Patrick Boyle, 8th Earl of Glasgow

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Patrick James Boyle, 8th Earl of Glasgow, DSO (18 June 1874 – 14 December 1963) was a Scottish nobleman and a far right political activist, involved with fascist parties and groups.

Royal Navy[edit]

Boyle was trained for a naval career at the cadet ship HMS Britannia and graduated as a Royal Navy Lieutenant on 22 June 1897.[1][2][3] He was Flag Lieutenant to Rear Admiral Edmund Jeffreys, Senior Naval Officer, Coast of Ireland Station, serving on his flagship HMS Howe which was port guard ship at Queenstown. They transferred to HMS Empress of India in October 1901, when that vessel relieved the Howe.[4] He was promoted to Commander on 31 December 1908[5] and eventually obtained the rank of Captain before retiring in 1919. He saw action during the First World War, commanding HMS Pyramus, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1915.[1] Following his retirement from active duty he was admitted to the ceremonial role of Lieutenant of the Royal Company of Archers.[1]

Right-wing politics[edit]

Boyle was also noted for his extremist views and took an active role in a number of rightist groups in the inter-war period. An anti-communist by inclination, his views were informed by a landing he made as a Naval Commander in Vladivostok in 1917 where he claimed to witness examples of Bolshevik terror that helped to solidify his rightist opinions.[6] He was one of a number of large landowners who joined the British Fascists in the early 1920s,[7] largely inspired by slump in agriculture and the simultaneous rise in taxation that they blamed on democracy and the rise of the left.[8] Boyle served as leader of the British Fascists units in Scotland.[9] Close to Brigadier R. B. D. Blakeney, Boyle joined Blakeney's splinter group the Loyalists in 1926 in order to support the work of the Organisation for the Maintenance of Supplies. This group had agreed to disavow fascism in order to co-operate with the government.[10] Boyle disappeared from the political scene soon afterwards when, virtually bankrupted by the burden of his large estates, he emigrated to France, remaining there until 1930.[11]

Following his return to the United Kingdom Boyle once again became involved in rightist politics and was a regular invitee to the January Club, a high society discussion club organised by the British Union of Fascists.[12] According to contemporary Labour Party documents Boyle subsequently provided funding to Oswald Mosley's party, which was one of the intentions of the January Club.[13] Boyle also joined the Anglo-German Fellowship.[14]


Boyle succeeded to the title of 8th Earl of Glasgow on 13 December 1915, also succeeding to the subsidiary titles of 8th Viscount Kelburn, 2nd Baron Fairlie of Fairlie, Ayrshire, and 8th Lord Boyle, of Kelburn, Stewartoun, Finnick, Largs and Dalry.[1] He also served as Vice-Lord-Lieutenant of Ayrshire from 1942 to 1963.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Boyle married Hyacynthe Mary Bell on 29 May 1906 and had five children:[1]

  • Rear-Admiral David William Maurice Boyle, 9th Earl of Glasgow (24 July 1910 – 8 June 1984)
  • Lady Grizel Mary Boyle (28 April 1913 – 26 September 1942) -- died after two weeks in a lifeboat in the open Atlantic after the sinking of the RMS Laconia
  • Lady Hersey Margaret Boyle (11 July 1914 – 1993)
  • Captain Hon. Patrick James Boyle (23 May 1917 – 4 May 1946)
  • Lady Margaret Dorothea Boyle (born 20 November 1920).

Thomas Inskip, 1st Viscount Caldecote was his brother-in-law, being married to Boyle's sister.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Captain Patrick James Boyle, 8th Earl of Glasgow
  2. ^ Captain Patrick James Boyle, Lives of the First World War
  3. ^ UK Navy List, March 1907, page 108
  4. ^ "Naval & military intelligence". The Times (36562). London. 17 September 1901. p. 9.
  5. ^ UK Navy List, August 1912, page 101
  6. ^ Richard Griffiths, Fellow Travellers on the Right, Oxford University Press, 1983, p. 87
  7. ^ Hoare, Philip (4 July 2014). "Ivor Novello and Noël Coward's flirtation with fascism". The Guardian.
  8. ^ Martin Pugh, "Hurrah For the Blackshirts!" Fascists and Fascism in Britain Between the War, Pimlico, 2006, pp. 52–53
  9. ^ Thomas Linehan, British Fascism 1918–39: Parties, Ideology and Culture, Manchester University Press, 2000, p. 62
  10. ^ Pugh, "Hurrah For the Blackshirts!", p. 66
  11. ^ Pugh, "Hurrah For the Blackshirts!", p. 82
  12. ^ Pugh, "Hurrah For the Blackshirts!", p. 146
  13. ^ Stephen Dorril, Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley & British Fascism, Penguin, 2007, p. 278
  14. ^ Pugh, "Hurrah For the Blackshirts!", p. 270
  15. ^ Griffiths, Fellow Travellers on the Right, p. 218

External links[edit]

Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
David Boyle
Earl of Glasgow
Succeeded by
David William Maurice Boyle