Amongst the Elect

Shannon portrait

Here is a portrait of Richard Boyle, fourth Earl of Shannon painted by a relatively little-known mid-19th century artist, the Hon Henry Richard Graves. Prior to inheriting his title, Boyle sat in the House of Commons representing County Cork. However, in the aftermath of the 1832 Reform Act with its attendant increase in the size of the electorate, he lost his seat, one of those returned in his place being Garret Standish Barry, the first Roman Catholic to enter Parliament since the Catholic Relief Act three years earlier.
Once notable landowners in East Cork where they owned the Castlemartyr estate, the Earls of Shannon are a branch of the Boyle dynasty established in Ireland by Richard Boyle, the great Earl of Cork. Until the fourth Earl’s unseating, they had enjoyed an active association with this country’s politics: the first Lord Shannon Henry Boyle served as Speaker of the Irish House of Commons for more than two decades before being raised to the peerage in 1756.
The picture above is one of a collection depicting members of the family which from next week will be on show in the Irish Georgian Society’s headquarters, the City Assembly House, Dublin. To mark the opening of the exhibition, at 6pm on Tuesday, May 27th I will be holding a public discussion about his forebears with Harry Boyle, tenth Earl of Shannon. This event is free, but advance booking advised. For further information, see:

3 comments on “Amongst the Elect

  1. Gerald Mc Carthy says:

    Robert, enjoyed your discussion with Harry Boyle tenth Earl of Shannon this evening.I intend to bring along some of my friends to view the family portraits in the beautiful surrounds of the City Assembly House next week.

    • Thank you for coming along to the event, and I am delighted that you enjoyed the discussion: the number of questions from the floor afterwards certainly indicated a keen interest.
      Do please encourage others to come along and see the pictures, I hope there will be more information available about them, and about the members of the Boyle family, in the coming days…

  2. Molyneux says:

    The Hon. Henry Richard Graves, born 9th October 1818 was the son of Thomas North Graves, the 2nd Lord Graves, Baron of Gravesend and his wife Lady Mary Paget daughter of Henry Paget, 1st Earl of Uxbridge.

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