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Boyle


BOYLE: This name comes from Beauville near Caen in Normandy and there seems little doubt that the family 'de Boyville' came to Britain in Norman invasion of 1066 and settled in various locations, particularly Wales and Cumberland. Some of the Welsh line later went to Ireland and became ancestors of the Earls of Cork and Shannon. In Scotland, their kinsman Hugo de Morville obtained the lands of Cunningham and Largs from David I in 1124, and when he sub-divided part thereof amongst relatives, the de Boyvilles received the lands of Kelburn. With the failure of the male line in 1196 the property passed to the Lords of Galloway through an heiress, and when that male line also failed in 1234, they passed through Devorguilla, mother of King John (Balliol), to the Crown. The family helped Alexander III repel Viking invaders at Largs in 1263 and Kelburne returned to the Boyles, being now held directly from the Crown. By 1291 Henry Boyle held the governorship of the castles of Dumfries, Wigtown and Kirkcudbright and at Bannockburn in 1314 they fought under Walter, the first High Steward. Sons fell at Sauchieburn for James III in 1488, and at Pinkie in 1547 in the defeated Scottish army of the Earl of Arran. In 1557, John Boyle of Ballikewin obtained Downiescroft (a part of Largs) from the Abbot of Paisley and other sons became established on the Island of Cumbrae where they became the ancestors of cadet houses. Kelburne passed to the Boyles of Halkshill through an heiress and the lands of Downiescroft followed in 1653, with the Barony of Fairlie in 1657. David Boyle of Kelburne who became Lord Boyle in 1699 and Earl of Glasgow in 1703, played a major part in passing the Act of Union through the Scottish Parliament. The name remains common in Ayr and Wigtown shires, though the family had also strong association with Argyll and Bute. Sir David Boyle, 7th Earl, was created Baron Fairlie of Fairlie in 1897. Many Irish Boyles may be of Scots descent, for thence some Cumbrae Boyles were obliged to flee.


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