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Upon his return to Ireland, Mr. Boyle assisted at the siege of Beerhaven Castle, which was taken by storm, and the garrison put to the sword. After the reduction of the western part of the province, the Lord President sent him again to England to solicit the Queen's leave for his return: and having advised him to buy Sir Walter Ralegh's lands -in Munster,* gave
him a letter to Sir Robert Cecil, containing a very favourable statement of his abilities and services; in consideration of which, he desired the Secretary to introduce him to Sir Walter as a respectable purchaser.? Carew wrote at the same time to Ralegh himself, advising him to sell Mr. Boyle his Irish estates, which to his Lordship’s knowledge from want of tenants had never yielded him any
benefit, but on the contrary, for the support of his titles, cost him annually 2007.!' At a meeting between Cecil, Ralegh, and Boyle, the purchase was concluded on easy terms.
In 1602, by Carew's advice; he paid his addresses to Katharine, daughter of Sir George Fenton, and married her in 1603, her father being at that time principal Secretary of State. “ I never demanded," says he, “ any marriage-portion with her, neither promise of any, it not being in my considerations; yet her father, after my marriage, gave me one thousand pounds in gold with her. But that gift of his daughter to me I must ever thankfully ac
* Consisting of 12,000 acres in the counties of Cork and Waterford: on this Boyle settled English Protestants only, and by his buildings and other improvements soon rendered it the most thriving property in Ireland.
+ This Mr. Boyle calls, the third addition and rise to his estate.'
knowledge as the crown of all my blessings; for she was a most religious, virtuous, loving, and obedient wife to me all the days of her life, and the mother of all my hopeful children.”
On his wedding-day he received the honour of knighthood from Carew, now promoted to be Lord Deputy of Ireland. In 1606, he was sworn a Privy Councillor to King James for the province of Munster; and in 1612, for the kingdom of Ireland. In 1616, he was created Lord Boyle, Baron of Youghall; and in 1620, Viscount Dungarvan, and Earl of Cork. The new Lord Deputy (Falkland) having strongly represented his services to Charles I., his Majesty by a letter dated November 30, 1627, directed his Excellency to confer the honours of Baron Bandon and Viscount Kinelmeaky upon the Earl's second surviving son Lewis, though he was then only eight years old. In 1629, on the departure of Lord Falkland, the Earl of Cork, in conjunction with Lord Loftus, was appointed one of the Lords Justices of Ireland, and held that office several years. In the February following, he lost his Countess. In 1631, he was constituted Lord High Treasurer of Ireland, and had interest sufficient to get that high office made hereditary in his family. Nevertheless, he suffered many mortifications during the administration of Lord Wentworth, afterward Earl of Strafford, who from a jealousy of his authority determined to bring him down; imagining that, if he could humble the great Earl of Cork, no one besides in that country could give him much trouble. From the evidence which he gave upon that nobleman's trial it appeared, that when he had commenced a suit at law, Strafford arbitrarily forbade his proceeding in it, saying; “ Call in your writs, or if you will not, I will clap you in the castle; for I tell you, I will not have my orders disputed by law, nor lawyers.* On the breaking out of the rebellion in 1641, the Earl of Cork, as soon as he returned from England, raised two troops of horse, which he placed under the command of his sons, Viscount Kinelmeaky and Lord Broghill, maintaining them with four hundred foot for some months at his own charge. In the battle of Liscarrol, in 1642, four of his sons were engaged under Lord Inchiquin, and the eldest fell in the field. The Earl himself died about a year afterward, aged seventy-eight, having spent the last as he did the first part of his life, in supporting the crown of England against the Irish rebels.
Though not an English Peer, he was admitted, on account of his eminent abilities and knowledge of the world, to sit in the House of Lords upon the woolsack, ut consiliarius. When Cromwell witnessed his prodigious and unexpected improvements in Ireland, he declared that, “if there had been an Earl of Cork in every province, there could have been no rebellion.'
