough), by the Lady Cavendish, daughter of the third Duke of Devonshire, by whom he has left issue, one son, Henry, Viscount Boyle, representative for the county of Cork, born August 8 , 1771, married, June 1795, to Sarah, fourth daughter of John Hyde, esq., by whom he has issue, three daughters; and Catherine Henrietta, born Jan., 12, 1768, married, Feb., 12. 1784, to Francis, Earl of Bandon.
The late Earl of Shannon was the eldest son of Henry Boyle, the first Earl, and many years Speaker of the House of Commons, by Lady Henrietta, daughter of Charles Boyle, third Earl of Cork; which Henry Earl of Shannon was son of the Honorable Henry Boyle of Castle Martyr (by Lady Mary O'Brien, daughter of Murrough Earl of Inchiquin), younger son of Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery, and grandson of Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork. The title of Viscount Shannon (revived in the late Earl's father) was first conferred in 1660 by Charles II on the Hon. Francis Boyle, sixth son of the first Earl of Cork, for his services in the Civil Wars; but the title became extinct in 1740, on the death of Francis, Viscount Shannon without male issue.'
c) Margaret Boyle, daughter of Henry Boyle and Mary O'Brien, who married Joseph Deane of Crumlin in 1715, and from whom we directly descend. The daughter of Joseph Deane and Margaret Boyle was Catherine Deane who married John Lysaght, Baron Lisle of Mountnorth, whose daughter, Mary Lysaght, married Kingsmill Pennefather of Cashel, who were the ancestors of our maternal great-great grandmother, Isabella Anna Pennefather of Dublin.
d) Captain Charles Boyle of the Royal Navy, son of Henry Boyle and Mary O'Brien.
e) Captain William Boyle, son of Henry Boyle and Mary O'Brien, commissioner of appeals, who married in 1711 Mary Beaufoy the only daughter of Sir Samuel Garth, physician-general of the army. William Boyle died in 1725.
f) Elizabeth Boyle, daughter of Henry Boyle and Mary O'Brien, who married Bettridge Badham of Rockfield, Co. Cork, in 1709.
4) Lady Margaret Boyle, daughter of of Roger Boyle and Margaret Howard, who married William O' Brien, Earl of Inchiquin. William O'Brien, Baron of the Burren, was the eldest son of the Honorable Elizabeth, Countess Dowager of Inchiquin, eldest daughter of the Honorable William Sent Leger of Kent and Lord President of Munster, and of the Right Honorable Murrough O'Brien, Lord Baron Inchiquin, Lord Viscount Brien of Burren by King Charles II.
5) Catherine Boyle, daughter of of Roger Boyle and Margaret Howard, who married William Brett of Somerset.
6) Barabara Boyle, daughter of of Roger Boyle and Margaret Howard, who married Arthur Chichester, Earl of Donegal.