Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork and the Clonakilty community:

some new evidence, c.1613-41

Lecture by 

Dr David Edwards

Thursday Feb 23 at 8pm

Clonakilty GAA Pavilion, Ahamilla

Richard Boyle (1566-1643), a notorious ‘New English’ adventurer, who first came to Ireland in 1588 was reputed to be the wealthiest man in the Kingdom of Britain and Ireland by the time of his death. His land-grabbing activities in Munster and parts of Connacht and Leinster helped to transform the social and economic life of early seventeenth-century Ireland. He re-peopled large parts of southern Ireland with English and Welsh settlers and artisans to create a supposedly model English colony.

The town of Clonakilty was formally founded by him in 1613 when he received a charter for the town from King James I of England. It was just one of a series of towns that he founded or acquired around this time which included Lismore, Youghal, Bandon, Midleton, Castlemartyr, Charleville and Doneraile. He was created first Earl of Cork in 1620.

He was the father of fifteen children, including Robert Boyle considered to be the father of modern chemistry, and was preoccupied in procuring estates for each son and dowries and suitable matches for each daughter.

 Dr David Edwards is a Senior Lecturer in the School of History, University College Cork. He has researched and published on a range of topics dealing with Irish history between 1350 and 1650. His principal area of research is power and society in Ireland, from the Gaelic resurgence of the fourteenth century to the wars of religion in the seventeenth century. His current principal project focuses on the career and estate of Richard Boyle. With Dr Colin Rynne he edited The colonial world of Richard Boyle, first Earl of Cork in 2018, in which Boyle’s reputation is re-assessed.