* Lord Cork, for the purpose of erecting a monument to the memory of his second lady, had purchased in 1630 from the Dean and Chapter of St. Patrick's the inheritance of the upper part of the chancel, where her maternal grandfather (the Lord Chancellor Weston) and her father were interred. This tomb, it was alleged, 'occupied the place where the altar ought to stand.' A complaint upon the subject was transmitted to Charles I., who referred the matter to Laud, then Bishop of London; and Laud on becoming Primate, unsatisfied with the representations of the Irish Archbishops Usher and Bulkeley (who stated, that the tomb was not so situated, and that instead of being an inconvenience it was a great ornament to the church') moved Wentworth, then Lord Deputy, that an inquiry might be instituted. The result was, that the tomb was removed.
He rigidly exercised his power in executing Queen Elizabeth's severe laws against the Catholics, and shut up many mass-houses which had been opened, as well in Dublin as in the country. He also transplanted a number of the uncivilised natives from the fertile province of Leinster to the deserts of Kerry; in apt conformity to the wretched system of policy, which has so long regarded Ireland as a conquered country, and it's inhabitants as slaves ever ready to rebel against their masters.
He affected not places and titles, until he was. able to maintain them; for he was in his thirty seventh year when he became a Knight, and in his fiftieth when he was raised to the peerage. He made large purchases, but not till he was able to improve them; and by his prudence he grew rich upon estates, which had ruined their former posses
He increased his wealth, not by hoarding, but by spending; for he built and walled several towns at his own cost, in places so well situated, that they were quickly filled with inhabitants, who by moderate rents speedily reimbursed him with interest. The money, so returned, he as readily laid out again : and thus, in the space of forty years, acquired to himself what in some countries would be esteemed a noble principality. He was consequently enabled to bestow estates upon his sons,* as they successively
• He had fifteen children by his second wife (seven sons, and eight daughters) many of whom survived him, and attained great distinction. His fifth son Roger, at the age of seven created in 1628 Baron Broghill, signalised himself against the rebels; is said afterward to have suggested to the Protector the scheme of marrying his daughter Frances to the exiled Sovereign Charles II., and of assuming the title of King (both without effect); in 1660
arrived at years of discretion, and he married his daughters into the best families in Ireland. His power and credit were continually increasing, and while the English admired his wisdom, his countrymen stood amazed at his magnificence: for, with the power and property, he had the soul and spirit of a prince; and his castle of Lismore looked rather like the palace of a sovereign, than the residence of a private man, whose estate was of his own raising. He outlived most of those, who had known the lowliness of his beginning; but with a noble contempt of mere pedigree he delighted to remember it himself, and even took pains to transmit the memory of it to posterity, in the motto which he always used, and which he caused to be placed upon his tomb, GOD'S PROVIDENCE IS MY INHERITANCE.'
was advanced to the dignity of Earl of Orrery, and appointed one of the Lords Justices for Ireland: and, though subsequently deprived of his presidential power in Munster, and even impeached for high treason in parliament, he contrived to be consulted in difficult emergencies by the King, and uprightly though unsuccessfully to oppose the favourite projects of a French alliance and Dutch humiliation. Voluminous, though not eminent as a writer, in the capacity of a patron of literature, he was respectable. Of his youngest son and fourteenth child Robert, one of the most illustrious philosophers of modern times, a Memoir is given in a subsequent volume. Francis was created Lord Shannon. From these sons descended the Earls of Burlington (whose heiress carried Lismore, with great Irish property, into the Devonshire family) of Cork and Orrery, now united, and of Shannon; and, as an additional proof of their illustrious parent's influence, may be named the Earl of Blessington (a title extinct in 1769) descended from his eldest brother, for whom he procured the bishopric of Cork. His daughters married, respectively, the Earls of Barrymore, Warwick, and Kil. dare, and the Lords Digby, Goring, Loftus, and Ranelagh.