Katherine Jones, Viscountess Ranelagh
Katherine Jones, Viscountess Ranelagh (22 March 1615–23 December 1691) was a leading Anglo-Irish intellectual in London of the Interregnum period. She was sister to Robert Boyle, and in her own right a political and social figure closely connected to the Hartlib Circle.
In the mid-1640s in London, having left Ireland after the rebellion of 1641, she came to be a friend and supporter of John Milton, sending him as pupil her nephew Richard Barry in 1645. Barry was followed some time later by her son Richard.
Apart from Samuel Hartlib himself and his closest ally John Dury, she knew John Beale, Arnold Boate and Gerard Boate, Sir Cheney Culpeper, Theodore Haak, William Petty, Robert Wood and Benjamin Worsley. Christopher Hill suggested that her house may have been the meeting place of the "Invisible College" of the later 1640s. From 1656 Henry Oldenburg was tutor to her son Richard. In the 1650s her brother Robert Boyle had a laboratory in her London house, as well as in Oxford, and they experimented together. She was also prominent in the Hartlib Circle of correspondents.
In 1656 she went to Ireland on family business, staying several years. With Arthur Annesley and William Morice she interceded for Milton, arrested after the English Restoration of 1660. In 1668 her brother Robert came to live with her on Pall Mall.
Her children were:
- Catherine, born 1633, who married Sir William Parsons and then in 1660 Hugh Montgomery, 1st Earl of Mount Alexander.
- Frances, born 1639
- Richard Jones, 1st Earl of Ranelagh, born 1640.
- Barbara Lewalski (2003), The Life of John Milton
- Sarah, Hutton. "Jones, Katherine". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/66365. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Lewalski, p. 602 note 5.
- Lewalski, p. 199.
- Lewalski, p. 332.
- Christopher Hill, Milton and the English Revolution (1977), p. 133
- Hall, Marie Boas. "Oldenburg, Henry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/20676. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Lisa Jardine, On a Grander Scale: The Outstanding Career of Sir Christopher Wren (2001), p. 88
- Lewalski, p. 337.
- Blair Worden, Literature and Politics in Cromwellian England (2007), p. 369.
- Lisa Jardine, The Curious Life of Robert Hooke (2003), p. 89
- Armstrong, R. M. "Montgomery, Hugh". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/19068. (subscription or UK public library membership required)