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Sir Richard Boyle's favourite town!

Sir Richard Boyle, the Great Earl of Cork (1556-1643)

One cannot write about Bandon towns history without mentioning its main catalyst for development in those early years.

Richard Boyle, was born in Canterberry and came to Ireland in 1588, a young man of huge ambition. He proved to be a very astute and successful business man.

His marriage to heiress Joan Apsley in 1595 brought him considerable wealth and allowed him in 1602 to purchase Walter Raleigh's 42,000 acres of land in Cork, Waterford and Tipperary granted under the plantation of Munster. He brought over excellent settlers from England, consisting of veteran soldiers and many other enterprising persons. He became the most successful of the New English Planters that arrived in Ireland during the late 16th and early 17th century. He used many means to achieve this, some honest, some shady, but all


This benefited both of them as Raleigh wanted to explore the new world of America. (Bandons early settler Newce and founder of Newcestown would go on to follow Raleighs adventures).

It’s fair to say Boyle poured money into the new towns at Bandon Bridge. Starting on the north side he quickly bought up land. By 1613 he had acquired nearly all of the north side and outside the town he owned land to the west on both north and south of the Bandon River. It is difficult to summarise the work of Boyle when clearly, he had incredible wealth from the numerous towns he went about planting. Bandon was just one of many such as Clonakilty in 1613 and less successful local towns such as Enniskeane Town, Castletown. His main residence was Lismore having bought Sir Walter Raleigh's estates of 42,000 acres in 1602 for £1,500. He never lived in Bandon. He funded and rented out several mills on the Bandon River in the mid 1610’s as can be seen in his diary. He paid to repair Bandon Mill in September 1614 and by July 1615 in was paying a Mr. Smyth of Gill Abbey for building mills at Bandon. In November 1618, Boyle bought out Beecher’s land on the south side and thus owned the land on both sides of the Bandon River which allowed him to claim the town as his own.

Perhaps Sir Richard Boyle’s love of Bandon Bridge, his favourite plantation town is most evident from a piece he wrote on 13 April 1632;

‘The place where Bandon-bridge is situated, is upon a great district of the country, and was, within the last 24 years, a meer waste bog and wood, serving for a retreat and harbour to wood-kernes, rebels, thieves, and wolves, and yet now, (God be ever praised) is a civil a plantation as most in England, being for five miles round , all, in effect planted with English Protestants. I write not this out of any vain glory; yet as I, who am but a single man, have erected such works, why should not the rich and magnificent city of London rather exceed, than fall short of such performances?

Richard Boyle died in 1643, possibly the wealthiest man in Ireland. He is buried in the South Transept of St. Mary’s Collegiate Church, Youghal, in The Boyle Chapel, where he had his elaborate family monument erected in his own honour in 1619.

Link in Walter Raleigh bringing potatos to Ireland... Boyle buying all his 42,000 acres of land in 1602 in Cork, Waterford and Tipp for £1,500. Raleigh wanted to explore the new world of America. Bandons early settler Newce and founder of Newcestown would go on to follow Raleighs adventures.

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