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Richard Boyle

First Earl of Cork.

The unfortunate Sir Walter Raleigh's estates in Ireland were purchased by Richard Boyle who arrived in Ireland circa 1588. From Canterbury in England, he was born in 1566 and was to have a notable influence on the legacy and growth of Youghal. Marrying a wealthy heiress in 1595, Joan Aspley, allowed him to purchase Sir Walter Raleigh's Estate for £1,500 pounds and he proceeded to bring over settles and soldiers from England (many from Bristol) in order to garrison the town and land against the Gaelic Irish during the Munster plantation. Joan Aspley herself died in 1599 leaving Boyle with an estate of 500 pounds a year, a sum he continued to recieve until around 1632. 


In recognition of his successful work such as the plantation and his iron works he was granted the title of Lord Boyle and was made Earl of Cork. He also achieved the titles of 1st Viscount Dungarvan and 1st Baron of Youghal while also being appointed as Lord High treasurer of Ireland in 1631. It was during Boyle's time that many of the yew trees surrounding Youghal and from which the town derives its name were cut down as fuel for his iron works although logging of these trees had long been ongoing. Boyle also built the towns of Clonakilty (1613) and Bandon in Cork.

During the Irish rebellions of 1641, Boyle ensured the defence of the town and its loyalty to the English cause. Two years later, at the age of 77, he died and is buried in St. Mary's Church in Youghal, where his tomb can still be seen.

Sir Richard Boyle's grave in St. Mary's Church, Youghal

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