Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington

Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington

Infobox Person
name = Richard Boyle

image_size =
caption = 3rd Earl of Burlington
birth_date = 1694
birth_place =
death_date = 1753
death_place =
education =
occupation =
spouse = Lady Dorothy Saville
parents =
children = two

Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork PC (April 25, 1694 – December 15, 1753), born in Yorkshire, England was the son of Charles Boyle, 2nd Earl of Burlington and 3rd Earl of Cork. Burlington was called 'the Apollo of the Arts' and never took more than a passing interest in politics despite his position as a Privy councillor and a member of the House of Lords.

Life account

Lord Burlington, also known as "the architect Earl", was instrumental in the revival of Palladian architecture. He succeeded to the title and extensive estates in Yorkshire and Ireland at the age of ten. He showed an early love of music. Georg Frideric Handel dedicated three operas to him, while staying at Burlington House: "Il pastor fido", "Teseo" and "Amadigi di Gaula". Three foreign Grand Tours 1714 – 1719 and a further trip to Paris in 1726 gave him opportunities to develop his taste. His professional skill as an architect (always supported by a mason-contractor) was extraordinary in an English aristocrat. He carried his copy of Andrea Palladio's book "I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura" with him in touring the Veneto in 1719, and made copious notes in the margins. Burlington never closely inspected Roman ruins or made detailed drawings on the sites; he relied on Palladio and Scamozzi as his interpreters of the classic tradition. Another source of his inspiration were drawings he collected, some drawings of Palladio himself, which had belonged to Inigo Jones ("illustration, left") and many more of Inigo Jones' pupil John Webb, which Kent published in 1727 as "Some Designs of Mr Inigo Jones... with Some Additional Designs" that were by Kent and Burlington. The important role of Jones' pupil Webb in transmitting the palladian—neo-palladian heritage was not understood until the 20th century. Burlington's Palladio drawings include many reconstructions after Vitruvius of Roman buildings, which Burlington planned to publish. In the meantime, in 1723 he adapted the palazzo facade in the illustration for the London house of General Wade in Old Burlington Street, which was engraved for "Vitruvius Britannicus" iii (1725). The process put a previously unknown Palladio design into circulation.

Burlington's first project, appropriately, was his own London residence, Burlington House, where he dismissed his baroque architect James Gibbs when he returned from the continent in 1719 and employed the Scottish architect Colen Campbell, with the history-painter-turned-designer William Kent for the interiors. The courtyard front of Burlington House, prominently sited in Piccadilly, was the first major executed statement of neo-Palladianism.

In the 1720s Burlington and Campbell parted, and Burlington was assisted in his projects by the young Henry Flitcroft, "Burlington Harry"— who developed into a major architect of the second neopalladian generation— and Daniel Garrett— a straightforward palladian architect of the second rank— and some draughtsmen.

By the early 1730s Palladian style had triumphed as the generally-accepted manner for a British country house or public building. For the rest of his life Burlington was "the Apollo of the arts" as Horace Walpole phrased it— and Kent his 'proper priest."

In 1739, Burlington was involved in the founding of a new charitable organisation called the Foundling Hospital. Burlington was a governor of the charity, but did not formally take part in planning the construction of this large Bloomsbury children's home completed in 1742. Architect for the building was a Theodore Jacobsen, who took on the commission as an act of charity.

Many of Burlington's projects have suffered, from rebuilding or additions, from fire, from losses due to urban sprawl. In many cases his ideas were informal: at Holkham Hall the architect Matthew Brettingham recalled that "the general ideas were first struck out by the Earls of Burlington and Leicester, assisted by Mr. William Kent." Brettingham's engraved publication of Holkham credited Burlington specifically with ceilings for the portico and the north dressing-room.

Burlington's architectural drawings, inherited by his son-in-law the Duke of Devonshire are preserved at Chatsworth, and enable attributions that would not otherwise be possible.

Major projects

Colen Campbell's Burlington House as it was in 1855, before a third storey was added]
* (Burlington House, Piccadilly, London): Burlington's own contribution is likely to have been restricted to the former colonnade (demolished 1868) In London, Burlington offered designs for features at several aristocratic free-standing dwellings, none of which have survived: Queensbury House in Burlington Gardens (a gateway); Warwick House, Warwick Street (interiors); Richmond House, Whitehall (the main building);

* Tottenham Park, Wiltshire, for Charles, Lord Bruce: from 1721, executed by Burlington's protegé Henry Flitcroft (enlarged and remodelled since). In the original house, the high corner pavilion blocks of Inigo Jones' Wilton were provided with the "Palladian window" motif to be seen at Burlington House. Burlington, with a good eye for garden effects, also designed ornamental buildings in the park (demolished)

* Westminster School, the Dormitory: 1722 – 1730 (altered, bombed and restored), the first public work by Burlington, for which Sir Christopher Wren had provided a design, which was rejected in favor of Burlington's, a triumph for the Palladians and a sign of changing English taste.

* Old Burlington Street, London: houses, including one for General Wade: 1723 (demolished). General Wade's house adapted the genuine Palladio facade in Burlington's collection of drawings.

* Waldershare Park, Kent, the Belvedere Tower: 1725 – 27. A design for a garden eye-catcher that might have been attributed to Colen Campbell, were it not for a ground plan among Burlington's drawings at Chatsworth.

* Chiswick House Villa, Middlesex: The "Casina" in the gardens, 1717, was Burlington's first essay. The house he designed for himself was demolished. The villa is one of the gems of European 18th-century architecture.

*Sevenoaks School, School House, 1730. Classic Palladian work, commissioned by his friend Elijah Fenton.

* The York Assembly Rooms: 1731 – 32 (facade remodelled). In the basilica-like space, Burlington attempted an archaeological reconstruction "with doctrinaire exactitude" (Colvin 1995) of the "Egyptian Hall" described by Vitruvius, as it had been interpreted in Palladio's "Quattro Libri." The result is one of the grandest Palladian public spaces.

* Castle Hill, Devonshire

* Northwick Park, (now Gloucestershire)

* Kirby Hall, Yorkshire. An elevation

Marriage and children

Richard married Dorothy Saville on 21 March, 1720. Dorothy was natural daughter of William Savile, 2nd Marquess of Halifax and Mary Finch.

Mary was daughter of Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham and Lady Essex Rich. Essex was daughter of Robert Rich, 3rd Earl of Warwick and Anne Cheeke. Anne was daughter of Sir Thomas Cheeke of Pirgo and a senior Essex Rich.

The elder Essex was daughter of Robert Rich, 1st Earl of Warwick and Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich. Essex was probably named after her maternal grandfather Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex. Her maternal grandmother was Lettice Knollys.

They had two children:
*Lady Dorothy Boyle (14 May, 1724 – 2 May, 1742). She was married to George Fitzroy, Earl of Euston, second son of Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton and Lady Henrietta Somerset. No known descendants.
*Lady Charlotte Elizabeth Boyle (27 October, 1731 – 8 December, 1754). She married William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire. They were parents to William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire, George Augustus Henry Cavendish, 1st Earl of Burlington and two other children.

External links

* [ Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington]
* [ Lord Burlington]


*Howard Colvin, "Dictionary of British Architects" 3rd ed. 1995
* Handel. A Celebration of his Life and Times 1685 – 1759. National Portrait Gallery, London.

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