New book on Richard Boyle by UCC researchers

9 Mar 2018
The colonial world of Richard Boyle, first Earl of Cork, edited by David Edwards and Colin Rynne, UCC

A new book re-examines the career and reputation of one of the most famous - and infamous - figures in Irish history, and his role in transforming Munster during the early 17th century.

Besides being the father of Robert Boyle the scientist (author of Boyle’s Law), Richard Boyle, first Earl of Cork (d. 1643) is often remembered as the archetypal English land-grabber of the Age of Plantations and as a religious and political oppressor of the Catholic native Irish.

This book presents a more nuanced view of his life and affairs. The product of a major research project at University College Cork, it shows that Boyle built his fortune at the expense of other English as well as Irish people; that he had extensive ties to the Gaelic and Catholic Irish, which he kept hidden; that he and his followers performed an important policing role in Munster before the 1641 rebellion; and that his investments in industry and building projects had a lasting impact on the economic infrastructure of the south of the country.

The book, by a team of historians and archaeologists, is a major contribution to the understanding of Early Modern Ireland and Munster’s colonial past. 

The editors of the book are the historian, David Edwards, and archaeologist, Colin Rynne, of University College Cork. Edwards was Principal Investigator of the ‘Colonial Landscapes of Richard Boyle’ project funded by the Irish Research Council while Rynne was Assistant Investigator on the Colonial Landscapes project.

The colonial world of Richard Boyle, first earl of Cork, edited by David Edwards and Colin Rynne is published by Four Courts Press

Media: For further information contact Ruth Mc Donnell, Head of Media and PR, Office of Marketing and Communications, UCC Mob: 086-0468950

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