Robert Boyle-Walsingham

Robert Boyle-Walsingham (March 1736 October 1780) was an Irish sailor and Member of Parliament.

Born Robert Boyle, he was a younger son of Henry Boyle, 1st Earl of Shannon, by his wife Henrietta, daughter of Charles Boyle, 2nd Earl of Burlington. His great-grandfather Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery had married Lady Margaret, daughter of Theophilus Howard, 2nd Earl of Suffolk; another daughter Lady Anne married Thomas Walsingham. Robert Boyle eventually succeeded to the estate of the Walsinghams' daughter Elizabeth, Lady Osborne (died 1733), and adopted the name Walsingham.

In 1759 he married Charlotte, daughter of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams; she later built Boyle Farm. Their children included Richard (1762 1788) and Charlotte (1769 1831), who in 1806 successfully claimed the Barony of de Ros, to which she was a co-heiress through her maternal grandmother.

Boyle-Walsingham served in the Royal Navy, reaching the rank of Captain. His last command was as Commodore commanding a squadron despatched to the West Indies. Flying his flag in HMS Thunderer, he died when she was wrecked in a hurricane off Jamaica.

Besides his naval career, he sat in the Irish House of Commons for Dungarvan between 1758 and 1768, and in the British House of Commons for Knaresborough between 1758 and 1760, Fowey from 1761 to 1768, and then Knaresborough again from 1768 to his death.

In 1760 his portrait was painted by Nathaniel Hone the Elder. In 1770 he became first Provincial Grand Master for Kent of the Premier Grand Lodge of England. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1778.[1]


  1. "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Richard Boyle
Robert Roberts
Member of Parliament for Dungarvan
1758 1768
With: Richard Boyle
Thomas Carew
Succeeded by
Sir William Osborne, 8th Bt
Robert Carew
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Henry Slingsby, Bt
Hon. Richard Arundell
Member of Parliament for Knaresborough
1758 1761
With: Sir Henry Slingsby, Bt
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Slingsby, Bt
Lord John Cavendish
Preceded by
Hon. George Edgcumbe
Jonathan Rashleigh
Member of Parliament for Fowey
1761 1768
With: Jonathan Rashleigh to 1764
Philip Rashleigh from 1765
Succeeded by
Philip Rashleigh
James Modyford Heywood

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