John Boyle [Earl of Cork]

Life
1707-1762 [5th Earl of Cork and Orrery]; b. 2 Jan.; many works in prose including Remarks on the Life and Writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift (1752), in which he accused Swift of bitter egotism and alleged that he destroyed the loves of both Vanessa and Stella, remarking that ‘A man always appears of more consequence to himself than he is in reality to any other person’, berating his scatological and misogynist inclinations; however his Life [i.e., Remarks, 1752] had the effect of dispelling suspicions of Jacobitism that hung around Swift’s reputation; also Letters of Pliny the Younger (1751), undertaken as ‘the amusement of my leisure hours’. CAB ODNB JMC PI OCEL

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Works
A Poem Sacred to the Memory of Edmund Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham
(London 1736); The First Ode of the First Book of Horace, imitated by J.B. (1741); Pyrrha […] The Fifth Ode of the First Book of Horace (Dublin 1741), folio; Praehonorabili Domini … [Latin verses eulogistic of Prince Charles Edward Stuart and Flora MacDonald 1749 MS]; trans. Letters of Letters Pliny the Younger (Dublin 1751); Remarks on the life and writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift … In a series of letters from John, Earl of Orrery, to his son, the Honourable Hamilton Boyle (London: A Millar; Dublin: George Faulkner 1752) [prev. pub. in The Monthly Review, Nov. 1751].

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See also [John Duncombe, ed.,] Letters from Italy in the Years 1754 and 1755 by [ ] Late John Earl of Corke & Orrery, with Explanatory Notes by John Duncombe (1st ed. 1773), xlvi, 267pp.; Emily Charlotte Orrery [Countess of Cork and Orrery], ed., The Orrery Papers, 2 vols. (London 1903).

Reprint, Joao Fróes, ed., Remarks on the life and writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift / John Boyle, Fifth Earl of Cork and Orrery (Delaware UP; London: AUP 2000), 461pp., 1 facs.

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Commentary
Mary Delany: ‘A disease this scribbling [itch] is/His Lordship on his Pliny vain/’Twas Madam Pilkington in stitches/And now attacks the Irish Dean/Libel his friend when laid in ground/Pray good Sir, you may spare your hints/This parallel I’m sure is found/For what he writes George Faulkner prints/Had Swift provoked to this behaviour/Sure after death resentment cools/And his last act bespoke [a favour?]/He founds a hospitable for fools.’ (Squib sent to Mrs Dewes; in Autobiography and Correspondence, Vol. 3, p.79; quoted in Robert Ward, George Faulkner (1972).

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Quotations
Dublin Society in 1736: ‘Drunkenness is the Touch Stone by which they try every man; and he that cannot or will not drink, has his mark set upon Him. He is abus’d behind his Back, he is hurt in his Property, and his is persecuted as far as the Power of Malice and Imtemperance can go.’ (Emily Charlotte Orrery, Countess of Cork and Orrery, ed., The Orrery Papers, London 1903, vol. I, p. 157; quoted in R. F. Foster, Modern Ireland, 1988, p.177.)

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Jonathan Swift (1): ‘At the sound of the Drapier’s trumpet, a spirit arose among the people, that, in the Eastern phrase, was like unto a tempest in the day of the whirlwind. Every person of rank, party, and denomination, was convinced that the admission of Wood’s copper must prove fatal to the commonwealth. The Papist, the Fanatic, the Tory, the Whig, all enlisted themselves volunteers under the banner of M. B. Drapier, and were all equally zealous to serve the common cause. [… &c.]’ (Extract in Justin McCarthy, Irish Literature, 1904).

Jonathan Swift (2): ‘All dignity of character seems lost, partly owing to the low stuff which he had printed, and partly to the wat of distinction in the generality of readers. They mistake and confuse the pictures for the painters, and think it impossible that a man can laught at folly without being dressed up in a fool’s hat.’ (MS Eng. 218 Haughton Lib., Harvard; quoted in Robert Mahony, Jonathan Swift: The Irish Identity, Yale UP 1995.)

