he married, on the 9th of May 1728, lady Harriet Hamilton, the third and youngest daughter of George earl of Orkney. Though this marriage had the entire approbation of
When the earl of Orrery was committed prisoner to the Tower on account of Layer’s plot, such was the filial piety of his son, that he earnestly entreated to be shut up with his noble father; but this indulgence was thought too considerable to be granted. Not long after he had completed the twenty-first year of his age, he married, on the 9th of May 1728, lady Harriet Hamilton, the third and youngest daughter of George earl of Orkney. Though this marriage had the entire approbation of lord Orrery, it unfortunately happened that a dissension arose between the two earls, which placed the young couple in a very delicate and difficult situation; but lord Boyle maintained at the same time the tenderest affection for his wife, and the highest attachment to his father. The earl of Orrery, however, was too much irritated by the family quarrel, to see at first his son’s conduct in a proper point of light, although his excellent understanding could not fail in the end to get the better of his prejudices, when a reconciliation took place, and the little coldness which had subsisted between them served but the more to endear them to each other. The earl of Orrery was now so much pleased with lord Boyle, that he could scarcely be easy without him; and when in town, they were seldom asunder. It is to be lamented, that this happiness was rendered very transient by the unexpected death of lord Orrery and that the stroke was embittered by circumstance peculiarly painful and affecting to his noble son and successor. The father, whilst under the impression of his dissension with the earl of Orkney, had made a will, by which he had bequeathed to Christ-church, Oxford, his valuable library, consisting of above ten thousand volumes, together with a very fine collection of mathematical instruments. The only exceptions in favour of lord Boyle were the Journals of the House of Peers, and such books as related to the English history and constitution. The earl of Orrery left, besides, though he was greatly in debt, several considerable legacies to persons nowise related to him. Upon his reconciliation with his son, he determined to alter his will, and had even sent for his lawyer with that view, when the suddenness of his decease prevented the execution of his just and reasonable design. The young lord Orrery, with a true filial piety and generosity, instead of suffering his father’s effects to be sold, took his debts upon himself, and fulfilled the bequests, by paying the legacies, and sending the books and mathematical instruments within the limited time to Christ-church. The loss, however, of a parent, thus aggravated and embittered, left a deep impression upon his mind, and was succeeded by a fit of illness which endangered his life, and obliged him to repair to Bath. Whilst he was in that city, he received a letter from a friend, with a copy of verses inclosed, exhorting him to dispel his grief by poetry r and to shew that Bath could inspire, as well as Tunbridge;. from which place he had written some humorous verses the year before. To this letter his lordship returned the following answer:
, earl of Orkney, a brave officer, was the fifth son of William earl
, earl of Orkney, a brave officer, was the fifth son of William earl of Selkirk, and very early embraced the profession of arms. In March 1689-90 he was made a colonel, and distinguished himself with particular bravery at the battle of the Boyne, under king William, July 1, 1690; and those of Aghrim, July 12, 1691; of Steinkirk, Aug. 3, 1692, and of Lauden, July 19, 1693. Nor did he appear to less advantage at the sieges of Athlone, Limerick, and Namur. His eminent services in Ireland and Flanders through the whole course of the war, recommended him so highly to the favour of William III. that on Jan. 10, 1695-6, he was advanced to the dignity of a peer of Scotland, by the title of earl of Orkney. His lady, likewise, whom he married in 1695, and who was the daughter of sir Edward Villiers, knight-marshal, and a special favourite with the king, received a grant under the great seal of Ireland, of almost all the private estates of the abdicated king James, of very considerable value. Upon the accession of queen Anne, the earl of Orkney was promoted to the rank of majorgeneral March 9, 1701-2, to that of lieutenant-general Jan. 1, 1703-4, and in February following was made knight of the thistle. In 1704 his lordship was at the battle of Blenheim, which was crowned with so important a victory in favour of the allies; and he made prisoners of war a body of 1300 French officers and 12,000 common soldiers, who had been posted in the village of Blenheim. In July 1705, he was detached with 1200 men to march before the main body of the army, and to observe the march of a great detachment of the enemy, which marshal Villars had sent off to the Netherlands, as soon as he found the march of the allies was directed thither; and his lordship used such expedition, that he seasonably reinforced the Dutch, and prevented marshal Villeroy’s taking the citadel of Liege, about which his troops were then formed. The next month his lordship marched with fourteen battalionsof foot, and twenty-four squadrons of horse, to support the passage over the Dyle, which was immediately effected. In July 1706, he assisted at the siege of Menin; and on Feb. 12, 1706-7, was elected one of the sixteen peers for Scotland, to sit in the first parliament of Great Britain after the union. The same year he again served under the duke of Marlborough in Flanders; being in the latter end of May detached with seven battalions of foot from Meldart to the pass of Louvain, in order to preserve the communication with it, and on that side of Flanders; which his lordship did, and abode there during the time of the allied army’s encamping at Meldart. When they decamped on Aug. 1, to Nivelle, within two leagues of the French army, and a battle was expected, the earl, with twelve battalions of foot, and thirty squadrons of horse and dragoons, and all the grenadiers of the army, advanced a little out of the front of it, and lay all night within cannon-shot of the enemy; and the next morning charged their rear in their retreat for above a league and a half, and killed, disabled, and caused to desert, above 4000 of them. In the beginning of September following his lordship was again detached with another considerable body of troops to Turquony, under a pretence of foraging by the Scheld, but really with the design of drawing the enemy thither from Tournay to battle, and getting between them and the city. In November 1708, the earl commanded the van of the army at the passing of the Scheld; and in June the year following, assisted at the siege of Tournay, and took St. Amand and St. Martin’s Sconce; and on Aug. 20, was detached from the camp at Orchies towards St. Guilliampass, on the river Heine, towards the northward of Moms, in order to attack and take it, for the better passage of the army to Mons; and on the 30th of that month, was present at the battle of Malplaquet. In 1710 he was sworn of the privy-council; and made general of foot in Flanders, and in 1712 colonel of the royal regiment of foot-guards called the fuzileers, and served in Flanders under the duke of Ormond. In October, 1714, his lordship was appointed gentleman extraordinary of the bed-chamber to king George I. and on Dec. 17 following, governor of Virginia. He was likewise afterwards constable, governor and captain of Edinburgh castle, lord-lieutenant of the county of Clydesdale, and field-marshal. He died in London, at his house in Albemarle-street, Jan, 29, 1736-7.