Charles Boyle, Earl of Orrery

Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery, Baron Boyle of Marston (Somerset), Baron of Broghill in Ireland, Knight of the Thistle, was buried on 11th September 1731 in the vault of the Duke of Ormond at the east end of Henry VII's chapel in Westminster Abbey. In the 19th century his names was inscribed on a stone above the vault with the many others who are buried there. He was born in Kensington on 28th July 1674 a son of Roger, 2nd Earl, and his wife Lady Mary Sackville. Brought up at Knole House in Kent (the seat of his uncle) he was educated in London and Oxford. At university he met Francis Atterbury, later Dean of Westminster, and co-conspirator in the Jacobite cause. On his brother's death he succeeded to the title. He was a Major General in the army and fought at Malplaquet and later was envoy to Brussels and The Hague. A Fellow of the Royal Society he was a supporter of the famous horologist George Graham and an instrument to display the motion of the moon, sun and earth was re-names the orrery after him. He was a Member of Parliament and Privy Councillor and married Lady Elizabeth Cecil in 1706 (she is buried at St James's Westminster). Their only child John became the 5th Earl and he had four children by his mistress Margaret Swordfeger (Charles, Boyle, Clementina and Martha). He was imprisoned in the Tower of London for his Jacobite sympathies but released on bail. He died at his house in Downing Street.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

See the entry for George Graham, who is buried in the nave.


28th July 1674


11th September 1731


Politician; soldier


Lady Chapel

Memorial Type


Charles Boyle, Earl of Orrery
Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery by Unknown artist

© National Portrait Gallery, London [Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0]