Jonathan Swift (2): ‘A man always appears of more consequence to himself than he is in reality to any other person. Such perhaps was the case of Dr. SWIFT.’ (Orrery, Remarks on the Life of Dr Jonathan Swift, London:A. Millar 1954, p.14; quoted in Mahony, op. cit., 1995). For longer extracts see under Swift, Commentary, infra.

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Popery: ‘As popery decreases, cleanliness and honesty will find place. The charter Schools will banish the former and introduce the two latter.’ (Letter from Caledon, Co Tyrone, 1747; in E. Boyle., ed., Orrery Papers, 2 Vols., 1903, i., pp.320-21; quoted in Gerard McCoy, ‘“Patriots, Protestants and Papists”: Religion and the Ascendancy, 1714-60’, in Bullán: An Irish Studies Journal, 1, 1, Spring 1994, p.113.)

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References
Charles A. Read, The Cabinet of Irish Literature (London, Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast & Edinburgh: Blackie & Son [1876-78]); b. 2 January 1797; placed in charge of the poet Fenton at 7; Westminster School; Christ Church Oxford; m. Lady Harriet Hamilton, at 21; suffered loss of his own father’s library through siding with father of his wife, Earl of Orkney, against her; opposed Walpole in House of Lords, 1732; went to Ireland, 1732, and returned to England 1733; edited Works of his grandfather Roger Boyle, at Marston, Somersetshire; moved to Duke St. Westminster, 1738; m. Margaret Hamilton, an Irish lady; eds. of Roger Boyle’s Dramatic Works, 1739 (2 vols); State Letters (1742); stayed with father in law, Caledon, Ireland, 1746; trans. Pliny’s Letters (1751); Remarks on the Life of and Writings of Swift (1752) [var. 1751 OCEL ODNB]; Earl of Cork, 1753; tour to Italy, 1754; lost second wife in 1758, lost son, 1759; d. 16th Nov. Letters from Italy (1774); Memoirs of Robert Cary, Earl of Monmouth (1759); contrib. The World and Connoisseur. CAB evades Remarks and selects ‘the Pride of Birth’ from Connoisseur, Jan 8 1756; and Mrs Muzzy on Duelling, from No.47 The World, Nov. 22 1753; The Remarkable Duel, from Muzzy Anecdotes, The World, April 18 1754.

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Justin McCarthy, gen. ed., Irish Literature (Washington: University of America 1904); gives extract, ‘Swift as Pamphleteer,’ from Remarks.

W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (1984), cites John Boyle’s Letters of Pliny (1751) [son of Charles, 4th Earl].

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Margaret Drabble , ed., Oxford Companion of English Literature (OUP 1985), quotes Letter VI: ‘peevishly to debase mankind, and even to ridicule human nature itself’; also Letter XVII: ‘an enemy to tyranny and oppression in any shape whatever’.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 3, selects At Night All Cats are Grey, ‘Myko’ [949-53]., BIOG 1132.

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A. N. Jeffares & Peter Van de Kamp, eds., Irish Literature: The Eighteenth Century - An Annotated Anthology (Dublin/Oregon: Irish Academic Press 2006), gives extract from Remarks on the Life and Writings of Dr Jonathan Swift (1752) [176-78]; calls Orrery ‘a somewhat sycophantic friend in Swift’s later years’ and the Remarks ‘inaccurate and spiteful’; dates Orrery 1701-1762 [err.]

