Richard Boyle (bishop)

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Richard Boyle (c.1574–1644), Archbishop of Tuam, was the elder brother of Michael Boyle the elder, bishop of Waterford, and the second son of Michael Boyle, merchant, of London, and Jane, daughter and co-heir to William Peacock.[1][2]


Richard Boyle was born around 1574.[2] In 1590 he entered Corpus Christi College, Cambridge but is recorded to have migrated to St John’s College, Cambridge.[3] He graduated with a BA in 1595 which lead to an MA three years later, and was incorporated MA at Oxford on 16 July 1601. He held vicarage of Finedon in Northamptonshire before embarking on a Church of Ireland ecclesiastical career.[2]

He became warden of Youghal on 24 February 1603, dean of Waterford on 10 May 1603 (until 1620),[1] and dean of Tuam in May 1604,[2] archdeacon of Limerick on 8 May 1605, and bishop of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross on 22 August 1620, these three preferments being obtained through the interest of his cousin, Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork.[1] He was advanced to the see of Tuam on 30 May 1638. On the outbreak of the Irish Rebellion of 1641, he retired with Dr. John Maxwell, bishop of Killala, and others, to Galway for protection, where, when the town rose in arms against the garrison, his life was preserved through the influence of Ulick Burke, Earl of Clanricarde. He died at Cork on 19 March 1645, and was buried in the Cathedral of St. Finbar. He is said to have repaired more churches and consecrated more new ones than any other bishop of his time.[1]


Richard Boyle married Martha, daughter of Richard (or John) Wright, of Catherine Hill, Surrey, he left two sons and nine daughters;[1] his elder son, Michael Boyle the younger, was Archbishop of Armagh and father of the 1st Viscount Blessington,;[4][5] the other son Richard was a Royalist officer who was captured at the end of the Siege of Drogheda and executed five days later.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Henderson 1886, p. 116
  2. ^ a b c d Henderson & Boran 2004
  3. ^ "Boyle, Richard (BL590R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  4. ^ a b Kimber 1784, p. 346.
  5. ^ Ball & 1926 pp. 276-7.