BOYLE, RICHARD, one of the greatest statesmen of the 17th century, generally styled the Great Earl of Cork, was the youngest son of Roger Boyle, and was born at Canterbury, October 3, 1566. He studied at Benet College, Cambridge, and afterwards became a student in the Middle Temple. Having lost his parents, and being unable to support himself in the prosecution of his studies, he became clerk to Sir Richard Mauwood, chief baron of the exchequer ; but finding this employment little likely to improve his fortune, be went to Ireland. He was then about twenty-two years of age, graceful in person, and possessing many accomplishments, which enabled him to render himself useful to some of the principal persons employed in the Government. In 1595 he married one of the daughters and co-heiresses of 'William Apsley. This lady died four years afterwards, leaving him a landed estate of £500 a year. He purchased land extensively, and was looked upon with great jealousy by sonic of the neighbouring proprietors, who did all they could to blacken his character., But he was fortunate enough to find a patron in Queen Elizabeth, and his fortunes, which had been broken by the Munster rebellion, rapidly improved. In consequence of various services and the great ability he displayed, he gradually rose to the highest offices ; and in 1616 he was created, by king James I., Lord Boyle, Baron of Youghall in the county of Cork. Four years later lie was created Viscount Dungarvan and earl of Cork, and in 1631 he was appointed lord-treasurer of Ireland, an honour that was made hereditary in his family. lie particularly distinguished himself by the noble stand he made when the great rebellion broke out in Ireland in the reign of Charles I., acting with as much bravery and military skill as if he had been trained from his infancy to the profession of arms. Having turned the castle of Lismore, his principal seat, into a fortress, he immediately armed and disciplined his servants and Protestant tenants; and with their assistance, and a small army, raised and maintained at his own expense, which be put under the command of his four sons, he defended the province of Munster, and took several strong castles. During this time he paid his forces regularly ; and when all his money was exhausted, he converted his plate into coin. lie died on the 15th September 1644.