Earl of Cork

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Earl of the County of Cork, usually shortened to Earl of Cork, is a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1620 for the Anglo-Irish politician Richard Boyle, 1st Baron Boyle. He had already been created Lord Boyle, Baron of Youghal, in the County of Cork, in 1616, and was made Viscount of Dungarvan, in the County of Waterford, at the same time he was given the earldom. These titles are also in the Peerage of Ireland. Known as the "Great Earl", he was born in Canterbury, England, but settled in Ireland in 1588, where he married an Irish heiress and bought large estates in County Cork. From 1631 to 1643 he served as Lord Treasurer of Ireland. His third son the Hon. Sir Roger Boyle was created Earl of Orrery in 1660.

Lord Cork was succeeded by his eldest son, the second Earl. He had already succeeded his younger brother as second Viscount Boyle of Kinalmeaky according to a special remainder in the letters patent. He married Elizabeth Clifford, 2nd Baroness Clifford, a descendant of Edward III, and in 1644 he was created Baron Clifford of Lanesborough, in the County of York, in the Peerage of England. Lord Cork later served as Lord High Treasurer of Ireland and as Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding of Yorkshire. In 1664 he was further honoured when he was made Earl of Burlington in the Peerage of England. His only son and heir apparent Charles Boyle, Viscount Dungarvan, was summoned to the Irish House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in his father's junior title of Viscount Dungarvan in 1663. He later represented Tamworth and Yorkshire in the English House of Commons. In 1689 he was summoned to the English House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in his father's junior title of Baron Clifford of Lanesborough.

Lord Cork was succeeded by his grandson, the third Earl, the son of Viscount Dungarvan. He was Lord Treasurer of Ireland and Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding of Yorkshire. On his death the titles passed to his only son, the fourth Earl of Cork and third Earl of Burlington. Known as Lord Burlington, he was the famous architect who published Andrea Palladio's designs of Ancient Roman architecture and designed Chiswick House with William Kent. He had no sons and on his death in 1753 the barony of Clifford of Lanesborough and earldom of Burlington became extinct. He was succeeded in the Burlington estates and in the barony of Clifford by his eldest surviving daughter Charlotte Elizabeth Boyle, 6th Baroness Clifford (see the Baron Clifford for later history of this title). She married William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire. Their third son Lord George Augustus Henry Cavendish was created Earl of Burlington in 1831.

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