London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:

1632 - 1877

Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Records relating to the family of Boyle, Earls of Burlington and Cork, and of the family of Fairfax, Barons Fairfax of Cameron. Papers include notes by Sir Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, on the rise of his family (copy of a document of 1632); commissions of Henry, Lord Fairfax as Colonel of the Regiment of Foot, West Riding, Yorkshire, 1679 and 1685; appointment of Thomas, Lord Fairfax, as Deputy Lieutenant for West Riding and York, 1700; papers of Richard, 3rd Earl of Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork, including records of the management of his estates in Ireland and Burlington Gardens, London, legal papers, and correspondence, 1724-25.
Extent: 0.01 linear metres.
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, was born in 1566. He was educated at Cambridge before joining the Middle Temple. In 1588 he went to Ireland and took up a post as deputy escheator, with the work of identifying, valuing and leasing lands confiscated following an uprising in Munster. He profited from the position, helping his friends and himself to valuable portions of land. His dealings caused scandal and he narrowly avoided arrest, returning to London in 1598. Once the controversy had abated and his supporters were in power, he purchased the lands of Sir Walter Ralegh in Munster, so that his estates now amounted to over 42,000 acres. In July 1603 Boyle married Catherine Fenton, the daughter of one of his patrons, and had 7 sons and 8 daughters. After his marriage he concentrated on the management of his estates and avoiding further political scandal. He was created Lord Boyle, Baron of Youghal, in 1616 and Earl of Cork in 1620. He is thought to have paid £4500 for these honours. In 1629 he was appointed lord justice of Ireland. He died in 1643.

    Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork, was born in 1694 in Burlington House, Piccadilly [now the home of the Royal Academy], the only son of Charles Boyle, the 2nd Earl of Burlington and 3rd Earl of Cork. He inherited his fathers' title and estates on the latter's death in 1704, including Burlington House in London, a subruban estate at Chiswick, a country seat at Londesborough in East Riding, Yorkshire, and Lismore Castle with extensive estates in Waterford and Cork. In 1715 he was made lord treasurer of Ireland and governor of county Cork. He was also vice admiral of York and lord lieutenant of the East and West Ridings. In 1729 he was assigned to the privy council of England; but resigned all his offices in 1733. However Burlington was more noted for his activities as an architect and patron of the arts. He was a fellow of the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquaries. He practiced architecture, adopting a Palladian classical style for his own villa at Chiswick and the villas and town houses of his friends and family. He was a great patron of music and literature, often allowing poets such as Alexander Pope and musicians such as Handel to stay at Burlington House. Burlington died in 1753. His sole heir was his daughter Charlotte, who was married to William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire. The family holdings in York and Ireland passed to the Devonshire family.

    The Fairfax family were established by Thomas Fairfax, the first Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1560-1640), who built a mansion house at Denton, near Ilkley, Yorkshire.

    Information from: Toby Barnard, ‘Boyle, Richard, first earl of Cork (1566–1643)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2008 [, accessed 28 June 2011] and Pamela Denman Kingsbury, ‘Boyle, Richard, third earl of Burlington and fourth earl of Cork (1694–1753)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [, accessed 28 June 2011] .
Creator: Boyle | Richard | 1566-1643 | 1st Earl of Cork
Boyle | Richard | 1694-1753 | 3rd Earl of Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork | architect and patron of the arts
Boyle | family | of Ireland and England
Copyright: Depositor
Source of Acquisition:
  • AC/68/028
  • Deposited in March 1968.
Access Restrictions: These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 2018
Physical Condition: Fit
Arrangement: Records arranged in chronological order.
Related Material: Other papers of Richard Boyle (1566-1643) can be found at Balliol College, Oxford; the British Library; the National Library of Ireland, the Public Record Office Northern Ireland, and Sheffield Archives.