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Clan Boyle is a Scottish chiefly family

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The name Boyle comes from the Norman town of Beauville near Caen. <ref>George Way of Plean, Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia (Harper Collins, Glasgow, 1994) 78</ref> In 1164 David de Boivil appears as a witness to a charter. In 1275 Richard de Boyville held the lands of Kelburn in Ayrshire. <ref>Way of Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 76</ref> For some time the name was confined to the south-west of Scotland where it was pronounced as "bowl". Gradually, pronunciation and spelling became one syllable, Boyll in 1367 and Boyle in 1482, although as with so many names, there were many other variants.<ref></ref> In around 1291 Henry de Boyville was keeper of Dumfries Castle, Wigtown Castle and Kirkcudbright Castle. <ref>Way of Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 76</ref> Richard de Boyvil and Robert de Boyvil both appear on the Ragman Rolls in 1296 submitting to Edward I of England. Richard Boyle married a daughter of Sir Robert Comyn.<ref>Way of Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 78</ref>

15th and 16th Centuries

Six generations after Richard Boyle, John Boyle, his descendant, was killed at the Battle of Sauchieburn, fighting in support of James III of Scotland in 1488. <ref>Way of Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 78</ref> The family estates were forfeited but his son, also called John, had them restored by James IV of Scotland. Another branch of the Clan Boyle from Scotland settled in Ireland where they became the powerful Earls of Cork. <ref>Way of Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 78</ref> The family supported Mary, Queen of Scots and later Charles I and as a result of loyalty to these unfortunate monarchs experienced hardships. <ref>Way of Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 78</ref>

17th and 18th centuries

The 1st Earl of Glasgow

John Boyle of Kelburn was elected as a Commissioner of Parliament in 1681- a role later held by his son, who was raised to the peerage as Lord Boyle of Kelburn in 1699. During the 17th century the Boyle's grew rich through shipping and shipbuilding.<ref></ref> Lord Boyle was one of the Commissioners for the Treaty of Union with England, and is thought to have bribed poor Jacobite supporters to support the Act. <ref></ref> In 1706 he was appointed Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He supported the Hanoverian cause during the rising of 1715 and raised and armed troops at his own expense. <ref>Way of Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 76</ref>John Boyle, 3rd Earl of Glasgow followed a military career and he was wounded at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745 and later again at the Battle of Lauffeld in 1747. He was appointed Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and held the office for nine consecutive years. <ref>Way of Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 79</ref>

19th century

Lady Augusta Boyle, daughter of the fourth Earl, married Lord Frederick FitzClarence, son of King William IV. Another family member, David Boyle, was Soliciter General of Scotland in 1807 and ultimately Lord Justice General of Scotland in 1841. <ref>Way of Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 79</ref> George Boyle, 4th Earl, also took up military service, rising to colonel and Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire in 1810. His eldest son, John, was a naval officer captured by the French off Gibraltar in 1807. <ref>Way of Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 79</ref> His brother, James, succeeded as the fifth Earl in 1843. He had also served in the Royal Navy and was also made Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire.<ref>Way of Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 79</ref>

James was succeeded by his half brother, George Frederick Boyle, which proved to be a disaster for the family. George Boyle had been educated at Oxford and was passionately interested in art and architecture, as well as religious mysticism. He became obsessed by the Pre-Raphalite notions of form and beauty and began a monumental building program, renovating Kelburn and funding churches across Scotland. <ref>Way of Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 79</ref> In 1888 he had bankrupted the estate and the assets were sold, Kelburn was only saved by the purse of his cousin, David, later to become the David Boyle, 7th Earl of Glasgow.<ref>Way of Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 79</ref>


Kelburn Castle

The present head of the family and chief of the name succeeded his father, who was a distinguished naval officer, in 1984 as tenth Earl of Glasgow. He still resides at Kelburn Castle near Fairlie in Ayrshire, on the lands held by his family since the thirteenth century, and has done much to develop the family seat- which is now visited by Boyles from all over the world. Kelburn Castle is renowned for its graffiti mural. <ref></ref>