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British Library holds [1] Remarks on the life and writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift … In a series of letters from John Earl of Orrery, to his son, the Honourable Hamilton Boyle. Dublin: printed by George Faulkner …, 1752. [6], 204, [12]pp., [1] leaf of plates, ports (12o); 18cm … [2] Remarks on the Life and Writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift … in a Series of Letters from John Earl of Orrery, to his Son, etc. [Another copy.] Remarks on the Life and Writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift, etc. F.P. The third edition, corrected. [Another copy.] The fourth edition. [Another copy.] The fifth edition. 339pp. Printed by George Faulkner: Dublin, 1752. 8o.. Dublin, 1752. 8o.. 214pp. A. Miller: London, 1752. 8o. 321pp.. A. Millar: London, 1752. 8o.. 240pp. A. Millar: London, 1752. 12o. [3] Remarks on the Life and Writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin, in a series of letters from John Earl of Orrery to his son, the Honourable Hamilton Boyle. With a portrait of Swift after Benjamin Wilson. [Another copy.] The second edition corrected. 339 pp. A. Millar: London, 1752. 8o. London, 1752. 8o.. 214 pp. A. Millar: London, 1752. 8o. [4] A Letter to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Clogher, in Ireland, occasioned by his Lordship’s Essay on Spirit. To which is added, a letter to the Right Honourable John Earl of Orrery, occasioned by the character which his Lordship gives of Dean Swift’s Sermon on the Trinity, in his remarks on the life and writings of the Dean. [By Richard Moseley.] [Another copy.]. 59pp. J. Noon: London, 1752. 8o. [5] An Epistle [in verse] from the Hon. R- E- [i.e. Richard Edgcumbe] to his dear Nanny [Day]. To which is added, A Satire [in verse] on L-d O-y’s [i.e. Lord Orrery’s] Remarks on the life and writings of Dean S-ft [i.e. Swift. By C. Jones]. MS. notes [by Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford].. London, 1752. fol. [6] Some remarks on the life and writings of Dr. J- H- [Sir John Hill], Inspector-General of Great Britain. In a series of Letters from a Gentleman in Town to his Friend in the Country. With occasional hints relative to a Parallel Performance of a certain noble Earl [John Boyle, Earl of Orrery.] [Another copy.] [Another copy.]. London, 1752. 8o. [7] Letter II. from a gentleman in the country to his son in the College of Dublin. Relating to the memoirs of the life and writings of Doctor Swift Dean of St. Patrick’s. Ascribed to the Right Honourable the Earl of Orrery. Dublin: printed by Oli[ver] Nelson, 1752. 27-52 pp. 8o. [8] Observations upon Lord Orrery’s Remarks on the Life and Writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift [by J. R., i.e. Patrick Delany], containing several singular anecdotes relating to the character and conduct of that great Genius and …” Stella; … to which are added Two original pieces of the same author never before publish’d. (A Treatise on good manners and good breeding: Verses to a friend who has been abused in many libels.) [Another copy.]. London, 1754. 8o; Remarks on the life and writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift … In a series of letters from John Earl of Orrery, to his son, the Honourable Hamilton Boyle (Dublin: printed by George Faulkner 1752), [6], 204, [12]pp., [1] leaf of plates, ports, 12o; Remarks on the Life and Writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift [… &c.; third edition, corr.]; Do., fourth edition; Do., fifth edition (Dublin: George Faulkner 1752), 214pp., 8o. Do. (London: A. Millar 1752), 240pp., 8o.; Do. (London: A. Millar: 1752), 12o.; Remarks on the Life and Writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin, in a series of letters from John Earl of Orrery to his son, the Honourable Hamilton Boyle. With a portrait of Swift after Benjamin Wilson (London: A. Millar 1752), 214pp., 8o.

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Belfast Public Library lists Boyle, J., On the Works of Swift (1752).

Hyland Books (214) lists Letters from Italy in the Years 1754 and 1755 by … Late John Earl of Corke & Orrery, with Explanatory Notes by John Duncombe (1st ed. 1773), xlvi, 267pp.

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Notes
Bibl. var.: Publication date of 1752 for Remarks on the Life of and Writings of Swift listed in Charles A. Read, The Cabinet of Irish Literature (London, Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast & Edinburgh: Blackie & Son [1876-78]) listed var. 1751 Oxford Companion of English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble (OUP: 1985) and Dictionary of National Biography.

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Own copy: Lord Orrery’s own copy of Remarks on the Life and Writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift (1751) came into the hands of Sir Harold Williams and passed to the Cambridge Library at his death in 1964 and includes annotations by the author conveying additional information on the subject. The book was formerly in the possession of Lord Cork, as Henry Craik averred in 1882. (See Joao Froes, ‘The Cambridge Copy … [&c]’, in Swift Studies, 11 (1996), pp.16-24.

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