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Roger Boyle Orrery, 1st earl of

Orrery, Roger Boyle, 1st earl of, 1621–79, Irish statesman and writer; son of Richard Boyle, 1st earl of Cork. Created (1627) Baron Broghill, he studied at Trinity College, Dublin, traveled abroad, and served against the Irish rebels in 1641. Although his family leaned toward Charles I, he served in the parliamentary army after 1647. He later became involved in a plot to restore Charles II, but Oliver Cromwell personally intervened to persuade him to serve the Commonwealth. He helped restore order in Ireland, received large grants of land, and served in the parliaments of 1654 and 1656 and as lord president of the council in Scotland. When the restoration of Charles II seemed inevitable, he crossed to Ireland and helped secure it for the king. He was made earl of Orrery (1660) and a lord justice, served in the Parliament of 1661, and was lord president of Munster until 1668. A friend and patron of the writers of his age, Orrery also wrote rhymed-verse tragedies, among them Henry the Fifth (1668), Mustapha (1668), and The Black Prince (1669); a romance, Parthenissa (1654–65); and a military treatise (1677).

See preface by W. S. Clark to his edition (2 vol., 1937) of Orrery's dramatic works; study by K. M. Lynch (1965).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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